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Review: Hellbent (Cheshire Red Reports #2) by Cherie Priest

Review: Hellbent (Cheshire Red Reports #2) by Cherie Priest

by Kenra DanielsDecember 7, 2011

TLDR recap:

Raylene, a vampire who can steal just about anything anywhere, is contracted to steal some magical items. Before she can get the job done, she’s almost blown to smithereens and adopts a kitten. Next thing she knows, she’s dealing with psychotic vampires and old ladies who fly.  Hellbent is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

  • Title: Hellbent
  • Series: Cheshire Red Reports – book #2
  • Author: Cherie Priest
  • Prominent Characters: Raylene, Ian, Adrian/Sister Rose
  • Recommended reader age: 16+
  • Sexual content level: moderate


*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***


Priest’s style of writing in Hellbent, casual and conversational with the main character speaking directly to the reader, is new and intriguing. It took me a couple chapters to become accustomed to, but once I did, I liked it. Serving as a method of characterization, it showed Raylene’s slightly neurotic way of thinking, and her habit of digressing from the subject at hand. The only real complaint I had with the writing style was that it constantly reminded me I was reading a story, rather than letting me get lost and feel as if I were in the main character’s shoes.

The beginning was rather slow, cram-packed with details about the character’s life and friends and acquaintances. Combined with the unusual writing style, the initially slow, meandering pace might have been enough for me to stop reading if I weren’t reviewing it. However, once the story actually started moving, a couple chapters in, things clicked right along. I was able to get closer to Raylene, and the digressions and directly addressing the reader became less frequent.

By the time Raylene and Adrian encountered a vampire with a serious hate-on for their friend, Ian, I was right there with them. Then came the old lady who flew and orchestrated earthquakes. The pacing could have been tighter, with more frantic need, but it was still engrossing.


Memorable quotes:

Hey, at least it’s not a biker bar!

“Your taste in hangouts, Christ. Dracula’s castle may have been dank and filled with homicidal hookers, but at least it was quiet. I assume.”


You have to be kidding! No one would collect THOSE!

-“…bacula,” he pronounced carefully. “Plural of baculum.”

“Well, that clears it right up.”

With a sigh that almost ruffled the curtains, he said, “Raylene, they’re penis bones.”

Aaaaand…he’d finally done it. The little bastard had rendered me completely speechless.


Final thoughts:

Hellbent is worth getting past the slow start, and becoming accustomed to the unusual writing style. If you’re looking for a different twist on vampires, with a healthy dose of ceremonial magic, psychopaths, and an avaricious “art dealer” (read fence for stolen art and antiquities), this one is just what the doctor ordered. And don’t forget, there’s a cute kitten!

Hellbent is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

Rating: Hellbent


Related links:

Buy Hellbent: Amazon

Here are a few places you can find Hellbent author Cherie Priest:



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About The Author
Kenra Daniels
I write steamy paranormal romance novels featuring weredragons and daywalking vampires. I live in rural eastern Kentucky with my husband of 25 years, our 5 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 snakes. We have one daughter, and three adorable little grandsons. The first novel in my BLOOD DRAGONS series is on submission with several publishers, and I'm working on the second one
  • December 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

    These books are in my TBR have reminded me..why i bought them..guess i need to dig them out 🙂

  • December 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I haven’t had time to get to this one but I loved the first book. The very conversational style is trademark Priest IMHO and one of the reasons I like the series. But you’re so right about how it can slow the book down. Definitely not for everyone.

    Thanks for the review!

  • Sophia Rose
    December 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I haven’t encountered this book yet, but it’s good to know about the POV and the slow start.

    I like a little variety in my reading to keep things fresh.

    Thanks for the posting!

  • December 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    The TLDR Recap on this one made me LOL as I was getting it ready to post. I’m going to try out the author and see how I like the “coversational” style. Are we talking Anita Blake-type conversational?

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