Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Orchard of Flesh
SERIES: Arcadia Trust #2
AUTHOR: Christian Baines
PUBLISHER: Bold Strokes Books
LENGTH: 282 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 16, 2016
Reylan’s last assignment for The Arcadia Trust brought a rebellious human servant under his roof, and a volatile werewolf lover named Jorgas into his bed, leaving the self-reliant Blood Shade–known to the outside world as vampires–in no hurry to risk his immortality for them again.
But when a new terror starts disappearing humans from a bad part of town, Reylan must do everything in his power to keep Sydney’s supernatural factions from the brink of war. Having an ambitious, meddlesome human in the mix is only going to make things worse…especially when that human is Jorgas’s father.
Reylan will need all his determination and cunning to keep the peace under his roof, between the night’s power brokers, and in his lover’s troubled heart.
Oh wow; I really have to give it to the author with this one! After how much I enjoyed the previous book, I was thrilled to dive back into this universe with the sequel and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Reylan was back in all of his snarky glory but in this story, you get to see a different side of him; one that would almost make him seem human. (I’m sure he would be horrified at such a declaration, but its true.) I loved Reylan from the moment I first got to know him but he really shone in this book. Also back were Jorgas and a few other favorites introduced previously.
The mystery this time around was much more intricate and watching as the pieces slowly unraveled was immensely entertaining and easily kept me on the edge of my seat. Besides the disappearances, and mysterious connection to Jorgas’ father, that Reylan is investigating, Reylan also finds himself fighting with his new Mannequin, Brett, dealing with Ross’ divided loyalties and trying not to run afoul of a much older, stronger, Blood Shade. And when he isn’t neck deep in all that mess, he’s busy trying to convince himself that what he’s doing with Jorgas is just a fling, nothing more. He’s absolutely not in love with the other man. Nope, no way.
The story…was just fantastic! I’m just amazed by the imagination the author put into this, from the culprit to the resolution I just couldn’t put it down. ( Seriously, I originally said I’d read a chapter or two and then sat and read the entire thing instead. Lol) The ending was a bit heartbreaking in a few different ways and I cried a little, I admit it, but it was so good I only regret it a little. The final page, however, made me cuss. Lol All I can say is, well played Mr. Baines, well played.
While I’m sure the next book will be a while in coming, I will still eagerly await it as I’m not nearly done with these characters yet. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy/Paranormal or Mysteries, I’d highly recommend this book. You will need to read the previous story to get the most out of it, however, and perhaps a tissue or two. I guarantee you won’t regret it though.