Wednesday 7 April 2021

Blood and Ash & Death and Desire by Deborah Wilde (Jezebel Files 1 & 2)


A fabulously sassy start to a new Urban Fantasy series!

Cold-blooded kidnappers. Long-lost magic. When things get serious, she goes full Sherlock.

Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.
She wasn’t counting on getting bashed in the skull, revealing a hidden tattoo and supernatural powers she shouldn’t possess.
Or the bitter icing on top: a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures on a deadly bender.
And don’t even get her started on the golems.
Reluctantly partnered with her long-time nemesis Levi, the infuriating leader of the magic community, Ash resolves to keep her focus on the clue trail and off their sexual tension because WTF is up with that?
But with a mastermind organization pulling strings from the shadows and Levi’s arrogance driving her to pick out his body bag, can Ash rescue the captives and uncover the truth or will the next blood spilled be her own?

I thoroughly enjoyed this! I read a lot of UF so it doesn't take much for things to feel "samey" but Blood and Ash - book one in the Jezebel Files - was a breath of fresh air!
The world created was different to typical UF in that magic existed but other supernatural beasties didn't and the reason for magic existing was rooted in Jewish mysticism which was awesome! I'm not going to pretend to have the faintest clue about Judaism beyond the basics so learning a little bit through reading the story was great.

Ash is a beautifully snarky and fierce character with a love of Sherlock Holmes. She's fiercely loyal, her determination and ambition were admirable and I absolutely adored her! She's surrounded by larger than life characters who each have their part to play and who have their own distinct personalities and roles. From the quirky, tech wizard, flat-mate, to the grumpy head of Nefesh (magic people) security, and everyone in between, I just enjoyed the heck out of them but none more so than Levi... Oh my. I loved Levi. Sexy, powerful, dutiful, and ruthless when needed - Levi rocked. The chemistry between Ash and Levi? Scorching. But more important than the romantic fireworks was the banter between these two! OMG, I laughed, laughed and laughed even more. They are savage and I ate it up!

In fact, the entire book is a bit of a riot. Fast-paced, engrossing and hilarious with a diverse range of characters and a side serving of delicious will they/won't they romance... It made my soul happy.

It's four-stars instead of five only because I found it a little confusing at times and it feels like there is a lot of world-building yet required to give the world suitable depth.

I started Blood and Ash as an audiobook but I only got to chapter 7 before I had to switch to reading the ebook. I could not stand the narrator. I found her voice and style grating and thus wouldn't recommend it in audio format.

Angel of Death.
Black market magic.
When you’re Ashira Cohen, smart is the new kickass.

When Ash is hired to solve her first murder, it seems like a perfectly normal, open-and-shut case of family feuds and bad blood. Until Ash discovers an evil magical artifact and her lead suspect is of the winged, white-robed, celestial variety. As if that weren't bad enough, if she can't find the perpetrator quickly, fourteen vials of lethal, ghostly magic will be sold to the highest bidder.

Her quest to figure out her Jezebel powers and find the shadowy organization responsible for stripping teens of their magic isn't going any smoother, either. Can't a girl just pursue her dream career without getting caught up in a mysterious destiny or playing a dangerous Sherlock-Moriarty game with her annoyingly hot nemesis?

But when Ash accidentally crosses the cunning and deadly Queen of Hearts, ruler of the magic black market, all those cases may go unresolved.
With the clock ticking, it’ll take all of Ash’s intelligence to survive with her moral center–and her head–intact.
The game is afoot and failure is not an option.

Death and Desire is book two in the Jezebel files and wastes no pages before jumping straight into the action! It's a snark-filled rollercoaster of fun that doesn't shy away from dark and gritty realities.
Ash has a new mystery to solve but she's not alone... Her colourful assortment of friends and frenemies are on hand to lend a hand!

Throughout the book, we learn more about the origins of Ash's powers, her relationships evolve, the world-building improves (or maybe its easier to follow after the crash course of book one?) and the series plot thickens.
Pretty much everything I said regarding book one can be applied here: Fast-paced, engrossing, and hilarious. Wonderful characters and a romance that is still very much will they/won't they (with a side dish of super-steamy fun).

Deborah Wilde writes spiky women with heart. There's bad language and hard realities galore. Characters make decisions that you'll find frustrating and people will annoy you more than they thrill you but that's part of what I've enjoyed about the first two books... This may be urban fantasy but the problems arising, the political wrangling (between those with and without magic) and the personal trials and issues of the characters are all too real.

I'm very much loving this series and will be continuing... Not to mention reading the author's other work.



  1. It's so fun to have a story just jump right into the action without 200 pages of build-up. :)

  2. I love that kind of cover on the urban fantasy/PNR type books-great colours!

  3. Robin reviewed these. I have the first one as a freebie and I hope to get to it sometime. I'm glad to see you enjoyed these.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. I haven't read this author but the series sounds good.


Blogger Template Created by pipdig