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Review: Brazen by Kelley Armstrong

Review: Brazen by Kelley Armstrong
Brazen by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Otherworld Stories #13.1
Published by Subterranean Press
Published on: December 15, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Pages: 216
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Xaviere Daumarie.

Subterranean Press is pleased to present a long Otherworld novella by Kelley Armstrong, featuring a number of full-color illustrations by Xaviere Daumarie. The Trade Hardcover of Brazen will feature a full-color dust jacket as well as four full-color interior illustrations. The Signed Limited Edition will have a completely different dust jacket, full-color endsheets, and two additional full-color illustrations not in the Trade.

Nick Sorrentino knows everyone in the supernatural world considers him the Pack’s playboy, the pretty but not very useful werewolf whose only reputation involves his amorous exploits.

Usually, Nick couldn’t care less what anyone outside the Pack thinks of him. But when it affects his hunt for Malcolm Danvers, a psychotic bogeyman from the Pack’s past, it matters.

Necessity forces Nick to team up with mercenary half-demon Vanessa Callas to run Malcolm to ground in Detroit. Together, they discover Malcolm is more deadly than ever. And he wants to play.

It’s time for Nick to prove he’s not just a lover.

He’s a fighter.


Twisted HowlingGood Lickable


It’s been nearly two years now since Kelley Armstrong’s WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series wrapped up, and I’ve been suffering from some serious werewolf withdrawals ever since. So, when I found out that Nick was getting his own novella I was absolutely ecstatic! I may have even gone a little overboard because I bought the limited edition from Subterranean Press, and paid the exuberant shipping fee to have it mailed to Canada. But, it was money well-spent because this book is beautiful both inside and out. The custom artwork is to die for, and Nick is one of my all-time favourite players so seeing him rendered speechless by a woman was a real treat.

This novella’s plot line follows the same format as Armstrong’s full-length werewolf novels in that the pack is tracking a mutt, only in this case Nick is taking point for a change, and it’s not just any mutt but Malcolm Danvers—king of the crazies. I loved seeing how grown-up Sorrentino is in this short; he’s still a ladies man but he’s got the responsibilities of a full-blown adult with a day job, three teenage werewolf wards, and pack responsibilities. He remains a player at heart, and there’s definitely more than a few suave moments in BRAZEN. I got a kick out of watching him try to be a role model to Reese and Noah while being upfront about his man-whorish ways.

Malcolm is hands-down one of the best werewolf villains out there which makes any story featuring him a surefire adrenaline rush. He’s a sick sociopath who’s as intelligent as he is cruel. I loved watching his clever plan unfold in this short because it really was a work of art but the bitch-slap-to-the-face ending was even more satisfying. Armstrong isn’t known for her romance and that holds true in this novella, however I enjoyed the flirtations between Nick and Vanessa, and can only hope that it may spawn another OTHERWORLD story in the future.

This special edition was almost too pretty to read but I simply could not resist the pull of Armstrong’s wolves. Nick is the ultimate one-night-stand material which makes BRAZEN the perfect one-sit read.

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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55 Comments

  1. I preorder every book from Subterranean Press that Kelley Armstrong puts out. I do usually purchase the cheaper version, if there is one available, but I always get a copy. They are pricey, but I love having them. When I first started buy them, they weren’t selling them as ebooks too, so that was the only way to get the stories and I just kept it up. I also have the Alpha and Omega book they did for Briggs.

    I enjoyed this story, but I was expecting more, I’m not sure what though. I think I was just so excited to get it and then I just didn’t think it lived up to what I wanted. It wasn’t bad, just not as good as I wanted. I think Malcolm was predictable, which I don’t think he would be. I’m not sure what I think of the romance between Nick and the woman, I don’t remember her name. I did read in one sitting.

    I saw her tweet or put on Facebook or something that she is working on an Elena novella, I’m assuming it will be with Subterranean Press as well. I hope we get to learn more about the kids.

    • Someone has deep pockets! I think I’m kinda biased when it comes to Kelley Armstrong’s werewolves. They are all 5-star reads IMO. Thanks for the heads up about the Elena novella. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it.

      • I don’t have many of her other books, I get them from the library, so I can spend money on these, which my library doesn’t get. 🙂

      • Fair enough! But, who am I kidding? I own like ALL her books. LOL

  2. Whoa! That is one creepy cover! I can’t read the review because I’m starting this series within the next month, but I’m so glad that book 13.1 is still awesome! I’ve been hearing great things about Armstrong lately!

    • I LOVE the cover! The 2nd version is even better with the wolf. If you’re just starting this series you still have a loooong way to go before you make it to this one. Hehe But, I hope you enjoy the Women of the Otherworld; Kelley Armstrong is one of my most favourite authors.

  3. OH BOY!!! You just knocked my sleepers off! Is this on audio? You know where I’m going right after I finish my comment..LOL. I just met Kelly Armstrong last week, and she gifted me an autographed book! She was awesome! I’m getting this one for sure, regardless of the format.
    Thanks for the awesome review 🙂

    • I’m not sure if it’s in audio. I know most of her limited edition novellas are usually in audio as well, but this one’s still pretty new, so I don’t know if they’ve gotten around to it yet. Plus, you wouldn’t get the pretty artwork.

      • I missed it by al little over a week 🙁 I could have bought this book and had it autographed, that’ would have been awesome!!
        Who goes to a book signing without a book? ME! that’s who…LOL That’s why she gave me on her books..LOL I guess I wanted my ears autographed..LOL. Actually, I was just happy to meet her, and tell her what a big fan of her audiobook I was.

  4. I love the cover on this. This is a series I have on my wishlist, and it’s wonderful she gave you a character’s story even after the series ended.

    • As soon as I saw the cover I just knew that I HAD TO HAVE IT! And, in that case, I’m going to have to start harassing you to jump on the Kelley Armstrong bandwagon. Hehe

  5. Beautiful cover, although I wouldn’t have bought novella in hardcover :))) I’d still have read it as an ebook if Armstrong was my favorite author though. Lovely review, Carmel!

    • To be fair, I asked for it for Xmas, didn’t get it, so THEN I bought it. LOL

  6. Even more reason for me to get started on the series immediately right?

    • Euuh, YEAH!! You better not be watching the TV show BEFORE reading Bitten. :p

  7. Nick the ladies man! You know I just picked this one up this weekend as well!!

    • Nice! But, I bet you didn’t buy the super expensive limited edition version. 😉

      • Hell no I didnt! I did for Angelic tho I think.

  8. You had me at TWISTED and LICKABLE! lol…I haven’t heard of this author so thank you and I will totally add this to my tbr! 🙂

    • Haha You’re easy! 😉 This can probably be read as a stand-along, but this series is too awesome to not be read from beginning to end, so I hope you’ll check it out.

  9. I love that you’re such a huge fan that you ordered this and paid so much to have it delivered. I made it to book 2 of this series and I always intended to continue, I just have to find the time. Hopefully soon.
    And I agree with Kim, I love the cover!

    • She’s pretty much the only author who I’ll splurge this much on, but every reader needs a least one of those. Right?

  10. Wow I am odd girl out here, that cover sure puts me off. I do not want to touch that.

    • I guess it’s not for everyone! Maybe you’d like the wolf version better?

  11. I haven’t read anything by Kelley Armstrong. *hides in shame* The funny thing is that I have some of her books, if I’m not wrong I have the first 3 or 4 books of her Women of the Otherworld series.
    I’ll try to read them this year, that’s a promise. 🙂

    • Bah! Julie hasn’t read them either. You guys suck. LOL 😉

  12. I need to return to this series, what I have read, I loved. I hope you are right and that we are going to get a spin off series in this world!

    • That would totally make my year! *fingers crossed* I think her YA series is set in the same universe; I might check it out soon.

  13. I was lost at the moment when I saw the author and couldn’t connect it to the cover. I have read only first book in this series and sadly never continued it. I have no idea why but I’m so glad you got Nick’s book and most of all that you loved it. Great review, Carmel 🙂

    • Oh well, it’s not for everyone. But, for werewolf lovers like myself, this series is P-E-R-F-E-C-T! 🙂

  14. Oh I hadn’t heard about this one, that’s so nice. I would love to read something about Nick and you’re right I understand why you paid the price, the book is just so beautiful. I think I’ll have some time before reading this one because I need to catch up with the series and read book 7 in fact. Thanks for the review Carmel, it’s so nice to discover more books in a series.

    • There’s a bunch of Otherworld novellas, and the anthologies are awesome too if you haven’t checked those out yet. Book 7 is a good one; it’s about Jaime & Jeremy.

  15. Is this an illustrated book or graphic novel? I love Nick’s character and can’t wait to get to this one! I’m sure it was worth the money 😉

    • It’s a 200 page novella with 8 illustrations. It’s more of a collectible than a graphic novel, but is it available as an eBook for a lot cheaper if you’re interested.

  16. I am loving the cover, that’s for sure. ^_^

    • Like I said, it was almost too pretty to read. 🙂

  17. I have not read the first series this was based on, but I am interested in reading this. You make it sound so good, and I’d love a good villain. Do you think I can read this one and understand it even without reading the rest? I wanna buy it but I’m afraid I won’t be able to follow ><

    Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews

    • I’m not sure you’ll be able to fully appreciate the villain without knowing all of the history, but otherwise, yes I think it can be read as a stand-alone.

  18. Well I’ve listened to book 1, Bitten. I guess I need to continue with the series.

    • Euuh, yeah you do! You can finish listening to the Kevin Hearne books first though. I give you permission. 😉

  19. I didn’t even know about this one. I still need to read the last two books of the series. I need to get on that. Great review.

    • The series has been over for nearly two years; what are you waiting for?? Hehe Thanks!

  20. Whoop! I didn’t know about this, just one-clicked it. E-book though. How big is the hardcover? Is it normal hardcover size or taller? Just seeing if it will fit in the bookshelf!

    • I bought the limited edition which is slightly smaller than a hardcover, but I image it’s standard sized. Check the specs on Amazon to be sure though.

  21. I am just starting the series (finished Bitten 2 days ago)! This and Faith Hunter are my summer series reads 🙂

    • YAY! Both series have a lot of installments, so you’ll definitely have enough books to keep you busy this summer.

  22. Hmmm…I feel like maybe I should continue with this series- there are so many loyal fans out there haha. I did attempt to read the first one maybe around 2 years ago, but wasn’t really feeling it and put it away. Is it a series that gets better as you keep reading?

    • The good thing about this series is that the focus changes from book-to-book; there’s werewolves, witches, demons, necromancers, etc. So, there’s something for pretty much every paranormal fan. There are a few so-so installments, but overall it’s good.

  23. I’m a big Kelley Armstrong fan but I’m so far behind on this series now! There are too many books to read & not enough time 😉 that cover is freaky!!

    A great review!

    • The good thing is that there are only thirteen books (novellas, shorts & anthologies aside), so at least the end is in sight. LOL I like the wolf version of this cover more than this one.

  24. I am glad that the novella exceeded your expectations. 🙂

  25. A lickable book with werewolves sounds good to me. I have read some of her YA books and enjoyed

  26. Man, I need to finish the Otherworld series! Actually, I need to just re-read them all. I read all of the books with Elena in them and nothing else…but it’s been a while and I forget most everything. I loved them, though!