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Review: Gray Bishop by Kelly Meade

Review: Gray Bishop by Kelly Meade
Gray Bishop by Kelly Meade
Series: Cornerstone Run Trilogy #2
Published by InterMix
Published on: October 21, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Pages: 313
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Some people need something to fight for…

With the attacks on their homes escalating and human half-breeds seeking sanctuary among them, the loup garou are reaching their breaking point. Two, in particular.

After failing to stop his little brother’s kidnapping years ago, Bishop McQueen angrily broods on his shame, though no one else blames him.

Jillian Reynolds is still dealing with a tragic accident that took everything she ever wanted from life. And her attraction to Bishop is only making things more difficult.

When word reaches them that Jillian's hometown is under attack, the Alpha takes Bishop, Jillian, and a group of enforcers to assist in the battle. And it is in this chaos that both Bishop and Jillian will have to face their pasts—and the true feelings they have for each other—if they are going to survive…

INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE NEXT TITLE IN THE CORNERSTONE TRILOGY, WHITE KNIGHT.


warning TEARJERKER HEARTBREAKING

This one’s going to be a doozy to review without spoilers because most of the main plot line revolved around one major event that set a chain reaction in motion, but I am going to try. If I fail, well consider this your warning! Apparently Kelly Meade (Meding) is known for her dark writing style although admittedly I have yet to read her DREG CITY series; however that most certainly is proving to be the case as far as her CORNERSTONE RUN trilogy is concerned. BLACK ROOK was dark, but GRAY BISHOP was downright pitch black, not exactly what comes to mind when I think of Paranormal Romance, yet you won’t hear me complaining! And, just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about; there were two sex scenes (yes, I counted) compared to the staggering number of deaths which totaled in the hundreds. That being said, there was a HEA at the end of the tunnel, both for the main couple and for two other pairings.

Initially Jillian & Bishop’s relationship was very à la Romeo and Juliet in that they are soon-to-be Alphas of their respective runs, and can never be more than bed buddies on account of their family responsibilities. Death is the only way they can be together, although in this case it’s not theirs, but rather someone(s) else’s which means that their love comes at a very high price. I guessed the key to their mating pretty early on, however because of the means and the genre under which is series is shelved, I assumed that the author would find another way, so when my speculations proved true I couldn’t avoid shedding a few tears. Meade is one cold hearted writer—I even told her so on Twitter, and she replied with an ominous cackle. There is an upside to forbidden love though, when the protagonists do get it on, they make it count which means that those two sex scenes I mentioned earlier are real scorchers!

I wish that Bishop had played a larger role in his own story; I found that his character was somewhat overshadowed by his brother, Knight. I get that the author was setting up for the next book, and that he’s key to this trilogy’s main plot arc, however at certain points I did find myself forgetting that GRAY BISHOP was supposed to be about the eldest McQueen sibling. That complaint aside, I did like the gray wolf, he’s a true Alpha in every sense of the word, and his actions reflected that every step of the way. Jillian’s backstory is tragic, and her present circumstances weren’t much better, but she too proved worthy of her status within the pack hierarchy on multiple occasions, and I absolutely loved Reynolds and Bishop as a power couple. The previous installment featured a werewolf / Magi matching, so I was thrilled that a true loup garou pairing happened this time around.

I liked how certain aspects of this story were linked to the McQueens’ mother, and I enjoyed the brothers’ interactions with Colin Corman even though I can’t really say more than that because—spoiler! The half-breed triplets were once again wrecking havoc on the quaint town of Cornerstone, and this time around they have feral wolves in toe. Shay finally came out of her shell, but her happiness was short-lived by virtue of Meade being EVIL. We also get 100% confirmation about what happened to Knight in the previous book, and although that particular subject still makes me horribly uncomfortable, it was lessened by the fact that he’s a male. Hmm… double-standard much? The final chapters end on a high note with several weddings, only to immediately come crashing down on readers’ heads afterward because, again, Meade = EVIL.

GRAY BISHOP gave me the worst case of feels I’ve had in a long time, but I fully expect myself to cheer out loud when the villains get what’s coming to them in WHITE KNIGHT. Watch out girls, the McQueens are coming for YOU!


Cornerstone Run Trilogy

My Review
White Knight



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Carmel Signature
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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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62 Comments

  1. This was a great book and I know what you mean about Knight overshadowing the story. He did the same, to a much lesser degree, in Black Rook. Being the only white wolf and such an integral part of the pack and the story, he does sort of stand out. I can’t wait to see what Meade has in store for us with that book. Great review.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 2014 (Win a $25.00 Giftcard)

    • That’s probably why Meade left Knight’s book until the very end. At least it comes out soon-ish, so we don’t have too long to wait for the conclusion to this trilogy.

  2. Pitch black? Ok I love that, I intended to read this this week but my careful planning just went down the drain. I like the 4 paw rating though.

    My complaint with the first book was similar to what you raised here. It seems the leads only get so much facetime and the other issues take precedence. Maybe she wants a holistic view?
    braine recently posted…Loved It: The Younger Gods by Michael R. Underwood + Giveaway

    • I’m not sure what the author’s intentions were with regards to the protagonists’ lack of facetime, but her approach to PNR is super different, so expect the unexpected I guess! I’ll keep my eyes peeling on your GR status updates, they should be interesting. LOL

  3. I have only heard great things about these books. I need to read this series and soon.
    I read Meade’s Dreg series and I couldn’t agree more with you, Meade (Meding) is one cold hearted writer… She’s in my evil authors list. 🙂
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Short Review: Loop by Karen Akins

    • Oh geez, now I’m kinda scared AND curious about her Dreg series. How evil can one author be?

  4. We need a heart breaking read every now and then. So glad this was a good one.
    Have a great weekend!!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

    • This is true. I recommended this book to a bunch of blogger friends, and got angry DM’s from them afterwards cuz I didn’t warn ’em. Hehe!

  5. that dark? oh better that i pass this one then i’m too sensitive these day and the blurb only had my heart constrict a little so definitively for later or never^^

    thank you for the great review ( minus spoiler only in my opinion so nothing to fear on that front^^)
    miki recently posted…Captured (Fallen Siren 0.5) by SJ Harper

    • DARK is an understatement. I keep expecting happy-go-lucky PNR, I’ll know better for when I read the final installment. Thanks for letting me know that I succeeded in keeping my review spoiler-free.

  6. I love the paranormal and I love when the bad guy gets what’s coming to him. I like the cover too. Happy reading and have a great weekend, Carmel.
    sherry fundin recently posted…Friday 56 #28 & BB #5 – Halloween Horror

    • The bad guys haven’t been defeated yet, but I have high hopes for White Knight. The author couldn’t be that evil by letting them live, could she? 😉

      • I don’t think that happens very often. The more comments I read, the more intrigued I am. I love reading evil. I do hate to be left hanging though, so I don’t think I would read it until the series is finished. Is it a trilogy?
        sherry fundin recently posted…Violca’s Dragon by Leilani Love Tour Giveway

      • Yes, it’s a trilogy, and the last book comes out on January 20th, so you’ll be able to binge read to your heart’s delight soon enough.

  7. Okay, I can deal with pitch black Carmel as long as I get an HEA at the end. Otherwise, this one would just be too dark for me, I can tell. And I love that you kept track of how many sex scenes – I’ve done that before, I won’t lie:) Looking forward to giving this series a try!!!

    • The HEA is kinda lessened by the oh-shit ending, but this is a trilogy, so not everything can be resolved in book 2. I’m such a dork with my note taking while reading, however it makes review writing SO much easier!

  8. I like your little pictures of your feelings about the book. 🙂 I usually don’t like werewolf stories, mostly because their societies are usually so male driven. A dark paranormal romance sounds interesting. Tons of deaths isn’t good though. haha I like that she responded to your tweet! Yeah in real life sometimes the younger sibling is the most mature. (Like me and my sister. Yup I’m the older one.) Your hints about what happened to Knight let me know that nope, this is not the series for me. Nice review. 🙂
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Top 10 most read authors!

    • I’m the oldest in my family as well, and my sister is definitely the more mature one. Hehe! We used to work together and customers thought I was the youngest. Yeah, this series isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure!

  9. I love the heart breaking reads so need to check out more.

    • Well, this one is that and then some. Enjoy!

  10. Writing a review for a sequel is one of the hardest things in life I swear! I haven’t read this series yet, but is it sick that I actually like having authors break my heart into tiny microscopic pieces?

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

    • If you’re a sucker for punishment, then this trilogy is definitely for you, this book especially. It’ll kick you right in the gut with so many FEELS.

  11. Waiting for the audio 🙂 One of these days I hope to find the news that is coming to audio…I checked again just now, and no luck 🙁
    Thanks Carmel!
    Lupdilup recently posted…Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 2014 (Win a $25.00 Giftcard)

    • InterMix is an e-book only division of Penguin, so I hate to break it to ya, but you might be waiting a loooong time.

  12. Oh gaw! Why haven’t I read the first one yet?!?! I remember thinking I HAD to read it when you reviewed it, but then… Who knows? And now this one! I love dark and its not in PNR enough, so what a treat. BTW – great review, you didn’t spoil it for me at all! I just need to start this series… Yesterday!!!
    Berls recently posted…Book Blog Walkers Check-in 38-42

    • You’re obviously slacking, Kimberly. Shame on you!! Naah, you took a bit of a bloggy break there, so I’ll be lenient with you for a little while longer, but not much. 😉

  13. Oh I love evil writers like that! 🙂 Especially when they respond with an evil cackle! That response makes me want to read it despite the tears! Oh how I hate to cry but I love a good story!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Whisper the Dead by Alyxandra Harvey

    • She saw my horror struck GoodReads status update mid-read, and was like “I know which part you just read. Mwahaha!” LOL

  14. Pitch Black? As in unsettling and gruesome? I can handle dark but not when it strays into unsettling material. Still this sounds very ineteresting.
    Heidi recently posted…Something Wicked Strikes Day #17: Friday Forecast October 19th-25th

    • It’s not overly graphic, most of the deaths happen off-scene, and we don’t get to actually witness that thing with Knight, but if you have an overactive imagination like myself… Oye!

  15. I’m glad you liked it. I reviewed it a little bit ago and it wasn’t for me 🙁
    I think maybe I would have liked it more if it wasnt the first in the series I’d read?
    Danielle recently posted…Blog Tour & Giveaway: Come Together

    • Perhaps, I enjoyed the first installment more than this one, but it’s hard to say for sure. You’d have to read it. 🙂

  16. Well now you have me curious. I love most paranormal romance type stories and if there’s a little bloodshed during the story that’s ok with me as long as I get what I want in the end. I love the fact that you tweeted to the author and she cackled at you. That’s so awesome.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Freebie Friday!

    • It’s true. I can deal with pretty much anything in PNR just so long as it winds down with a big shiny HEA bow. LOL

  17. I would never have thought “paranormal romance” and “hundreds of deaths” could co-exist, but hey if it works, it works. Actually, I think I’d prefer this. I’m not a big reader of PNR to begin with, but the promise of a big dose of darkness would totally get me on board.
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: The Scarlet Tides by David Hair

    • Readers expecting ponies and rainbows will probably be traumatized by this one, but those looking for something on the darker side will be pleasantly surprised.

  18. a heart-breaking book and a tear-jerker? the only way i see it is that this book is certainly fantastic, then! 😛

    • It’s fantastic in a rip-your-heart-out kinda way. I’m not normally a crier, but holy geez, Meade did a number on me with this one!

  19. I’m skipping the review because I’m currently reading it but I really enjoy it for now. I’m curious to see how everything will end. It’s a really nice series to read.

    • Cool! Have you read the first one, or are you doing your usual dive-in-mid-series deal? If so, you might be a bit lost…

  20. Why am I not surprised to see some wolves here? You like them? 😉 Kidding girl and now I’ve been thinking and I haven’t read any books with werewolves in a while. Also feels!! Gimme some feels. Great review, Carmel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

    • Someone obviously hasn’t been paying attention during their visits to RR. 😉 So. Many. FEELS!!!

  21. Well, I don’t mind reading pitch black reads as long as there’s a HEA at the end of the tunnel.

    Great review, Carmel. 🙂
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…[444]: Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

    • There is… kinda… sorta… There better a REAL one at the end of White Knight, or else the author is gonna hear about it. LOL

  22. I either own book one or have it on my wishlist. *terrible that I don’t know for sure* Looks like I need to dive in stat though. Wonderful review Carmel.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Big Driver by Stephen King

    • Naah, I often have to check my GoodReads shelves to see whether I own and/or have read a title. When you devour as many books as we do, it just comes with the territory.

  23. I am so tempted by this one. I got it for review option but dang I don’t have the time right now to do book one too. *flails* Too much real life not enough book life to go around. lol
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Happiness Challenge–Day 14–candle death, the herd & calling out… Sharonda (Brazen Babe Reviews)

    • I so know where you are coming from, but it’s only a trilogy, so it’s not that bad. You can do it!!! Plus, I liked book 1 more than this one, if that helps.

  24. I enjoyed the first one but I don’t know if I loved it enough to continue…maybe I’ll wait until book 3 and plow through the last two. I need some feels.
    Mary recently posted…Top Off Tuesday: Beauty and the Geek Style

    • The third one is gonna be the best of the bunch IMO, so do try to push through because it’ll probably be worth your while. Just sayin’. 🙂

  25. Wonderful review, Carmel. I don’t know why but I’m just not a fan of werevolves for some reason. (Perhaps the hairiness? HA!) I applaud the author for being able to write the way she wants, rather than tailor her writing to what the audience expects. To write such a dark book comes with expectations that it will not be everyone’s cup of tea, so cheers to her for going through with it. It’s always a good sign when a book can illicit soooo many feelings as well. Glad you enjoyed this! x
    Joy recently posted…Book Review: Men & You by Rikki Markson & Jayde Kelly

    • Blasphemy!!! You don’t LIKE wherewolves—who ARE you?? j/k To each their own, and yes, you have to admire an author that swims against the current.

  26. Great review Carmel, it’s not often I pick up books about werewolves but hey, the forbidden love thing sounds decent in this one. Plus the sexy scenes, woah sounds like they were hot!
    Jeann recently posted…Movie & Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

    • It’s good to branch out every now and then, and Meade werewolves are certainly the way to go. Then again, admittedly I’m rather biased. Hehe!

  27. I tend to mix dark and light just so I don’t get depressed or get that awful book hangover where I’m a zombie for the rest of week 😛
    I haven’t heard of this author, will be looking into it more.
    Izy recently posted…Review: (ARC) Alex by Sawyer Bennett

    • I like to alternate between dark & light for the very same reason. I need my HEAs just as much as my apocalypses. LOL

  28. Oh good gracious, Carmel. I already had Black Rook on my wishlist – oh wait, I one-clicked it. And NOW I have even more reason to start this series. I like the dark. 😉 I laughed that you tweeted to Meade that she’s cold-hearted. Worse case of feels in a long time? Yeah, I’ll be starting this series as soon as I can. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**OctobeRec Fest Review #3 ~ Kissed by a Dark Prince ~ Felicity Heaton**

    • You gotta love it when an author responds to your crazed reader tweets. Hehe! I hope you fall as hard for the McQueen brothers as I did!

  29. I’m glad that you’re loving this series, Carmel – I remember how much you liked Black Rook! I agree that Knight kind of overshadows his brothers sometimes; even in the first book that happened occasionally. Not a terrible problem to have I guess, since it means that Meade can write a very compelling character. He’s the fan favourite, from what I understand!
    Danya recently posted…Review: Rosemary and Rue Seanan McGuire

    • I think the whole Knight thing is further proof of just how EVIL Kelly Meade really is. LOL Black Rook was my fav installment so far, but I have sky high hopes for the last book, especially after having to suffer through so much build up.

  30. I love dark books, but you make me scared a little bit. But if there is a HEA then I can handle it. Sounds pretty awesome.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: Enlightened by A.L. Waddington

    • Have a box of tissues ready because you are gonna need ’em! Meade’s werewolves are where it’s at. 🙂