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I Belong

Review: House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

House of the Rising SunTitle: House of the Rising Sun

Author: Kristen Painter

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Crescent City (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 13, 2014

Format: Paperback, 403 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316278270 (Hachette/Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316278270 (Hachette/Orbit)

Reviewed by: Steph


Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.

But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia’s been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It’s time for revenge—and to take up the mantle of the city’s Guardian.

Quick & Dirty: Vampires and the fae collide in this addicting and thrilling spinoff to the House of Comarre series.

Opening Sentence: “Why can’t we take the streetcar?”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Augustine grew up being told he should deny his fae side. When he could do that no longer, his mother kicked him out. He learned to make his way on the streets in any way he could. Then, he met Olivia Goodwin, a famous fae actress, who took him in and became a second mother to him. Now, as an adult, he would do anything for Olivia. So when she’s viciously attacked by vampires, Augustine is understandably devastated and swears to find and eradicate those responsible no matter the cost.

Harlow, Olivia’s biological daughter, has done her best to hide her fae side her whole life, seeing it more as a curse than a blessing. All she’s ever wanted was for her mother to tell her the name of her father, but Olivia always refused, causing an estrangement between mother and daughter. After the vampire attack, Harlow is filled with mixed emotions. She’s grieving the loss of a mother she never really knew while still angry at the fact that Olivia never told her who her father was. Despite her mixed emotions, she wants to help Augustine find those responsible for the attack. Doing so will mean embracing her fae nature, something that is much easier said than done. Will Harlow and Augustine be able to put aside their differences and work together to eradicate the vampire threat in New Orleans?

I’ve read the first two books I believe in Painter’s House of Comarre series, and while I liked it, I never got around to continuing the series. So I was a little nervous about starting this spinoff because you never know how familiar you need to be with a previous series when starting a spinoff. Thankfully, while I was a little confused at first, mainly at how the world was set up, that confusion did not hamper my enjoyment of this book at all. In fact, if it weren’t for some issues I had with Harlow, this would be a five star read for me.

Let’s start with Augustine. He’s a great main character for the series, and letting the reader have a glimpse of his childhood in the prologue was sheer brilliance because it made me form an immediate connection to him as a character to see how his biological mother treated him. If we hadn’t had the prologue, I may not have connected to him as quickly as I did.

Harlow is another story. It was very hard for me to connect to her at first. While I understand her frustration and anger over Olivia’s refusal to share her father’s identity, the way Harlow acts towards Augustine and Lally (Olivia’s close friend and housekeeper) in the aftermath of the attack made any sympathy I had for her disappear. She’s so selfishly focused on her own problems and desires that she makes no effort to comfort these two people who are obviously grieving. Once Harlow sets aside some of her issues though, she does become more likeable, and I’m interested to see how she continues to grow as the series goes on.

All in all, I think this was a great first book in a series. I had a very hard time putting the book down and have already started book two because I didn’t want to leave the world just yet. I’m a major series hopper, so when I decide to immediately continue on with a series, you know it has me hooked. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here!

Notable Scene:

“You’re ditching Charlie’s Angels for me?”

He shrugged. “This is going to make me sound like the world’s biggest creeper, but I could have those girls any night of the week, any week of the year. This is Nokturnos. They’re not who I want to spend tonight with.”

“And I am?” She was trying hard not to feel flattered and failing.

“You put time and thought into your mask. They didn’t. That says a lot to me.”

She put a few points on his side of the scoreboard.

“I’ll accept that.”

“Have you been to New Orleans before?”


“How’s your night going so far?”

“Not great.” Although she’d gotten the start of a good buzz before she’d lost her drink. That was something.

He extended his arm again. “I can fix that. I love this city and I’d be happy to turn your night around.”

She almost reached for his arm, then hesitated once more. “How do you know I even care how the rest of this night goes?”

He smiled full-on and her breath caught in her throat. Oh my. Why did fae men have to be so pretty?

Crescent City Series:

1. House of the Rising Sun

2. City of Eternal Night

3. Garden of Dreams and Desires


FTC Advisory: Hachette/Orbit provided me with a copy of House of the Rising Sun. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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