Monday, November 13, 2017

Dutch Review Tour

I've spent years holed up in the deepest, darkest parts of the city, fighting to keep Death and her Poochas from crossing the dead back to the living. My skill with a blade is bested only by my menace, my despair, my anguish - the strongest weapons I yield.

Then I meet Juma Landry and it all goes to hell.

She is beauty and love and sex and light, everything I am not. And she makes me want things I haven’t desired in years. But the monsters of my life, the evil lurking in the dark corners of my soul, those places craven and vile, bind me to a past I cannot shake free. As the most skilled Keeper for The Gate, nothing and no one can prevent me from excelling at a job I never wanted. I do it because it is my legacy, a fate I cannot outrun, but when Juma becomes my next assignment, each of her nine lives to be ended by my hand, I must decide: the legacy I never wanted or the love I don’t deserve.

…just then I saw it, a flicker of movement out of the corner of my eye, a swish of black, so like the New York City uniform of the chic and sophisticated but of a different realm altogether. However, more than what I saw was what I felt. The cold that crept into my bones, settled in my blood, and soothed me with its familiarity.


I knew her essence anywhere had known it since I was a little girl dying on an emergency room gurney as she promised me all kinds of things, love, power, life. Knowing I wanted all of them more than I could say, craved them even as a tiny human, would obsess over them as a grown woman.

Death knew all the right words to whisper in my ear and bring me to her bosom for all eternity, forever beholden to her and her whims, willing to do whatever she asked of me just to see her smile. And what did I receive in return?

Her love which was precious and given out to few.

Except today.

Today she was pissed—the chill of her glare said as much.

“Get up.” She breezed through the doors as they opened at 14th Street.

I followed, obedient and cowed. It was coming, had been coming for months now.




As we reached a more deserted section of the platform, she spun on me, her dark pixie perfectly coiffed, her red lips caught in a sneer, and I prepared, my body tense and ready for whatever she was about to unload. But then her eyes flashed to the right, something caught her attention, and whatever anger and irritation had been directed at me dissipated.

“Stay here, Juma,” she ordered. I stopped, and for once I didn’t say a word, I simply obeyed her command. Her tone demanded it.

Death flew across the subway station, her eyes full of fire and fury, directed somewhere distant and removed. I followed her trajectory and that’s when I saw.


Tall, lean, solitary.

Calm, confident, beautiful.

And dark. So very dark. As if light long ago stopped seeking refuge in the corners of his body, the cracks of his being. My body heated in places it should not, my blood pulsed a little stronger as I watched him, unable to look away, knowing I should lest he burn a hole straight through my core.

Anyone else would have stepped away from her but he did not, unmoved by her oncoming fury, unafraid of her wrath. Death slammed into him and together they fell into the wall, tiles above his head cracking from the impact. Minutes passed as she harangued him with her words and gestures and her power to bring the pain.

And still he remained.

Until she had enough, said enough, did enough, and sent him on his way, watching as he disappeared into the dark of the subway tunnel, his shadowy self becoming one with the dank environs. Long seconds later, Death remained rooted to the spot and watching the tunnel, as if she expected the beautiful stranger to reappear, but he was gone, lost in the ether.

She finally turned my way and started, the movement slight but noticeable to my discerning eye, as if surprised by my presence, my rare acquiescence to one of her demands.

“Juma,” she as she neared, her ire piqued and ill-contained, “what are you doing?”

“You told me to wait here,” I replied, “so I waited.”

She raised a brow and sneered. “Fine time to start listening to a word I say,” she groused as she breezed past, her chill a balm to the strange heat inspired by the dark stranger, one that touched the tips of my fingers and kissed the depths of my soul.

“Who was that man?” I could not help but ask.

Death spun back around, stopping so suddenly I crashed into her, our bodies pressed against one another, a position quite familiar and yet today, when she was so angry and full of unease, utterly foreign.

“Forget you ever saw him, Juma,” she insisted as she grasped my chin in her hand and searched my eyes, probing for something I could not did not would not know, for she was in no mood to elaborate or educate further.

“He’s from The Gate,” I replied, certain only those rotten souls could inspire such a reaction from her.

She stilled and it was as if all movement stilled with her and only she and I existed, the air sucked from the moment by the words falling from my lips.

Finally she spoke, low and deadly, her tone serious, her words a warning. “He is someone far more dangerous than The Gate—he is a beautiful, tortured soul seeking absolution. Forget him.”

My Review:
3 stars

I had some very mixed feelings about this book. First, the characters. I liked both Juma and Death, two sassy, kickass women who I loved rooting for. I also loved their somewhat snarky interactions with each other. Yet while I liked those two, I disliked Dutch. He came off as an oversexed jerk to me, and even at the end of the book I was still "meh" about him. 

Second, the plot was interesting. I liked the darker urban fantasy, and 
However, at times the plot became a bit clunky, and I ended up skimming at times. Part of this I feel is due to the amount of sex. While I'm not a prude, sex should have a purpose. It should help forward the plot or the character development, something. Yet there were several sex scenes here that did none of those things. This ended up taking away from the story in my mind. And though this book was not categorized as erotic/a, it should have been. 

However, what made this a solid three for me was the writing style. Sometimes, authors go out of their way to create a style unique to them that just ends up being distracting. Here, however, Pavamani's style added to the overall story/tone and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even found myself dissecting and studying her sentences at times (giant English nerd here) because I liked them so much. 

Overall, I feel this is either a hit or miss book. If you are okay with erotica and a jerkish alpha male, then you should definitely give this book a read as the rest of the plot and characters, as well as the writing style, are worth it.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:

Madhuri Pavamani writes twisted love stories and dark poetry. She loves whiskey, tattoos, Bukowski, and yoga. She laughs constantly, says f*ck a lot, and dances anywhere. She is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy, THE SANCTUM, and the fantasy trilogy, THE KEEPER SERIES, published this year by St. Martin’s Press. She’s currently working on something evil and delicious.

You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @madhuriwrites.


  1. Happy Monday! Thanks for sharing your post, I enjoyed reading it :)

    1. Hi Victoria, thanks for stopping by the tour and saying hello. Best of luck for the giveaway. xx, Madhuri

  2. Hi Emily, thanks for taking the time to read and review DUTCH, and for hosting me this week. So appreciative. I agree, the book should be categorized as something other than what it is - alas, such decisions are out of my hands. Your honest review only helps further my writing process, so thank you. Have a great week - xx, Madhuri

  3. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)