Read-Along Special: Villainous By Kristen Brand
White Knight may have been a long-time hero, but lately, he’s been getting into some bad guy trouble. Luckily, his wife and former nemesis, Black Valentine, has a history of villainry and just may be what he needs to escape capital punishment.
Valentina Belmonte isn’t evil any more—honest. She’s hung up her supervillain costume, retired to Florida with her family, and hasn’t committed a crime in years. (Well, not a felony. What’s a misdemeanor here and there if you don’t get caught?) This time, she’s not the one in trouble with the law—her goody-two-shoes, former superhero of a husband is.
He saved her life two months ago but committed a spectacular amount of assault and property damage along the way. The feds plan to press charges…unless Val does something for them in exchange. Apparently, an old friend of hers is importing a deadly drug that gives people temporary psychic powers. The feds want to send in Val with a wire to get evidence to bring him down. Sounds simple enough, but things turn deadly fast, and Val finds herself up against another supervillain—one who can out-play her at her own game.
Val’s worried she’s gone soft since retirement, but if she doesn’t get the feds the evidence they need, her husband will end up rotting in one of the most hellish prisons in the country…
Kat Mandu says…
It’s day two of our Superhero Spotlight and we’re featuring Villainous, the second in the White Knight, Black Valentine series by Kristen Brand. Dave Del Toro and Valentina Belmonte are back in the sequel that takes off right where the first left off—with Dave in big, big trouble.
Because he had to prove Valentina’s innocence, Dave had to break a few laws. Now, in order to keep him out of supermax prison with all the foes he put in there, Valentina makes a deal with the DSA to help them track down a drug supplier in exchange for Dave’s freedom. Not that she’s all too thrilled to be working for the people that once wanted her in jail, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And Valentina isn’t one to back down from a challenge, after all.
There’s so much excitement in this book! Telepathic battles, explosions, body possessions, and assassination attempts, with Valentina in the midst of it all, trying to be a do-gooder while being oh-so-very bad. Valentina’s family is known for their villainous habits, so she’s got a lot of competition when it comes to being the worst.
This book gets another five from me, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on the remaining books in the series (see the original Villainous review).
Until then, here’s something fun and special I made in honor of Villainous. Inspired by a scene in the book where Valentina and Jean Baptiste are having drinks in a restaurant that features mixed drinks named after famous superheroes, I decided to take my culinary and bartending experiences and have some fun with it.
Below you’ll find some mixed drinks I invented based on the heroes and villains in White Knight & Black Valentine.
The White Knight: With Dave, I automatically thought of beer and tequila, especially since I compare him to Bruce Willis. So I did some digging and found something raw, strong, sweet, and beachy (because they live in Florida after all) that I could see Dave drinking if he decided to have something besides a draft.
1 1/2 oz Gran Centenario Resposado tequila
1 oz white creme de cacao
1/2 oz Stolichnaya vanilla vodka
2 oz cream
1 Maraschino cherry
Mix all ingredients except for cherry and coconut, with cracked ice in a shaker or a blender and served in a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and garnish with the cherry.
The Black Valentine: In my head, Black Valentine can be equally as rough and as smooth as whiskey, so I had to involve some whiskey in her drink.
3/4 oz Irish whiskey (I prefer Tullamore Dew, but hey, it’s your preference)
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz kummel
3/4 oz lemon juice
Several dashes Angostura bitters
Mix all ingredients in a shaker or blender. Serve in an old-fashioned glass straight up or over ice.
The Fire & Ice: For Freezefire, I wanted to get a little bit more fun. With the ability to control both fire and ice, here’s a colorful drink that’s served ice cold but will warm you up fast.
1 1/2 oz of raspberry vodka
1/2 oz Bombay gin
1/2 oz blueberry or blue raspberry vodka
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
Club soda or lemon-lime soda (like Sprite)
Mix all ingredients, except club soda and cherry, in a tall, chilled cooler glass. Add several ice cubes and fill with club soda/lemon-lime soda. Stir gently and garnish with a cherry.
The Agent: I named this one after Agent Lagarde, who comes into play during Villainous. She’s tough as nails and carefully hides her telepathic abilities until absolutely necessary so that she can kick ass at the right time. So I made something cool and collected in her honor.
2 oz apricot brandy
2 oz amaretto
4 oz orange soda
1 scoop orange sherbet
Please enjoy responsibly! Like what you see here? Have any ideas for drinks based on your favorite superheroes? Leave comments below, I’d love to share ideas.
Posted on June 25, 2019, in All Reviews, Kat's Reviews and tagged 5 Stars, Kat Mandu, Kristen Brand, mystery, read-along, superheroes, White Knight and Black Valentine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.