Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Christine Warren

REVIEW: Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine Warren

REVIEW: Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine Warren

Dear Ms. Warren:

Robin used the word affability to describe Jill Shalvis’ writing and for me,  I would apply the same descriptor to your books.  They are generally affable with likeable characters and likeable settings, however, they’ve often felt truncated to me and this one more so than previous ones that I have read.

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine WarrenI understand that many of these stories have been reworked from their original novella forms but perhaps this one was never meant to be elongated because I sat down for a full length meal and only had an appetizer.  No matter how good the appetizer was, it wasn’t going to be fulfilling for someone who was looking for a complete dinner.

Luc Macanaw is directed by his Queen to leave the land of the fae and retrieve the Queen’s wayward nephew in  the human world. Reporter Corinne D’Allesandro is assigned a paranormal story by her editor, a story that leads her directly to the Queen’s nephew. Luc isn’t a big fan of the Queen but he’d never allow any harm to come to her and her word is law. When she sends him into the mortal world to smooth over any “ripples” caused by her nephew, Seoc’s, indiscretions, Luc goes without murmur. It is his duty.

Corinne knows all about faeries, vampires, and werewolves. Her three best friends have hooked up, married, and even been turned into an “Other” but she must keep their secret while still trying to maintain her distance from the Others. This becomes much more difficult when her newspaper editor wants her to check out a pixie or faerie sighting. Corinne wants to laugh this off as nonsense, even knowing the truth, but her editor is insistent.

Corinne doesn’t really care about most of the Others but she does worry what would happen to her friends like her Missy, a kindergarten teacher who married a werewolf, if knowledge of the Others was revealed to all humans.

Upon meeting Corinne, Luc was shocked at the surge of lust he felt. After all, he was surrounded by women who were more beautiful than any mortal woman could achieve. She was shorter, rounder, but none of that seemed to matter as Luc feels a compulsion toward Corinne. What’s this? Why yes, Corinne, the human, is his heart mate. Faeries have heart mates. OF COURSE THEY DO.

The best part of the book comes in the form of a few funny exchanges between Corinne and Luc.

“I’m Fae,” Luc repeated, then sighed. “As in Faerie.”

The blankness dissolved beneath a surprised laugh. “You’re a fairy? Sure, Tinker Bell. Pull the other leg while you’re at it.”

Luc scowled at Rafe. “You see? That’s the problem with mortals. We leave your world for a couple of thousand years and everyone either forgets all about us, or they reduce us to little glowing balls of tutu-clad good cheer.”

But while Luc might speak Ye Olde English in Fae land (“I’m sure I could find a garderobe for you to clean if you so long for variety in your work.), he drops the formal dialect upon crossing over. Maybe that’s part of the magical process?

Corinne and Luc involve themselves in a little investigating, a lot of lusting, and thinking about the urgency of their situation (find the faerie before he does more crazy things in the mortal world). However, it’s just too little of everything.  Too little of the good natured humor, too little investigating and action on their designated task, too little worldbuilding.  It just lacked in substance.  The lust and sex the two pursued with one another seemed the primary focus and while I liked Corinne’s sex positive attitude, the story telling felt unbalanced. I never felt like I knew Corinne and Luc. Luc, in particular, seemed like a standard romance hero. Manly, attractive, good in bed, and filled with the protectorate instinct.

I wanted more than just the heart mate bond to draw the two together and other than sharing good sex, I wasn’t convinced that there were deeper feelings between the two.  The affability of the story helps maintain the reader’s interest, but it’s easily forgotten and not very fulfilling.  C

Best regards,

Jane

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

REVIEW:  Born to Be Wild by Christine Warren

REVIEW: Born to Be Wild by Christine Warren

cover image for Christine Warren's Born to be WildDear Ms. Warren:

A reading friend initially recommended your series to me last year with the book, Big Bad Wolf. I am a big shifter fan and was looking forward to reading this release. (It crept up on me). There were two things I particularly liked in this story: the mystery and the courtship. Ironically (or not), components of those two factors also bothered me the most.

Josie Barrett is Stone Creek, Oregon’s veternarian. She took over her father’s practice upon his retirement. Her single minded focus on becoming a veternarian has left her little time for personal relationships. At least this is the excuse given for the fact that Josie has never before recognize Eli Pace as a sexual being.

Eli Pace is the sheriff of Stone Creek, a town that is comprised primarily of Others, mostly shapeshifters. Why Eli is there is a question that is raised but never really answered. He, too, has been ignorant of Josie’s charms until he barges in one night carrying a gun shot wolf.

I liked that this was a departure from the previous book which was more urban in setting and involved pack politics. This was more of a scientific whodunit. The wolf that Eli brings to Josie is really Lupine (shapeshifter) and to her surprise and dismay, the wolf does not heal nor can she shift. Worse, once the wolf’s mate is found, he, too, shows signs of a mysterious Lupine illness which is resulting in an unexplainable high white blood count.

I really enjoyed seeing Josie use her training and skill as a veterinarian as she tried to ascertain the source of her patient’s medical problems. Her employment was an integral part of the storyline. Having no medical background myself, I can only say that the medicine sounded right and added a layer of realism to the paranormal setting.

I liked their courtship which included the sudden realization of the other as a sexual and attractive being and then the banter and flirting which followed. Unfortunately, the characters move from not even knowing the other existed to true love within five days. Love is faster than a speeding bullet in this book. The rapidity of Josie and Eli’s feelings for each other were disappointing because it seemed like care had been taken to create a basis for their relationship that extended beyond the common “mate bond” that so often fills these books.

This build up and then disappointing denouement to plot points happened more than once. For example, much is made of Josie’s levelheadedness. She promises not to interfere with Eli’s investigation, after all she is human and he is preternatural. But she violates this promise to her detriment in a kind of silly way. Eli thinks about the best way to bring the villains to justice, such as considering what testimony he will need to get a conviction but then violates basic probable cause requirements (i.e., you can’t just go breaking into someone’s home to make your case). The scientific mystery held my attention for most of the book and the resolution seemed so over the top that, again, the careful planning that went into it seemed for naught.

Paranormals have a tough time catching my attention these days so that fact that I read this in one sitting, even despite some of the disappointments, means I’ll be on the look out for the next Other book. B-

Best regards,

Jane

| Author Website | Kindle | Amazon | Nook | BN | Borders |
Fictionwise | Books on Board

Proviso: This is a St. Martin’s Press book thus the current ebook price is listed at $14.00. Also, no nook link because apparently BN isn’t selling the ebook even though its subsidiary, Fictionwise, has it.
Second Proviso: I have no idea what is going on with Warren’s website