Review: Moonshadow by Thea Harrison


You guys! I was not ready for this book! It was like my own personal brand of catnip! It just hit all the points, left and right! I loved it! Where did it come from? And more importantly, why am I just now discovering Thea Harrison!?

I’m honestly not sure where to start right now. I spent my whole day reading this book! I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that, literally, no, I did not want to put it down! I wanted to start reading Moonshadow all over again as soon as I was done.

Thank god that she has a whole other series and the second book in this series is already out! Thea Harrison’s books are going to keep me entertained for a long time.

So, where do I start? Maybe I should list what elements of the book were catnip to me. That might be shorter than actually discussing the whole book.

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Fantasy elements
  • Smart, funny, competent female
  • Gruff, doesn’t-know-what-to-do with-his-feelings, male
  • A band of Brothers
  • Magic
  • The world building
  • Best friends playing matchmaker

Alright, let’s get some of the basics out of the way. Moonshadow is the first book in Harrison’s new series, aptly titled Moonshadow. It further explores her Elder Race universe, a place where magic is a normal thing and the Elder Races (Wyrkind, Elves, Fae, witches, and more) interact with humans on the daily. Due to the magical forces of nature, there are “dimensional pockets of Other lands where magic has pooled, time moves differently, modern combustible technologies don’t work, and the sun shines with a different light.” Home-girl has a whole section on her website further detailing this universe she’s created, including histories for all the other magical races. I may have spent several more hours exploring this after I was finished reading MoonshadowCheck it out.

If you’re familiar with her other books, or if you’ve looked her up online, you’ll notice her first series is in fact called The Elder Races. While Moonshadow is still part of this universe, the main difference is that the book and series is (so far, there are only 2 books in this series) centered on the conflict between the Dark and Light Fae whose territory is mainly in the U.K. These machinations between the Dark and Light Fae are the background narrative for Moonshadow.

Our tall, dark, and dangerous hero of Moonshadow, Nikolas, is a Dark Knight of the Dark Court. He has been stranded on Earth for years (we’re talking centuries, here) along with his diminishing band of brothers. Their sole focus has been to get back to their lands and survive being hunted by the hounds of the Light court. They’re stuck and running out of time and options.

This is where Sophie comes in. Sophie is a witch consultant for the LAPD on leave as she recovers from a gunshot wound. She’s healing both physically and emotionally. Due to a series of events and background exposition, Sophie is approached with an unusual opportunity: unlock a magically sealed mansion and the house and grounds are hers. With vacation time in hand, Sophie decides to try opening it up. The Mansion just happens to be in the U.K. Which just happens to be built on one of the closed off access points to the Dark Court. Which just happens to be where Nikolas is lurking about.

Now, this wouldn’t be a romance if these two didn’t meet. And meet they do through a series of odd events and malfunctioning technology. When they meet, it isn’t cute. It’s explosive and there is little trust on both sides, both of them too guarded by past events. Nikolas quickly sees Sophie as a means to an end and getting home. Sophie “allows” Nikolas to stick around because strange things keep happening and Nikolas proves to be useful in a fight. They are suddenly in constant proximity to each other working on a common goal to achieve both their individual missions.

Now, I would be remiss if I failed to mention two key characters: the lost denizen of the Dark Court and Puck, Robin and fellow brother in arms, Dark Knight Gawain. In part, these two characters are equally important to the story as Nikolas and Sophie are. In many ways, Robin is the catalyst for this story, using magic of his own to find Sophie. And when Sophie takes responsibility for the Puck, she will not abandon him to either Gawain or Nikolas. Gawain plays, in some part, the opposite of Nikolas. I wouldn’t call him a ray of sunshine, but he isn’t as battle-hardened as Nikolas is making him the easier-to-trust of the two at first meeting (at least for Sophie).

The Romance

Part of what made this book catnip for me was their relationship. I don’t know why, but I have a huge weakness for enemies-to-lovers tropes. The “enemies” status doesn’t stay there for too long (this book only spans a few days), but they do start out pretty antagonistic towards each other. And while that quickly changes, their own personalities get the better of them as well.

Nikolas is an old-timey, commanding, focused, not-sure-what-to-do-with-his-feelings type of guy. He is used to people following his orders and Sophie doesn’t. She maddens him. He has been fighting a war for too long and doesn’t believe he has room in his life for any relationship. He’s been hardened by battle, yet Sophie helps break down that wall.

Sophie is smart, inventive, kicks ass (literally), and compassionate. She always keeps her promises, which is how she’s in this situation in the first place. Sophie is just as head-strong as Nikolas. Which is part of what makes their relationship so explosive. When Nikolas commands, she doesn’t necessarily listen. If it’s a good idea, sure, she’ll follow along, but as she keeps reminding him, she is her own woman, she doesn’t need someone with antiquated gender roles telling her what to do.

So they tend to have some pretty interesting and hilariously explosive interactions.

…She hooked her fingers through his and gave them a quick squeeze. “Never mind. Thanks for getting the food.” “You’re welcome,” he said, frowning. “Lock the door when I leave.” Biting back a sigh, she told him, “I might choose to lock the door when you leave because it’s a good idea, not because you ordered me to.” His eyes narrowed. “One of these days you’re going to say, ‘Sure, Nik. That’s a good idea, I think I’m going to do that.’”

But despite their bickering and despite the fact they “don’t have time for each other and don’t like each other,” they can’t deny the attraction to each other. And what started out as a one-time thing turns into love, because despite their flaws, their strengths overshadow them.

Yet, even when they do tell each other “I love you,” Nikolas still doesn’t believe he can have Sophie in his life. He’s fighting a battle. His life is dangerous. He cannot provide certainty and safety. And that makes him afraid to commit to Sophie.

It just takes a little while – and the wise words from his brothers-in-arms – for Nikolas to realize that what they have can actually last.

“Braden shrugged and wiped his face. “The love has to be bigger than everything else. The isolation, the separation, the danger. When the love is bigger than all that – you just do it. You pay the price in uncertainty and sometimes bereavement, because every moment you’re together is worth the cost. If the love is big enough, yet you don’t take that chance…man, it doesn’t matter what you’re fighting for. You’ve lost.”

In many ways, their relationship is the equivalent of this and I love it:

Warning: Spoilers

This section contains spoilers. Clicking the button will reveal the spoiler content.


This does feel like a bit of a spin off series to me and while I wasn’t lost or confused in the story, I do think Harrison is writing as though her audience is already familiar with the world she’s created. There were moments when I wanted further explanation about the other magical Races she mentions. That is where I felt a little confused having not read the other books, but I figured it out. I also get the feeling that some of the characters may have been brought up in the other series as well. It’s a hunch based on reading the synopsis of the books in the Elder Races series. But, again, I didn’t feel lost in the narration because of it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll change my tune if/when I go back and read the other books.

Fabulous Quotes

~She said, “Thank God. The spell didn’t recognize you as an enemy.” He gave in to his impulse at last and cupped her chin, stepping close so that he could feel the heat from her body. It was a subtle warmth that touched him in places he didn’t understand and had long denied existed. “That’s because I’m not your enemy, Sophie.”

~Just don’t kiss assholes. One job, Sophie. Only One.

~If he ever chose to look at someone with that same sense of commitment, Sophie knew that woman would never doubt anything about him and would never want for anything.

~She resurrected something inside him, the kind of man he used to be, protective of and attentive to those he cared for. He wanted to shelter her, not because she asked for it or because she even needed it, but because he needed to be the one to give it to her.


Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

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Review: Enchanted by Daisy Prescott


It’s winter break, and we’re back with our motley crew of characters. Tests have been taken, finals are over, and Madison, Andrew, Sam, and Tate are on their way to Grandma Bradbury’s farm.

While Madison now believes in magic, the question remains: with her ancestral history, is she a witch as well? Andrew thinks there’s potential, but she’s 21 with no hints of magical abilities blossoming. She’s either a late bloomer or did not inherit the magic her ancestors could wield.

But strange things are afoot. Not everything is as it seems when they get to Grandma Bradbury’s house and more secrets to Madison’s past are uncovered. With new each new thing revealed, this group of friends needs to discover the truth before someone with darker intentions does first.

I hate to be repetitive, but Daisy Prescott’s Bewitched series is an absolute delight! I am so excited to delve more into Madison’s family history and learn how the past is affecting the future. Enchanted brings with it more mystery and more insight into the witchy history of Salem and these characters, with their powers slowly revealing themselves. I cannot wait to see what Prescott delivers next year.


True love. An old enemy. It begins where it ends.

Two months ago, I didn’t believe in magic. Sure, I’d cast a love spell involving glitter and peppercorns, but come on … even I didn’t think some pink pepper could make a man fall in love with me. How quickly I’ve changed. Seeing is believing, and watching Andrew light a fire with only his hands definitely changed my mind. My former crush, the brooding, beautiful Andrew Wildes, is now my boyfriend. And a witch. A real one. The question is, am I?

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Review: Spellbound by Daisy Prescott

STOP! Have you read Bewitched yet? No? Go do so now!


Spellbound is the second novella in the Bewitched series by Daisy Prescott. It is a new adult story with magic and romance. It picks up right where Bewitched (book 1) stops and continues on with the blossoming romance between Andrew Wildes and Madison Bradbury.

At the conclusion of book one, Andrew reveals that he is a witch (not a warlock, that’s an antiquated term) who can produce flame with his hands, control the weather, and knew that he was fated to fall in love with Madison. He’s just a little a head of his time schedule.

Things are going well between the two young lovers. They’re happy, sappy, and never want to be apart. Everything seems to be going great, until Andrew stops acting like himself and more like…a toad. As his mood gets blacker, he believes he’s been cursed.

With help from Madison, his friends, and his Mother, Andrew must figure out what has caused his sudden change in personality.

Again, Prescott does a great job with this novella. In Bewitched, the story was from Madison’s point of view, whereas this one shifts to Andrew. From the first book, we know that Andrew is a mild mannered, easy going, good guy. He cares a lot about his friends and the relationship with Madison. So, reading about him being a completely possessive, alpha male is a little frustrating. He’s being an idiot and I just want to shake him. The stark difference between his personalities is a bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Prescott brings back the wonderful characters from Bewitched and continues to expound on the magic in this world. In some ways it feel as though the reader is learning about the power of magic in this world right along side of Madison. She explains the mysteries of this magic world in bits and pieces and leaves me wanting more.


A new love. A curse. Everything can go wrong.

If you don’t carve a pumpkin, it will appear ripe and perfect for months while it slowly rots from the inside out before imploding. The act of transforming a simple, ordinary gourd into something magical accelerates its downfall. The same could be said for my life. For twenty-one years I’ve lived quietly in the shadows, avoiding attention, and escaping notice. I hide in plain sight. Except nothing about me is ordinary. Not with the last name Wildes in Salem, Massachusetts. My mother believed she could escape my fate by marrying a normal man. My father thought he could change me by removing me from Salem and my mother’s history. Both of them are wrong. My fate has been sealed since the first time I laid eyes on Madison Bradbury. She thinks she’s average, but she’s extraordinary to me.

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Review: Bewitched by Daisy Prescott


Bewitched, the first book in Daisy Prescott’s Bewitched series, is the story of Madison Bradbury, a college junior at Hawthorne College in Salem, Massachusetts. No matter the magical history of Salem, no matter how many magic shops in town, Madison is a girl who doesn’t believe in magic. It is all make-believe to her. She’s a muggle, through and through.

And while she may not believe in magic, she does believe in romance. And love. She also might have a crush on the brooding, quiet, and handsome Andrew Wildes. Through the persuasions of her persistent roommate, Sam, Madison finds her self at a magic shop, love spell in hand. Not that she believes it will do anything.

Except after she casts the spell, Andrew in mind, they keep bumping into each other. Whether by magic or not, there is a growing attraction between the two of them and a budding new relationship.

By the end of the story, Madison discovers if magic truly exists or not.

Bewitched is a truly adorable new adult story. The characters are a fun group of people and a setting has a wonderful mysterious, fall flavor to it. So, go out and find this novella. You should be able to read this in about two hours. It is such a light, fun read that you won’t regret picking it up. And as soon as you’re done with this one, go grab the next, Spellbound. In fact, you should really just grab all three while you’re at it.


A crush. A love spell. What can go wrong?

Madison Bradbury isn’t interested in spells or magic, or anything hocus-pocus related despite descending from the original Salem witches. Her life as a Hawthorne College junior is boring. Perfectly so. That is until Andrew Wildes appears in her class–like a quiet, brooding hero from one of her favorite romances.

When a local witch convinces Madison to use a love spell on her crush, what happens next is more than magical.

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What is Happening??

I was super excited when Daisy Prescott announced the release of Enchanted, the most recent book in her Bewitched series. So excited that I decided to change up what books I was reviewing!

“What? Another Daisy Prescott book?” You might ask. And I’ll just calmly answer back, “Yes.” In fact, this isn’t just one more review of a Daisy Prescott book, you’re getting three reviews! Go ahead, do your happy dance.


So, what’s going on here? Why the multiple book reviews?

Let me tell you:

  1. I love Daisy Prescott’s books
  2. It’s closing in on Halloween. These books are about magic.
  3. The 3rd book was just released
  4. Why not?!

I’m going to publish three book reviews throughout this week. These books all belong to Prescott’s novella series Bewitched. Since they’re novellas, they’re really quick reads and I have every confidence that you can read all three by the end of this week. The reviews will be published as follows:

October 24 – Bewitched

October 25 – Spellbound

October 26 – Enchanted

You can literally read all three of these books in a few short hours. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle under a blanket, and read these books.


Review: Strange Brew by Angela Colsin

Synopsis Feeling out of touch with her magical gifts, Aislinn Carmichael is a witch seeking a means of restoring her ability to its fullest potential. Despite the warnings of family and friends, the endeavor inevitably drives her to accept the initiation trial of a witch coven called The Trine.

Their test demands the capture of a supernatural creature, a task Aislinn has little doubt she can accomplish with relative ease. But of all the potentially benign creatures she could’ve snared, none other than a feral werewolf stumbles into her trap. Making matters worse is The Trine’s intentions for her dangerous captive, forcing Aislinn to release him and potentially risk retaliation.

But vengeance is the farthest thing from the werewolf’s mind.

Troy Ashland is a werewolf standing at death’s door, slowly losing his humanity until there’s nothing left but savage instincts. It’s a process all werewolves face, and the only thing that can appease his restless beast is his mate. So when word arrives from an oracle saying to travel to the Southern US to find her, he’s on the next flight out.

After his arrival in Arkin City, the last thing Troy expects is to be caught in a magical trap. But all is forgiven with one glimpse of his temporary jailor, who turns out to be the very woman he was searching for. Still, his efforts of winning her are surprisingly difficult. Not only is Aislinn inexplicably resisting their attraction, but The Trine won’t leave well enough alone …

Thoughts One common theme I’ve found in werewolf-centric books is the idea of a mate. Usually this involves one of the male werewolves finding his poor, unsuspecting mate and marking them so they can live an immortal life happily ever after. This male werewolf is lead by his were-balls like a divining rod (pun intended) to the love of his life and, when they meet, it’s like no one has ever existed before this moment. Instant attraction! Love at first sight! The werewolf goes full Alpha Male on this poor unsuspecting woman. He’s gonna win her over with his domineering attitude, unexpected and ferocious kisses, and his pheromones (were-omones?)!

Nobody can resist the pheromones.

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with this trope because nobody really gets a say in the matter. The fates have decided that these two people are going to be together! Who cares what life the woman in this story has had up until now! She’s totally okay with suddenly being mated with a tall, dark, and rapey domineering werewolf. What’s autonomy???

Maybe I’ve read some really bad paranormal romance stories in my past.

Which is one of the major reasons Strange Brew was so amazing! The “mates” trope is a crux of the storyline. This is evident from the synopsis and prologue. But what I love about how this trope is used is that the werewolf in question, Troy Ashland, was respectful A.F.! Rather than meeting Aislinn and just running over her wants and needs, pounding his chest in a show of dominance and declaring her his mate, he finds a way to help her discover that information, easing her into the idea. He doesn’t want to scare her away. Now, sure, there is an immediate, fiery attraction between the two of them, but multiple times through the story, they repeat the mantra of many new couples, “let’s just take it slow.”

This is one of the few stories of this kind (that I’ve read) where the two lovers actually sit down and talk about what it means to be the mate of a werewolf. Aislinn is admittedly and understandably resistant to the idea that being mated to a werewolf + being marked by a werewolf = turned into a werewolf. She’s got her own life! A store to run! Magical power to gain! And Troy respects that. He *gasp* listens!!! They sit down and talk about what being mates means and how werewolves run their pack. Gosh how refreshing, adult conversations about adult topics.

“The only person I could ever turn is my mate, and the prospect has never agreed with me. Any ferine worth his salts doesn’t wanna change his woman, he wants her exactly the way she is. So altering you isn’t something I’m eager about.”

Actually, one major thing I liked about this book was the fact that Troy and Aislinn talked to each other. They were honest conversations about adjusting to each other, adjusting to what being mated means, and adjusting to what that means for their respective futures.

A major part of this story is that Aislinn is preparing to preform a ritual to help focus her magical powers. Part of this ritual requires her to remain celibate until the night of, in which ritual sex is a key ingredient.

Oh, dancing naked under the moon, that’s original. But there’s no sacrifices or dismemberment. Where’s the fun in that?

The whole scenario between Aislinn asking Troy for help with her ritual is another example of their respect for each other. And I’m not even sure where to start with this because it is a large part of the story and doesn’t take place over one or two paragraphs. It spans several chapters. So, I’m going to say, screw it! I’m not going into depth! But this is a great example of their respect for each other, not wanting to push boundaries, but also supporting each other.

It’s just refreshing to read about two people trying to figure this out together. I know some romance books thrive on the fact that mis/lack of communication drive the story (and I like some of these books, I’m not shitting on them), but sometimes it’s just really refreshing to read a book that doesn’t follow this pattern.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that this book was refreshing.

The Romance Now that I’ve finished waxing poetic about how amazing the respect between these two lovers is, let me talk more about their romance. Cause y’all were waiting for it, weren’t you?!

So, confession, I have a major love for male characters that are pretty much all mush on the inside. You know the ones I’m talking about. The heroes who recognize that their partner doesn’t need them, but wants them anyway. The heroes who are ridiculously protective even though, again, their lover is more than capable of protecting herself. The heroes who hold their lover when they’re in need of comfort. You know…Troy Ashland (also Han Solo, but we’re not discussing him.).

I think I have a major crush on this fictional character, guys.

I feel like I keep going on and on about why Troy is a great character. But so is Aislinn. She’s a fiery, redhead who doesn’t back down, who is powerful in her own right, who is outgoing and smart, who is confident in her own sexuality. She’s…kind of a badass.

And man, is it fun to watch/read these two flirt with each other. Cause Troy is trying his hardest to win Aislinn over but because of her ritual, she’s resisting and going insane, cause she wants this werewolf in a bad way.

“Well,” she muttered, “it doesn’t matter anyway because the sight of you drives me up a wall. Not to feed your ego, but damn it, Troy, I was doing fine up until a week ago.”

What also doesn’t help Aislinn is her own mother, Miranda (who is hysterical), who is helping Troy woo her daughter. Poor Aislinn doesn’t really stand a chance even if she wanted to.

…He looked own at the folded paper in his hand, opening it to read over the list of three simple steps Miranda had entitled Bewitching the Witch. 1. Roses are adored in all colors and varieties 2. Truffles are a huge weakness 3. Add a dash of charm to their delivery, and reap the rewards.

And once they do get together, their passion is…woah! Like wowza is it hot! Like, mom, for reals, this’ll make you blush mad-hard.


Conclusion If you haven’t figured it out by now, I really liked this book. It is the third book in the Crucible series and, honestly, the only book in the series I’ve read. So, it works pretty well as a stand-alone novel. I’m pretty sure some of the characters that we meet are introduced in previous books. I also think, though I’m not sure, that there could be a larger, multi-book plot going on. I could be wrong, and I don’t think it affects the readability of this book, but some of the events make me think this could be the case.

Other Things I liked

  • Troy and Aislinn’s respect for each other. Oh, I’ve mentioned this already? I really liked it, okay!?
  • Troy’s Southern drawl and charm
  • The Lupine “family” that Aislinn has.
  • Aislinn’s mother, Miranda. She was so hysterical, even though she wasn’t in the story too much.
  • The way Miranda celebrates Aislinn’s birthday and completion of the ritual

Sighing dramatically, her mother retorted, “Yup, and to commemorate the fact that you’re finally entering into a serious relationship this year, I had the balloons made out of condoms.”

…Grinning, Miranda mentioned sarcastically, “There was a choice of condom balloons, or penis-shaped candles on the cake. Either way, congrats, you’re a woman now.”

Swoon Worthy Quotes

  • “…I guess I really am comfortable with you.”  “Of course you are. I’m the love of your life, remember?”
  • “I’ve fallen a little more [in love] every day since we met, darlin’, and I know I won’t stop until I love you more than any woman’s ever been loved.”

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Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

The Synopsis Soulless, half-Italian spinster Alexia has found herself in a bit of a pickle, what with accidentally killing a vampire. And now the irritating (Scottish, handsome, werewolf) Lord Conall Maccon has been sent to investigate.

With more strange supernaturals appearing and other not-so-strange supernaturals disappearing, Alexia is caught in the middle of a mystery. It is a mystery she simply must solve. Under the annoyed protection of Lord Maccon, they embark to discover who the real enemy is.


I love historical fiction. This should come as no surprise. There is something to be said about the dances, the rules of society, the fact that there are dukes EVERYWHERE! (okay, not really in real life, but they just make for such good heroes, similar to billionaire boyfriends in contemporary romances). Let’s also not forget the fact that these societal rules = crazy sexual tension because no touchy! Bad touchy!

Now, throw in some supernatural beings in the mix, and you’ve got yourself a new set of rules to include with Victorian society.

This is what Gail Carriger does with her series, The Parasol Protectorate. One part Victorian society, one part supernatural creatures, and another part steampunk, and you have yourself the setting of a wonderful new world. The fantastic part is, even though it may sound odd, it works! Carriger’s world building is just as good as the story she writes. There is never a moment where the rules she’s created for this world don’t make sense or break. She never has characters giving long-winded expositions about the world or has info-dump paragraphs. Rather, she gradually introduces the world and rules to the reader. In the end, it just makes sense that there are vampires and werewolves and other supernatural beings running around London, England in the 1800s. Because…why not?

Part of the reason why this works is because Carriger introduces a world that is different and yet familiar. Most people are familiar with what a Victorian England looks like. The societal rules are still the same as is the fashion. Also familiar are the rules for vampires and werewolves. Vampires will still burn in the sun, drink blood, and can die due to a wooden stake. Werewolves are still ruled by the moon, change into wolf form, and have a pack protocol. It is familiar, just wrapped up in a new story.

The only caveat to this would be Alexia Tarabotti, our parasol-wielding heroine. She is a new subset of supernatural called, aptly, soulless or preternatural. With one touch, “soullessness always neutralized supernatural abilities.” Alexia can change a fully transformed werewolf or vampire back into human.

So, the world building is thing one I love about Soulless. Thing two, would be the writing itself! Carriger manages to pull off such a wry humor throughout the narration that just makes me laugh (I’ll be honest, it’s more like a snort-giggle. A sniggle?). As she describes the settings and the characters, she’ll often use prose that is unexpected, catching me off guard with her quirky humor. Such as this:

The Loontwills returned from their shopping expedition flushed with success. Except for Squire Loontwill, who was now less flush than he had been and wore an expression more often seen on men returning from battle-one that had been badly lost with many causalities.

I love this. It’s cheeky! And it’s the type of humor found through the rest of the book.

And the third thing I love about this book: the characters themselves. I’m not going to delve into this too much, because I want you to experience them for yourself. Needless to say, just as Carriger’s writing is fun and unique, so are the characters she’s written.

The Romance

The two intrepid lovers of this story are Alexia Tarabotti and Lord Conall Maccon, Earl of Woolsey, who just happens to be Alpha werewolf and Bureau of Unnatural Registry (BUR) supernatural liaison. These two are THE MOST STUBBORN lovers I may have ever read. And I love it.

Alexia and Conall have known each other for several years. This isn’t their first time in each other’s company. But you do get the sense, due to an incident with a hedgehog, their first meeting got off on the wrong foot, setting the tone for all future interactions. It’s not that they dislike each other, per say, it’s that they are both opinionated, tenacious, and intelligent leaving them to butt heads against a volley of verbal spars. However, despite their verbal barbs, they genuinely respect each other. Repressing their feelings for each other underneath a battle of wits.

“Lord Akeldama again.” “His advice is sound, and he finds my company restful.” That surprised the werewolf. “Well, I suppose somebody must. How peculiar of him.” Miss Tarabotti, affronted, gathered up her brass parasol and made to leave. Lord Maccon slowed her with a question. “Why are you so curious about this matter? Why do you insist on involving yourself?” “Because someone is dead and it was by my own hand,” she replied, looking gloomy. “Well, by my own parasol,” she amended. Lord Maccon sighed. He figured someday he might win an argument with this extraordinary woman, but clearly today was not that day.

Now, when I say they are stubborn lovers, I mean they are stubborn to the point they ignore their feelings for each other. And (like many other things in this book) it is hilarious. Conall resists because…honestly, I’m going say because he’s a man and he doesn’t know what to do with his feelings. Alexia because she’s a soulless spinster who has been “on the shelf” too long and doesn’t believe that anyone would be interested in her for her and she’s too practical for that sort of thing.

They are so stubborn, in fact, that Conall’s werewolf instincts kick in and compel him to make the first move, much to Alexia’s befuddlement, Conall’s chagrin, and Lyall’s (the pack Beta, second in command) amusement.

Professor Lyall sighed again. “Yes, that. How do I put this delicately? My estimable Alpha has been thinking of you instinctively, I am afraid, not logically. He has been perceiving you as he would an Alpha female werewolf… When he would not admit his interest even to himself, his instincts took over.”

However, once that door has been opened, Conall is all in. He attempts to woo Alexia, first by following pack protocol (a failed attempt) and then second by just kissing all coherent thought from Alexia’s head. Which…still has mixed results. Because Alexia, as I’ve said before, is stubborn and she’s not just going to fall over for Lord Maccon and his kisses!

But she does…eventually, because this story is part romance.

This romance is fun to watch go from sparring to wooing to loving. As confident as they are in other areas, watching them both fumble around as they make their affections known is entertaining. It is one aspect of life about which they seem to be completely clueless.

Last Thoughts

This book, if you haven’t guessed, is so much fun! However, it is only part one of five. Soulless, is perhaps, the only book in the series that does not end in a cliffhanger of some sort. But don’t let that stop you. The rest of the series is equally as wonderful, introducing new plots and characters that are just as exciting.

Soulless is also available on Audible, in case you don’t have time to sit down and read. It is excellently narrated and well worth the listen.

Other Things I liked:

  • Lord Akeldama and his 101 nicknames for Alexia
  • Professor Lyall playing matchmaker
  • Conall’s murderous tendencies when protecting AlexiaFantastical Quotes
  • Alexia was scientifically intrigued. Had he gotten even larger down there? What was the maximum possible expansion ratio? She wondered. She grinned a tad maliciously. It had not occurred to her that she might have some sort of influence over the encounter.
  • How, he wondered, would it be to weather the moon in human form, held there by the touch of a preternatural lover?
  • As though her family were not watching, he touched the side of her face, stroking the cheek her mother had hit. “I understand that you have been taught for far too long that you are unworthy.”
  • She cursed fate that had set life up so that when she finally did get to touch Lord Maccon’s bare chest, there was no time to appreciate it.
  • Lord Maccon refrained from commenting that when she called him “my love,” he was pretty much willing to do whatever she asked.

Happy October!

The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp, and Starbucks is now serving their Pumpkin Spiced Latte. You know what that means? It is officially fall! I confess, I love when summer moves to fall. It means I can bundle under blankets and wear big chunky sweaters. It is a cozy season.

It also makes me want to reread the entire Harry Potter series. I’ll get to them eventually.

One of my favorite things about this time of year (besides which I already mentioned) is Halloween. I always loved dressing up for Halloween. That was my favorite part, not the candy (I may have been a drama nerd).

So, in anticipation of October 31, this month I’ll be reviewing several books in the Paranormal genre. Be prepared for witches, vampires, and werewolves (oh my!).

Happy reading and happy Halloween!