Stone Cold Seduction

When a regular night of Robin Hood-ery results in the manifestation of some, um, unusual paranormal abilities, perfume-maker Elleodora Fredricks realizes the normal world she lives in isn’t quite… normal. And neither is she, thanks to her father, king of the shadow elves. Not only is he evil incarnate and the reason Elle moonlights as a burglar-someone has to take care of all his victims-he’s stolen her memories.

And only reading her fate can fix that.

Good thing she’s got a trio of hotties willing to help her find said fate, but only if she gives them something in return. Saving her oracle BFF’s fiance, falling in love with the gargoyle, and making up for breaking the phoenix’s heart ought to be a piece of cake for the princess of the shadow elves.

If only the king didn’t want his daughter dead…

Author: Jess Macallan
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: 5th September, 2011

I really wanted to like this novel. I mean, gargoyles! It’s something I haven’t read in urban fantasy before now and I’ve always had a soft spot for them. Not only are there gargoyles, but also phoenix, elves and all other kinds of things going on. For the main character of the novel, this comes as a huge surprise – not only do all these creatures populate the world, but they have many powers, and what’s more, she is a princess of the shadow elves! That’s one hell of a learning curve.

The good things:
The story line is actually pretty good. Lots of mystery, and a bit of action, the story crosses the country and then the ocean. I liked the main character for the most part, and I liked the fact that she has two potential love interests – both of whom have her mentioned as their mate in their fates. It was a twist on your typical romance story line (even if the guys themselves are the stereotypical males), and I liked the fact that while the men were tied to her, she had a say in which she ended up with. I’m not really a fan of ‘destined’ relationships, so it was nice that it wasn’t set in stone.

The baddies in this novel are bad. Luke, Elle’s father’s henchman, is particularly nasty. I felt like the emotional/mental turmoil painted in the novel was quite well done, and it gave Elle something else to struggle with. There was also a good twist towards the end which threw some spanners in the works for the main characters, which I didn’t see coming.

The not so good:
I didn’t find the writing to be as engaging as other books I have read lately, and it seemed as though the story hopped around a little bit. For instance, the opening has the Elle mid theft from her father’s company. She encounters Jax – her employee, in her father’s offices – but it isn’t until much later, way after the fact and after other things have happened, that she stops to ask him what on earth he was doing there. There were a lot of moments like this where I felt like the characters weren’t responding to the circumstances in a realistic manner.

I felt like Elle’s introduction to her new reality was done a little inelegantly. Large portions of the novel are info-dump and back story – that said, I liked the flashbacks Elle had, showing her chunks of her history that she had forgotten, specifically to do with her father, his henchman, Luke, and McLean (the phoenix) – there is a lot for Elle to learn, and for the reader too, but it did feel like it was being told to the reader rather than being integrated into the story smoothly.

The verdict:
Will I read the next book in the series? I’m not hanging out for it, but I will definitely take a look at the blurb and see if I am interested when it’s released.  I think this one will definitely appeal to those who like their urban fantasy/romance novels, and it has plenty of potential for growth. This novel seemed more like an introduction to the world/characters/story than anything else, and I am sure things will kick off with a bang in the second book. I give it three stars.

E-arc courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley.

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