Welcome to the Preternatura “Drive-By Reviews.” It’s my way of passing along books in my TBR Pile on Steroids to you. I read the first 50 or so pages of a book (might be new, might be not-so-new), tell you what I like or didn’t like, and give it a grade of A (wish I had time to finish it, and resent that I have so little reading time these days); B (I’m not head-over-heels but I am interested enough to keep going); or C (I’d keep reading but there are some red flags for me). If it’s a DNF, I won’t cover it at all.
ABOUT FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON: If Brandee Hanson
ever wants to go from waitress to photographer, she’ll have to take some once-in-a-lifetime shots. But when she catches the gorgeous private investigator, Nick Wolfensen, on camera— transforming into a werewolf—she is thrown into a world of vampires, shapeshifters, and other paranormal misfits….In order to keep his secret and stay clear of the supernatural council, Nick will have to convince Brandee not to release the photo. Fortunately, he was looking for an excuse to spend more time with the beautiful waitress anyway.
Drive-By Review: This is a quick, light read, in what I understand is a new trilogy. The center of the action is Boston Uncommon (cute name), a bar in Boston that caters to a supernatural clientele, owned by a vampire named Anthony, whose aunt–a Tarot reader–has taken up residence in a corner booth telling futures and sucking down cocktails. In this world, the “supes” are not out of the closet, so their existence isn’t known to humankind. There’s also a council led by a foul-mouthed, middle-aged Mother Nature and featuring a bunch of poker-playing Greek gods that oversee the supe population and make sure they don’t out themselves to humans–by spying on the clientele of Boston Uncommon. Unfortunately, the “drive-by” read didn’t allow me to see how well or if this council is used, but I definitely got the feeling they’d be playing a role.
The setup starts out pretty basic. Heroine Brandee is a waitress at Boston Uncommon who doesn’t know supes exist and who has a crappy love life. When the novel starts, she’s just been dumped–via text message, no less–by her latest boyfriend. But the Tarot-reading aunt assures her love is around the corner, as in, the next guy to walk through the door.
Which turns out to be the gorgeous “One-Night Nick,” a former cop turned private investigator. He’s ready to quit his playboy ways and find the true mate for his werewolf self, and so he has his time with the Tarot-reading aunt, and–of course–his true mate is Brandee.
Nick and Brandee had nice sexual tension, but there was definitely insta-love if that’s one of your hot buttons. I mean early-early insta-love. My biggest negative reaction in the admittedly abbreviated read was to the heroine. She’s a little too gullible (the notorious playboy kisses her once and declares she’s his one and only forever?) and willing to be led around (she’s just taken a photo of Nick turning into a werewolf, but buys his story that he’d stripped naked in the alleyway in order to slip through a window, and that she’d seen a stray dog)? In fairness, I do see signs that she’ll develop a brain as the story progresses. And she has a habit that I know is meant as humor but kind of grated at me–instead of saying “Oh my God,” she wants to be different so she’ll say, “Oh my (fill in the blank).” Oh my apple tree, it was cute at first but got old quickly. Oh my floppy disk, what would she come up with next?
The positives: The hero, Nick, is appropriately sexy, the world-building is interesting, and there’s what looks like a complex plot unfolding regarding Brandee’s 12-year-old niece being kidnapped by some mob types. The council looks like it’s going to be a fun twist. Overall, the book seems a fun and easy read, and a fast one, so I’d give this a B. Not a must-keep-going for me, but I’m sufficiently engaged to give it another fifty pages to see if Brandee grows a brain and how the external, non-romance plot develops.
I have an ARC of Flirting Under a Full Moon to give away. Three entries possible–one by hitting the Twitter share button below; one by hitting the Facebook share button; and a comment: How do you feel about insta-love in books? I think it’s there to some degree in almost every PNR because the author needs to get the couple together…although within the first 50 pages seems really, really “insta” to me.