Drive-By Review & G*veaway: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

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.

Today’s book, Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase, is an upcoming release scheduled to be out on Tuesday, April 2. Read on for a chance to win an ARC of the book….

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. 

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

32 thoughts on “Drive-By Review & G*veaway: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

  1. Sounds like a good summer read -quick and light. I usually like relationships that take longer to develope but it’s hard to do that in PNR. The author just doesn’t have the time that they would in an ongoing series.

  2. i’m not that fond of intsa love when they get sexually together in the first chaptyer. i don’t mind instant attraction, or soulmates but i still want them to learn about each other, to discover more about the other soulmate bons, insta love is what it making them start to see the other but i want then to have more before succombing

    • Yes, I should have pointed out that this “insta-love” did not involve sex. There was a kiss, and BOOM–insta-love. But there was no consummation right up front.

  3. I’ve read a couple of other books by this author, and the set up for this book sounds really similar to her other ones. They were cute, fun reads. And insta-love is a pet peeve of mine too, but the set-up of the PNR allows for an easier suspension of disbelief for me on that.

    • Yes, I agree about PNR. I even had some insta-love in my 1st one, Redemption. I think the only reason this slapped me as so “insta” is that Nick is “one night Nick” in one scene, and a single kiss later, is declaring undying love and fidelity. Seemed too fast a change of character. Although, to be fair, he might have some slipups later on and I have to remember this is making a snap judgment on 50 pages!

  4. This sounds like a fun story. I’m on a werewolf kick right now (reading The Law of the Lycans series) and it is definitely NOT light. I might have to pick this up to read after. Thanks for sharing! I tweeted and posted on g+1

  5. It really depends on the story for me. If I like the couple it is okay. If I don’t don’t care for one of the 2 I would rather see the relationship build first. I hope that makes sense. LOL! It sounds like a fun book.

    • I think it makes perfect sense–if you don’t like either the hero or heroine, and do like the other, you need some time to warm up to the idea 🙂

  6. Thanks for the review! I’m on the fence about intsaluv/lust. In contemporaries it almost kills the story for me. In PNR… It depends on the story. If it’s fast pace/action adventure then I can buy the instaluv but the author has really got to sell it as *necessary*. Geez louise… can’t he at least buy her flowers first?!? 🙂

    • Ha! Seriously–flowers is good. I think it has to work in the context of the story, although in PNR I think that’s easier than in contemporary. It’s hard for me to accept more than insta-lust in a contemporary!

  7. I have read several other books by this author and have enjoyed them as light reading. Insta-love in some books is OK as long as there is some character development along the way. This sounds lie a great book for reading by the pool.

    • Yes, unless it’s a really really long PNR, there’s just not time to develop a relationship too slowly, so some degree of insta-love is almost unavoidable.

  8. I have had this author on my wishlist for a while now, every now and then I enjoy a more funny paranormal over the intense ones. So I would love to win this one.
    The knowing “this is my mate”, is something else then falling in love, and that still has to happen as well in my opinion.

    • Ah…that’s a really good distinction, and I hadn’t thought about it that way. You’re right, the “this is my mate” is what happens early in this book but there’s no swearing of eternal love (only fidelity, which is a 180-degree shift for the hero). And it is a fun, light read. I tend to go for humor as well.

  9. It really depends on the book. Sometimes it’s done in a way that appeals me and other times it’s just too forced and artificial.

  10. I read a lot of paranormal stories and many of them have the insta-love of soulmates. For many supernatural characters, this is the way they know who their true mate is. I do love Ashlyn’s humor in her stories so I would love to win this book 🙂
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    Thanks so much for the giveaway.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  11. I don’t generally like for there to be “insta-love” between the characters, at least not to the point where they’re falling into bed with each other right away. Instant attraction works, though, and they can build from there.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu