Voodoo Dues by Stephany Simmons

Read May 2017
Recommended for fans of light PNR
★    ★    ★

A lot like Jello with whipped cream; light, a bit forgettable, and sweet. A few sections felt first novelish, kind of wish-embodiment on the part of the author, but maybe I’m just extrapolating from her costume of hip t-shirts, jeans and Gucci heels. That said, it entertained me enough when my brain wasn’t ready for anything more substantial, and in a final note of semi-endorsement, I went on to the next.

The heroine, Figg, is bartending in a small neighborhood bar when she learns there’s more to the world than she had thought. Liam, bar owner and accomplished scholar on magical traditions spends his days hiding in his office and his memories. Narrative is first person, alternating between the two characters. Of course, any reader can predict the attraction between the two characters, but thankfully, the plot is focused on the missing grandson of a local voodoo priestess and signs that the dead are coming to life in the area. Various characters drop in to the bar but many are kicked out. One of the few who sticks around is Carl the necromancer, a large black man who channels a dead white guy who died of a coke overdose in the 70s; the local coven; a very Hawt bounty hunter; and the head of the local werewolves, identifiable because he refers to Figg as Liam’s ‘mate.’ The plot escalates quickly and gets a bit chaotic near the end.

There’s a few irritations, particularly when Figg vacillates between a gun-toting, sassy confident and an occasional screamer (particularly when Liam is nearby to turn to) but in the end she pulls through. But seriously–why put your lead character in high heels and then refer to her gait as ‘shuffling?’ Most women I know who wear heels by choice are expert at those short little clicky strides. Maybe symbolic of being more enthusiasm than skill/sense? At any rate, she should get to own that. She does have some funny commentary, making me laugh out loud when she said,

“Skip and Carl had been buddying it up for the last hour or so, bonded, I supposed, as the two supes in the room who didn’t have a time of the month.”

Interestingly, there’s also a deleted sex scene that is available as part of the package, or an extra fee. Simmons writes that she was trying to keep the book PG-13 for marketability reasons, but was aware there’s a segment of people that like the occasional more explicit scene.

Overall, I would recommend it to people who enjoy a fun, quick paranormal, and can be forgiving of a few mistakes. It’s quite decent for a first book. Consider that praise from someone who is generally ambivalent about the genre.


About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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