Adventures of the first book over, Eleanor Figg and Lian Cairn are now a couple. They’ve decided to remodel his Irish pub into a bar and grill. As the work is ongoing, they are keeping an eye on John, the Hunter, who is currently in ICU and days away from his first werewolf transformation. Meanwhile, their friend Carl the necromancer received a threatening letter from his former ‘owner’/employer, Wilson, who most definitely wants him back. Vampires are stalking him, leading Figg and Lian to intercede, hoping a meeting with the vampire Master Olivia will solve the problem. Meanwhile, werewolves are looking for Lian, wanting to talk to him about Hunter joining their pack. Not too long after, they meet Skip the vampire, who joined vampiredom in order to save himself and the research lab he runs.
When it comes to plot, there’s a lot going on here between vamps, wolves, cops and witches. Overall, it’s generally well balanced. Description and dialogue still feels a little PNR, with Figg and Lian catching some nookie when they can. I started to grit my teeth at an angsty-type ‘he doesn’t like me anymore’ moment but it was thankfully turned on its head. Most of the plot is Figg and Lian reacting to various problems, and a couple of times they are helpfully saved by other ‘people,’ including a magic-wielding lawyer.
Characterization is acceptable. There’s some depth with some of the characters, but this time I felt like Figg was more the wise-cracking, impetuous, ‘isn’t-her-spunk-cute’ type of character than one with any real determination/independence.
Narration once again goes back and forth between Figg and Lian. It’s well done, and Simmons is able to achieve a different tone with each one. Dialogue was fun, particularly a few bantering lines with the team that made me laugh.
“Skip and Carl had been buddying it up for the last hour or so, bonded, I supposed, as the two supes in theroom who didn’t have a time of the month.”
But there’s light, and then there’s featherweight. At times it wafted into annoying breeze territory:
“Carl Tharpe, necromancer, former cross-dressing psychic and as of late, waiter, climbed out of the passenger side… ‘Do you think they are dating?’ Figg asked me.
Carl was probably in his mid-thirties and easily six-foot-five. My best guess was that Rene was in her sixties, a diminutive five-foot-two at most. ‘I hope not,’ I told Figg. ‘That would just be…’
‘Weird,’ we said at the same time.”
But those moments were infrequent. It’s a quick read, fun and generally not too annoying for someone who avoids PNR but isn’t adverse to a quick, low-commitment read. Recommended, for those who feel like a UF that has some romance, or PNR that’s light on the sexy times.