Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hot twist on a werewolf story!

Ok, so I read this book called "Charming (Pax Arcana)" by Elliott James. It just came out yesterday and despite having a day job with precluded me reading during the day, I've already finished it. Let me say, for a "non-romance" book, this one had some seriously delicious romance going on! It also had a rather unique spin on both the Prince Charming legend and werewolves in general.

Once upon a time, there was an family of hero monster hunters who were sworn to dispatch anything that endangered the Pax Arcana, a massive spell that kept the world of mortals and the supernatural world separate. One day, a hero monster hunter made a mistake. He dispatched an out-of-control werewolf but thinking it had been a lone wolf, and being in a hurry to get back home to his wife who was heavily pregnant and over-due, he didn't watch his back trail. He carelessly led the dead wolf's pack mates to his home and they killed him, but not before making him watch them bite his wife, thereby turning her. As the transformation into a wolf would surely kill both his weakened wife and unborn child, it was a very harsh punishment indeed.

Flash forward several decades: the child did not, in fact die. He was raised by his father's order or monster hunting buddies and watched very closly to make sure he didn't become a wolf. Eventually, they decided he was fine and he became a Knight Templar like his father before him. The decision was premature. He was a werewolf and despite years of hard pursuit, they were never able to catch up to him.

The story begins with our tarnished hero, John Charming, living under an assumed name and tending bar in the deep south. He lives as far off the radar as he can and makes as few waves as he can in the hope that he can fine a little peace before his former brothers-in-arms find him again and resume their holy war against him. He's still a knight, technically at least, and he's still a sworn monster hunter despite being a werewolf. That, a knock-out blonde viking warrior maiden and an out-of-control blood sucking vampire that's too stupid to live ensures his attempt to fine peace is short-lived.

Five stars, easy. This book is awesome. It's a fun twist on a theme that sometimes doesn't see too many truly fresh ideas. The stunted romance between John, who has more emotional baggage than an airplane's overhead compartment, and Sig, who wants him but is kind of in a relationship with an insane psychic with a jealous streak a mile wide and no qualms with killing his romantic rivals, is sizzling and funny at the same time. As I said, this wasn't written to be a 'romance" but the author managed to write a story rich with passion anyway. It's strictly PG-13, with nothing heavier than some make-out sessions in a dark car, but any fan of romance will tell you that a n interesting plot combines with fun characters who have great chemistry makes a story, not the number of times folks end up doing the pokey. Go ahead and check this out out! Also of note, this author has several novellas set in this "universe" that tell John's back story, most for ninety-nine cents!


Pat C. said...

I want to check out the vampire who's "too stupid to live." Unlive?

Is this an ebook or print? What genre is it filed under?

Rebecca Gillan said...

It's classified under urban fantasy and reads a little like Patricia Briggs except that our smart-alak hero is a guy. I really liked this story because it made no attempt to make monsters cute and cuddly. There's a particularly hilarious scene where Sig makes the mistake of offering John some really bad chili on a full moon night and then she tried to snatch the bowl back from him. Yeah, don't do that to a werewolf, even if he's still in his human skin and trying really hard not to howl at the moon...

Rebecca Gillan said...

Oh, and it was published by Orbit, so it's probably available at most book stores as a paperback.

Savanna Kougar said...

Wow, what a good plotline twist. Anti-hero, hero werewolf, all in one package... I think. ~smiles~