Reviewed by Melissa Brus
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Four paranormal beings come together to unravel a series of unusual behavior, disappearances, and murder. In the world Hollingworth creates, paranormals are known and intermingle in society. However, they are forbidden from mixing with humans in anything other than a professional capacity. This law is policed by a group known as the Protectors.
The core group of characters, Candi Reynolds, a witch, Victor Harlow, a vampire, Jasmine, a shifter, and Kheda a werewolf, are brought together in Paradise Falls, a small town with more than its fair share of strange. Candi and Jasmine return to the town after serving in the military for some peace and quiet and a normal life, which of course does not happen.
It is a compelling story concept, however, the pacing and, at times, the writing is awkward. While the actual dialogue is pretty smooth, the narrative between the dialogues has near stage direction details that bog the tale down and make it a struggle to read. The information needed to make the connections between characters and their connections to the unwinding story are placed like Easter Eggs. The reader must hunt for these tidbits, which is the hallmark of a suspenseful tale. However, by the end of book one, the reader is left wondering who the Protectors are, what the prophecy is, and what exactly is supposed to happen. While this could come across as a particularly cunning way to get the reader to buy the next book, the cliffhanger nature of the story is frustrating.
There is explicit sex in the story, which is also…awkward. Not only is it oddly timed in the story, but some of the descriptions were cringe worthy (throbbing manhood?) So why 3 stars? Because the concept is strong and consistent. There was something that just made you keep reading. And the story got stronger as the book went on, with the second half much easier to read than the first.
This was an interesting contradiction of a book for me. At times it felt like I could not finish it, but I would read another page and be hooked for several more. This pattern continued throughout the novel.
Bottom line, an awkward but compelling read.