Naïve Wisconsin native, Tess, thought she could take a bite out of the Big Apple and make her dreams come true. However, her world crashes around her when her fiancé passes away, leaving her hollow and disconnected. When she interacts with a sexy stranger in a night club on New Year’s Eve, she begins to feel alive again.
Ethan is drawn to the blonde like no one else. The problem is, he doesn’t know if he’s attracted to her, or if The Beast seeks to consume her. The demon dragon is a parasite, using Ethan against his will to leech spiritual energy from unsuspecting humans. When Tess momentarily keeps the dragon at bay, Ethan hopes that she can be his saving grace and stop his killing spree.
Together they discover that Tess has descended from a long line of witches. Can she learn the craft in time to save them both from their destiny? (Sounds great, right? Not so much.)
Ethan Lockwood has a biker/model look going for him. For me personally that’s the second all-time sexiest look, right on the heels of cowboy. He’s an Alpha hero, gentle when he needs to be and strong when he needs to be. He'll do his best to protect her, even if he dies trying.
Here’s what was seriously wrong with this book
Tess doesn’t deserve his attention. She’s a petulant child. When she would act stubborn and say, “No” all I could picture was a child stomping their foot and holding their breath until Mommy and Daddy gave them ice cream for breakfast. She’s also TSTL but keeps insisting she knows what’s best. Ridiculous. I don’t believe she’d be intelligent enough to learn how to perform spells before she dies, much less in time to save Ethan.
The heroine’s POV- she hooks up with this stranger. He follows her home, and tries to push his way into her apartment. He then basically kidnaps her. (It’s for the greater good, but at 1st she isn’t privy to this info, and then she doesn’t believe in magic.) He keeps her until morning while he tries to explain she’s in danger because he’s possessed, and that The Beast has stolen her good energy. She escapes and makes it home where he shows up again. Then she lets him follow her to work, offering him scones and coffee along the way. (What the…?!?)
He’s camped outside her workplace, so Tess tells her best friend that Ethan thinks he’s possessed by an aura-sucking demon. Like any good bestie should, Holly says, “We could call the police and get him out of here.” To which Tess replies, “No. He seems nice enough.” (I swear to you… that’s actual dialogue.)
I told myself that magic was a factor. “Okay,” I argued with myself, “She’s not in a normal situation. There are forces involved pulling them to each other and therefore making her accept these creepy activities as okay to put up with.” I really wish the author would’ve gone that direction. Instead, the TSTL behavior was blamed on Tess’s “Midwestern nice,” which seems highly insulting to a large group of people. I’m “Southern polite” most of the time, but if I have a stalker I won’t be offering him iced tea or mint julips on my veranda! I’ll discreetly tell the cops, “HELP ME!”
Here’s what’s even more sad. The author didn’t just blame it on that.
1st Midwestern nice.
2nd Pre-Women’s Lib soft.
3rd Catholic guilt.
4th 19th Century woman inside her.
5th Giggly girl inside her.
… and I only read to the middle. My “post-women’s lib attitude” made me wanna hurl.
I frequently dog sit an adorable boxer. He follows me everywhere, so I lovingly refer to him as my stalker. Outside of that type of situation, STALKERS ARE NOT CUTE!!! If you let someone—who you think is certifiable—follow you around… the cops are going to find your body parts in that person’s trunk or freezer.
The premise was so promising, but not laced together well enough for me to read the rest of this book. It’s the epitome of the romance stigma and the very reason people look down their noses and say, “Ohhh. You write romance.”
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from the author, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Sadly, this one IS the romance stigma.
Other reading suggestions
LE Wilson does a nice job with unique premises in paranormal romance. And for more great paranormal romance indie authors, check out this “best of” list.