by Delilah S. Dawson
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)
Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
I'm not a true fan of the adult paranormal romance genre, but I wanted to read this one because it looked so different from the norm. The circus aspect, combined with a steampunk vibe had me intrigued. I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one, and it didn't have any of the aspects that I dislike about the adult paranormal genre-it wasn't over the top violent (the heroine wasn't shooting everyone in sight), there weren't multiple curse words on each page (in fact, I'm pretty sure there was none), and the steamy scenes weren't creepy and weird. Overall, I'd say this was more of a fantasy book than a run of the mill action packed vampire book.
The only part of the book that I didn't really like was the time travel (or parallel universe travel). This theme almost never works for me, so I'm not really surprised. The present day worries really took me out of the spectacular fantasy world that was built. I have enough cell phones and alarm clocks buzzing at me in my real life, I'd much rather read about magical 'Bludmen' and a steampunk circus. I suppose time travel works for some because it injects some familiarity into a completely unfamiliar setting, but I'd rather be totally immersed in the fictional world.
The characters were great, Tish/Leticia wasn't too stereotypical. She was a bit down and out due to her ex, but she wasn't completely free of self esteem like some stereotypical heroines are. I'm not sure that Criminy was my type, but he was sweet for the most part. Maybe he had a little too much alpha male traits for me personally. The Casper storyline was pretty entertaining to me, so I'm glad to see the next book in the series focuses on him as the main character. I'm also glad that the series will be about different couples, instead of every book being about Criminy and Leticia.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5 (the parallel universe, not the present day)
Bottom Line: Overall, a new and different type of paranormal romance that breaks the stereotypes. I'd recommend this to fans of the genre as well as those who want to read a little something different for a change.