Lola Dodge kicks off a new series of superhero romance novellas with Ivory, the story of a Scandinavian goddess (maybe? it’s never quite clear on this point?) who finds herself mixed up with a superhero team. It’s 80% romance and 20% superhero fiction, if that’s relevant to you.
This book didn’t work for me, for a lot of reasons. I liked the premise: super-powered flight attendant kills someone on her flight and ends up having to lie low with a team of supers who are investigating a serial killer focused on supers. So far, so good.
The execution, however, was not my style.
We can start with Valdís, our heroine. I know that she’s trying to lay low to avoid detection after having left her tribe of hunters in some undefined Arctic-ish part of the world. She talks about it a lot, without ever really explaining what that situation is. Is she immortal? How long has she been gone? Why would her people hunt her down if she’s been sent into exile? Or did she just run away? Her mother will do what if she’s captured? Val’s backstory is never more than her desire to stay out of the public eye, and it’s weird.
Then there’s our hero, Jag. The author intends for this to be short for Jaguar–he’s a shifter and that’s his animal form–but it may be more accurate to think of it as short for “jag off” because he’s a complete tool. I don’t love aggressive, possessive heroes in romance: this guy *literally* growls when another man makes neutral contact with Val. For her part, Val shuts down his flirting on several occasions, but Jag will not be deterred. This is one of those stories where the heroine says no with her words, but yes with her body.
The final straw was that the turning point for her affections is when she witnesses Jag’s transformation to his animal form. She fixates on petting him, and that rubbed me the wrong way. Not here for the aggressive brown hero who wins the standoffish Nordic lady when he purrs at her feet. She’s not here for the caveman behavior until she can pet him? Please, no, thank you.
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in order to facilitate this review.