This has not been the most awesome reading summer for me so far. My attention span has been unreliable for a variety of reasons and it’s been difficult finding a book to really hold my focus. I’ve got a support stack of library books I’ve been carting from room to room, simply to ignore in favor of mindless freemium mom games. So, with all that said, I’m glad I finally finished something, even if it was more effort to push through than it should have been.
This is the first in a new paranormal romance series. I honestly thought this was a first time author, but the lil bio at the end seems to disprove that. I could look it up but that is more energy than this merits. Because it still felt like a first book to me. Or maybe it needed a stronger editor. I can’t pinpoint exactly what didn’t work for me here – a tendency to repeat phrases, pop culture references that felt like pulled punches, stilted pacing – or why I’m being so nitpicky. I just wanted this to be a little bit better. It was close.
The premise: Peeraphan is given the Red Shoes of myth – the ones that force the wearer to dance to death – Bennett is a vampire working for an organization that hunts down magical objects. Turns out Peeraphan is also maybe a mythical being herself. Time is racing to get the shoes off before the curse ends in her untimely death, made even more untimely in the face of unexpected love! There’s a ragtag group of supernaturals working together, an evil organization bent on releasing objects to create mayhem, a hinted at history and wider world to expand into. So, you know, the usual for a PNR.
The magical object is…well not very scary. The urgency never actually feels all that urgent, one time she almost trips down the stairs! But the introduction of Southeast Asian mythology was very cool, I wanted more of that. It sucked that the whole story was basically “and we know nothing about these myths.” The romance was…boring. I mean, there was zero suspense to it, and I know that’s what a lot of people love about romance, the guaranteed HEA, but even so this was very paint by numbers to me. (And low on the heat scale, if you were wondering.)
Right now, I’m mostly annoyed that the next book is going to focus on the SINGLE INTERESTING INTERACTION in the whole story, so I’m obviously going to have to read that. And, honestly, I didn’t hate this book at all. I’m being a little extra because I wanted more. But I’ve also read a lot of books in this vein (haha vampire book joke), so the expected to me may seem fresh to someone else. I’m really hoping the series gets better, and we get a look at more obscure (to this American reader) myths and folklore.