Author: Jess Macallan
Publication: Entangled Publishing, LLC (September 6, 2011)
Description: When a regular night of Robin Hood-ery results in the manifestation of some, um, unusual paranormal abilities, perfume-maker Elleodora Fredricks realizes the normal world she lives in isn't quite... normal. And neither is she, thanks to her father, king of the shadow elves. Not only is he evil incarnate and the reason Elle moonlights as a burglar someone has to take care of all his victims he's stolen her memories.
And only reading her fate can fix that.
Good thing she s got a trio of hotties willing to help her find said fate, but only if she gives them something in return. Saving her oracle BFF's fiance, falling in love with the gargoyle, and making up for breaking the phoenix s heart ought to be a piece of cake for the princess of the shadow elves.
If only the king didn't want his daughter dead...
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this first book in a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance series even though the female lead was atypical for the genre. Elle is not a kick-butt and take names kind of woman. She hates the sight of blood and violence makes her faint. She owns her own shop where she makes soaps and lotions. She is very sensitive to the way things smell. She also had an unfortunate childhood. She is the child of divorced parents and her two weeks each year with her father was the opportunity for one of her father's employees to torture her (with her father's permission.) She was constantly told that she was worthless to her father. She grew up hating him and wanting to help his many victims. This has led to a second career as a cat burglar.
She has a best friend named Teryl who assists her in her second career. She only steals from her father and uses the proceeds to take care of some of his other victims. Teryl helps her identify things to steal. She also has an employee in her shop named Jax. He is a hottie of epic proportions but she just longs for him from afar until the night he rescues her in the middle of one of her burglaries. That burglary also caused her to manifest some unusual powers.
She didn't know that her father was a shadow elf. In fact, he is the king of the shadow elves and she is his heir. She is surprised to find out that Teryl is an Oracle and Jax is a gargoyle. Apparently, when she didn't manifest any powers by age seventeen, her father wiped out her memory. She needs to play catch-up really fast now that she is developing some unusual powers. She also finds out that she has been stealing the souls of a variety of the non-human characters in the world which were hidden in the objects Teryl had her steal. All of a sudden, she has hunters on her trail. Her only hope is to travel to Scotland to find out her fate which her father should have shared with her at age eleven.
She also finds out that she once had a fiance named MacLean who is a phoenix. He comes to her shop to investigate the thefts. She doesn't remember him. This immediately sets up a rivalry for her affections between Jax and MacLean. Both believe that she is their fated mate. Elle is very conflicted.
The book is a journey of self-discovery for Elle. She learns about a world that she didn't know existed. It is also filled with danger and adventure as Elle, Teryl, Jax and sometimes MacLean try to find Elle her fate and keep her out of the hands of the hunters and her father.
This book also introduced me to a new word - manversation. Elle defines it as "a conversation men have where only grunts, growls, and manly looks are exchanged." I love it and intend to use it lots.
I recommend this book for lovers of paranormal romance but caution readers that this is the first book in a series. There is a small resolution at the end of the book but most of the major problems are still to be solved. Luckily, readers need only wait until November for book 2 and January for book 3. I know that I am eager to find out what comes next for Elle.
"I don't know what happened. We weren't caught, and we didn't die after stepping off the ledge, and if one of you doesn't explain, I'm going to start crying. Big, fat, hysterical woman tears."I received this book for review and because I am on the blog tour from Entangled Publishing via NetGalley. You can get your copy here.