Surprisingly Good is the last book I finished, Demon Bound by Meljean Brooks. Good, Not Surprisingly is the previous book I read, which is the third part of the brilliant regency fantasy trilogy from Stephanie Burgis, which you will all have to wait years for as the first part is not even out yet...mwahahah!
I got Demon Bound during the last three minutes of Borders' existence in which everything was 5p. I entered the shop, not realising it was all closing, grabbed a basket and ran. I was surprised to find there are still books which even at 5p I don't want but even the cover of this wasn't enough to put me off although in ordinary times it would have. It is a paranormal romance cover featuring a sweatily oiled ex squaddie whose head is smaller than his neck. He has an expression as if a poker is up his ass all the way to his eyeballs. Hawtfailure. (OMG have picked up word smushing habit from reading Adam Roberts' blog. Bah.) Anyway, I had to go the Minor Injuries clinic a couple of days ago, which has a notorious waiting time, so I grabbed it on the way out and stuffed it into my pocket.
To cut a long review short: this is what romance novels should be like, good characters with decent backstories, amusing and witty narration, great structure, well drawn tension arcs, a more than decent plot for a fantasy novel running in parallel and good writing throughout. The eroticism is beautifully handled, rooted in character, setting and story very nicely. The pace never falters and if the actual worldbuilding and macguffinery of the setting are zany, verging on ludicrous, she handles it so well that this doesn't matter a bit.
Fallen angel demons with pocket black holes and individual talents for telepathy plus hallmark weapons, eternal youth and lots of demon fighting to flash around in paying superheroes...what can go wrong with that? I admire that kind of verve a lot. Meljean Brooks could write anything, absolutely anything, I'm sure of it. Her cover picture makes her look about 25 so I will be very interested in seeing what she does in the future since she's already done this with romance. Glad I didn't miss the book, though if it weren't for emergency I would have. I wonder what other little treats might be hiding behind those godawful smouldering covers in that section of the store?
And then there's the engimatically titled Kat3 by Stephanie Burgis...but I can't tell you anything about that or I would be savaged to death by border collies. And that could take a long time. Kat1, or A Most Improper Magick, as it is properly known, has 3 covers so far and is having another one made for it now, so delaying its appearance but all you YA fans will be in for a treat when it arrives. Think a young Jane Austen with magic and musketeering.
And now Shara Saunsaucie White was kind enough to ask me to participate at Calico Reaction, in May, so I am going to compose my entry.
Things are starting to grow in the garden at last - eveyrthing feels like it's getting better! Apologies for font change...can't figure out how to get rid of it :(