Opens With A Bang. Ends With Promise. If you read MM romance virtually at all, you pretty well know that porn level sex is almost a requirement of the genre. Even then, I’ve rarely if ever seen a book actually open in the middle of a sex scene… and yet, this one does. 🙂 So you know up front what you’re literarily “walking in on”. 🙂 Beyond that, this works well to set up a series that can in theory run as long as Pine wants it to. There *seem* to be a couple of (possible) connections that more trivia-minded readers might know the specifics of – the Inn in Vermont where half of the couple works for a time seems to be tied into the Valentine’s Inc stories that Pine has taken part in, and another scene takes place in Salem, MA – home to Pine’s long-running Cold Case Psychic world, though it could also be a tie in to her less-paranormal oriented Protect and Serve series. One character in particular seems particularly well set up for Book 2, but Pine may choose instead to continue letting that particular storyline simmer in the background a bit longer – even though that particular character has one of the more interesting ideas I’ve seen in my (admittedly scant) reading of paranormal books over the years. In other words, truly solid story here that has a lot to carry – and manages to pull it off. Very much recommended.
Great Continuation – With An Intriguing Twist On Vampires. This is Book 9 of this particular spinoff series and something around book 30 or so of the overall universe, so if you’re particularly sensitive to any remote spoilers of previous books… you don’t want to start here (but should absolutely read this entire excellent universe). If you’re just looking for a good story with a decent entry point and don’t mind reading previous books to get the details on what you’ve missed so far… this is an *excellent* story to start with. Many/ most of the characters from the overall universe make an appearance here, particularly the recurring ones, and the usual hijinks of a police procedural-ish tale unfold. Though with seemingly more pop-culture references this time around, including an excellent chapter-closing line about going off to an interview with a vampire. And yes, there actually is a remarkable twist on the overall vampire mythos, along with some excellent commentary about said mythos to boot. Truly an excellent work and very much recommended.
Another Excellent Entry! In this latest installment of the Copeland Forbes/ Jude Byrne centric Ghost Detective spinoff series from Pandora Pine’s long running (and continuing) Cold Case Psychic series, Cope and Jude have returned from their trip to Key West (from book 3) and are suddenly thrust into a mystery involving one of Salem’s iconic witch locations – The Witch House. Continuing the slow burn style of this particular series, Cope and Jude’s relationship continues to progress, though still not at the rate many romance readers might prefer but which works well in the context of these characters and stories. Once again, characters from the general world the spinoff series exists in continue to make appearances and while these appearances could be considered spoilers for their books, said appearances serve the story here and don’t cause undue confusion – a particularly strong skill of Pine’s. As usual, very much recommended and I’m very much looking forward to the next entry in this series.
Ronan Expects A Friend… And Gets A Father. This was my first book of Pine’s long running Cold Case Pychic books after having read both of the spinoff series Ghost Detective books so far. And despite being book 11, a reader truly can come into this series and not be lost – said reader will just know how several things turn out over the previous 10 books that will be spoilers to those tales, but with this being a romance series to begin with most of them are fairly obvious anyway.
In this particular tale, series original Ronan O’Mara answers the door as he heads back to his first day at work in several months expecting a friend… and finds his father there, asking for his help. The mystery here is fairly typical of Pine in my experience, with mostly detective based questioning people and finding evidence of things with a few tense moments of confrontation in semi-dangerous situations.
Great read, and a solid entry point into the series if you don’t mind the mild spoilers. Very much looking forward to more.