Series: California Malcoms #1
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 1, 2012
Reviewed by: Julia
Explicit sex scenes, references to sexual assault.
Her voice was a curse...
When Dylan "Oz" Oswin's son is kidnapped, the high-powered producer will do anything to get him back. Desperately following an anonymous tip, he seeks help from a former child singing sensation called Syrene, only to find she's vowed never to sing again. Immune to her voice but not her charm, Oz is convinced she holds the key to his son's disappearance—and he'll stop at nothing to make her break her vow.
Only he can make her sing...
She knows the devastation her talent can bring. There's more than a child's life at stake, but Syrene cannot unleash her dangerous siren's voice upon the world, even for a man who is impossible to deny...
LURE OF SONG AND MAGIC gave a paranormal twist to a familiar contemporary romance setting: the glamor and egos of Hollywood. Though I was intrigued by Rice’s siren mythology, the romance side of things fell flat for me, if only because of the over-the-top personalities of our hero and heroine.
For someone who lives in fear of inadvertently hurting people with her siren’s voice, I found it pretty odd that that Pippa actively trains in martial arts so she can hurt people with her hands. If martial arts had any part in her “calmness and self-control regimen”, I couldn’t see how. Though her emotional breakdowns are explained away as part of her curse, I never quite understood the justification for her physically attacking anyone who got in her personal space. Luckily, our hero’s superpower is being insensitive, both emotionally and physically, so whether Pippa is lashing out with her voice or her fists Oz remains impervious. Both of these characters are painted as brilliant and arrogant Hollywood royalty, very different from us common folk, which may be why I never emotionally connected with them. It’s more likely, however, that I was turned off by their tumultuous courtship. Oz and Pippa butt heads early and often. Though Rice does do a good job of painting her leading pair as individuals who thrive on that dynamic, it was not a situation that I could relate to.
Emotionally connection aside, however, Rice’s writing is solid and the siren mythology is interesting. Enough of the story focuses on Oz’s brother Conan that the seeds for a future hero were also planted. I may have an easier time relating to a computer super-spy than a Hollywood producer, but I’ll reserve my judgment until after I get a glimpse of who Conan’s leading lady will be.