by Thea Harrison
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Excerpt: Yes
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
References to prostitution, sex scenes.
When it comes to love between a medusa and a Vampyre, it’s every man, woman, and snake for themselves.
A Novella of the Elder Races
As a coroner, medusa Seremela Telemar has always felt more comfortable chatting over a dead body than over drinks. But when her wild niece, Vetta, runs off to Devil’s Gate, a lawless town that has sprung up overnight in a modern-day gold rush, she knows she has to extricate her before the rebellious girl gets into real trouble. Though she’s confident in her head snakes’ ability to defend her against attackers, Seremela is still a bit nervous about braving this modern-day Wild West by herself.
Vampyre Duncan Turner is not about to let his new co-worker go into that chaos alone. His Vampyric power and lawyer smarts make him the perfect ally, and the fact that he already had his eye on Seremela for more…personal reasons, doesn’t hurt matters. Any romantic thoughts pull up short, however, when they arrive at Devil’s Gate and learn Vetta is set to hang by morning.
In order to save Vetta and themselves, Seremela and Duncan are going to have to fight fire with force and magic with fangs. And pray they make it out of Devil’s Gate alive.
Contains mother effin’ snakes in planes, cars, tents, and beds. Luckily, our hot Vampyre hero doesn’t mind them one bit…
DEVIL’S GATE is something new and different for the Elder Races series, a novella featuring a hero and heroine that we’ve encountered before. As a romance and as an adventure it worked very well. The problem was where those two halves felt entirely separate from each other.
The messy danger of the city of Devil’s Gate blew in and out too fast, I wanted more out of that tent city than a blur of troll parking, pharmacy, casino. Still, the places Harrison does describe are striking and distinct, and this tent city shimmers with the squalor and lawlessness of an Old West town. There is a lot of story for this short little novella, and the situation Harrison created could easily have filled a much longer format. Furthermore, with action that hinges upon prior Elder Races books, I don’t think the plot would work for someone new to the series.
With so much plot rushing by, I’m glad Harrison kept the romance separate, but this contributes to the almost split personality of DEVIL’S GATE. I could wish that the genre didn’t demand a happily-ever-after, I would have been happy if Duncan and Selema just set the stage for a later book. Harrison does a great job writing how the “otherness” of her paranormal creatures impacts their everyday life. Selema’s headsnakes are hilarious in the opening scene, jockeying to look through the peephole of her door like excited kids (PS – Those headsnakes don’t just disappear, and though Duncan and I both found them charming, anyone with a morbid fear of snakes may have difficulty with those aspects of the story). Harrison’s writing sparkles in the details and little moments. The interactions between Duncan and Selema and her little snakes were by far my favorite in the novella.
The exotic danger of Devil’s Gate and the shy attraction of this romance are both memorable, if not particularly tied to each other. Whether in a longer novella or a full length book, the plot in DEVIL’S GATE felt like it needed more room to grow. It was that hurried development that knocked this story from 4 bats to 3 for me, but the main characters alone were almost enough to restore that missing bat. Duncan and Selema are an adorable couple, and given their skills and affiliation, I can’t wait to see them in a later Elder Races book.