Review: Changing Loyalties (Shadows of Melbourne #1) by Nicole Field

February 19, 2018 Review 0

Review: Changing Loyalties (Shadows of Melbourne #1) by Nicole FieldChanging Loyalties by Nicole Field
Series: Shadows of Melbourne #1
Published by Less Than Three Press on January 24, 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 300
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: Reference to sex
Reviewed by: Rebecca
1 Stars

When Dahlia finds the body of her father, a werewolf brutally murdered and left to die alone, she's left with more questions and grief than answers. But who or what killed him remains unknown, and it soon becomes clear her father isn't the killer's only target.

Adding to the growing pile of mysteries in her life is the new job—for a company that seems to be run by the kind of people who have no qualms about murdering werewolves. Even more frustrating, Dahlia's new boss, Bianca, is curt and rude—and far more intriguing than seems fair.

There’s nothing worse than being told how special and talented a character is, without ever seeing the proof for yourself. In CHANGING LOYALTIES, Dahlia has always been the dividing line between the werewolf and vampire factions. CHANGING LOYALTIES is part murder mystery, part paranormal romance. However, it’s almost immediately clear who the murderer is and who the end love interest is.

There’s a lot of potential in a polyamorous, goth main character, but the novel never makes Dahlia fun. Part of the problem is that there’s too much telling and next to no showing. The best writing is when Dahlia is grieving the father that abandoned her, but there’s not enough examination into the conflicting emotions of that relationship. Even Dahlia’s strained relationship with her mom, who she only ever calls Meredith, is smoothed over by the end of the book. Every complicated emotion is waterdowned down, from Dahlia’s mixed feelings about Elliott to her flirtation with her boss.

CHANGING LOYALTIES also has too many characters that are introduced to pad out a scene. These characters are only there to take up space. For example, Renee is Dahlia’s best friend, who knows nothing about the supernatural worlds, and exists only to drag Dahlia to clubs and offer a place to live. There’s also the introduction of the Sisterhood, an ominous third party that employs Dahlia. The Sisterhood know all about the supernatural world, something Dahlia never reports to either the werewolves or the vampires.

There’s a lot of table setting in CHANGING LOYALTIES, but there’s no emotional pay off. Also, although I usually ignore copyediting problems, there were several times descriptions and important information changed. In one paragraph a character has black hair, in the next she has purple. Or a killer is definitely non human, then a character confirms that ‘yes, the killer is definitely human’. Even if you’re interested in an urban fantasy with a poly or bisexual main character, there are better books to read.

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For more queer paranormal romance, check out Cutie and Beast by E.J. Russell or Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars #1) by Audrey Coulthurst

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