Here we are at the end of November already. I have a fun read for you today courtesy of Linda Grimes the author of In A Fix. Linda brings us a solid, witty beginning to a new UF series that features aura shifters. If you are in a bit of a reading rut and you need something witty and action packed pick this one up. I am delighted to have Linda here today for a guest post and a giveaway! Hooray for great guests and giveaways, right?
Here is Linda's bio:
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they’d have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity’s sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime.)
Like IN A FIX's globetrotting main character, aura adaptor Ciel Halligan, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life. You can find Linda on her blog, Goodreads, twitter.
Here is Linda on the perfect reading weather, a rather appropriate topic for this blog:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and waiting as a nor'easter looms on the horizon (which, granted, is probably long gone by the time you're reading this), I can't help but think about RAIN. Lots and lots of RAIN. Rain falling relentlessly from the sky and keeping weather wimps like me indoors.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. The best thing about rain is the excuse it offers to stay inside with something steamy in each hand; i.e., a cup of hot cocoa (or tea, or coffee…or, I know—Irish coffee!) in one and an even hotter book in the other. Nothing in the world I like better than that. Well, unless it's sitting on a sunny beach, ice-cold umbrella drink in one hand, hot book in the other.
You see the common denominator here, don't you? Uh-huh. Hot. Books.
Now, now…don't get yourself all worked up over that "hot." I don't (necessarily) mean hot in the page-after-page-of-heartbreakingly-romantic-sex sense, though I am not, as a rule, philosophically opposed to such books. However, in this instance what I'm referring to is any book that is "hot" to you, whether it be the latest gem by your favorite mystery writer, a fascinating historical from a tried-and-true author, or even *ahem* the first book in a new light urban fantasy series by someone you've never even heard of until now.
(What? Hey, you didn't honestly think I wasn't going to plug In a Fix, did you? It's my first book-baby. I have to push it. I'm pretty sure there's some kind of grand book-pushing law in the publishing universe. Who am I to break it?)
But back to the rain. Rain wins, for me, as the weather most conducive to reading. As much as I love that whole beach scenario—in my head—reading never works for me when I actually find myself in that blissful situation. Sip the drink, yeah. Bask in the sunshine, yup.* Enjoy the, um, "scenery," sure. But read? Not so much. There are too many distractions. Heck, just watching the waves coming in…and going out…and coming in…going out…zzzzz…Huh? Wha...? Oh, sorry. Well, you get the idea. Words on a page? Not so much.
But the rain! It's perfect for reading, any kind of reading. A dark, moody gothic? The rain adds to the atmosphere, intensifying the experience. A fast-paced thriller? Listening to the drops pelting the roof increases the tempo. A fun and frothy beach read? The contrast alone makes the escape that much sweeter.
See, rain provides the perfect backdrop: something to escape from when you want to escape into a book. And let's face it, about the only other thing to do during a torrential downpour is clean the closets, and who wants to do that? Closet-cleaning = Bleah. Reading = FUN! Really, it's a very simple equation.
What's your favorite reading weather? Does your reading material vary with the seasons?
*And by "sunshine" I mean the dense shade of a beach umbrella, because ten minutes in direct sunlight and I fry like fish in a skillet, no matter how much SPF 100 I slather on ahead of time. Trust me, it isn't pretty. But in my head I'm lounging on a towel in the full sun. Of course, in my head I still look great in a bikini. My head is very accommodating that way.
Well, I have plenty of rainy days here to curl up with a blanket and read as I watch the rain drip down my window, What about you all what is your favorite reading weather?
Thank you to Linda for being here and being so kind to resend the post yesterday when I had computer issues. Thanks Linda! Linda is offering a copy of In A Fix to one lucky winner. Just fill out the Rafflecopter after you read the Contest Policies. This is open to U.S. entrants only. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
In A Fix by Linda Grimes
The start of an original new urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck. This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated. Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.Paperback, 336 pages Published September 4th 2012 by Tor Books
Four stars: A witty, fun UF romp!
Ciel Halligan is an adaptor. She can take on an aura and slide into someone's life. For her, that means a nice little business where she can take the place of a person wanting to avoid a sticky situation. Granted she doesn't always end up in the nicest circumstances, but having her unique ability does have its perks. Unfortunately for Ciel while she is on her latest job, she accidentally finds herself in the middle of a kidnapping and bombing plot. Thankfully, her pseudo cousin Billy, who has the same aura shifting gift, shows up unexpectedly and helps bail her out. He doesn't always pick the best disguises, but he is fun to have around. Ciel is soon over her head into a very nasty situation involving Vikings and a plot to bring back Viking masculinity. Will she survive her ordeal with the Vikings?
What I Liked:
- In a Fix is a fun little book that is a blend of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and a bit of chick lit. The final result is a read that has plenty of action, lots of aura shape shifting, loads of trouble and a bit of unexpected romance. It ends up being a quick, funny read that will keep you entertained.
- I really enjoyed the aura shape shifting. Ciel and her cousin Billy and her childhood friend Mark can all take on the aura of a person they have encountered. In the blink of an eye they can alter their appearance and become someone else. How handy would that little talent be? The only downside is that sudden shapeshifting into different forms creates lots of wardrobe problems. Imagine wearing a form fitting gown and then shapeshifting in a muscular man and ripping at the seams....this little hitch definitely makes for some catastrophic wardrobe malfunctions which liven up the book. The other hilarious aspect is the characters are caught off guard time and time again when they surprise each other in different forms. You honestly never know from one page to the next who is going to show up where and how they will look.
- I adored Ciel's pseudo cousin Billy. He is not a blood relative but she considers him a cousin. Billy is hilarious and always appearing in the right place at the right time in ridiculous disguises...i.e. The Queen of England. He is a mischief maker who will make you laugh, but he has a few surprises up his sleeve, such as being incredibly sexy and the hero who saves the day. I was delighted over and over when he suddenly showed up at the most opportune moments to save Ciel. I would certainly like to have Billy as my pseudo cousin.
- I liked that one of the bad guys ended up surprising me. I can't go into details but I was definitely pleased by the twist regarding Ciel's kidnapper.
- Overall this was a quick, fun read with lots of action and a surprise blossoming romance at the end. It wrapped up neatly with no dreadful cliffhangers or unanswered questions, which is always a bonus!
And The Not So Much:
- While I for the most part I enjoyed Ciel's character, she is witty and head strong and determined and she has plenty of funny one liners that made me laugh, I was a little frustrated about her lack of restraint. She was always putting herself in precarious positions and time and time again, she was at the mercy of the bad guys. You would think after the first entangle she would avoid them like the plague or find an unrecognizable aura, but she is snared by the same villain repeatedly and I grew tired of her stupid decisions. Don't get me wrong, overall she is a like-able heroine, but it got old seeing her land in compromising situations.
- This book presents a bit of a love triangle but believe it or not it didn't irritate me. I think the reason for that being that Ciel has a long standing childhood crush on one of the men. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when there were some unexpected developments as far as the romance goes, and the love triangle is resolved. There aren't any fiery hot scenes, but I am expecting the next installment to be smoking hot!
- One aspect that troubled me throughout the read was the aura adapting. In the beginning it was explained that Ciel and Billy and Mark were born with this unique ability to take on the aura of other people once they encountered them and touched them, or they could borrow the aura that one of them had in their repertoire by touching each other and shifting into that aura. What I didn't understand was how Billy was able to transform into famous people, i.e. Attila the Hun, The Queen of England etc. without having physically interacted with that person. As much as I enjoyed this awesome talent, I wished that it had been explained a bit better.
In the Fix is a fun read that will make you laugh and keep your entertained. It is solid start to a new series. If you are a fan of witty Urban Fantasy with a bit of romance this is a book you should check out!
"The ideal vantage point for observing a half-naked man was definitely across the rim of a crystal champagne flute."
"My favorite aerobic activity is reading steamy romantic thrillers. I figure an increased heart rate is an increased heart rate. Why quibble about methodology?"
"But I have a pretty good idea which would be more fun, my inner slut (who has never had much opportunity to become an outer slut) said."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated.