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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Hotter After Midnight

Hotter After MidnightTitle: Hotter After Midnight
Author: Cynthia Eden
Page Count: 272 pages
Publisher: Brava
Genre: paranormal romance, first in a series
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less:  Dr. Emily Drake is a psychologist with a very, very specialized clientele.  When she agrees to do some profiling work on a serial killer who's getting bolder by the second, her path crosses with that of Detective Colin Gyth, who's definitely Mr. Wrong in her book.  Well, maybe Mr. Should Leave Him Alone. Or maybe Mr. Too Tempting for His Own Good...

I love Cynthia Eden's paranormal romance novels and for me, this was the one that started it all.  I love when I start reading a series at the beginning and the writing and characters only get better with time, and this is a very good example of that.  While not the most polished book by this author, the bar is set very high from the getgo, the romance is spicy and sweet at the same time, and the characters are interesting and easy to root for.

One of the common issues that has to be resolved in a paranormal romance that eventually sets up the rules that the folks in the book have to follow is whether or not the rest of the world knows that the paranormal people exist.  In this case, most humans are decidedly unaware of the things that go bump in the night, and the supernatural community would like to keep it that way.  So when they need help tracking a serial killer who's running perilously close to exposing all of them, it's fortuitous that one of the best psychologists in the city happens to specialize in treating Others.

Dr. Emily is smart, both book smart and street smart, and all of her instincts that have kept her secret safe for so long tell her to leave Detective Colin alone, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.  Colin isn't about to let that happen and he gets all snarly alpha on her in a big way.  Emily is forced to reconsider her previous notions about shifters (which Colin is) and whether getting mixed up with one is good or bad for her long term well-being.  Chemistry is a bitch, isn't it?

The mystery of the identity of the Night Butcher isn't terribly hard to figure out once all the pieces are revealed and frankly, I didn't care- it was nice to have a good secondary story to support the romance.  Sometimes it bugs me if I figure out the romance too early but this wasn't one of those times.

This series dovetails into the one she writes now (Night Watch) and while you don't have to read one to get the other, it does enhance the experience, at least it did for me.  While not as polished as some of the later books this one is still fun, and on a snowy, blustery day like today, fun is a good thing.

Overall Grade: B+

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