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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Review: Master of Smoke

Master of SmokeTitle: Master of Smoke
Author: Angela Knight
Page Count: 304 pages (file size 495 KB)
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less:  Eva Roman is trying to adjust to her life as a werewolf and go on about her business when she saves a handsome stranger from a gruesome attack.  When he turns out to be not only her mate, but a Sidhe warrior named Smoke with serious memory loss, her life turns upside down in a big hurry.

This book was a total impulse grab for me as I was canoodling around Amazon one day.  I've read a bunch of other books in this series, but besides the basic premise of the series I admit I don't remember much.  Master of Smoke fits in with what I do recall from the other books- a unique reworking of the Arthur legends, vampires and werewolves, and a pretty spicy romance.  Good escapist fun all the way around.

Eva has had a pretty tough go of it lately.  She was attacked by a werewolf, turned against her will, and has had to hide that fact from her parents, whom she works for and with in their comic book shop.  When Smoke appears (literally) in her life, she figures it's a way to get the needs of the Burning Moon met and her itches scratched, and he's good looking and seems like a nice guy so she'll see where things go. 

Sounds reasonable, but Smoke has some Baggage with a capital B.  See, he's a powerful Sidhe warrior with shapeshifting powers, and all of these elements interact with each other in layers- so sometimes he's a smug, arrogant warrior, sometimes he's a cat, with all that that entails, and sometimes he's a thoroughly normal dude who doesn't remember anything or anyone; Eva names that persona David.  As their feelings and relationship evolve over the span of the book, Eva has to deal with the disconcerting thought that she doesn't know which of these personas, if any, is her actual mate.  What if she just doesn't like Smoke after he gets his memory and full powers back? Awk-ward.

A fair amount of this story is devoted to a secondary plot involving the Warlock (evil guy's) and his daughter and his evil, evil plans, as well as the mechanizations of the werewolf society and some set up for future books, I'm sure.  These components kind of dragged at the pace a little bit.  It was like the perfect time for some really emotional and deep interactions between Eva and Smoke would happen and then, a word from our sponsors.  I stopped myself from flipping ahead during these scenes but admittedly, the temptation was high.

At some point, I'd like to revisit the previous installments in this series.  I vaguely remember thinking that this was a completed series, but apparently that's not the case.  That's, for the most part, very good news for readers of paranormal fantasy who can't get enough Arthur-as-a-vampire.

Overall Grade: B
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