In the Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What to say about this book? I have never been a big fan of romance novels. Honestly, I find them rather one-dimensional and almost funny, which I don't think is the intention. I got this one as a free download a while ago, and since paranormal romance is somewhat of a "hot" genre these days, I thought I'd give it a shot.
Ryne is a Gineal, one of a race of humans able to wield magic and living among normal humans as a protector of sorts against all the evil magical beings among us. She has been tasked with hunting down and stopping her former mentor, who has gone completely over to the dark side of magic. So far, she has been unsuccessful. She has also become obsessed with a cartoon private eye, who she believes has a real man's soul trapped inside. She frees him, and discovers that he has some sort of key information that will help defeat her mentor, once and for all. The problem? He has no idea what that information is.
I liked the paramormal aspects of the book. The Gineal, while not fully developed or explained, are interesting. Perhaps more is revealed in further books. The magic use is decent, and the book opens with a nice action sequence of Ryne in a magical battle. Most of the action is good, if not exceptional.
Setting is pretty much a secondary part of the book. Most of it takes place in Ryne's home, with a side trip to LA. Since it is modern day, not a lot of time needs to be used to detail things. We all know what a car, an airplane, a telephone, or TV is.
The characters were pretty much what I expected from a romance novel. Ryne is independent, tough, and, determined not to give in to her attraction to Deke. Deke was the biggest issue for me. I understand the attempt to make him the "bad boy" type, but he was sarcastic and manipulative to the point that I ended up disliking him. He also had complete turnarounds from sarcastic, caustic, button-pushing jerk to sensitive, caring, protector in the space of less than a heartbeat. It just seemed unrealistic. Not that I couldn't believe he might have a good side, especially as he realized he was beginning to really care for Ryne, but the transformation was so sudden, it was almost jarring. The rest of the characters, including Ryne's sister and her mentor, were secondary and not given much development.
And the romance? Again, about what I expected. I am not prudish or squeamish, and I don't shy from either sex or violence in a story, if it fits. But the way the sex is depicted in this (and the admittedly extremely few) other romances I've read is just so over the top and contrived, it seems silly. But, of course, you can't have a bodice ripper without a few bodices getting ripped, right?
I'm not trying to say anything against those who enjoy this sort of story, just that it is not my thing, and this book didn't change that opinion. To each his or her own, absolutely.
For the most part, the paranormal aspect was interesting (which is what kept me reading), and the writing itself is not bad. If you are a fan of rommance and paranormal, or a romance reader that would like to try a venture into paranormal, this would probably be a good choice.
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