Saturday, December 24, 2011
Hold Me If You Can: Soulfire, #3 by Stephanie Rowe
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Natalie has barely survived one death, now that she’s lost her power to influence, the master chocolatier may just loose her business as well. Without her magic, her virility balls no longer have that little spark that makes a man “stand tall”. Nigel has learned to release his inner aggression through his art, and this enables him to control the warrior lurking underneath his peaceful laid back exterior. Now with his artistic subjects being sent back into the hellhole known as the Den of Womanly Pursuits, he needs a magical influence to keep his warrior under control and his artistic endeavors at a standstill. He also needs to rescue his friends that he unknowingly sent back into the pit. Not enough to hold your interest yet? There’s also an insane dream genie who wants to rid the world of dreams to bring about the ultimate in peace. Sounds a lot like Buddhism to me.
I do enjoy Stephanie Rowe’s sense of the whimsically bizarre. She uses the terminally cute to paint over some seriously dark and disturbed characters. She is a master of literary illusion, and by that I mean, while I’m thinking yummy chocolate and flowers, I’m actually absorbing mass murder and unfettered soul rending. I am at a loss for how she does it. She is either brilliantly gifted or just a tad psychotic. If it’s the latter, the world is in serious trouble, because she is insidiously devious. She has created this sparkly, incredibly detailed magical world that would be absolutely perfect if not for a few heinously evil villains, who mostly feel they are trying to do good in the form of torture and murder. There are a few who just want to eat other beings, but mostly there are just the evil but seriously delusional and misguided do-gooders. Thankfully, Blaine, Jarvis, Nigel and Christian are always consistently wonderful. They have their little manly quirks, but they are like touchstones of lickable hottness. Their continued quest for freedom and peace is what drives this addictive series and keeps me coming back time after head scratching time. Every time I finish one of these books, I always ask myself “How did she do that?”. How did she take me from point A to point Q without me realizing it? It still remains a mystery. Maybe I’ll find out in Christian’s book.