A parasol, especially one loaded for werewolf, is a girl’s best friend.
I am a bit burned out on the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre. There’s just so much of it out there. However this combines two things I like: urban fantasy with some smuttiness, and a Victorian setting. I couldn’t resist.
Vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are creatures with an abundance of soul. That’s what makes them supernatural. Alexia is a preternatural, or one who completely lacks a soul. These are very rare creatures, and they have mysterious powers, including the power to make the supernatural mortal again. As such, preternaturals are not looked upon too fondly, especially by the vampire set.
Alexia is a Victorian spinster at the horridly old age of twenty-six. She is completely unmarriageable, due to her abundance of intelligence, bluntness, and independent spirit. Also she has a horrible tan and Roman nose from her Italian father, and too much bosom and hip in her mind, making her somewhat self-conscious, especially since her fair, vapid, and willowy half-sisters love pointing out her flaws. Not many people know what she is, although one of her archnemeses, the Earl of Woolsey, Alpha of the London werewolves, does, and she constantly clashes with him.
Anyway, what follows is a standard mystery, which is fine and all, but I just love Alexia and her interaction with her family, her best friend, and the werewolves. They are hilarious! I was afraid that maybe it would be too silly the way it started off, but it actually was quite a fun read. I liked Alexia trying to figure out werewolf etiquette, and Lord Maccon (the Earl) trying to figure out how to handle the rebellious Alexia.
Oh yes, did I mention there was smut? This has it in spades. It actually is smuttier than I expected, especially for a Victorian setting. Alexia might be a tad bit more forward than believable (especially during one scene… really, no Victorian lady would have been so bold in my mind!). Still, some of the scenes while being smutty, still retained a bit of the humor, and I found myself giggling at the “naughty bits.”
One thing that maybe bothered me a bit was the complete and utterly flamboyant Lord Akeldama. Like WAY over the top. Limp wrist, outrageous dresser, mincing, stressing of words, like, “Oh, my darling, that is just too much.” *wristflap* And his minions are all just as bad as he is, cooing and prancing around. TONE IT DOWN. I am completely happy with him being gay, with maybe some flaming tendencies, but that, like I said above, is just too much. He doesn’t have to have ALL of the stereotypes for god’s sake.
Soulless is the first in The Parasol Protectorate series. I just finished it and am trying not to go out and buy the rest, but instead have put them on my Christmas wishlist.