Monday, March 16, 2009

Review- Glamour by Stella and Audra Price

by Stella and Audra Price
December, 2006

Buy it Phaze- $5.00

Janey Duvall, newly bound consort to the Djinn Nicodemus Marsh, is having a few minor problems with the delivery of a contract, namely, the assassin is refusing to finish the job. There's no reason why the Mark should still be alive, not with one of her best on the job. Knowing this is not normal behavior, she decides that going to Beijing, the city the hit is supposed to take place, is the best course of action.

Marsh is intrigued by the idea, having a few of his own that involve Janey and an auction, and agrees to go, even calling in his marker from his most recent job of taming the fiery woman that became his consort to help with the investigation.

After hearing of the situation from Marsh, Sean Taylor, exiled prince and the demon solely responsible for getting the Djinn and the assassin together, sends in Malcom Frost, vampire and his second in command, to help or hinder the investigation, whichever is more profitable.

When Marsh is faced with the task of transforming Janey for their investigation, will his glamour hold up to the scrutiny and allow them to prevail, or will he lose the one woman he could ever give his heart to?

I’m going to be honest; I started reading this book a while back and just couldn’t get into it. But I got back to it this week and it turns out that Glamour is a unique and, at times, graphically gritty paranormal, which totally sucked me in.

Janey runs a team of assassins. When one of her best assassins fails to check in that a job was taken care of, she and Marsh, a Djinn who she is bound as consort to, decide to go to Hong Kong to investigate for themselves what happened and get the job done.

Marsh calls a powerful demon acquaintance of his who runs major underworld businesses to get information on the mark and this demon sends his best guy, Malcolm, a vampire, to help them find out what’s happened. Malcolm and Marsh find that the assassin, Miranda, has been hypnotized by the man she was supposed to kill and is under his fae spell. The mark is a famous televangelist type who they think is scamming the masses by promising healing, and who married a wealthy but sick woman who has disappeared. Malcolm bites Miranda bringing her out of her state and she tells them what the Rev’s room layout is so they can kill him.

What I liked about this book is that the authors had me rooting for the characters even with the no holds barred violent and socially unacceptable ways in which the characters think and act. That and the quirky relationship that Janey and Marsh have.

There’s an interesting and blurry line between good and evil in this book. While Janey and Marsh live in a world where they don’t have any qualms about killing for hire no matter the reason or person, dealing with people who have really questionable moral ideas, i.e., running an orphanage that makes kids give up an organ for repayment later on, they are outraged that this televangelist is scamming innocent people and fight to find out what he did with his wife before killing him. That’s just a bizarre take on normal logical responses and it turned me on.

Janey and Marsh are crazy and amusing as a couple. She’s a cool assassin who gets off on being submissive, but bitches about it non-stop when Marsh puts her in situations in which she has to submit to him. And Marsh gets off on pissing her off on purpose to get her worked up. It’s their game and it’s really fun how these two go at each other. At the same time though, it's clear how much they love and admire each other. He agitates her, she bitches at him that she’s never again going to do as he says, but then he’s all sweet with her and she can’t get enough of it. It’s that love/hate dynamic but done in a way that makes you feel like these two really get off on each other in a good way.

The secondary characters are the same way as well. Very violent, having no scruples about things, and yet sympathetically written so that you like them. The paranormal aspect of this story really added to the story also. It includes a mixed bag of demons, djinn, vampires and fae and had a futuristic feel to it since assassin seemed to be regarded as an acceptable occupation with each group controlling different parts of underworld activity.

Glamour turned out to be one of those surprisingly good reads for me. That kind book that made me glad that I stuck it out and finished it.

Sex rating: Orgasmic. m/f, one f/f/m scene, which was rather hotly written. For the story though, I’d say there wasn’t as much sex as I would have expected in an erotic story. But I thought it was just the right amount. For the readers who would read this for the f/f part, which I did, I’d say it’s probably not worth it. It’s a pretty hot scene, but it was just a small scene.

Grade: B

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