by Alyssa Day
I love stories set in Bordertown, the different magics, the different races, the craziness, kind of like Tiajuana in the 90s! Rio is an orphan living in Bordertown. She is a bike messenger who sees a child being kidnapped and since she can read minds she catches some evil thoughts from the guy doing the kidnapping. She heads to the Dark Wizard Luke, whom she has had a major crush on, for help in rescuing the girl. He rejected her invitation to coffee some time before, he has his reasons even though he was and still is interested. So, they both have crazy pasts, they both are being recruited for something they don’t want to do. Luke has the entire Bordertown wanting him to be Sheriff. Rio is having all the factions requesting her presence and loyalty on her 25th birthday. She has no idea what anyone wants, she was an orphan (I love that type of storyline) and just wants to track down that girl before it is too late.
Luke and Rio are thrown together time and again. It is fun. They like each other, they get hot and heavy. The romance is crazy and energetic but it doesn’t take over the book, except for a few wild scenes, hazzah! (There are a few romance tropes which I won’t delve too much into here, but she is fairly inexperienced, he is immortal and well endowed, aren’t they all in this type of book!? Whatevs, that is why I can’t read too many of these in a row, the wide eyed innocence and manly posturing gets a little silly to me)
Both Rio and Luke are good people, and I always love it when good and genuinely nice people find happiness, even if it isn’t easy. I also love a main character who makes friends wherever they go. The bad guys are all interesting because we mostly find out their reasons. I liked that and you are constantly wondering who is who and why and what the heck?! Things are explained at the end even though this is a series, which is awesome. You aren’t left wondering too many things except for where are things going from here, yay for another book!
As a couple, both main characters have emotional issues, curses and childhood and familial trauma minefields to navigate. So they will have plenty of fodder for “things to be dealt with”. But they are adults and not too erratic, though Luke’s issue got a little cavemanish at times, which is also fairly common in these type of books. He isn’t a shifter, which is normally how you get the alpha behavior, his is a different type of testosterone, but still. And both characters were a bit “we need to break up because of blank” for a while. So noble, these characters. Sheesh.
Overall, even though there are a few times where you want to nudge the characters with a hard bonk on the head, this was a great book. If you like the paranormal romance genre and lots of different paranormal types living together in difficult harmony, this promises to be a fantastic new series. 4 stars racing down from the sky, twirling around your head, whispering the secrets of the universe.