Eileen Wilks starts the book out with incredibly stereotypical characters - the tough minority female cop and the playboy powerful werewolf - and gives them depth, motivation, and real character. The plot is nothing new to the werewolf portfolio, and is full of the usual politics and black magic. What sets this story apart are the details that Wilks builds into each twist. For example, it isn't enough that particular men are bespelled; Wilks explains both the symptoms of that enchantment and, eventually, the consequences of others' actions on that spell.
It is a modern romance, though, so be warned that there is sex. And jokes about sex. And references to the jokes about sex. Yes, I got bored with that part. It was getting in the way of plot and character development. It wasn't all that annoying, though, since it fit with the story type. And the ending was satisfying in that our hero and heroine continued to function within their type and to the best of their abilities. (Our strong heroine didn't suddenly start standing in the corner shrieking.) The ending was solid, and I could have closed the book with satisfaction, except.... The excerpt from the next book that was supposed to lure me into buying it did the exact opposite. I'm totally turned off now, and this book is headed to the giveaway box.
I picked it up because I enjoyed Wilks's short story in On the Prowl and was looking for more in that same universe.
I recommend it to people who like fast whodunits and are willing to accept a female lead who does agree to love at first sight without too much cringing. I think Wilks made it work, especially with the "duh!" ending.
New-to-me Books for 2012
House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan, YA fantasy. 282 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); straight into the giveawaybox (eta: gone)
Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey, Fantasy. 404 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 2/5 stars on Goodreads (2 = "it was OK"), 3/5 stars on Amazon (3 = "it was OK"); straight into the giveawaybox (eta: gone)
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt, Urban fantasy. 336 pages; paperback; first in the series. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); going to keep it around and loan it to friends
Hexed edited by uncredited, listed under the first author, Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy, 326 pages. Paperback; anthology of four novellas. 3/5 stars on Goodreads, 4/5 stars on Amazon; going to loan it to friends who like Kate Daniels, then likely give it away.
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. YA Fantasy, 335 pages. Hardback; first in the series. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox. (eta: gone)
Stormwalker, by Allyson James. Urban Fantasy, 330 pages. Paperback; first in the series. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox. (eta: gone)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. YA Fantasy, 423 pages. Hardback, stand-alone. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox. (eta: gone)
Shadow Ops: Control Point, by Myke Cole. Urban Fantasy... sort of... 382 pages. Paperback, first in the series. [4/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, fantasy. 672 pages. Paperback; first in the series.[4/5 on Goodreads] Borrowed.
Westward Weird edited by Martin Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes. Hell-if-I-know, 302 pages. Paperback, anthology. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, 360 pages. Paperback; first in the series. Keeping it for now.
Fair Game, by Patricia Briggs, Urban fantasy. 293 pages; hardback; third in the series. Keeping it.
The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, Urban fantasy. 308 pages; paperback; anthology. Giveawaybox.
Tempting Danger, by Eileen Wilks. Paranormal romance, 301 pages. Paperback, first in the series. Giveawaybox.