by Shiloh Walker, paranormal (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-886-4
In Shiloh Walker's No Prince Charming, we have the Grimms, guardian angels of sorts who protect the souls of humans from the likes of the succubi and incubi.
Elle and Ren are two Grimms, and they have a comfortable friends-with-benefits thing going on between them. However good the sex is with Ren, Elle still can't muster the necessary passion to think of Ren as anything more than a steady and dependable friend and comrade. This is because she still has issues about falling hard for Michael, a Prince for a now forgotten kingdom who turned out to be her sister's fiancé. Michael is now a Grimm as well, and he wants Elle back. Thus, poor Elle now finds herself in a love triangle involving the two Grimms.
If you are wondering out loud, "This is 2010. There is no reason why a woman can't have both men in a romance novel!" then you have a good idea of how the sex scenes in this story will be. However, there is more to this story than sex scenes involving three people. It will become clear eventually that Elle will have to pick one man to be her Prince Charming, and the emotions that result from the interplay among the three characters are fantastic to read. This is a sexy story, but it also has a strong emotional component to keep me happy.
I'm not fond of the author's use of point of view changes. There is first person point of view from Elle but when it comes to the two men, the author switches to third person point of view. Frankly, it gets confusing at times when I have to figure out which Grimm, Michael or Ren, is getting his third person point of view. In this story, I'd have preferred the author stick to third person point of view all across the story. Also, while the emotional component of the story is satisfying, the subplot involving demons could have been more smoothly integrated into the story. The action kicks up late in the story, and up to that point, the story focuses more on the characters' emotional drama. As a result, the conflict involving the demons, while interesting, feels like some tacked-on drama to give the story some denouement.
Still, No Prince Charming is a satisfying story of turbulent passions despite its flaws. If the story is developed a little better to allow a smoother integration of subplots, this one would have been a surefire winner. Still, it's a solid good read as it is.
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