Also by this author: The Damsel and the Daggerman, Servants of the Storm, Wicked Ever After
A lady with a penchant for pets meets a sexy fireman in this magical and saucy steampunk eNovella from the author of Wicked as They Come.
In a world ruled by blood, live pets are rare and kindness rarer still. London pet shop owner Frannie Pleasance has a mysterious way with animals and keeps her charges (and heart) locked in a veritable Eden. She thinks Casper Sterling is just another stray…until she takes in the troublesome lodger (and unwelcome suitor) and becomes the victim of a series of strange and dangerous occurrences.
When an unexplained fire threatens to destroy Frannie's carefully guarded world, firefighter Thom Maccallan is there to extinguish the blaze and help gather the lost creatures. The heat between Frannie and Thom begins to burn, but someone's still after the lady. Could it be Casper himself, or is Frannie’s new lodger just another victim of fate? Will they be able to figure out who's pursuing Frannie—and stop them—before she loses everything?
This is a cute novella set in the crazy world of Sang. Frannie Pleasance owns and runs a pet store called Needful Creatures. She lives alone above the pet store, having lost her parents in a conveyance accident, and her brother was lost a few years later. She is a very strong and independent woman to live alone in such a harsh world.
The story itself is pretty sweet. It’s got mystery, romance, and secrets. Why would anyone want to kill a lonely pet shop owner? And what on earth is she hiding? These questions kept this reader engulfed in the story from start to finish. Seriously, I couldn’t put it down! I really wanted to know what her huge secret was, and how things were going to go with Thom. In some ways the story was sad also. This woman was fairly young and alone in the world. She has few friends and her life seems focused on her pet stores.
When she takes in a boarder who strongly resembles her brother, things start to really go wrong. Someone is trying to kill her! Frannie’s boarder is none other than Casper, the “Maestro” from Wicked as They Come. I think he is a fairly disappointing person, and poor excuse for a man in this book, but I am still drawn to him for some reason. He is one of those characters that you really want to see get themselves together and quit screwing up their life. He spends most of his time in this book drunk, or on his way to being drunk. I was surprised at how much time was spent on developing his character in this story when he was not a main character. His story is told in Wicked as She Wants.
When someone lights her bedroom on fire, she encounters a super sweet firefighter named Thom. He offers to help her clean up her shop after the fire, and she accepts. Their romance is the sweet kind that makes you feel kind of warm and fuzzy. The sex is more than just sex. It’s love. It’s emotion. It’s nice because many times the love is left out of the sex scenes, and I end up feeling like there is something missing from those scenes.
I think the growth in the relationship between Frannie and Thom goes kind of slow, but because of the fact that she is holding onto something from her past, it pretty much has to be slow or it wouldn’t make any sense that she is taking things slow. I really found myself wanting them to just get down to business and handle the loving. It’s obvious from the beginning that they are attracted to each other.
We learn that there are more species of supernatural creatures in Sang than just Bludmen. Daemons make an appearance and we learn that they all have different specialties. It appears there are more layers of Sang than we originally knew! The Blud animals are not as much a part of this story as they are in some of Dawson’s other books, but in exchange for blud animals, normal animals are present. Miss Pleasance only carries regular animals. Puppies, kittens, snakes, birds, all kinds of animals. I would really like to know more about where and how she gets these animals.
I would recommend this novella to anyone who likes books. If you are (im)patiently awaiting Dawson’s next book in the series, Wicked After Midnight, pick this up for a quick read. It’s pretty short, so it won’t take forever to read, and it sets up Casper’s character for the next book in the series.
This review was previously posted at Littlereadridinghood.com