Friday, May 23, 2008

Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden

Hotter After MidnightHotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Brava May 2008

Category: Peanut M&Ms - mmmm...devour... sigh... then reach for the next one. My daily dose of Insanity-B-Gone. (A-,B+,B)
Flame Height: 6.8" out of 9"

I’m still heavily lost in my TBR, but I wanted to pop my head out to give some career advice to Cynthia Eden and the folks at Kensington Brava. Cuz, you know, they really need it. hee.

Do you REALIZE what you have in Dr. Emily Drake and Detective Colin Gyth? DO YOU? You’ve got the paranormal equivalent of Catherine Coulter’s Savich and Sherlock (FBI series), or a romantic Men in Black, or current day Eve Dallas and Roarke (okay, I’ve only read the first of J.D. Robb’s In Death books, so I’m not sure if that comparison is right)... only with way hotter scenes than ANY of them.

Follow me on this, okay? Here’s two people who lived their lives feeling like outsiders from the human race—Emily because she could sense The Others and Colin because he didn’t know he WAS an Other (he was orphaned as a toddler).

At age seven, Emily discovers her father’s body after he blows his head off, then her mother throws her into a mental institution because, being a child, she doesn’t know to keep quiet whenever she sees or senses an Other. Now a successful psychologist with a patient roster of Others (fun concept, fun scenes), she finds that she STILL needs to keep her abilities hidden.

Raised in several foster homes after his parents’ death, not knowing what he was, not even knowing The Others existed, Colin experiences his first shift at puberty and spends much of his life feeling like a freak, forced to hide and control his animal side. Even later, after he began to sense that he wasn’t the only Shifter, he never knew about vampires, charmers, demons, etc. His own partner tried to kill him when he found out what he was!

Set up for some heavy, angsty, get-over-yourself, intense drama, right? They’ll be healed by the Power of Lurve and live Happily Ever After, right? WRONG! They don’t need to heal. They both have it together. THAT was the hand they were dealt and THIS is who they are now in their separate successful lives. What they find with each other is the chance to be themselves, to be loved and trusted because of, and in spite of, who and what they are. But they WORK toward that trust as they work together solving a series of preternatural murders.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the book’s not perfect. Eden fell back on the heap big macho wolf finds his mate in the teeny, tiny spitfire of a woman cliché. WHY-O-WHY are all heroines 5’1 and all heroes over 6’? Huh? What’s up with that, anyhow? Do you know how freaking awkward swapping spit and/or bumping uglies up against the wall would REALLY be? What’s wrong with a nice average size 5’5 or 5’6 heroine? We can be feminine too, ya know! Er... never mind... just needed to get that general rant out... back to THIS book.

The climactic scene confronting the villain was a bit of a let down—WHY’d he do it? Well, it kind of amounts to... “Because He Could.”. Acceptable, yes, but I would have preferred something more.

Despite those two quibbles, the second I shut this book, I immediately could see Emily and Colin in a series of books solving preternatural crimes. The books could stay centered on the current characters or even have new central characters, but like Coulter’s Savich and Sherlock, Emily and Colin are called in to assist in solving some crime involving The Others. Their sidekicks are even already in place-- McNeal, Colin’s boss; Dr. Smith, the coroner; and Brooks, Colin’s partner. Hell, I could even see this as a TV show.

We learn just enough about Colin and Emily in this book to want to see them work together again. But we aren’t subjected to the angst of them working through an overabundance of personal drama. We know who they are and we LIKE them together. This kind of bottled lightning doesn’t strike too often. I suspect it’s the kind of magic that an author couldn’t deliberately set out to catch.

So Cynthia? Brava? The characters are right there, already in place, just waiting for the call telling them they’ve got another Others mystery to solve.
Piquant Opines: RT, RJ,

Watch the video trailor.

Have you read this book? Feel free to review or link to a review in the comments. Even if you don't agree!


Madame Butterfly said...

Oh crap, now I have to get this one. LOL

It's not only they colorful way in which you wrote your review, which can get me to buy a book by the way, but the characters and story itself seems totally up my alley.

Oh, and, I'm 5'2, we short girls need all the help we can get. You tall chickies get all the hot dudes and attention. But I agree on the awkwardness of such a size difference.

On the other hand, if Will Smith and Jada Pinkett can manage it, and it seems they manage quite well, it's doable.

Bev(QB) said...

Now see, I'm 5'5 and I consider myself on the short side of average. I went out a few times with a guy that was 6'5 (although my husband is 5'4). I think guys look silly all hunched over trying to kiss a girl a foot or more shorter than them. And why can't heroes be 5'10 or 11-- why ALWAYS over 6'?!

It's almost like authors can't describe women as petite, or dainty, or fragile unless they are 5'1. Of course, WHY they need to describe them that way all the time anyhow is beyond me--- I mean, okay, it gives greater contrast to the big beefy hero's description, but it's REALLY become cliche.

Honestly, I had to push myself through the book when I realized that it was that same tired setup, I figured I was also going to get the same tired story, too. But I'm glad I DID push through, because I got a solid, entertaining read out of it.

Kris said...

I enjoyed this book as well.
I like the tall hero thing, but i am 5'7 and my hubby is 6'2. I have always liked them tall because i hit 5'7 in 6th grade and was always self conscious of my height until I hit high school and they were finally taller than me. Though I admit the Dark Hunter and other paranormal ones who are like 6'7 and up are a little much even for me. I like more of a balance between a couple. Like you said it is awkward trying to picture a 6'7 man scrunching down to kiss a 5'3 heroine. Things just don't line up well later. ;)

Devon said...

I swear to God I was going to write a book about a psycologist to the paranormal. Sigh.

This sounds good.

Bev(QB) said...

Kris, I seriously don't think of 5'7" as being all that tall. But a whole helluva lot of books make me feel like my own 5'5" is Amazonian.

Devon, Talia Gryphon, also has two books with a psychologist to the paranormal storyline. Haven't read them because, from what I understand, they are hillariously AWFUL!