The book: Devil’s Daughter (Lucinda’s Pawnshop, Book 1) by Hope Schenk-de Michele, Paul Marquez with Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
The blurb (from netgalley, that got me interested in the book):
“Lucinda is as old as humanity itself, yet perpetually young, beautiful, and endowed with supernatural powers. She lives a double life—human and immortal. Born out of a betrayal of trust between the first woman, Eve, and father, Lucifer, Lucinda has worked covertly and subtly for millennia to be true to her mother’s love by subverting her father’s schemes. In her human guise, she manages Lucinda’s Pawnshop & Antiquary, the doors of which can open to any street anywhere in the world at any time. Mortals who have arrived at a moral or spiritual crossroads are drawn into the mysterious shop. If they acquire one of its cursed artifacts, they may find themselves drafted into Lucifer’s service. And if the Devil’s daughter will not love a man he can control, can Lucifer control the man she loves?”
The victim: Me.
BUT… it’s ok. Because while I was suckered by the blurb and requested the book because of it, while it was so very different than what I expected, it is ok. Because I really enjoyed it! I won’t bother with a synopsis, because, well, the blurb. But, I will say that I expected some paranormal romance it was more like Tom Clancy or Brad Meltzer meets, well anyone that I read that is paranormal but working the Devil/fallen angel angle (like Larissa Ione’s Demonica), but minus any of the sex.
What I mean is that this is a plot driven story, with a number of threads of the plot all scattered, but coming together. It is fairly easy to find the common thread of an object from the pawn shop for most of the folks involved, there are places where the link is tenuous at first. And there are a lot of plot threads to keep track of to get to the whole story.
I am pleased that this seems to be the start of a series, since when I realized I was at the end of the book I was disappointed that it ended and it felt like there was still so much story left to tell, with respect to a number of the individual threads, and with respect to the entire tapestry as well. I don’t know how many installments are planned, but I think it will be wonderful to read more of this world.
The world building was decent, decent enough to make sure I wasn’t more confused than I think the author intended (for which side is Nathaniel really on?). And the character development was enough, especially with the player’s in the Devil’s game, that I felt like I really wanted to know where the story was going to take them. There was action, and some romance (although not as much as I expected from the blurb) and definitely paranormal workings. The idea of a pawn shop selling talismans that have actual powers is a pretty cool idea too, that leaves room for so many things.
So, the real issue is that I expected more JR Ward – Black Dagger Brotherhood, Larissa Ione – Demonica, you name the author – sexy paranormal book title here! But got some woo’ing of Lucinda by a super religious guy who wouldn’t mess around (no judgment, that’s ok with me, just not what I expected) with her casually. And a pervert who pretended to be someone else to try to get into Lucinda’s pants, plus a succubus who implied she was getting action, but there was no page time for any of it. Again, that’s ok – I read plenty like that, but with the emphasis on Lucinda’s love for a man her father can’t control, that isn’t where my brain was expecting to go.
So, kudos on the story – I thought it was a unique and fresh take on this aspect of paranormal, maybe I’ve now even been introduced to a new little sub-genre that I wasn’t aware of. I look forward to reading more. I would just like to have my expectations properly set by the book blurb with the next installment. Sometimes the blurbs set things up for disappointment, here it didn’t, but improper blurb writing runs the risk of leaving unhappy victims behind. And this was a good enough book, I would hate to see it fall prey to that.