Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beauty Dates the Beast by Jessica Sims - Rawr

Pros: A fun romp with shapeshifting goodness
Cons: A lot of inconsistencies and some unanswered questions

The Bottom Line: Despite some hiccups and the like, I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Midnight Liaisons series.

After skimming through my copy of My Fair Succubus, I discovered a sliver of this book at the end. One of those little preview deals. I enjoyed it – and then spent forever tying to find the flipping book. Turns out Beauty Dates the Beast is under the name Jessica Sims, one of Jill Myles’s pseudonyms. Good to know.

Bathsheba is human – she just happens to work for Midnight Liaisons, a dating agency that caters to the more “special” clients in the city. From shifters to vampires, harpies to doppelgangers, if you need a date, then Midnight Liaisons is for you. But when Beau Russell’s date cancels on him, Bathsheba is in a panic. He needs a date and decides Bathsheba is his girl. Even though a human dating a shifter is strictly a no-no in the business, she might get fired anyway for losing the account. Besides, how much trouble could one little date stir up?

Apparently, quite a lot...

Bathsheba was a fun character and I really love that Sims decided to name her that. It’s different and not something you often see, well, anywhere. I like how protective she is of her sister (and her sister’s secret). I reminded me of myself and my sisters. Beau is an all around good guy that you eventually wish Bathsheba would realize and spill her guts to – even though that’s not possible for the sake of the story. Their interactions were entertaining and steamy when necessary – as they ought to be for a romance book.

However, there area lot of little hiccups in this book that I felt diminished it. The antagonist was someone who was supposed to be dead, and yet no one mentions the fact that he was still alive or questions why. His motivation is sort of weak, but I was willing to let that slide. Another issue was that it’s made pretty clear that shifters view humans as icky, and yet at the same time after Beau got his date a bunch of big-time shifters really wanted to date Bathsheba – so much so that her boss is willing to get downright ugly about making her date them. Confusing. There’s also a big deal made about Bathsheba being a virgin, making it sound as though that makes her magical in some way, but that’s never explained either (unless shifters just dig human virgins? But that still doesn’t make sense).

Scents are brought up a lot in this book, and it’s kind of contradictory at times. Bathsheba’s sister Sara is a werewolf, but they haven’t exactly had good relations with werewolves in the past, so they’re doing all they can to keep Sara away from them. A big deal is made about Sara’s wolfy scent and Bathsheba’s attempt to hide it, and at one point after the house has been broken into she doesn’t want to bring out clothes for an overnight stay elsewhere because they’ll smell wolfy and alert Beau. Yet at the same time she allows one of Beau’s shifter guys to check out the house – pretty sure the whole house would smell wolfy and they’d know anyway. And then when Sara is being kept safe in one area and Bathsheba in another, somehow she doesn’t think the shifter guys will find out – even though Sara has absolutely no way of hiding it and she’s there for several days.

I do take issue with how werewolves are portrayed in this book and wonder just how much Ms. Sims knows about wolf packs - because if the were packs are supposed to be reflecting them, then it's clear no research whatsoever was done. But this is a shifter thing and humans always screw everything up, so it's not inconceivable that they would act in such a manner. (personally, I'm just sick of wolves always being the bad guys)

There are some other things (such as a few other nonsensical decisions by Bathsheba), but then I think I might get into some spoilers and I don’t want to do that. If you just want a fun romance to read in a few hours and enjoy the paranormal side of things, then this is a solid choice.


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