Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Book Review: 'Unexpected Find' by Nancy Corrigan


This was a paranormal romance I could sink my teeth into. Ms. Corrigan actually skirted the pesky overused “smell the mate/love at once/HEA sealed and delivered” type plot. The recognition was there but the hero had to work for it and there were absolutely no guarantees. The heroine felt something, yes, but she exercised practical caution and held out, making the hero work for it. And work he does — I enjoyed every pant, growl and sensual adventure he shared with the heroine to convince her that she was the woman for him.
The backdrop of a demented, deranged and violent serial killer dogging their footsteps insured that the plot tension simmered throughout the story, pitting the determination of both hero and heroine against the bad guy in order to protect those they loved and cared for. The bad guy didn’t play fair and was nasty – a solid depiction of evil. The only weak part was not letting his vileness reach its full potential. He just seemed to pop out in places but I never felt his true potential for evil. Everything he did was basically off screen and the protagonists had to deal with the fallout. Not that I wanted darkness to overshadow the romance, far from it. I actually appreciated that the author didn’t do that. But I also felt the villain could have benefited from a bit more detail, in dialogue or action, which would have made him more tangible and a more fleshed out nemesis. As it is, he came across as one dimensional.
I enjoyed Jazz’s self-doubts. Usually they’d drive me nuts but the author justified them by being logical, pragmatic and didn’t have them muddy the romance overlong. They were in the right amount to deliver a realistic dose of internal conflict without coming across as ditzy or whiny. I also appreciated that Jazz knew things were happening fast but balanced it with the knowing that the shifter world had rules that weren’t the same as humans. She only had to be given the right incentive to get on board with accepting the changes. Two things helped with that – her kids and Rafe.
First, her kids needed to be safe and there’s nothing safer than being with others that have teeth, claws and fur. The second is the hero, Rafe. At first, he was reluctant to admit to what was happening between Jazz and himself. Sure, it’s only sex, no big deal. Except it was. Watching him realize it was fun. I even think there might have been a bit of back door teasing but nothing blatant. I liked the sensual tension that surrounds biting – it has so much meaning in this tale. As much as the hero seems more than capable of dealing with the main conflict of falling in love, Jazz called him on the carpet about a certain aspect of their relationship and he denied it. At that point, he was such a bonehead. Such a typical male, but the heroine sure showed him up. It took her actions, which if I may say so were way more heroic and impressive than his, to show him the error of his ways. It was dramatic and a very pivotal moment.
On a personal level, the explanation of shifter souls and connection caught me off guard and gave me a twinge. However, reading fiction means I have to engage “willing suspension of disbelief”. I had to turbo charge mine to get through that explanation but I’m sure most readers wouldn’t give that issue a second thought.
Secondary characters abounded. Ms. Corrigan took her time to introduce and tease a reader with Kade, Devon and Mira, and a very suspicious sounding Xander. It sounds as if each of them has their own baggage to deal with and their personalities were presented in such a way as to hook my interest. That bodes well for my getting to read more in this world the author created. Maybe I’ll even be able to catch glimpses of Jazz and Rafe in future stories… you know, just to see how they’re doing? Because even though the happy ever after was complete, I got a sense that it’s just the beginning, not the end. I like that.
Unexpected Find was a very enjoyable and entertaining read. I liked the author’s spin on the shifter world and appreciated some of its unique points. For erotic romance fans, there’s a lot to enjoy and for those that like suspense and a more detailed plot, this book provides that too. This story is worth spending time with and I had a lot of fun meeting Jazz and Rafe. I heard that Devon’s story is coming out and I can guarantee that it’s going on my TBR pile. I like this world that Ms. Corrigan has created and look forward to visiting again.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.