Phwoar! That was my instant reaction after finishing this book, quickly followed by "I hope the next book is out!" I don't think I've been this excited about a new author since I read Kit Rocha, Beyond Shame. Katana Collins had me hooked from the end of chapter one and I was sunk. I'm actually a bit miffed I started with book 2 of the series because I want more, more, more!
Monica is a succubus from Las Vegas who was once an angel. She is a wickedly fun leading lady who makes no apologies for the fact that she needs sex to survive. In fact the more innocent and good a person is, the better her sexual hit. Weird? It could have been but Collins writes Monica in such frank way that what could come off as sleazy or overdone just becomes another quirk a supernatural needs to survive. I've often found succubi in books too sexual and kind of evil but this succubi is a hot to trot modern girl, straight up. Does Monica enjoy sex? HELL YEAH! But she is often frustrated by how sex is required for survival and how it screws (argh pun) her possible relationships.
In this second installment of the Soul Stripper (did I mention she is also a stripper?) series we find a trail of murders that Monica is sucked into because of this chick Adrienne who is a police officer and former/current girlfriend of Monica's love interest, Drew. Adrienne is a recently turned angel due to something that happened in book one. Drew is surfer boy cute and runs the coffee shop where Monica works. They had sex once but he felt it was cheating on Adrienne even though they were practically broken up. Love triangles these days. Drew is fully human and doesn't know his gf is an angel, Monica is a succubus and Damien is an elemental (Damien is the side kick/partner of Adrienne). Anyway, the deaths all connect to Salt Lake City which is where the whole gang ends up and after an incident on the plane Monica realizes this trip is definitely not going to be as straight forward as it appeared.
Throughout this present day story we also get flashbacks to Ireland during the middle ages and some back story on Monica when she was an angel. This other angelic Monica adds another layer to the character that shows that female characters are more dynamic than the typical, bad girl, good girl bollocks. In Monica's flashbacks we meet Julian, her angelic mentor, Dejan the vampire servant, Carmen frost extraordinaire and Lord John Buckley, a sorcerer that causes more trouble than he's worth. Obviously this is connected but I'm not going to tell you how because I think you should read this book! In fact start with the first one! There is a definite twist and the ending kind of left me on a ledge but I loved it!
I adore the Monica who is totally kick-ass, confused and figuring shit out. Drew, I am not as sold on but this may be because I haven't read the first book. I don't really understand Monica's infatuation with him because he doesn't seem like the sort of guy I would pair her with for unrequited love. He comes across as too good/innocent with a heavy helping of Prince Charming. I think a strong character like Monica deserves a strong male counter part who challenges her and is her equal. Drew seems to be that pretty toy on the shelf that gives good sex and seems like the ideal guy. Pfffffft. Give Monica a Curran I say! (Ilona Andrews, Kate Daniels series reference for those of you who don't know who Curran is). The ending leaves the stage open to many possibilities and I plan on discovering them as soon as the next book hits release. Katana Collins has firmly locked herself on my list of favourite authors and I'm literally counting the days until I can start the next book.
A HUGE thank you to NetGalley, Katana Collins and Kensington Books for the copy!!! You made my week!
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