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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Candy Houses by Shiloh Walker

Candy Houses by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (111 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Holly

So you think you know fairy tales? Guess again.

Grimm’s Circle, Book 1

Greta didn’t get her happy ending her first time around. And now that she’s a Grimm—special kind of guardian angel and official ass-kicker in the paranormal world—romance is hard to find. Besides, there’s only ever been one man who made her heart race, and the fact that he did scared her right out of his arms. Now Rip is back. And just in time too, because Greta needs his help.

On a mission he knows is going to test all of his strengths and skills, the last person Rip expected to see is the one woman who broke his heart. Working together seems to be their only hope. But, when faced with a danger neither of them anticipated, the question is, how will they face the danger to their hearts—assuming they survive, of course.

Warning: Dark, sexy, a little bit scary—this fairy tale is only for grownups and is best saved for bedtime.

The Brothers Grimm got it all wrong. But then, they wrote fiction, and Greta’s story was all too real. I imagine the disclaimer the Grimms could use if they were modern writers is “the names have been changed to protect the innocent”. After all, who would believe the true story of Hans and Greta anyway?

Behind the slightly scary fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm, is a totally horrifying truth much stranger and more awful than the brothers could ever imagine. Greta and Hans were not actually brother and sister, and Greta’s stepmother was far from the loving parent, at least where Greta was concerned. And when Greta revealed what Hans had been doing to her late at night in her childhood bed, stepmother decided to rid herself of an unwanted problem. Now, five hundred years later, Hans is just a bitter memory, and Greta is a Grimm-no, not an author of childrens' stories, but an immortal protector, and kind of guardian angel. When she comes up against a malevolent power stronger than any she’s had to face, will she accept the help of her one time lover, Rip, or will she try to stop it on her own? More important, can Rip forgive her for walking out a century ago and work with her to save the world?

In Candy Houses, Shiloh Walker has given a new twist to a couple of classic fairy tales. Greta is a strong character, a survivor in more than one sense of the word. She goes the extra mile to protect those she feels are worth it, but doesn’t hesitate to stop evil when it surfaces, usually in the form of demons possessing innocents. Yes, she will kill the host if that is the only way, but she does everything possible to avoid it. When she meets up with Rip (yes Van Winkle), she tells herself they will not become involved. But Rip has other ideas, especially since his assignment and hers seem to overlap this time. The attraction is always there, simmering in the background as they do what has to be done to stop the spread of evil.

I have to say, the supporting characters are interesting too. There’s Mandy, the Goth girl who is much more than she seems. Fae, the rogue Grimm, bringing demons over from the netherfields for her own purposes. And there’s Will, who’s, well, it isn’t really explained other than he seems to be the boss. I wanted to know more about all of them!

The passion and feeling between Greta and Rip is hot, and the sex is over the top. Can they join forces to protect Mandy and defeat Fae? Can they save the world, at least for now? And can Rip win the heart as well as the body of Greta, for a long denied happy ever after? I guess you’ll have to read Candy Houses to find out. But be warned: this is NOT your mother’s fairy tale.

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