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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Small Print by Barbara Elsborg

The Small Print by Barbara Elsborg
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (257 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, M/F/M Menage, anal play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

I’m in trouble.

Matty suddenly finds herself back in her childhood home, naked and alone, with no clue how she came to be there. When her greedy uncle sells Milford Hall from under her, Matty hides in the attic.

The woman is trouble.

Vampire historian Turner has long had his eye on Milford Hall, and there is no price he won’t pay to own it. He doesn’t expect to find an aggravating female living in his attic, insisting she has a right to be there. The small print in the contract backs her up, but Turner is determined to maintain his privacy. Doesn’t matter that she’s the hottest thing he’s seen for years—in order to protect her from his mistakes, Matty has to go.

I eat trouble for dinner.

After a self-imposed twenty-year absence from Turner, werewolf Catch arrives to put the past right and save his former lover from circling enemies. But one kiss from Matty, and Catch has more than Turner to worry about. Neither boy wants to share their new toy.

When a book starts off with the release of two completely unrepentant vampires from prison you just know someone’s life is about to get really complicated really fast. If you’ve picked up a copy of Barbara Elsborg’s The Small Print, you wouldn’t be wrong.

Matty Hobsbawm’s middle name is quite likely “complicated”. How else do you explain her current predicament of living in a house (her house) where she isn’t wanted by the new tenant, mated to not one but two vampires she just met and she’s being completely ignored by just about everyone she meets. That last problem is actually more than just an inconvenience but I can’t say more or it would be a total spoiler. I will say I was into chapter seven when I suspected Matty’s problems were more than her sleeping arrangement and brooding vampires.

Nimrod Turner, or just Turner, was one of the most respected historians in the vampire community. In his very long life he has never met anyone like Matty. She frustrates him to no end and he can’t decide if he should shoot her with a tranquilizer or kiss her senseless. There is some pretty funny internal struggle type dialogue where he arguing with himself over how to handle the “tadpole”. If Matty wasn’t enough of daily distraction in walks the one vampire that Turner thought he would never see again, Chase. When Chase enters the picture both Matty and Turner get the shock of their lives. Where Matty and Turner’s relationship is complicated and yet fun, Chase adds a dangerous and wickedly seductive element to the group.

There is so much to this story. If you’ve ever read Ms. Elsborg’s books you’ll recognize her love for fast paced adventures and tension filled plots. Her stories are typically multi-layered without being over complex. The Small Print has the action/adventure, tension and multi-layered plot down in spades. But, I have to admit I wasn’t able to read this one straight through as I did with some of her other stories. As I got deeper into the story and learned more about how the released prisoners tie into the lives of Turner, Chase and Matty I had to go back and re-read certain passages that suddenly made more sense.

I’ve read a couple of other ménage books by Ms. Elsborg and she truly has a voice for these types of relationships. The chemisty between Turner and Chase is just as powerful as it is between them and Matty. The dialogue is witty and overall the story as a whole is very clever and unique.

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