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Monday, January 30, 2012

Move Me by Emma Holly

Move Me by Emma Holly
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (116 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Belle's eccentric Uncle Lucky has left her his spooky house in the tiny village of Kingaken. Twenty years ago, her little brother disappeared here, never to be heard from again. Returning to the place for the first time in so long resurrects more ghosts than she cares to face. When it also summons a sexy faerie, with an agenda of his own, Belle had best pray her luck is better than her sibling’s.

How does a person deal with the loss of a little brother under mysterious circumstances when the adults that you trust and expect to turn to in times of stress and worry end up acting like morons? Their being callous and selfish left a little girl clueless and emotionally alone. When a reader meets the woman that the little girl grows into, it’s a terrific sentimental hook that truly ensnares and fascinates. Once again Ms. Holly delivers a story that is as touching as it is sexually super-charged with characters that come to life in thrilling detail.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a ghost riddled by guilt and a hero on the run for his very life, along with matchmaking townspeople who know a secret or two. Move Me is rich with conflict, surprises and a quirky happy ending that made me feel like I’d found the prize in the Cracker Jack box. It was simply a ton of fun to read.

What more could the story have that kept me flipping the pages? A very inventive dream sequence, that wasn’t truly a dream, inspired by magic gone awry. The hero, who is masquerading as a hunky handy man named John, was quite imaginative with magical restraints and ties. That whole scene was very seductive and the heroine responded the way I wish I could – with wholehearted abandon, acceptance and enjoyment. The question is, what part is pure dream, and what is based on reality? I enjoyed the part when the heroine, Belle, had her eyes opened to the fantastical truth. But before that was the kitchen scene. Whoa, that was hot too, especially when Belle drove him crazy by doing this one innocuous thing that makes a ton of sense after a reader realizes that what Belle saw in the dream is in fact real. I wish men had places on their bodies like that in truth. How much fun that would be?

Another aspect I liked was how Belle didn’t act as “John” expected her to. It drove him nuts; it enthralled him and made him nervous. He’s never gotten nervous, ever – nor does he fumble and doubt himself. But what the hero doesn’t realize is that he’s falling in love. That’s another thing I enjoyed about this story. For as long as he’s been alive, and out of all the things he experienced, the hero had never fallen in love before. I felt pretty smug about his being disconcerted by Belle. A man like that needs a strong woman who isn’t afraid to face things, and who refuses to run away. She’s all that and more and it made me like her character. My liking the heroine ratcheted up a notch when she did what she did in the shed. Her reaction was perfect, as was the subsequent action by the hero. It was very Gone With the Wind to a certain degree and brought to mind a grand romance with their flamboyant gestures.

The suspense and personal conflict reached another critical level when their time ran out and the door bell rang. “John” had to face the music of who he really was as well as what Belle really meant to him. Like the romantic grand gesture, the hero made what should have been a happy time into a tragedy – choosing the greater good instead of instant gratification. His willingness to do what he did, for the reasons he did it, cemented his status as ‘hero’. It mustn’t have been easy to write this because it’s not what a reader would expect nor want to read but Ms. Holly always knows how to make the happily ever after worthy of the journey.

The author also captured the heartbreak, sadness and despondent feelings of the heroine. The personal journey Belle had to take was well written and described with words that captured the emotions. It was the darkness before the dawn and was effective.

The ‘dawn’ was a real treat. Although this isn’t a holiday story per se, it had that atmosphere of “Oh look! Santa’s was here! There are presents!” The final act takes place while Belle celebrated Christmas with the friends she’d ended up making in the tiny town that was now her home. That entire chapter and the epilogue that came after defined happiness and showed good things do happen to those who believe in the impossible -- you just have to be patient. The ending is also spiced with more energetic love play between Belle and Duvall a/k/a John and it captured the desperate celebration of two people finally grabbing their happily ever after and holding on to it with gusto.

Move Me delivers satisfaction and entertainment from beginning to end by combining a little mystery, emotional healing and paranormal hijinks with hot sexy loving that’s unique and just a bit naughty. The book has two wonderful characters that I enjoyed watching fall in love and Ms. Holly’s sense of humor comes through in terrific fashion. This story is a delight and can be considered another gem to add to my keeper shelf. I’m a happy reader.

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