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Friday, March 30, 2012

Gargoyle’s Mate by Nia K. Foxx

Gargoyle’s Mate by Nia K. Foxx
Publisher: After Dark Press, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (153 pgs)
Other: M/F, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

For Lorn De LaRue, Gargoyles have always been as common place as the humans they are sworn to protect. It's up to Lorn to make sure their existence is preserved -- by any means necessary. Right now the means would appear to be Dr. Fatima Smith, an ebony beauty who never imagined her interest in Gothic folklore would force her into a world she had never known exist. Time is running out, and Lorn is determined Fatima will come to terms with her new life as his mate.

Fatima finds herself thrust into a reality that includes Gargoyles, Elves, Succubae... oh my! Unsure of the new world around her, she's torn between her new lover, old friend and the beasties threatening the very existence of the human race. Who can she trust?

I’m always looking for unique and fascinating romances and I found it with the gargoyles in this story. Except for the usual flying and having the sun be a bad thing and looking pretty intimidating, this author added her own special twist on what it’s like in gargoyle society. Certainly there aren’t enough books that tackle falling in love with one of these beasties but I found this one enjoyable and worth spending time with.

The heroine, Fatima, is a smart cookie. She has an IQ that’s off the charts but has some serious relationship issues – she’s all work and no play. She has dreams and fantasies like every woman but hers tend to be a bit more fantastical than the norm. Readers will find out why that is, eventually. She’s also independent, feisty, and untapped. And despite all that intelligence, the heroine does make some rather hasty decisions that didn’t sit well with me. I understood that her following through with them were integral to the plot movement, but I wish she hadn’t come across as so easy to manipulate. Some of the things she brushed off made me pause and think. Would someone really not question such a dramatic change in a person? After certain revelations, would a woman in love really be so easily lured?

And that leads me to one of the secondary characters. At one point I guessed he might be a stalker with a deviant nature. Then the author had him acting in a noble manner, yet, not. The only thing that I can share with readers about him is that he should have been wearing a “red shirt”, if you know what I mean. Men can easily become victims when they think with their little brain instead of the one between their ears, and this story proved it.

As for the hero, Lorn, he has the word ‘alpha’ dripping off him like a downpour. He’s commanding, dominant, firm and extremely well proportioned. The author did a marvelous job of describing a very virile man adept at pleasing a woman. It was also very clear that what’s his is his and he doesn’t share well with others. He’s possessive and wants to keep Fatima close but he never really gets it that she’s a 21st Century woman. As far as I’m concerned, what happens later in the story was his own fault. He-Man tactics don’t foster great communication and poor Fatima pays for that lack. However, on the plus side, he knows how to show a woman a good time and is capable of very romantic gestures and allows the heroine to see the softer side of his nature. However, when he is overcome with passion for the heroine, Lorn is as sexy as they come. Those scenes were written quite well.

In fact, when Lorn and Fatima do get together in the physical sense the author had their experiences all over the place. I don’t refer to location, I mean there is a bit of forced seduction with gentle but firm restraint, one incident of spanking and a whole lot of teasing and touching to get readers ready for the big moment. I also noticed he liked to throw her on the bed a lot. I wonder if it was because Lorn enjoyed seeing her bounce. Oh, and there is one point where Lorn watches Fatima unbeknownst to her and he gets both an eyeful and an earful. Obviously theirs is not a tame relationship and the author made that clear, much to my delight.

The villain is a bit unusual as well. Motivation is cleared up during a couple of scenes in the story so eventually everyone is on the same page as to who or what is causing all the trouble. The set up was a bit choppy and the delivery came across as sporadic but nonetheless it was effective and interesting. What I don’t understand is why did it go to the extreme that it had in the past. It’s that part of the motivation that eludes me and doesn’t get explained by the other revelation. It’s almost like there are two agendas going on but the author only fleshed out one for this book’s purposes. I guess that’s okay because I did enjoy myself.

One of the drawbacks about this book was the editing. For readers who like gargoyles and who might pick up their own copy of the book, be aware that “coca meme” is actually “cockamamie” and that they’ll find some words missing in sentences or some words that should be plural but are not. Taken individually, they were not enough to bump me from the story. The character interaction, the unique take on the paranormal world and the interesting courtship between Lorn and Fatima guaranteed my undivided attention and the other glitches didn’t slow me down at all.

Gargoyle’s Mate was fun, fascinating and filled with the kind of men romance readers love to see redeemed. There is a sense of urgency to their romance because there is a figurative clock ticking and Fatima is the first ray of light in an otherwise dark tunnel of existence. I enjoyed Ms. Foxx’s interpretation of gargoyle life and drama and am interested in reading more. I wonder who the next man to be saved will be. This story has certainly whetted my appetite to find out more.

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