by Gracie C McKeever, paranormal (2006)
Siren Publishing, $4.25, ISBN 1-933563-50-8
Guardian Seductress is the first book of a series called Sisters Of Emsharra. The Innana is a race of otherworldly beings who get energy from humans during the act of coitus. How nice, a race that really has to get screwed in order to survive. The story takes place in a world called Emsharra where the Inanas keep humans as slaves and fight with another face called the Sebitu from Gaiam.
Twenty-eight years ago, one of the Sisters of Emsharra, Kalika, committed a big boo-boo punishable by death when she secretly carries and gives birth to a half-human child fathered by the human she's fallen in love with and later lost. This infant grows up to be Alex Ryan under the care of Genesis Enki, Kalika's close friend. Today, Alex doesn't really know much about his past. When a girlfriend tries to kill him (don't ask), Alex is saved by Genesis. Of course, despite having just survived a murder attempt on him, Alex is still in the state of mind to get a chubby while admiring Genesis' hotness. Genesis presents to him a story about people wanting to kill him so he's going to be dragged into some kind of adventure whether he likes it or not.
The best thing I can say about Guardian Seductress is that I believe the setting is pretty interesting. However, much of the story sees the characters lusting or acting on their lust for each other, so the story doesn't fully make use of the setting. Characterization is threadbare and I have no idea who the characters are. The characters don't come across as believable as well as they, especially Alex, get randy in the most bizarre circumstances in this story. Alex gets turned on by the strangest things, such as Genesis' "bossiness". Apart from being perpetually randy, the characters don't display much personality. They fall in love, or so the author tells me, but I find that it's more lust than love between the two characters.
Late the story the plot moves forward a little to advance the storyarc but even then, the characters remain barely developed. The damage has been done early on when the author fails to develop her characters well enough before getting them in bed and then insisting that those two are in love.
At its best, Guardian Seductress is a generic fantasy romance with emphasis on standard generic elements like magic sex. At its worst, the characters often behave in mystifying ways in a situation, such as getting horny when they should be worried about the danger they are facing. Overall, this book feels more like a story attempting to be an urban fantasy tale but not quite succeeding rather than a full-fledged urban fantasy tale in its own right.
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