Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-815-3
Fantasy Romance, 2011
We return to Strange Hollow, the town of misfit spooks who were ostracized from their kind for one reason or another, for yet another tale of two outsider spooks desperately trying to find a plot in order to have sex. One thing I have to say about these Strange Hollow stories so far: many of them are remarkably constant in that they are very efficient people, finding any excuse to drop those clothes and start boinking. Perhaps this is a philosophy that we should all adopt for a better world.
This time, we have Bryanna, a self-described “half witch” who is always going “Blessed be!” because her magic is whacked and her kind kicked her out for being such a cliché. Shortly after leaving behind her old life and her ex for Strange Hollow, she meets Zeke, a fire demon from Hell who just wants to be nice. They click and talk and have sex. That’s pretty much it for the plot.
Of course, with a story of this length, that much plot is to be expected. What’s frustrating is that the space devoted to love scenes could have been used to develop the romance better. The author has a pleasant narrative style and her characters have pretty good chemistry here, but for a long time, Bryanna is unloading all her issues on Zeke as if he’s her shrink before they get into bed. Sure, this is supposed to be love, but the whole thing feels more like a therapy session to me.
Whatnots & Doodads is a pretty engaging read due to the author’s voice, but it is also a woefully underdeveloped story that doesn’t do much for me. The best thing about it is its title.