Review: Iron & Velvet
Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lust, betrayal, magic, fae, vampires, werewolves, witches - oh my! What isn't in this story? Even a bit of kinky BDSM is thrown in. Mr. Hall is a new to me author and I am hooked. First off, this is a lesbian story which is so hard to come by. To have a well written one with a mystery is even better. Then to add paranormal elements which all work together, I'm entranced. Topping it off with some kinky rough sex and a bit of bondage, I'm completely enslaved. I must read the next book in this series. I can't wait!
Kate Kane is a half human half fae working as a private investigator. She is a bundle of trouble and it seems she falls for a specific type of female. The dangerous powerful female which she sometimes alienates. She has fallen off the wagon before by shacking up with a guy. This is the worst mistake as he is an overprotective vampire. He is also a bit creepy when it becomes evident of his stalkers-esque ways.
Kate is an interesting character with many flaws. She seems to have impulse control issues as well as a lack in self-preservation. While she's not a character one would consider a typical hero, she does have a good heart. Her messed up life adds to her charm. Mr. Hall does a great job of character building because it doesn't even bother me this story is in first person point of view from Kate. Kate's observations are often wry and sarcastic, just how I enjoy it. She's not exactly snarky. She's more jaded with a burned out mentality.
Why is Kate so burned out? There appears to be history which the reader is not fully knowledgeable about. This story may vex the reader because it feels as if we are missing vital information. Information such as what happened to Kate's partner. How did Kate piss off so many powerful supernaturals? This world Mr. Hall builds is fascinating. There are so many things to learn about the different power structures as well as how Kate integrates with each. Mr. Hall does an excellent job at painting a vivid picture of each location. He shows action very well, especially during a fighting scene. The added element of scent makes a difference. It's not often a writer is able to blend in scents. This helps enhance the story and draw the reader into the storyline better. He doesn't just use nice smells either. Pungent odors of poo and sewers are described clearly. At times it is overwhelming for a person like me, who possesses a very sensitive nose. I could imagine the disgusting filth Kate slogs through and with the clear description of scent, my mind is even tricked into smelling it.
What I really liked about Mr. Hall's writing voice is how he portrays the characters without telling us. For example, Patrick is the vampire who still pines for Kate. Rather than stating Patrick is a psycho stalker, he shows the reader by explaining Kate's discomfort finding yet another drawn picture of her sleeping, left by Patrick. This is clever because it clearly demonstrates Patrick's attention as unwanted. In addition, Patrick is creepy because he obviously breaks into Kate's home to watch her while she sleeps and draws pictures of her. A person is most vulnerable when they sleep. So even if Patrick doesn't do anything physical to her, the intimidation is there. It is subtle and more insidious when presented in this manner.
Another secondary character who is well designed is Tara. She's an alpha werewolf who is also a famous model. While the reader knows Tara is a strong shifter, Mr. Hall provides evidence through Tara's fights with powerful creatures. It's impressive and demonstrates that Tara is not to be messed with. And yet, he designs her to be whimsical in her vanity. This is cleverly established through Tara's tweets. There are so many examples of how Mr. Hall displays his talented writing abilities to draw a reader in. This paranormal mystery is highly recommended to those who enjoy good plot, great characters and hot f/f sex.
*provided by NetGalley
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