I see so many reviews for paranormal romances around the blogosphere that I thought I’d try expanding my reading horizons and see what all the fuss is about. I chose RED (Dead World, Book 1) by Jordan Summers because I liked the tagline (What if Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf turned out to be the same person?) and because it is set in a dystopian future where the ozone is gone, the Earth is scorched, and most of the population lives in highly monitored republics.
Summers dedicates the book to her readers saying, “I wrote RED with the belief that there were other readers in the world like me who enjoy a grittier love story.” Guess that should have clued me in that I was about to have my eyeballs scalded by explicit werewolf sex – in the first chapter, no less.
But I persevered. And I found myself quite liking this story of Gina ‘Red’ Santiago, a field officer with an elite tactical team, who stumbles upon a gruesome crime in Nuria, a border town which is also a hangout for “Others” (super soldiers created during the last world war who turn into paranormal creatures when agitated). As she investigates the crime, she gets romantically involved with the town’s alpha male, Sherriff Morgan Kane. I personally would’ve liked less of the romance and more of the fascinating world-building, but this IS paranormal romance after all!
Strangely enough, Summers plots the story so that the answers to the big questions – who the killer is, Gina’s true nature, will Mike and Raphael’s reunite –are extremely and frustratingly obvious. But her characterizations are surprisingly deep for genre fiction, and I rooted for Gina throughout.
Book 2, SCARLETT, comes out next month. And I just might be a little bit excited to pick it up.
Find out more at www.jordansummers.com