Maggie Donovan isn’t interested in overthrowing a Faery queen. Maggie has had barely enough time to kill the demon that devoured her fiance, never mind save the Otherworld. Her hands are full babysitting her smart-mouthed twelve-year-old niece while her sister is getting her chakras lined up. But when Maggie comes home to find a scrumptious hunk who insists she has Otherworld problems to solve, she may not have a choice. Especially since she’s suddenly been endowed with superhuman strength and a bad habit of flying awkwardly through the air…
An elite Faery warrior, Culhane isn’t exactly boyfriend material, but that hasn’t stopped Maggie’s wild imagination. What Maggie doesn’t realize is that there’s one secret the sexy warrior hasn’t revealed: He’s already bound to the powerful Faery queen he wants Maggie to defeat.
Thirty-six pages into this one and I realized my favor could be bought. So, authors, show such fine taste as to mention Supernatural, and specifically the man who defines my idea of sexy, Jensen Ackles, and I’m yours:
Eileen’s narrow shoulders slumped. “Fine. But I’ll be the only one in school tomorrow who doesn’t know what happened. Your only niece, the one who loves you, will be completely left out of the discussion about Jensen Ackles. I’ll be ostracized by my peers, but don’t let that worry you. I’ll probably get over it after years of therapy…”
Pop culture references can date a novel, sure, but that one, besides the fact that a tiny portion of my world revolves around that show, will stand up in the future. (Really, it will.) That little mention of the show immediately grabbed my fangirl heart and, just like that, I knew those characters.
And, actually, character is the force behind this particular offering. Maggie’s great. She’s funny, a retort always at the ready, and there’s intelligence behind it. She’s a talented woman, a painter, who wants to build on her dream, and feels stalled with each new store window she paints for the holidays. She loves her family and takes that responsibility seriously; she’s willing to do whatever she must to keep them safe, even when doing so scares her. And in that way, she’s strong enough to admit to her fear. There’s something in Maggie, I’d say, that any woman could recognize.
Culhane is a charismatic character. We don’t get to know him quite as well as we do Maggie and even her niece, Eileen. But there’s enough there to avoid him being nothing more than eye candy. (And, since I went and brought it up, that guy on the cover? Seriously. Hot. And so very nice to picture whenever Culhane’s in the scene.) Plus, Bedeviled is the first in the series, and I fully expect we’ll come to know a lot more about Culhane, so I can let it slide that he didn’t feel as well drawn as some of the others in this one.
As for the plot, it was good, and the pacing was smooth if not quick. It felt like there could have been a little more depth – the crux of the conflict deals in a way with oppression; the humor could have benefited from deepening the serious nature of Otherworld’s problem. Because Maggie is so resistent to her role, her denial became a bit repetitive, as did the mentions of how gorgeous the warriors of Faery are. All of that can be forgiven because: 1. Again, it’s the first in the series, 2. Did I mention how gorgeous the guy on the cover is, and 3. The book was fun to read and left me wanting more. You’ll find me reading Beguiled as soon as it’s released in August.