(Tales of the Underlight #1)
by Jax Garren
ebook, 152 pages
November 19th 2012 by Carina Press
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope…and then he sees her.
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
Let’s see where to begin...
I have mixed feelings about this book. It gave me genre whip lash. After reading How Beauty Meet the Beast I feel like I read a contemporary romance that wanted to be a paranormal romance with steampunk envy.
The world building was all over the place. I was confused at first if the time period was past, present or future. Or if it was an alter world but as I continued to read I figured out it was modern day and time but only because the hero was in the army and stationed in Afghanistan.
When we first encounter him, he is riding a motorcycle powered by steam and then we learn that he is disfigured by a fire while he is in Afghanistan. Then there is a little more steampunk-like inventions in the underground tunnels that he lives in.
Later in the story there is mention of magic use and something happens to our hero, Hauk that seems like he might be more than human. Now the whole undercover society, one bad and one good fits in with the urban fantasy world.
But the reason I kept reading was the characters. I really enjoyed the heroine, Jolie and hero, Hauk’s chemistry. Had it not been for the strong leads and their likability, How Beauty Meet the Beast could have easily been a DNF for me. But since I did like the main character I have hopes that the 2nd book, How Beauty Saved the Beast will have some of the genre split personality worked out as we get deeper into the arc of the story.
arc provided by publisher through Netgalley