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9.27.2011

Review: Stone Cold Seduction by Jess Macallan

Stone Cold Seduction (Set In Stone #1) by Jess Macallan
Urban Fantasy, Fae
Paperback $14.99 (246 pages, ENTANGLED PUBLISHING)
Ebook $6.99

When a regular night of Robin Hood-ery results in the manifestation of some, um, unusual paranormal abilities, perfume-maker Elleodora Fredricks realizes the normal world she lives in isn’t quite… normal. And neither is she, thanks to her father, king of the shadow elves. Not only is he evil incarnate and the reason Elle moonlights as a burglar—someone has to take care of all his victims—he’s stolen her memories.
And only reading her fate can fix that.
Good thing she’s got a trio of hotties willing to help her find said fate, but only if she gives them something in return. Saving her oracle BFF’s fiance, falling in love with the gargoyle, and making up for breaking the phoenix’s heart ought to be a piece of cake for the princess of the shadow elves.
If only the king didn’t want his daughter dead…

Author Site: Jess Macallan's Blog

Wangsty, Mary-Sue Heroine Kills Plot (2 stars)

Elleodora "Elle" Fredricks has a bone to pick with her father. Stealing priceless artifacts from him is her way of getting back at him. Until she's nearly caught in the act and finds out she's not human. Not only is she not human, neither are any of her friends or family. But she doesn't remember any of that because her dad has her mindwiped. So now she has to track down her fate in Scotland. With the help of her all-male cast of friends she's off to find her fate and avoid being killed in the process.

Oh boy, where to start? I suppose saying I was really looking forward to this book is it. The concept of shadow elves, gargoyles, phoenix, and oracles sounded like a fresh and promising base for a new series of paranormals and it almost delivers. What is shown of these beings and their powers is exciting and very enjoyable. But the reader is dumped into them quickly and very little explanation of what ties all of it together is given. How the oracles and fates tie into the elves (light or shadow) is never really clear and I found that extremely distracting since the central plot is Elle trying to get to hers.

Based on the title and the blurb I mistook this to be a romance. Please do not make the same mistake if you're looking for a HEA. There is a strong thread of love triangle here and if you hate them (which I actually don't) you might find it reminds you of a certain pair of book series that have been adapted to film and television. Usually I like love triangles but in this case I frequently felt bad for one of the men involved because it felt like Elle flaunts it in his face.

Elle herself was what eventually killed any like I had for this story. She's a whiny Mary-Sue and I honestly felt no true chemistry between she and any of the three male companions she spends the entire story with. We're told not shown enough for the romantic elements to have worked for me. The one saving grace of the book was the ending which falls in such a way a reader—even one who didn't like it such as myself—can't help but want to read the next one to see where the romance side of this series is going.

In the end I can't honestly give this one a rating more than "I didn't like it" because I truly found too much of it (more things than I touched on in this review) problematic for me as a reader. I feel really bad about it too because I wanted to like it based on the concept and my enjoyment of love triangle stories. I think I would recommend STONE COLD SEDUCTION to readers who enjoy Jeaniene Frost's books which I had similar qualms with while other readers loved them. I don't intend to read more of this series but considering the bits I did like I'll be watching to see what Macallan puts out in the future, I see promise in her writing, I just didn't care for this book.



Other Reviews:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Bitten By Paranormal Romance

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

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