Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Review - MIA Case Files Bk1 – Wolfsbane © K.C. Burn

Wolfsbane [MIA Case Files 1]

Author: K. C. Burn

Publisher: Loose Id LLC

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Agent Lachlan Carmichael has a job to do. A portal is open in Rothburg, and this time the Umbrae passing through it are creating werewolves. He needs to close the portal, even if it means losing two-thirds of the people possessed by the Umbrae.
So what if Adam Farelli, the town's screw-up, is the sexiest man he’s ever seen? Carmichael’s been content to live with 'don't ask don't tell' for most of his life. A gorgeous, shiftless layabout isn't going to convince him to step out of the closet.
But when Carmichael needs Adam's help to close the portal, he's unable to resist the temptation Adam represents. But his lies and lack of trust put Adam in danger when one of the werewolves, obsessed with Adam, kidnaps him. Even if Carmichael can save the man he's grown to love, he's going to have to convince Adam to forgive him.

“Good afternoon. What can I get you today?”

The good-looking, older man ignored Adam while perusing the menu overhead, but the gorgeous blond dropped his gaze down to Adam and opened his mouth to order. Adam was able to pinpoint the exact moment when recognition struck in those…oh, God…stunning blue eyes, the exact shade of lapis lazuli, Adam's new favorite color.

An adorable flush stained prominent cheekbones, and kissable, mobile lips worked around words that wouldn't come out. Adam stared, mesmerized. Am I drooling? His unintentional yet self-imposed celibacy had now lasted about a year and might account for his lust. Or was he in the presence of a mind-blowing specimen of manhood?

“Large coffee,” the blond stuttered.
“Anything in it?”
“Like what?”

Oh, nice. Adam had flustered him. He hoped it was for the same reason he flustered Adam. Could he—should he—hit on this guy in front of his companion?

“Cream, sugar?” Adam made sure his tone was devoid of sarcasm, tempting as it would have been with anyone else. Wasn't enough to save the blond from further embarrassment, as the blush heating his cheeks got stronger.
“Oh, sorry. No. Black is fine. And, uh…I'm sorry about earlier.” Big-and-Sexy was having difficulty meeting Adam's eyes.

“No problem. It's forgotten. Anything else?” Jesus. Had that sounded as suggestive to anyone else as it had to Adam's ears? Maybe it had, given that the blush somehow intensified. Apparently his mouth had already decided to try a gentle come-on, without his brain's consent. While Adam wondered if he should be more overt, the blond's friend broke the moment.

“A medium latte, please.” The older man gave him a pleasant smile and a nod. He'd clearly recognized Adam, but then, he'd already apologized for the near mishap and undoubtedly didn't feel the need for any further discussion of the matter.
“I'll go get a seat,” the blond said before he slipped away, still unable to look at Adam.
“I can bring you your drinks,” Adam said as he made change for the older man.

“Thanks. That would be great.”

The older man followed his companion to a table in the corner. Both appeared relaxed, but Adam was sure that wasn't the case.

His curiosity stabbed him. Something odd was going on here.
Susie returned from busing a few tables. “Serving them too?” She winked. “Find out what they're doing here. Or, better yet, how long they're staying in town.”

“They're staying in town?” Adam strove for nonchalance but feared he'd failed miserably. “How do you know?”

© K.C. Burn

Review

I came across this book last week on Tam’s blog and I deliberately jumps over her thoughts on the book – because as soon I saw the cover I knew I wanted to read this book.

Rothburg is the latest stop on Agent Lachlan Carmichael and his partners journey in their hunt to close up portals that are opening in various locations. Rothburg just happens to be the town where all the information from the MIA  leads them to and it is nothing like they expected.

From the candy cane feel of the place to the white picket fences both men knew something was clearly off about this scenic little town. As agents they do what they do best - stand out like sore thumbs and because of this they know that it is only with the help of a local that they will be able to get any sort of decent information to use in their search. They solicit the help of Adam, a local who just happens to be the guy that Agent Lachlan Carmichael almost ran over and has an immediate attraction towards.  

Adam is not loved or even liked by the residents of Rothburg and at every turn they make him aware of this fact, This does not stop Adam from doing what he has to do however. He has come home to be with his parents and help them as best as he can and he is willing to make any sacrifice for this. 

Adam is just as attracted to Carmichael as he is to him, and before long they are making magical music. Magical because Adam is the first person that Carmichael  has ever felt comfortable with and attracted to enough to drop his guard around and be with.

While their nights are filled with steamy scenes and low moans, someone is watching Adam and Carmichael inner portal radar is going crazy.

Everything comes to a head when the agents put two and two together and realise that the portals creature of choice on this turn is werewolf and one is obsessed with Adam.

When Adam gets kidnapped all of Carmichael’s protective instinct comes alive and he knows that if he does not find him soon – he would be losing the best things to have ever happen to him..

 

What Worked for me

This is the first in the MIA Case Files series and the author got me right away with the town setting. Rothburg is a town that is too pretty and two perfect and just seems to be the perfect foil for all kinda evil and I was eager to see what unfolded.

I liked the characters, I thought they were a nice mix and complimented each other well. Carmichael and his partner had a  sort of push and pull working relationship which worked for them, they knew how far to go with each other, sometimes just a look says it all. This perfect sync extended itself to the relationship between Adam and Carmichael as well, and while they had their combustible moments – Adam’s assertive sometimes peppy personality was a good fit for Carmichael less than optimistic military attitude to a whole lot of things.

I loved the fact that the  main protag Carmichael was a hero in training so to speak. He was learning his trade and as such it was refreshing to see his uncertainty and insecurities come to the forefront at the most crucial of times. He was not the man in charge, but I could see that he would be a force once he got some experience under his belt.

With the romanticising of the wolf shifter a live and well in most paranormal books – it was nice to read a book where the werewolves were the evil that had to be eradicated. , 

While some of this books had a fair amount of predictables, like the hook up of Adam and Carmichael, as well as the blurb does give a pretty decent amount of the book away -  I really liked that the author put her own spin on this tale – it’s intriguing, quite suspenseful and enough was left unsaid to make me want to know more about the MIA agency. I am looking forward to wherever the portal take the men next.

I liked the sex scenes, no shy wallflower were these guys – they were at it as much as they could get away with and as they were as creative as their limbs could manage.

What didn’t work for me

As a first in a series  I expected more info on the MIA (the agency) itself, while I knew the men worked for this secret agency and what the agency’s core mission was - I knew nothing else. The end game came in bits and pieces and will work well for some readers however I like the wordy build up and the info dump, so that bothered me a little. I am hoping to get more info on the agency in future books.

There were two prevalent storyline running through this book, the romance between Adam and Carmichael and the search for the portal. While there was nothing major to indicate the lose ends would not be ties up by the end of the book I thought the author packed too much info into the last few pages of the book.

I thought it a bit weird that neither Adam nor anyone in town mentioned the sick parents, although everyone kept giving these cryptic comments about Adam. (Tam’s review) – I agree

Carmichael’s partner Oliver was support cast material despite the fact that he was Carmichael superior, and he was written as support cast. I knew nothing about him and this is another area that I hope will be address in future books.

Bottom Line

From the moment  I read the blurb on this book I knew I wanted to read it. Adam and Carmichael are likable heroes with too much going on in their lives - but, are open to the idea of good sex - and that’s how it begins. Add in an odd little town and a haunted woods and I hooked.

The pace of WOLFSBANE is quite fast and I read it in one go, this was aided by the fact that the cast moved around a bit and the scenes were short and sharp in there content.

Despite the little niggles that I had with the overall book this was a good read. There is the attention to some details that I liked and the author does leave enough room to grow in future books.

10 Speak To Me:

Tam on 9 June 2010 at 02:38 said...

I didn't mind that some things are left kind of hanging because I assume they'll be explained in future books. I'm curious though if it will be a continuation of these two guys or how they will work out the continuing romance storyline along with mystery part. I will definitely be getting the next book though.

Chris on 9 June 2010 at 02:53 said...

It's on my reader....

Cecile on 9 June 2010 at 04:17 said...

Oh wow... jumped over her thoughts! Well I am glad that the book is set itself up for more to come!!! Isn't that what we want... more....
Hope all is well honey!

Lily on 9 June 2010 at 05:01 said...

I've got this one loaded and ready to read. Along with quite a few more. :)

Erotic Horizon on 9 June 2010 at 08:21 said...

@Tam..

I dont mind a little info left to find out - but I love getting the heavy stuff out of the way first..

I look forward to where the author goes with this plot - it does have alot of promise..

I have been peeking at the author site - no info yet on the next book - but I am also hoping Adam and Lachlan shows up..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 9 June 2010 at 08:22 said...

@Chris..
I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 9 June 2010 at 08:23 said...

@Cecile

Yeah it did set itself up nicely - and I am gad I waited to read Tam's review...

Nice to know we picked up on alot of the same things..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 9 June 2010 at 08:25 said...

@Lily..

That Tam and Chris are to be blamed for the length of my TBR pile..

This was a good find by her - I am glad I read it..

E.H>

Fiction Vixen on 9 June 2010 at 16:25 said...

I am completely intrigued. I want. :) Very nice review as always EH.

Erotic Horizon on 9 June 2010 at 16:45 said...

@FV

Thanks hon - I do hope you try it, it's one of those books that I am keen to see what other people think of it..

E.H>