Type: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Running With Scissors
My Copy: Sent
What would you do if you discovered there was a parallel dimension?
Hailey Parrish used to be an average, everyday human. Boring, in fact. After being possessed by Sebastian Kess, a magically inclined enforcer from the parallel dimension Coursodon, her life took a decidedly less mundane turn. Besides coming to grips with the existence of supernatural beings, she risked her life helping Sebastian and her heart falling for his protégé, Alex Sunderland. Now, Hailey has to deal with the bit of arcane power that Sebastian left behind when he returned to his own body and try to stay out of the crossfire when an unknown assailant seeks revenge against Alex.
Special Rewards follows directly on the heels of book one, Special Offers…which was one of the most unique paranormal romances I read last year.
I really liked Hailey, our heroine, in book one because she was practical and smart. She knew her limitations but was eager to help the rico sauve, Sebastian, find his way back to his own body instead of hanging him out to dry which would have meant certain death. She is just a lovable character. Well wrote and well rounded. Her quirks, especially where her mother is concerned made her very human and believable. While the heat level in this book (as well as book one) is very tame I find myself just enjoying it because the story is one that doesn’t need the heat to keep me reading. Alex is a good hero but I didn’t love him so much this time around. Maybe it was because he was constantly leaving Hailey thus letting the bad guys get to her again and again…maybe it was his less then honest admission of his position in his dimension, whatever it was just rubbed me the wrong way. He was attentive and heartfelt when it counted so it kinda evened it out some.
In Special Rewards readers get to travel to Alex’s Coursodon dimension in order to help out Sebastian after he is put on trial for inhabiting Hailey’s body for quite some time in Special Offers. I really enjoyed finally getting a look at this place Alex is from but the names in the book were ridiculous. I mean names like Stylexincax, Rexanatyxa and Wyxinorolyxazam? No I didn’t just have a stroke and die on my keyboard, those are actual names from the book. No. I already have a huge pet peeve when I can’t stick with a pronunciation, but this hit every annoyance nerve I have. I resorted to skipping over the names because I didn’t want to stop and try to figure them out 50 times a page. There’s also a section where the author stridently talks about how Lance Armstrong didn’t do performance enhancing drugs and instead won all his titles by being half Coursodonian….which is funny in light of his admission to using drugs. That will definitely date a novel for future readers.
When Sebastian left Hailey’s body at the end of book one, he left behind some of his magical abilities. That coupled with Hailey’s own essence has afforded her the chance to grow her magic. These powers allow her to be able to stand more on her own and not rely on the guys as much…which was a good thing since Alex was constantly leaving her wide open to attacks. There are many levels of magical abilities in these books which added to the depth of the story line
I will continue to read this series because of Ryan’s unique approach to world and character building. If I secretly hope for a bit more heat in the next book, well, so be it. 😉
I give Special Rewards by M.L. Ryan 3.75 stars!