Review: A Fiend In Need by Maureen Child

Thursday, February 28, 2008 1:00
Posted in category Review

A Fiend in Need by Maureen ChildDevon’s review of A Fiend In Need by Maureen Child
Contemporary paranormal romance released by NAL Trade 4 Mar 08

This book contains: a snarky, flippant narrator; multiple Buffy/Angel references; the overuse of the word “hoo-hah” as a euphemism for girl parts; several possible love interests; and, no HEA in sight.

If these things make you want to groan and gnash your teeth, consider yourself warned.

I enjoyed this book more than I originally thought I would, due to some of the elements above. Somewhere along the way, I found myself involved in the adventures of Cassidy Burke: single mom, house cleaner, and Demon Duster. Apparently all the women in her family become Demon Dusters on their thirty second birthday, and yes, there can only be one.

The discovery that her Southern California hometown is beset by demons, and that it is her duty to rid the world of them, has overloaded Cassidy’s already full plate. She has a sixteen year old daughter, a business, a grumpy demon mentor, a sexy demon lover, and her first love/baby daddy is back in town. While the tone and humor sometimes grated, I did enjoy Cassidy’s relationships with her daughter, best friend and mentor/trainer. She was an every-woman type figure, able to kick ass while worrying about her daughter’s upcoming cheerleading tryout. I found her to be well-fleshed out and refreshing.

The romantic/sexual elements were the weakest part of the book. I double checked and, according to the back cover and Amazon, this is classified as a paranormal romance. Definitely misleading. Cassidy juggles a tenuous relationship with night-club owning demon named Devlin, lingering feelings for local cop/former lover named Logan, and the magical attentions of male faery named Brady. Although I didn’t feel like I missed that much by skipping the first book, More Than Fiends, when it came to the romance, I wished I had read it. Because I wasn’t feeling any of these men or relationships. They all seemed kind of pushy and shady, and there was no chemistry.

This was all complicated by the fact that the book was in first person, which distances the reader from the hero because we’re never in his head. I also find sex scenes written in the first person to be weak, because we are told everything rather than shown. I didn’t need to hear quite so much about what was going on with Cassidy’s hoo-hah at any given moment.

Despite being riddled with a number of paranormal clichés, A Fiend in Need was a pleasant read. It kept my interest, and I’d be interested in reading the next, mostly to find out if any of the romances get interesting. If you like your paranormals light, or with a chick-lit flavor, you might enjoy this one. It is also noteworthy for a realistic heroine with as many human responsibilities as paranormal ones.

Devon’s IconGrade: C+

From the back cover:

It’s only been a month since single mom Cassie Burke unexpectedly became the hottest demon killer in town-and already there’s a price on her head and a website calling for her murder.

Then a sizzling hunk of a faery shows up on her porch in need of protection. Cassie’s happy to help because, after all, he is an expert love slave. Plus, he gets along great with her teenage daughter-a heroic feat in itself.

After a few not-quite-chaste nights, Cassie knows why Queen Vanessa wants him back so badly-and why she’s planning an all-out attack on her. Suddenly Cassie’s wondering if she can fend off an entire city of demons-and if a little faery tail is even worth it…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

More Than Fiends by Maureen Child

Read more from Devon at Is That a Stake In Your Pocket?

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