I do not believe I’ve mentioned this on TGTBTU before, but I do an Internet radio show once a month. The first time I did the show was a bit of a fiasco at the end, partially due to the presence of two Cynthias. It ended fairly well because I heard Cynthia Eden read an excerpt from Hotter After Midnight. I enjoyed the excerpt and jumped at the chance to actually read the novel. It lived up to my expectations, thankfully.
Emily Drake suffered in her youth because of her ability to see the Other and hear their thoughts. Luckily, she received training and now works as the “Monster Doctor” – a psychologist to vampires, charmers, and various beings that go bump in the night. Unluckily, one of those creatures is killing humans and the police seek Emily’s help. That’s when she meets Detective Colin Gyth, who is hiding his Other status from his coworkers.
It took me a little while to figure out why Colin was hiding his nature when Emily wasn’t. I eventually realized that the Other community is not out to the human community. Emily is only out to the Other community, thus she does not think about hiding her nature when she’s in the presence of a vampire in the beginning of the novel. (I’m did not figure out how Colin knew her as the Monster Doctor when he seems cut off from any non-humans, but that’s a minor quibble. I’d have forgotten about it except it’s that statement that led me to the aforementioned confusion.)
Colin is a predatory Shifter, widely regarded as one of the most dangerous types of Other. Between that and growing up apart from those of his kind, Colin knows almost nothing about the Other community. Emily helps him learn more about his world more than she helps him solve the case. Of course, the case almost seems incidental in setting up the world and the relationship. Not that I mind – the case is present when it needs to be and neither character acts needlessly stupid about trying to catch a murderer.
There are also some interesting side characters, particularly the demon Niol. He’s a bad guy, but protective of his people, and I would absolutely read more about him. His onscreen appearances were enigmatic without being ridiculously obtuse. I also liked the poor human pathologist who is confused by the bodies that appear to have been killed by a werewolf. Oh, and Todd Brooks, the human partner who knows he’s being kept out of the loop.
Eden impressed me with this sexy paranormal romance. She integrated her world-building well and kept in consistent. Emily lacks the overwhelming arrogance that’s popular in many paranormal heroines and instead possesses competence. Colin approached too alpha to me at times, but managed to remain a compelling hero. I look forward to reading more of Eden’s work, especially Hotter After Midnight’s sequel, Midnight Sins, even if I do have to wait until November 25th.
Emily Drake’s patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of the typical therapist’s caseload of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex demons looking for meaningful relationships. But her gift for recognizing and healing the Other–those creatures of the night that most humans don’t even know exist–requires a few house rules. First: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth, whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she’s been longing to lose control…
Colin can’t believe the doctor he’s been assigned to work with on the Night Butcher murder investigation is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart, sexy, and stubborn as hell, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild, heady desire that takes them both over the edge.
But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits…eager to spill Emily’s blood and taste her terror. And he’ll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust…
Read an excerpt here.
Other books in the series: