Posted on February 18, 2010 by alanajoli
Available at Amazon.com
I discovered Dakota Cassidy through the League of Reluctant Adults, and have been following her blog for ages. She did an excellent back and forth short fiction piece with Mark Henry (Happy Hour of the Damned, Road Trip of the Living Dead, and the forthcoming Battle of the Network Zombies) that appeared on their web sites (a murder in an America’s Top Model-like environment) featuring characters from Mark’s Amanda Feral series and Dakota’s “Accidentals” series. Having fallen in love with her online writing, I put her books on hold through my library.
And I waited. And waited. And waited. And by the time the first book actually arrived through my library system (where apparently it was too popular at the home library for them to ship to me), Dakota’s fourth book, Accidentally Demonic, started appearing early on bookshelves. When Dakota found out I was a reviewer, she promptly sent me an e-ARC, and so I’ve now finally read a full novel in the “Accidentals” series. My verdict? If the first three are this good, I should have just bought them instead of waiting!
In Accidentally Demonic, Casey Schwartz doesn’t quite remember what she did to end up in jail, but she’s been told it has to do with assaulting an off-duty police officer. The ever-practical Casey, whose career involves keeping two celebutante sisters out of the tabloids, has no idea why she’s become so prone to violence — until Wanda, Nina, and Marty, the stars of the first three “Accidental” novels, let her in on the world of the paranormal. Suddenly, Casey not only has to deal with the idea that her sister Wanda, with whom she’s been out of touch, is a were-vampire, but that the changes happening to her — being able to sling fireballs, levitate, and use super-strength — are permanent. Things get even more complicated when the person responsible for her change, a hottie vampire named Clay, shows up to coach her through the process and instantly sets her libido on fire. Struggling with wanting to blame him for all her new troubles and wanting him naked between the sheets, Casey begins to navigate the paranormal world, only to find out that the demoness Hildegarde, whose blood she now shares, wants her dead, or bound in Hell, whichever comes first.
Dakota writes her “Accidentals” novels just like she writes her blog entries and like she chats on her Vlogs. Her characters use words like “evah” and, once in Accidentally Demonic, use LOL Cats speak. They’re utterly snarky, sometimes potty-mouthed, and all-around appealing characters. The four women are a fabulous support group who really care about each other and are determined to take the paranormal world by its horns. (In Casey’s case, this is sometimes literal.) The romance between Casey and Clay happens fast, which works brilliantly well in context, and the sex scenes are hot. Even the supporting cast is well drawn, from the men who were the love interests in the first three novels (and are now attached to Wanda, Nina, and Marty), to the demons either helping to train or trying to manipulate Casey, to the former vampire manservant Archibald (who steals every scene he’s in with his addiction to cooking shows and too-proper manner of speech). Only Hildegarde seems a little shallow, but being a demon nut-job completely obsessed with eventually winning her man could have that effect on anyone.
I’d definitely categorize Accidentally Demonic as a paranormal romance (readers know from the beginning that the guy and the girl will have a happy ending eventually), but unlike most paranormal romances, the focus here is just as much on the relationships among the women as it is about the relationship between the love interests. That element gives the story a deeper dimension without having to build an incredibly complicated world or huge overarching plot with a good vs. evil sort of battle cast out at the end (ala Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series or Meljean Brook’s Guardians books). The novel is incredibly character-centric, and the idea that this sort of accident happens to otherwise normal people just trying to get by and make their way through life is pervasive. While not as dark as most of the books that show up here at Flames Rising, I’d definitely recommend Accidentally Demonic (and most likely the other “Accidentals”) to anyone who has enjoyed Mark Henry’s Amanda Feral books (or Molly Harper’s “Nice Girls Don’t” novels). Folks who normally don’t read romance should still find the novel appealing — the sex scenes come at logical places and make sense in the plot, rather than seeming like they’re thrown in there just for the heck of it, so they’re not a distraction from the rest of the story — and romance readers will be tickled by the way the relationship between Clay and Casey builds through to the epilogue.
So, don’t wait like I did — go pick it up! Accidentally Demonic and the other accidental novels are on shelves (or available as e-books) now!
Review by Alana Abbott
Tags | paranormal romace