- Linda Grimes
Publisher: Tor Books (Published on 3rd September 2012)
E-Arc read courtesy of Tor Books and Netgalley.
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck. This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated. Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems
Ciel is a human chameleon who uses her rare ability to be able to assume other peoples auras to take on tasks and elements they don’t want to so. Her latest client wants her to get a wedding proposal out of her boyfriend, but when her client’s fiancée-to-be is kidnapped and their beach hut is bombed, Ciel finds herself confronting modern Vikings and trying to prove to her extended family that she can take care of herself...even if she’s not so sure!
Ciel is one mouthy girl and her banter with her brother’s friend (and her long time crush) Mark and her step-cousin Billy is great fun. It really does read like family who know everything about each other – and few cases of mistaken identity make for some fun situations and a couple of laugh out loud situations. It also helped my speed through the book in little more than a day and enjoy every word. After many dark and deep Urban Fantasy reads this felt like the smell of chocolate at a weight watchers meeting – exactly what has been missing for so long – pure, unashamedly fun!
I was never entirely convinced by the Vikings agenda – they want men to be ‘real’ men again. I have to admit at times I wasn’t sure why Ciel kept insisting on going with Billy and Mark as she inevitably seemed to end captured or injured in some way. But I think she is just stubborn and unable to keep out of trouble. Her chameleon abilities are fascinating and have so much potential – yet Ciel herself still seems a little naive and young. Her character has a lot of potential for growth and I would particularly like to see her make friends with Jessica and have a female friend to talk too in the future. But overall, I really can’t wait for the next in this series to come out!
Recommended for fans of Carrie Vaughn and Rachel Vincent. 8 out of 10