It’s belated, yes, but we have reached the end of my Local Author Smorgasbord, my literary foodies! This week, we dip into the paranormal romance basket to find a bit of modern fairy tale fare with One Enchanted Evening. Will this basket of goodies end our local feast on a high note or will this evening be not so enchanted after all?
Before we slip on our red hoods, let us recite the Starving Reviewer’s creed:
- I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
- I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible
It’s not a groundbreaking recipe idea to mine the fairy tales of old for inspiration. Whether such a meal turns out tasting fresh and zesty or old and rehashed comes down to the new ingredients and substitutions the chef makes. So the first critical matter to deal with is whether Evening is the first, the second, or something simply ‘meh’ in between. I’m happy to tell you that this meal is much more of the first, with no real bits of the second or the third, really.
Evening is a breezy and even-paced read, drawing inspiration from the classic tale of Red Riding Hood, while turning it well on its head. There is a witty pun or two involved, but the core of the matter is actually a very serious one, delving into thwarting wolves in their hunt. As the narrative is set in modern Maine, let it be plain that the hunting wolf here is not an animal. In essence, we have a paranormal romance crime fairy tale here.
The characters are smartly written and the supernatural elements are thought out and follow a logical form. Solid writing and a crisp, even pace make Evening a pleasant meal to down. While the actual plot isn’t a revolutionary, palate-expanding meal, it’s good and simple, with a capable heroine who is a step outside the typical romance-genre lead, a fairly deep male lead (there are some good parts exploring the mindset of a war veteran here), and an appropriately wicked villain. Combined with a well-written romance and a few capable action scenes, the meal concludes with a note of positivity wrapped in mystery.
In summation, One Enchanted Evening is a crispy, airy pastry of paranormal romance with a tasty hint of drama and action. It isn’t anything extremely deep or groundbreaking, but I would heartily recommend it to someone wanting a fun romantic novel with a splash of the paranormal and dramatic. If you’re looking for a book that tackles ‘deep issues’ or something highly action-oriented, you would be best served elsewhere.
FINAL VERDICT: **** (A crispy, airy pastry of paranormal romance with a tasty hint of drama and action!)