Monday, May 2, 2011

Ebook review: To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O'Neal, #1) by H.P. Mallory

Format: ebook, 134 pages
Publisher: Smashwords; July 5th, 2010

Summary: The murder of a dark arts warlock. A
shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.

Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world.

When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.

Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie.

Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full.

As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.

My review: Dulcie O'Neil is the type of heroine I love to root for. For a fairy, she's not afraid to mouth off for what's important and right, she can hold her own as a regulator for the ANC alongside the big guys (just let her shake her fist for some fairy dust), she can use her womanly wiles whenever necessary, and when she's not policing the human world for law breaking netherworldly creatures, she wants to write romance books. When a local warlock, Fabian, is gruesomely murdered, Dulcie learns she was the last one to see him alive. After it is revealed Fabian was creating illegal potions for sale on the black market, all eyes fall to the blond haired fairy regulator as a suspect. During her last visit to his shop, Fabian placed a rather nasty spell on Dulcie, which could be motive.

She isn't guilty and her boss, warlock Quillan, knows that, but he still has to follow protocol and question her. As she works the case, Dulcie meets the devilishly handsome Knight, a Loki from the Netherworld who also happens to be working the case undercover. Joining forces, Dulcie and Knight quickly develop a love/hate relationship filled with flirtatious remarks and looks. Also coming into play are the various secondary characters Dulcie encounters like the salacious vampire Bram, fellow ANC worker, the hobgoblin Trey, the demon night club owner, Dagan, and Sam, Dulcie's best bud, who happens to be a powerful and smart witch with a penchant for baking.

Dulcie is the heart and soul of To Kill a Warlock and she never lets the reader down. With her natural charm, wit, along with the heavy burden of a nasty breakup which has made her put up protective walls around her, Dulcie comes across as believable, yet gullible, strong and real. Her first person narration is full of humor and snark. I didn't always care for her choices and her decisions in parts made me shake my head, yet I really enjoyed her interactions with Quill, Knight, Bram and Sam. Throughout the book I was totally in Quill's corner and wished there was more of a backstory between him and Dulcie. I wanted to know more about their relationship and work history. Quill was the male model she used for her romance novels and I thought--with some more worldbuilding I could truly get behind them. Unlike other readers, I wasn't crazy about Knight, even though I did like the mysterious way he was introduced to us. As a vampire fangirl, all I can say is I wished Bram had more story time.

Despite its short length, I still found the story highly addictive. With Mallory's nice style of writing, the words flowed and I was absorbed into Dulcie's world. To Kill a Warlock is a fast paced, entertaining, quick read with a surprise ending. Let H.P. Mallory sprinkle some of her writing dust on you and I bet you'll soon be hooked and ready to gobble up the next book in this fun series, A Tale of Two Goblins.

Rating: Good. I liked this story.

Favorite excerpt: "A man stood directly in front of me--maybe ten feet away.

I gasped and stopped in my tracks. Every nerve in my body was alert and standing at attention. My body was poised, ready to rebuff an attack. It was a built-in response in law enforcement. You never know when some ---hole's going to try to make your day.

The man was dressed in black. His hooded sweatshirt hung low over his face, making him look like the Grim Reaper, only without the scythe. He dropped the hood, and in the moonlight, I recognized the stranger from Fabian's store.

I sucked in a breath. He was just as beautiful as I'd first thought. His black hair had the same reflective quality as raven's wings and glowed under the moonbeams. The moonlight heightened the angular planes of his face, throwing shadows beneath his cheeks and the square lines of his jaw.

Even if he was beautiful, that didn't mean mean he wasn't here to kill me. And, as far as I was concerned, he was here to kill me.

"What do you want?" I said, taking a step back, my feet shoulder width apart and my body tuned to lunge into action should this stranger make a wrong move."

Cover comment: Very cute.

Book source: Received the ebook from the author for an honest review during a book tour for The Bookish Snob.

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