Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley
Released on October 5, 2004
Finding a new Urban Fantasy series to love is like getting a present when its not your birthday. This one was neat because it had a Chinese American for a heroine who also happened to be a homicide detective while the hero is the enigmatic heir to one of the lupi (werewolf) clans. They come together to solve a murder, but there is so much more going on that made it exciting to the end.
Lily Lu is a fairly new detective and must still prove herself. Its hard because not only is she a woman; she is a diminutive Chinese woman who is constantly underestimated. Lily gets lucky and draws a high profile case that will either make her or break her- a man murdered by a lupi. Naturally as she wades in, the facts don’t add up though they do point- too convincingly- to one lupi, the Nokolai Prince Rule Turner being the suspect. Turner offers to work with the police by being an ambassador of sorts for his people all the while keeping a few big secrets to himself both about the case and about he and Lily.
Rule Turner knows he must tread carefully as enemies close in from all sides. His father was gravely injured during an ambush and Rule is under suspicion for that. He is being fingered for the killing of a human because he is shagging the guy’s wife. And to top it off, he discovers that he will be one of the rare lupi who are given a Chosen- a true bonded mate- in the form of the suspicious police detective, Lily Yu. He knows it will be a delicate piece of business talking to Lily about this and gaining her acceptance. First he was resolved to this ‘gift’ of a Chosen, but now he really wants it.
The two are forced to work together not knowing who they can trust as they sort out the clues and try to arrive at the answer before it is too late.
The plot was very enjoyable for me since I enjoy combining the paranormal, the murder mystery and the romance all together. This one did a good job of providing lots of shadowy characters to make almost everyone look guilty at one point and it was exciting that there is no certainty of who to trust. This one offered up three points of view which was nice because I like getting into the character’s heads to feel more involved in the story.
The world building was very creative and caught my interest. This world has all the myths and legions ‘out of the closet’ and fighting prejudice like a regular minority group except they’re anything, but regular. I liked the variety of the various magic users such as Lily’s form of magic along with that of others that were presented and the details of Rule’s shifter world were different from others I’ve read.
The characters as I mentioned before were intriguing for their uniqueness. Lilly and Rule both had skills that they could bring to the table. It was fun that they are so different, but yet they seem to work. And there is no question their passion works. There weren’t a lot of details, but there is enough to know this. She likes order and he functions well in organized chaos. She is stern and down to business while he can conduct business and still see the light side of things. And then there are the secondary characters that aren’t just literary props for Lilly and Rule. Lilly’s grandmother was probably my favorite, but that cat of Lilly’s, Dirty Harry, was a scene stealer. I’m really looking forward to getting to know all the characters better throughout the rest of the series.
I recommend this for those who enjoy Urban Fantasies or like the idea of a human magic user and a werewolf for their heroine and hero.