I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Shifter Romances the Writer by Kristen Painter
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism
Published by Sugar Skull Books on May 15, 2016
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires, Book Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case, All Fired Up, "Prologue to The Vampire's Mail Order Bride", The Vampire's Mail Order Bride, The Werewolf Meets His Match, The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, The Professor Woos the Witch, The Vampire's Fake Fiancée, "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife
Sixth in the Nocturne Falls magical realism fantasy series and revolving around a small town in Georgia that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. The couple focus is on Roxy St James, a paranormal romance writer who’s human, and Alex Cruz, a panther shifter, who’s a sheriff’s deputy.
Oh, I want one! I want one! Roxy is getting a huge saltwater aquarium . . . wahh . . . I want one, lol. Heck, I wouldn’t mind that ’69 Corvette convertible Roxy is getting out of hidden storage, either.
Poor Alex. Between studying for the sergeant’s exam, his mother’s harassment, and his freeloading brother, he could really use a break. While I think Alex is too easygoing with that brother, I can understand the reluctance. Good thing that doesn’t last, *grin*.
Painter uses a third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Roxy’s and Alex’s perspectives, and it’s sweet to watch Roxy re-bloom, as Alex treats her as a real person and not someone to be controlled. Unfortunately, Roxy thinks she’s inherited her mother’s problems — hallucinations.
Hmm, the Ellinghams thought they’d protected Nocturne Falls with that spelled water . . . Nor is Roxy prepared for the fame she finds in town.
Wow, Roxy has some team working for her! It’s a bit intimidating. And exciting! I wonder if that’s part of where Roxy got her moxie from when she confronts Diego, lol.
It’s those protective plans surrounding Roxy, which screws everything up.
I love how different Alex is from Thomas, which of course plays up what a loser Thomas is, oy. Ladies (and men), if your significant other is pulling the same crap, run. Don’t stop. That person is toxic to you (and probably everyone else in his life). Alex actually reads Roxy’s book! Of course, it’s not all roses, as the silly boy wonders if Wolfgang is the kind of man Roxy wants.
It’s a great opportunity for Roxy’s character arc to do a 180, especially after the way Thomas treated and spoke to her. And Alex is a major contributor to the changes. It’s fun to watch their interest in each other grow, even as they deny it.
Oh, crack me up! Roxy gets an idea for a paranormal romance about a paranormal town she’s “created” is actually real. Hmmm, the things yoga will make you think, lol.
Nope, this sudden “dream” of Roxy’s doesn’t suit her. In my opinion. Although I get what she means when she says she feels like she’s just “won the lottery, except I can’t spend any of the money. Just look at it. And watch other people spend it”. It’s all part of Thomas’ contamination.
I love, love, love Nocturne Falls. It’s a diverse group of so many different supernaturals who are supportive of each other, which makes for the most amazing town. Then there’s Alex’s comment about Kaley having a possible future in law enforcement. Hmmm . . .
Invited to move to Nocturne Falls by her old college friend, Delaney, Roxy is ready for a complete change and a break from her soon-to-be, hopefully, ex.
Roxy St James is a successful paranormal romance writer seeking to escape New Jersey. She’s also a friend of Delaney’s. Her mother had suffered from schizophrenia. Emily has replaced Marissa Cranberry as Roxy’s assistant. Jacob Cranberry is her brother. Thomas Sykes is Roxy’s awful, controlling, soul-crushing ex.
Wolfgang Blackborne is Roxy’s hunky werewolf-vampire hero in her series the Blood Moon Brotherhood . . . a character whom Carmen Cruz treats as real. Marbella is Wolfgang’s love. Ulric is Wolfgang’s betraying brother.
Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Cruz is a panther shifter whose mother, Carmen Cruz, wants grandbabies. (His parents live in Tallahassee, thank god.) Diego is Alex’s shiftless younger brother, who’s best at being a mechanic and is also a good bartender. Nina and Penny are previous girlfriends of Diego’s, most of whom seem to be tossing the freeloading Diego out. Aunt Alita married his uncle Santino and presents Alex with a nightmare scenario.
Nocturne Falls is . . .
. . . a small town in Georgia where supernaturals are free to be themselves. Most of it is owned by the Ellinghams, a vampire family that’s been around for 400 years. Hugh Ellingham is the second oldest and married to the currently pregnant Delaney James who has her own sweets shop, Delaney’s Delectables (The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, 1). Stanhill is Hugh’s rook. Sebastian is the oldest brother who’s hooked up with Tessa Blythe, Jenna’s sister (The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée, 5). Alice Bishop is the Ellinghams’ personal witch.
Sheriff Hank Merrow is a werewolf married to the newly pregnant Ivy since The Werewolf Meets His Match, 2. Birdie Caruthers is his aunt as well as the police receptionist. Birdie knows or can find out everything. Other deputies include Jenna Blythe, a valkyrie, and Remy Lafitte, a vampire whose grandfather is Jean Lafitte.
Agnes Miller, a witch, owns Bell, Book & Candle, the local bookstore. Leo, a fae, is one of Agnes’ employees. Bridget Merrow, Hank’s sister and fellow werewolf, owns Howler’s, a popular local dive bar. Shanna is one of the servers there. Salvatore’s makes legendary pizza. Pandora Williams has come into her own since The Professor Woos the Witch, 4, when she met and fell in love with Professor Cole Van Zant, a human familiar, and his teenage daughter, Kaley, whom Pandora is now mentoring. Kaley is an amazing aura reader. Willa Iscove is a fae jeweler who owns Illusions; she’s with Nick Hardwin after her adventures in The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, 3. Martha Vines is a little woo-woo. Greyson Garret is a vampire who seems to do all sorts of odd jobs.
Undrea Seely is a mermaid whose business, Tanks a Lot, is installing and maintaining fish tanks. Aaron is her assistant. Imari and Sandrine are masseuses. Alex’s and Roxy’s neighbors include the Dravens, the Hadads, and Freda Stover. The Tanakas had been Alex’s neighbors until their house was sold. Mrs Irving is a ghost friend of Carmen’s.
The Cover and Title
The cover is shockingly bright with its vivd striped yellow-on-yellow background all a’twinkle with stars. It’s Roxy’s home sweet office with a few pictures on the wall, her saltwater aquarium on the right, and Roxy kicking back on a cushy looking white chair behind a simple desk with her computer on the left of it and a pile of books on the right along with that innocent bottle of water. To the left of the desk is the trademarked orange jack-o-lantern perched above the brown wood sign that provides the series info in yellow. Standing behind the desk on the left is Alex in his blue deputy uniform, his arms crossed over his chest. Do check out that shadow of his, lol. Roxy herself is sitting in the chair in jeans, red high heels and a corset-like red and pink top. The title is at the top in a gothic-like font in white with a thick black outline. The author’s name is below the desk in a serif with the same black and white colors. Below that is an info blurb in white with a very thick black shadow.
The title is literally, all about The Shifter [Who] Romances the Writer.