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 Werewolf Dates the Deputy by Kristen Painter
Series: Nocturne Falls #12
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Mystery
Published by Sugar Skull Books on June 26, 2020
Source: my own shelves
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Also in this series: The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, The Professor Woos the Witch, The Vampire's Fake Fiancée, The Shifter Romances the Writer, "The Vampire's True Love Trials", "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife, The Reaper Rescues the Genie, The Detective Wins The Witch, The Vampire's Priceless Treasure, "The Werewolf's Christmas Wish"
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 Shifter Romances the Writer, "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife, The Reaper Rescues the Genie, The Detective Wins The Witch, The Vampire's Priceless Treasure, "When Birdie Babysat Spider", Miss Frost Ices the Imp, Miss Frost Saves the Sandman, Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, "The Werewolf's Christmas Wish", The Vampire's Cursed Kiss
Twelfth in the Nocturne Falls fantasy magical realism mystery series and revolving around a town full of supernaturals hiding in plain sight. The couple focus is on Deputy Jenna Blythe and Fire Chief Titus Merrow.
Ooh, the initial conflict is a charity relay 10K that the sheriff’s department usually organizes. Not this year, as there’s a battle between the sheriff’s department and the fire department as to who gets the honor.
I like this story, and yet I don’t like Jenna’s character arc issue about Zoe. She has no idea but leaps to her own conclusions. That girl sure has a lot of bad back history!
Poor Jenna and Titus. Forced to spend time together. I gotta say Painter does come up with interesting scenarios for love, lol. We also get some insights into each of their homes and what they say about their owners.
It’s all through third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Jenna’s and Titus’ perspectives. Gives us a chance to hear how attracted — no, no, NO — they are to each other. The issues they have. What each may have to reveal about themselves. The growth they’re having to go through.
Ooh, that trip to the firehouse for Jenna is a crack-up. All the teasing the firemen give her, especially with that T-shirt she’s wearing. Hubba-hubba, lol.
Oh, cute! Pandora’s tag is “How can I get you home?”
The inciting incident rolls on from that initial conflict over the race with Jenna and Titus getting caught by that bomb. The action rises with their being unable to be apart and only gets worse when the crisis hits with that deadline. Oh, yeah . . . then it gets even worse!
Oh . . . and even worse. Oh, man.
That question that arises for each of them is scary. I know I’d want to know that I love (and he loves) because we want to. Oh, man, Alice sets them up “nicely”, lol. It sure does give Titus and Jenna an excuse, lol.
Don’t worry, there is plenty of action as well as character driving this story. And we learn a heckuva lot about valkyrie/berserker culture!
What it comes down to is that broken heart isn’t always a bad thing.
It’s a battle between Jenna and Titus over who is going to organize the charity 10K run. Yet another battle looms when they’re both hit by that magic bomb, and Jenna is forced to move into Titus’ house — because they can’t be more than a hundred feet apart.
Swords and sorcery abound, and Jenna’s past comes back to haunt her. She and Titus are left with no choice but to question everything – and everyone. Who’s targeting them? Is what they’re feeling real? Can love survive against darkness? Can a valkyrie learn to run with the pack?
Deputy Jenna Blythe is a valkyrie and a fell maiden who was in valkyrie special ops. Helgrind is the name of her sword. Seems Jenna likes to watch Real American Firefighters, hmmm . . . Ingvar Swenson, a seer, is an old friend of Jenna’s from the wraith task force (who had gotten an apprenticeship with a well-known seer). Vikka is Ingvar’s sword. Eric Peerson is Jenna’s ex-boyfriend and her former commanding officer, a real jerk.
Fire Chief Titus Merrow, a werewolf, is Hank and Bridget’s brother with a passion for woodworking. Zoe, a schoolteacher and a werewolf, is his ex-fiancée, by several years.
Nocturne Falls, Georgia, is . . .
. . . a town mostly owned by a vampire family, the Ellinghams. Elenora is the matriarch with three grandsons: the grumpy Sebastian who is engaged to Tessa Blythe, Jenna’s sister, the head librarian at Harmswood, and another valkyrie with her cat, Duncan (The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée, 5); Hugh who is married to Delaney who runs Delaney’s Delectables, an amazing sweets shop (The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, 1); and, Julian who is married to Desdemona, who likes to perform at the new playhouse (The Vampire’s Accidental Wife, 8). Alice Bishop is Elenora’s secretary and a very powerful witch.
Sheriff Hank Merrow, a werewolf, is married to another werewolf, Ivy (The Werewolf Meets His Match, 2). They have two children, Charlie and Hannah Rose. Hannah says her first sentence! Birdie Caruthers is Hank’s aunt, the police receptionist, and a core character in the series. Other deputies include Alex Cruz who is with Roxy St James, a paranormal romance writer (The Shifter Romances the Writer, 6); May; and, Remy Lafitte, a vampire.
More of the town firefighters include Sam Kincaid, another werewolf, Bridget’s boyfriend, and Ivy’s brother; Liam Murphy, a leprechaun; Frank Childers; Skip Mulvaney who’s married to Jeannie (a crossing guard and a weather witch); Brenden Nguyen; and, Kurt Amsler.
Bridget Merrow owns the local watering hole, Howler’s. Other establishments include Big Daddy Bones; the DIY Depot; Guildman’s, which is a menswear store owned by Dexter Guildman; Bell, Book & Candle is the local bookstore run by Agnes Miller, a witch; Zombie Donuts which are amazing with their Dr Prepper (in Jayne’s honor; Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case, 1 (7.5)), the Reaper, Boo-berry Cake, and more and where Bess works; and, the Hallowed Bean is a coffee shop. Old Mrs Morris is a banshee who gets too loud once a year.
Pandora Williams is a realtor and a witch, who is married to Professor Cole Van Zant, her raven familiar who works at Harmswood (The Professor Woos the Witch, 4). Kaley is his daughter. Marigold Williams is Pandora’s sister, a green witch who owns the local floral shop (The Detective Wins The Witch, 10). Charisma is yet another sister and witch, and Corette Williams is their mother . . . and a witch. Kelly is another witch and a nurse. Dominique, a witch, is on the town council.
The Lemmons own the house with the bomb. Dr Navarro is human but clued in. Chuck and Ben are orderlies. Nurse Lawrence is interested in disinfection. Darnell Mansfield is a security guard at the hospital. Harmswood Academy is a private school for supernaturals.
The male counterpart to a valkyrie (who have an affinity for felines) is a berserker, wild warriors paired in arranged marriages with valkyries. An elite group of berserkers are wolf soldiers, who are particularly attractive to Jenna. It takes a valkyrie and a seer to defeat a wraith, which is a trapped soul of an undesirable. Seers have different abilities: magic, healing, guiding battles, see or read the future . . . Leif Guddersen was a class ahead of Jenna, the big man on campus who wanted personal glory and identified as a wolf warrior. Kirsgut is Leif’s sword. Other seers include Sola Skarsgard and Gren.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a mix of black, purple, greens, and blues as stars sparkle around the edges creating the sense of an off-center oval in a mix of greens and blues with a black shadowy figure in the middle. On either side is a brown rectangular shape of tree trunks while overhead it’s a mix of black and green leaves. The title is in white with a thick black outline. Below the oval is a splish-splash of greens sitting atop a black border that showcases the white text for an info blurb and the author’s name. On the left is Jenna with her pastel rainbow of white-blonde hair blowing in a stiff breeze. She’s wearing a deep teal blue uniform with quite the sexy sweetheart neckline. Her right hand is holding her sword with its point down in the ground. With her left hand, she’s holding Titus’s right hand, and he’s wearing a gray sweatshirt that represents the Nocturne Falls Fire Department and blue jeans. The series jack-o-lantern leans against Jenna’s left leg with the wooden sign indicating the series info in a pale yellow below it.
The title is not quite true, The Werewolf Dates the Deputy, as it’s more like the werewolf is stuck with the deputy and vice versa.