Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace

envy-of-angels-by-matt-wallce“Envy of Angels” by Matt Wallace
Series: Sin du Jour #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy novella
Setting: New York City
Published by Tor.com, 2015
E-book, purchased
225 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: In New York, eating out can be hell.

Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings?

Welcome to Sin du Jour – where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish.

“Most important rule of working here,” he tells her. “Just when you think you’ve got a handle on how fucking sick the universe’s sense of humor is, it goes and tells you an even dirtier joke.”

and

At some point the ground beneath their feet disappears and all four of them are slipping through.

The entire world has become a child’s playpen.

There’s no bottom.

Initial impressions

  • What a fun, strange book!

The story

  • Lena and Darren are unemployed cooks, because they’re blackballed in NYC.
  • They have to find something soon or they’re going to have to go outside of NYC.
  • They get an opportunity to work for at least a week with an iconic chef.
  • Sin du Jour is a private club that caters to demons. Lena and Darren don’t know demons exist or anything about Sin du Jour before they start working, but they find out!

Pluses

  • It’s ironic and satiric and even silly sometimes. Just a lot of fun!
  • This was a little like watching a reality TV cooking show–maybe Hell’s Kitchen–if there were demons!
  • Funny, but also some horror vibes to the story as I wasn’t sure exactly what was going to happen.
  • Written in present tense–gives an immediacy to the story as though it’s happening right now. Also the story is told with detachment toward the characters. I didn’t feel very close to them so I felt every character was in danger. That really works for this story.

Minuses

  • There’s not a lot of world building. I hope there’s more world building in the next book, because this world has lots of promise.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • The second novella was published in January and the third one is coming out later this month.
  •  Since 2015 Tor.com has been publishing novellas from a number of authors. I really like that they are doing this. I can try new authors and read authors I already like in a shorter version which means I can read more new fiction!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

  • 2016 Goodreads Challenge
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy Bingo Reading Challenge–hosted by the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog– Sci Fi Fantasy Humor

Review: Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan

Suddenly Last Summer
Suddenly Last Summer

 

Suddenly Last Summer
by Sarah Morgan
Series: O’Neil Brothers, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN, 2014
E-book, Purchased
384 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the opening day plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O’Neil is back in town, and looking more delectable than ever. Last summer, they shared an electrifying night together…and the memories have Élise really struggling to stick to her one-night-only rule! Her head knows that eventually Sean will be leaving, so all she can do is try to ignore her heart before she spontaneously combusts with lust.

Being back in Vermont—even temporarily—is surgeon Sean O’Neil’s worst nightmare. For Sean, returning home to the Snow Crystal Resort means being forced to confront the reasons and the guilt he feels about rejecting his family’s rural lifestyle years ago. But discovering that Élise has settled in Vermont and still sets his blood racing is a very welcome distraction! Thinking he can persuade her into a replay of last summer is tempting, but remembering how good they are together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine…

More often than not, he saw a family as stifling, whereas in fact it was a cocoon. Not a straightjacket, but a protection. He’d always had that, it had always been there, even when he hadn’t noticed, or wanted it.

and

“What she means is you are truly terrible at cooking.” Élise poured coffee into mugs and set them on the table. “What? Why are you all looking at me?”

Brenna grinned. “Because you don’t know the meaning of the word tact.”

“I speak the truth so none of us is poisoned….”

Cheers

  • The O’Neil Brothers series celebrates family–the love, the anger, the belonging, the fear for our loved ones, the friendships. Sure, it’s idealized, but the family isn’t perfect either. They have problems to work out and don’t always do the best communicating.
  • I like Élise and Sean. Neither wants a relationship (for different reasons), but there’s mutual attraction (which they fight against at first). They get to know each other better and they become friends.
  • Élise and Sean must learn to trust each other and Élise especially must bury the ghosts of the past.
  • I like the humor and comradery found between so many of the characters.
  • I like the cooking Élise does in the book. Not too much detail, just enough. I wish I could cook some of her dishes!
  • A nice summer read.

Jeers

  • I was bored sometimes in the early part of the book. I think this is just me…I’m not reading much romance these days and even less contemporary romance.

And a few thoughts

  • The third book in the series–Maybe This Christmas–comes out on November 1 of this year. I look forward to this one since I love Snow Crystal in winter and at Christmas!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?