Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently re-released contemporary F/F paranormal mystery/romance from Alexis Hall. SHADOWS & DREAMS is the second book in the Kate Kane Paranormal Investigator series, and I am a fan! You should really read IRON & VELVET before this book, otherwise you will struggle to catch up with the plot.
The two parts of being a paranormal private investigator I could really do without are being forced to eat bananas by an animated statue with a potassium fixation, and being put on trial for murder by a self-appointed council of vampire oligarchs.
To be fair, I did kind of do it (the murder, not the bananas). But I was kind of saving my girlfriend, who is kind of one of them.
On top of this, I’ve also wound up with a primordial queen of the damned trying to strangle me in my dreams. And the conspiracy of undead wizards who tried to sacrifice me fifteen years ago has decided that now is the best possible time to give it another go.
Throw in the woman who left me for a tech start-up, the old girlfriend who I might sort of owe eternal mystical fealty to and a werewolf “it girl” who can’t decide if she wants to eat me in the good way or the bad way, and I’m beginning to think life would be easier if I made better choices. Then again, it’d be a whole lot less fun.
Kate Kane is a take-no-shit PI who totally drinks whisky for breakfast. Her specialty is in paranormal cases, and she’s particularly suited to this being half-Fae. Her mum is the Queen of the Wild Hunt and Kate can draw on her mother’s strength and power when necessary. She’s recently begun a relationship with Julian St. Germain, a M-Fing vampire Prince. When living, Julian was a pudding-eating lesbian nun on a vatican-sanctioned mission to murder vampires.
Kate saved Julian in the previous story, but it came at the expense of another vampire prince, and now the vampire council is deciding if Kate should be executed for this crime. It was unavoidable, and the vampire knew this going in–gave Kate the go-ahead in the moment, yet it’s her word against…well, a lot of vamps want her dead because this might weaken Julian.
Also, Kate’s ex-boyfriend Patrick, a simpering vamp, is afraid Kate will somehow-in-someway interfere with his new relationship with a girl who is, unfortunately, being targeted by the same cadre of power seekers that nearly killed Kate years before. So, saving the girl (and the world!) means maybe interfering with Patrick, a bit. And, he’s always good for a self-conscious laugh.
In the meantime, Kate’s dreams are being overrun by an undead entity, and packs of feral vamps seem to be swarming London. The dream-vamp is in charge of these newbie vamps, or is she? Kate needs the help of her ex-girlfriend, the Witch Queen of London, to make sense of it all–and she’s going to reach out to another ex to help execute a big mission…to stop her own execution.
Sound complicated? It is. Kate runs in strange circles, powered by bananas and whiskey, and she makes more messes than she cleans up. She has debts to the biggest power brokers in the paranormal world, and well, she’s going to have to pay up soon. Maybe with her life.
There’s a dash of sexytimes here and there, but these are more bittersweet as Julian maintains distance in order to make Kate less of a target for the vampire council. The addition of Kate’s pseudo-golem, Elise, is an excellent foil to Kate’s salty narration. I’m eager to read on and figure out who’s really pulling out all the stops to become the most powerful paranormal personage in all of the world… Lots of danger, suspense and intrigue as we delve ever-deeper into London’s secret paranormal societies.
About the Author:
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.
He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car. He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!