Title: Rhapsodic (The Bargainer Book 1)
Author: Laura Thalassa
Published by: Lavabrook Publishing Group
Warning: *mild spoilers ahead*
About the book
Rhapsodic is the first book in a new adult paranormal romance series, told through the siren and private investigator Callypso Lillis’ perspective as she attempts to pay back debts made long ago to the fae King of the Night in the Otherworld, Desmond Flynn. Told through flashbacks, 16 year old Callie develops feelings for the Bargainer but after seven years of silence from him she begins to wonder if he ever felt anything for her at all. Now that he is back, he demands Callie’s help in solving the mysterious and increasing disappearances of his subjects, all the while playing a delicate game with Callie’s heart that only serves to confuse her more and ask herself : why did the Bargainer leave her seven years ago?
I want to start by saying I am not the biggest fan of Thalassa’s writing. I found it to be repetitive and at times vulgar (expletives abound in this book), and although I don’t usually mind typos, there were enough of them to annoy me. At the beginning, I did find it fresh and funny, almost necessary to portray Callie’s bad-ass devil-may-care attitude but it just got tiring around 20 % of the book. That being said, I thought the switch between past to present were achieved perfectly, the past revealed little by little in just the right amount to give the reader enough insight to better understand the present…much like the world building – just enough for us to understand what was going on in the story. I expect more of it in the books to come, though. The Otherworld was written and described beautifully, Somnia one of the best versions of the Night Kingdom I’ve ever read in a book.
Now, despite my dislike for Thalassa’s writing, I have to give it to her: she knows how to write one hell of a sex scene. The attraction between Des and Callie was palpable through the pages, and though it could be irritating at times the frequency with which Callie would just randomly mention Des’ attractiveness, their romance was sweet enough to string me along to the very last page. Desmond Flynn could potentially be in my top ten favorite book boyfriends, if not for his hotness then for the way he helps Callie through her depression and trauma. One thing I did not like about their relationship: Callie’s dependency on Des. In the past, I get it. She is young, depressed, alone and she doesn’t know any better than to cling to the first person that shows her kindness. But I would have liked to see some development in her after seven years. Instead, the Bargainer is back and she’s putty in his hands again, the only noticeable difference in her life is her even fouler mouth and the one friend she managed to make. I would like to see some more character growth throughout the series.
As for the plot, I thought it was really good and had much potential, though the ending seemed to be a bit rush. I liked the mix between crime thriller investigation with the supernatural and the parallel worlds between the human supernaturals on earth and the magical creatures of the Otherworld.
There were more things I didn’t like in this book than things I did, but I believe as the series progresses that there can be major improvements (that .5 is the benefit of the doubt I’m granting it), so I will give the sequel a chance. Also, I could use some more Desmond Flynn haha.
B & L
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