To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O’Neil #1) by H. P. Mallory
The murder of a dark arts warlock. A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.
Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.
Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full. As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.
This book got off to a very strong start: I liked the characters, I liked the premise. I even liked the creative similes Dulcie used in every third sentence… and then they got annoying and, worse, less apt. Tornadoes just don’t loom; they barrel through like a freight train. Therefore saying that something was “looming over us like a tornado” just doesn’t make any sense. We also had great examples of metaphor and simile in the same sentence: “I glared daggers at him and they slid off of him like water on a freshly polished car.” [May not be an exact quote—I reserve the right to paraphrase in my recall] Yeah… that’s a bit much for me.
I also didn’t feel like the rules of the magic in this world were clearly understood by Mallory. Well, that’s not fair— it’s clear that the way a witch’s magic works was very well thought-out. But the fairy, read main character, seemed to not use her magic for some rather sensible things, in my opinion. And in the beginning of the book she’s very adamant about saying that she doesn’t need a gun because she has her magic, but at the end she absolutely needs to bring her gun. Also, all it takes to make her magic not work is to damage her hand she uses for fairy dust? Seriously, if it’s that easy to incapacitate a fairy, I wouldn’t go anywhere relying on just that.
Things also grew a bit … slow. I personally thought that the book was over about 15% earlier than the actual ending. It was all I could do to wait it out and just finish the damn thing so I could call it good. I mean, I get that it’s a romance book and everything, but at least try to time the romance mumbo jumbo with the interesting plot bits so that I still have something to keep my attention.
Oh, and we had some campy contrived nonsense during part of this book. In order to track down this monster, Dulcie and Knight both drank a potion made out of the creature’s blood (among other things) that made them more susceptible to acting like the creature (in desires, etc). We had a whole scene where Knight kept getting distracted by pinching himself and getting turned on because of the creature’s BDSM tendencies. It was a little weird, added absolutely no value, and didn’t even make me laugh.
So, this was a decent book, but I had a lot to complain about. I’m not really planning on trying my hand at book 2.