No Prince Charming (Grimm’s Circle, Book 2)

No Prince CharmingBy Shiloh Walker

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

Her Happy-Ever-After has been a long time coming…

Elle spent years trying to get over her so-called Prince Charming, and she’s finally getting the hang of it. A Grimm—a guardian angel with unique gifts—she spends her nights trolling for demons and kicking ass, and lately, her days have been spent with her on-and-off-again lover, Ren, a fellow Grimm. But fate has other plans in store for Elle, plans that include Michael, the prince from her youth who broke her heart.

“What do you choose…live for her? Or would you rather die?” That was the choice Michael was given all those years ago. Although he knew she’d never forgive him, when Michael was given the chance to become a Grimm, he took it. Still, he isn’t so sure Elle needs him in her life. With a lover at her side and a mission before her, Elle looks like she’s doing just fine without him.

But the not-so-charming prince isn’t going to back off that easily…not if there’s a chance she might need him again. He’d do anything to save her. Kill for her, live for her, die for her…

Warning: This dark, twisted version of Cinderella involves demons, deceit, desire, and debauchery between a princess and two sexy guardian angels, both determined to win the fair Cinderella.

Goodreads Summary

Elle and Ren have been trolling around outside of a sex club in Sandusky, Ohio, that they can feel is teeming with succubi and incubi; unfortunately, they’ve been unable to get in despite their own raw sex appeal. Suddenly, they find they’ve been sent a little help in the form of one of Elle’s very unwelcome former lovers: the literal Prince Charming, Michael. Still, he manages to do what they couldn’t and he gets them into the club, where the three of them end up putting on a little bump and grind show on the dance floor to see if they can get an estimation of the size of the demon population and the location of their queen.

I’m hoping if you’re reading this, you’ve already read the very, very good Candy Houses (Grimm’s Circle, Book 1), because it contained a big amount of world-building and set the stage for what the Grimm do; it explains so much of the action here. Each of the Grimm have a particular talent, they generally use it in conjunction with their extra strength, sensory and fighting skills. Sometimes depending on the talent, it bleeds over into their personal lives, especially when it’s an emotional one, as Michael and Elle’s are.

This story is definitely more emotionally raw than Candy Houses was. Both Ren and Michael are in love with Elle and she’s not all that sure she loves either of them. Michael hurt her badly and Ren has basically been a friend with benefits for many, many years. It’s revealed relatively early (so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything) that Elle ended up being spun off into Cinderella and Michael into Prince Charming, although she was never intended to marry him and they never had any kind of happy ending. Neither had an easy death and it left Elle bitter and Michael remorseful but swearing to win her back. Ren only complicates things because he’s not in any mood to let her go either.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the book that ends up with the source of action revolving around sex demons happens to coincide with the story that revolves around three electrically sexually charged characters and that there was some blurring. It took the need to draw the succubi and incubi out to kick-start the old relationship, kindle jealousy between the men and push the emotional plot. Sex was part of the plot, frankly everywhere. Michael and Elle are hot, Elle and Ren are hot and inexplicably enough, Michael allows a ménage (m/f/m), ostensibly for the purpose of drawing out the queen, but I have to wonder. I think if Elle asked for it, he’d have given it to her anyway, which is good for anyone reading it who might like to read them: this is smoking. I’m not always interested in that kind of thing, but Walker managed to make this palatable.  Lindt chocolate palatable.  There’s a very high emotional quotient, between Michael’s desperation to win Elle back, Ren’s realization that Elle might not be his and Elle’s confusion about what she should do with either of them.  As with Candy Houses, the book is told alternatively in Elle’s first person narrative, then Michael and Ren’s third person and as before, it gives the story a nice feel. This one left me a little unsettled, maybe because I liked Ren so much and found myself angry with Elle too often, but I can’t ding the rating for it, since that’s what a good story does: makes you connect emotionally with the characters for better or worse.

My Rating: B

Barbara

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