Friday, 15 December 2017

Love Bites

Love Bites

by T.L. Clark

3 out of 5

Shakira had never felt at home growing up in Surrey, but as soon as she entered the quaint Welsh village she knew she belonged. Maybe it was because of the welcoming villagers. Or perhaps it was the presence of the others whom she sensed nearby; the ones she saw in her dreams, with their strange glowing eyes.

Fate is not always kind. It gives with one hand and takes with the other. There is a reason she didn’t grow up with her own kind.

A rich tale of witchcraft, fae, sorcery, elinefae and dragons; this is a story for all who dare to believe.

Shakira is living a perfectly normal, dull life, until she is suddenly taken by the desire to move to a little Welsh town. Little does she know of the witches and paranormal creatures on the borders.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was a hard one for me. I really liked a lot of the ideas and characters, but the book (or at least the review copy I had) needs a lot of work.

Shakira is introduced as an English girl, who decided to pack up and move to Wales on a whim. She is described as tall, and has a lot of back pain... Yes, I very much related to the main character (maybe that's what my back pain is: not the 200+ falls from horses, but that I'm secretly an elinefae).

Shakira has been brought up by humans, and she has no idea about her real heritage, Or the undeniable pull towards this elinefae clan.
The elinefae "cat people" are a really interesting new spin on some old myths and legends. They are a sub-species of human, that used to live peacefully alongside them, but now live in hiding.
A lot of people (Shakira included) mistake them for vampires or werewolves, but they are something different.

There's a lot of fun, as Shakira tries to learn the ways of the elinefae; and as her new mate is stumped by some of her modern phrases and habits.
In fact, most of it was funny and entertaining. Clark has managed to capture a nice sense of humour in this book.

The story is a lot bigger than Shakira, and the narration also follows some friendly witches, other elinefae clans, sorcerers and all sorts. You get the feeling that this is a very well-rounded paranormal extension to our world, with lots of inter-linking history.

Unfortunately, the story is let down by the editing. The review copy I read felt a few drafts short of publication. The bare bones are there for a good story, it just needed fleshing out and tidying up.
There was an instance of Shakira getting called Keira, before she adopted the name.
The narration follows all the characters, and there's a lot of head-hopping, even with sentences and paragraphs.
Shakira's mate speaks broken to fluent English, which changes throughout the book.
There's a lot of telling - you jump into every character's head for a breakdown of their history, and their thoughts behind their actions - even minor characters. It all detracts from the story-telling.

This was about a 2.5 out of 5 from me. It's a shame, despite the unfinished feel of the book, Clark still brings an interesting story, with plenty of amusement. I would be interested in reading more of her work.


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