The romantic leads are rather one-dimensional, and their romances have no deep soul-mate moments and not much angst. In the first two books, Merry's girl-friend moments with her friend, Roz, tip this into the chick lit genre. Book 2 has the familiar werewolf "one-true-mate" story line, so I'll admit that there is just a touch of paranormal romance to go with the chick lit.
WARNING: In an amazon.com review, one reviewer notes that the Kindle version does not show the italics, making the first book almost impossible to understand. If you plan to read this book in electronic form, be sure that your e-reader supports italics.
CONCLUSION: The cute cover art and the central ideas for these books are terrific, and I was really looking forward to the series. Unfortunately, I have to say that I'm disappointed. With its flat characters, lame dialogue, awkward attempts at humor, and whisper-thin plots, the series is only mediocre. Too bad. In the hands of an author like MaryJanice Davidson or Katie MacAlister, this could have been a great series.
When this series ended, Ashlyn Chase wrote two additional series set in this world. Click HERE to read my reviews of the three novels in the FLIRTING WITH FANGS SERES. Click HERE to read my reviews of the novels in the BOSTON DRAGONS SERIES.
NOVEL 1: Strange Neighbors
NOVEL 2: The Werewolf Upstairs
The second novel tells the romantic story of Merry’s BFF, Roz Wells, and Konrad Wolfensen, the titular werewolf. In this ill-conceived story, Roz (a lawyer) and Konrad (a con man and felon) are dissatisfied with their jobs. Konrad specializes in breaking into businesses and then selling them security systems after they realize how vulnerable they are. The couple gets together after Konrad is caught during one of his break-ins and Roz defends him in court. Because Roz is a lawyer and Konrad has been a teacher, you'd think that they would go after jobs that in some way use their skill set. But...you'd be wrong. Here are the jobs they investigate: ballroom dance instructor, sky diver, and chef. Of course, they have absolutely no experience in any of these jobs and nothing goes right during their try outs (e.g., broken ankle, burnt hair, unconscious flight instructor). These little accidents are, I imagine, supposed to be hilarious, but...not! Just silly.
NOVEL 3: The Vampire Next Door
The third novel tells the love story of Sly the vampire and Morgaine the witchy, agoraphobic phone sex operator. The couple's romance develops very slowly, beginning with moments of mutual, but unacknowledged, attraction and moving on to graphic sex scenes and finally to their immortal bonding. Unfortunately, the romance is interrupted by many (way too many!) sub-plots, like these: Sly's evil bisexual maker shows up and commands Sly to become his lover. Gwyneth tries to seduce Sly, is rejected, pouts a bit, and then finds true love with another resident. Gwyneth takes a trip to Salem, Massachusetts, to meet with a famous witch and get a spell that will keep Sly's maker from entering their building. Merry and Jason's baby is born during a howling blizzard. Jules, the new building superintendent, turns out to have a phony resume.
As it turns out, Jules is a shapeshifter, but of an entirely different kind than Jason, Nathan, and Konrad. A new tenant is a shape-shifting dragon who nearly sets her apartment ablaze because she can't get enough sex to put out her fiery breath. Morgaine and Sly head off to New York City so that Morgaine can cast a spell for a friend who knows a magical secret for a wine that gets rid of a vampire's bloodlust and sun sensitivity. Morgaine tries to fight off her agoraphobia and panic attacks both at home and in New York City. Morgaine, Gwyneth, and Sly set up a still in the building's basement to try to duplicate the magical wine. The trio also gets rid of Sly's villainous maker, whose death scene is one of the most anti-climactic that I've ever read. One of the final scenes has Morgaine and Gwyneth stomping grapes in a huge wooden tub in the basement. Shades of I Love Lucy (episode 150)! For me, this is definitely the weakest book in an already mediocre series.