Rating: 4 stars
“Chris didn’t want to get invested, and as much as he hated to admit it, investing himself would be all too easy a thing to do with Sable Brennus. He was too much like the storms that were his power, and no one tangled with a storm and came out unscathed.”
Chris White is a paranormal detective with some unique qualifications — namely, he can disappear. Well not really, it’s more like he simply fades out…and walks through doors…uhm…closed doors. Chris is half–ghost, all man, and deeply in loved with Sable Brennus, a storm demon who controls the weather around his three casinos. Yes, he is owner of three luxury casinos and Chris is his consort. If you are thinking right about now that this is not your typical m/m romance you would be right, particularly because this novel boasts a supporting cast of imps, vampires, and wolves.
Dance With the Devil unwraps its characters in a case-by-case format that reads like an episode of a favorite detective sitcom. I say sitcom because between the snarky attitude of Chris, the lead investigator, Doug, his assistant and resident imp, and the occasionally appearances of Phil, a newly made “abnormal” who is part-time receptionist and part-time junior detective, the laughs keep coming one after another.
Each chapter is a case that Chris and Doug have solved. While these chapters are self-contained, they are interwoven as a series of flashbacks and present day scenes that show us amongst other things, how Doug and Phil came to the agency to work with Chris, how Chris met Sable, and how Doug fell in love with a vampire named Zach. And it is actually this format that gave me my first concern about this story.
The cases are not chronological and therefore there is a tremendous amount of jumping back into the past, forward to the present day, and sideways in order to introduce minor characters. I must admit it took me a few cases to clamp on to Derr’s pacing and what appears to be her near lack of pattern. However, this all did eventually lead to revealing most of what we needed to know about her main characters Chris and Doug. Unfortunately it left tremendous gaps in characters like Sable—where he came from, why he ran casinos of all things, and why he appeared to be so much nicer than most of the demons described in the novel.
However, despite this gymnastics-like approach to story building, the characters we do meet in this fast-paced and fun novel are very likeable and down to earth! Extraordinary powers aside, they are like the men and women you would meet on the street in your neighborhood…er…if those men and women had wings, horns, and could disappear at will…LOL!!! Seriously though, the characters Derr introduces us to in her story are just a really fun and lively bunch and I was sad to see their adventures end.
There are several more books set in this universe and I will be reviewing them all in the coming weeks so stay tuned for I am sure Megan Derr has much more to show us and much more adventure to write about!