Where There's SmokeRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Edward Dinges moved to the city of Panopolis looking for adventure and the start of a new life. Panopolis is, after all, where all the Heroes and Villains live. But it isn’t until the bank where Edward works is robbed by the Mad Bombardier that Edward actually meets either. And the shock, fear, and adrenaline has him actually helping the Villain escape. And he certainly never expects the Villain to ask him out a week later.

One date turns into more, and before Edward knows it, he’s dating Raul and falling in love with him. That Raul is Villain doesn’t matter so much. It rarely affects their life together. Until one of Raul’s jobs goes wrong, and suddenly Edward is in danger. But it goes even further when the true corruptness of the city of Panopolis is revealed.

I’ll be completely honest here and tell you the blurb on this one totally drew me in. I’m a sucker for the anti-hero, and I’m the one that’s always falling in love with the bad guy. So to know that Edward was falling in love with a Villain sold me from word one. And the truth is, I adored this book from start to finish, and I’m already looking forward to more in this series.

Edward is our narrator, and I loved being in his head and watching him fall in love with the man behind the Villain. His emotions and reactions felt real and believable. I loved that he found himself both horrified and a little turned on by Raul’s actions of villainy. Edward just worked for me, completely, and I identified with him so easily.

I would have liked to get to know Raul a little bit better. What we do see of him is through stories he tells Edward and also some actions that Edward is witness to. These really help to shape Raul’s character, but I felt like I was missing a little bit as well. It was clear he was a Villain by choice, but that he also worked not to do any physical harm. Still, I wanted more from him in order to really understand his motivation.

There were passages of this story that were a bit too much tell and not enough show for me. I loved the condensed format, and the shorter length meant that there were no wasted words. The author did a great job of filling in all the details and giving us a full picture. But there were a couple of times where I wanted a paragraph to be expanded into a scene, so I could see the action rather that it being just related to me.

All in all though, this book was really well done. There aren’t enough Hero/Villain stories out there in this genre, and to see one like this makes my inner geek incredibly happy. While it’s a complete story in and of itself, it definitely sets up for future books, and I can tell you there is no doubt that I will be grabbing them as they are released. This is a great start to a series and I’m looking forward to more of this world and these characters.

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