Cory begins to notice that her late night customers are more than they appear, especially after one of her regulars touches her and that touch unlocks something inside Cory and allows her to see the truth: that her customers are not mere humans and that one customer in particular, Adrian, makes Cory feel more than she has felt for a man before.
One night, Cory’s world is changed forever when regular customer Mitch explodes, leaving his sweetheart Renny behind. The name Sezan appears on band posters around town, a name that Adrian cannot hear from anyone other than Green. Cory is encouraged to join Green and Adrian in Green’s home with the other preternatural being for her own safety, because someone or something is targeting those under Green’s protection. The situation escalates and the werekitties and other shifters go missing, and others mysteriously explode. Local law enforcement officer Max Johnson suspects that Cory knows more than she is saying.
As Cory comes into her power, and quickly becomes important to the inhabitants of Green’s hill, Crispin, the head vampire in Folsom holds power over Sezan and the violence escalates. More humans get caught in the crossfire, causing collateral damage in a war Green and his people didn’t ask for. The clues start falling into place, the name Sezan and Adrian’s past leads the group to some of the answers, and those answers lead to a showdown. Will all of Green’s people come out of the encounter unscathed?
M/M? Nope. So much more. Cory’s attraction to Green, as well as to Adrian, leaves Cory conflicted and she and Adrian need to decide how they wish to proceed. Green wants Cory and Adrian back and this quote summed it up beautifully to me:
I knew that love didn’t always come wrapped in a pretty pink-and-blue heterosexual bow, not if it was to matter. I knew that love, any love, was important.
Now here is a tough one, a story that left me at a loss, a story that felt epic at times. With subtle writing, detailed world building, and organic character development and dynamics, Lane truly created a world within a world. I am a fan of fiction for a reason, but find that the best fiction has a balance, that the characters may be awesome, hot, funny, but also be flawed, realistically enough for us to relate to them, thus drawing us further into the story. Lane shows time and time again that she is a master of emotional manipulation, and thank goddess for that!
The extensive cast of characters were interesting and unique, and there were quite a few, sometimes a few too many as I had trouble keeping up with them. Overall, however, they added to the world and overall dynamic of Green’s hill. To me, both Green and Adrian were the most developed of the characters and, although Cory was critical, she felt a bit two-dimensional.
There were some interesting elements in Vulnerable, such as the concept that the elves look down at humans and yet try to learn how to live from observing them. Eternal life does not guarantee happiness, nor does it guarantee the knowledge of how to live life fully and with honesty and integrity. I also thought the cause of the exploding shifters was inspired (gruesome, but inspired) and it is elements like this that impress me in a book.
I found that the POV changed with the chapters and, at times, I had to stop to figure out who’s view we were following, as the action and multiple POVs made keeping track a challenge at times.
To be honest, I always avoided the Little Goddess series not thinking that it was my thing, and I was wrong. I truly enjoyed the beginning of Cory’s journey and loved the inhabitants of Green’s hill, and I have a feeling that you will too.
Note: The Little Goddess series is an urban fantasy story that has a variety of relationships in it, including LGBTQ.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.