Lynn Seymour is brash, arrogant, and obnoxious. He’s also one of the best agents working for the Bureau of Paranormal Security and Investigation. But getting a partner to tolerate his quirks for any length of time has been an ongoing challenge. Enter Anderson Meadows, a snarky unicorn shifter with a penchant for cupcakes and a surprising tolerance for Lynn’s less desirable qualities. They shouldn’t work; a unicorn and a kraken are usually opposites in every way that matters, but neither of them conforms to stereotypes. Together they wrestle some of the agency’s toughest cases while learning to make their unique partnership work.
When their relationship evolves into something decidedly more personal, Lynn and Anderson must tackle an entirely new set of challenges. Dangerous criminals, difficult families, and a natural penchant for trouble combine to keep Lynn and Anderson scrabbling to stay alive and to stay together. The path of true love is never easy, but for a possessive kraken and a temperamental unicorn, it might just end up killing them.
I’m a huge fan of Megan Derr’s work and she continues to surprise me with her inventive story telling and with her addictive characters. Wriggle & Sparkle is definitely no exception. It’s got everything you could want – action, romance, cupcakes, and tentacle sex. Maybe too much tentacle sex if we’re being honest. But more about that later.
Wriggle & Sparkle is a collection of stories that follow the working partnership and eventual romance between Lynn, a kraken shifter, and Anderson, a unicorn shifter. Lynn particularly charmed me. He tries very hard and often succeeds at being a jerk, but is head over heels for Anderson and it’s easy to forgive his natural obnoxiousness. Additionally, Lynn is gender fluid, as krakens in this world have the ability to become male or female, as they want. This added an extra layer of complexity to his character that I really enjoyed. Anderson is a bit pricklier and save for his obsession with sugar, he defies every stereotypical idea about unicorns. Which makes him both fun and intriguing on multiple levels. The best thing about these characters is the witty, grumbling, and silly banter between them. Some of their conversations left me laughing aloud. The storylines are relatively simple and they tend to read quickly and most are fairly enjoyable. There is one in particular towards the end of the book that was a bit too ridiculous, but Lynn and Anderson were still strong enough to save it. The overall world building could have used some further detailing, but there’s enough on page to draw the reader in.
My biggest frustration with Wiggle & Sparkle is the fact that as a short story collection it fails to develop into a fully cohesive narrative. There were several events talked about that were never depicted on page and, given their importance, I felt I was lacking important information. Also because of the jumps in time between the stories, we never get the full experience of their relationship, which seemed necessary for this particular couple. Now let’s talk tentacle sex. This was my first novel involving this particular sexual practice and Megan Derr does an excellent job of making it a natural, vibrant part of Lynn and Anderson’s relationship. But it does become somewhat excessive and, while I believe most of this stems from the fact these were individual stories, a bit more editing and scaling back once they became a part of a bigger collection would have evened this out.
Overall Wriggle & Sparkle was a fun romance between two strong characters that clearly love one another despite their many issues. The stories, while cohesive, do occasionally fail to fully develop various events, which leaves the reader a bit adrift. Despite this, Wriggle & Sparkle is another good work of fantasy fiction by Megan Derr and I defiantly encourage fans of urban fantasy and the paranormal to check this one out!