Smoke in the Mirror is the fifth installment in Aimee Nicole Walker’s Road to Blissville series. It can be read as a standalone and, being unfamiliar with the other books, I found no difficulty following the cast of extras and how they all fit together in this latest release.
Blissville is a small town that has become home for a group of friends whose stories have been covered in the other novels. Memphis came to Blissville thinking he would help his cousin, Emory, and ended up staying on to open his own rare comic book and record shop. Emory is good friends with a celebrity psychic named Lyric Willows who decides to come for a visit while his show is on hiatus. Lyric finds himself pursuing the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Anthony Bliss, the former owner of Bliss House, and decides to stay on in town for a while. Before he realizes what he’s doing, Memphis volunteers his spare room to the man he has secretly been crushing on since the show began. The feeling of instant attraction is mutual for both Lyric and Memphis, but Lyric has a very low opinion of love and makes it quite clear he is looking for casual sex and not a relationship. Memphis is on board, but as the days go by and their physical intimacy sizzles, it quickly becomes apparent that both Lyric and Memphis forgot to mention the no strings attached clause to their hearts.
Aimee Nicole Walker writes a fun, lighthearted story that has very little angst and lots of sexual tension. While there is a great deal of sex, there is also some real introspection taking place in both characters as they navigate the idea of instant attraction versus actual love. Lyric has seen firsthand the damage an all-consuming love can do when experiencing a traumatic event at the age of ten. That event left him determined never to allow love to take the driver seat in any of his dalliances. Memphis has dated lots, but has yet to find a man who feels like more than something casual. He is seeking that connection that speaks of home and future and is shocked to realize he senses it in Lyric. While Lyric deals with some heavy emotional baggage, the interactions with Memphis and his friends keep this novel landing on the lighter side and prevent it from being anything heavy or bogged down in drama.
I’ll be the first to admit that a reader will have to be looking for this type of story. You must check any disbelief at the door, so to speak, when it comes to love at first sight and everything easily working out for the main characters. I would venture to say that this is the perfect fluff piece one might like to read when looking for sexy men and witty dialogue. The paranormal element was well done; it’s never over the top and pretty convincing and kept the story moving along as well. All in all, fans of these stories will enjoy Memphis and Lyric and those new to this series may just find themselves checking out the previous books to find out more about this quaint little town and its inhabitants.