I am excited to participate in today’s Bewitching Book Tour of The Seduction of Phaeton Black, a book I’ve been wanting to read since it was released earlier this year. Please take a moment to click the image above and see what other blogs are participating in the tour!
TITLE: The Seduction of Phaeton Black
SERIES: Paranormal Investigator #1
AUTHOR: Jillian Stone
PUBLISHER: Kensington Brava
PUBLICATION DATE: March 27, 2012
PURCHASE BOOK: Amazon | B & N | Publisher
THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Paranormal Investigator, Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted. Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.
On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.
**A copy of this book was provided by the author via Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a lot of fun. Words that come to mind to describe it are bawdy, saucy, witty…sexy fun with a supernatural twist. A sexy, at times kinky, romp with a heart of gold. The Seduction of Phaeton Black took me by surprise, and its infectious fun left me curious to know what happens next to Phaeton Black and the lovely Miss America Jones.
The best parts of the book were the wit and the chemistry between Phaeton Black and America Jones. They meet in a very unusual way and from the first moment, the sparks fly. The relationship goes from a light sexual dalliance to something deeper that neither wants to admit to feeling. Both don’t really believe in love as an absolute but I liked the way the relationship developed from light to heavy. It was extremely sexual in nature but there were moments of tenderness that gave it more depth. Phaeton himself was an acquired taste. He went from rakish fun to being a bit of an ass but he won me over in the end. And he never failed to make me smile.
“He quickly gave the nod to a confection of emerald green satin. The gown featured a narrow bodice held up by the daintiest small sleeves, which fell off her shoulders and threatened to bare all if she so much as exhaled.
How he hoped she might take a deep breath.”
Miss America Jones is also a wonderful character. Smart, sassy, independent – she was a definite match for the elusive Phaeton. She also did not compromise her goals in order to satisfy a man…which I loved.
There were some intriguing secondary characters as well — Dr. Exeter who has some unclear abilities of his own, the hermaphrodite Jin, and the gargoyle Edvar. I hope to see more of them in the next book. Especially Dr. Exeter who I felt a little uncertain about in terms of his footing in the paranormal world. Maybe he will be less of a mystery in the next book.
Another nice twist was the mythology used in the supernatural aspects of the story. It takes place in Victorian England when the obsession with Egypt and its artifacts was at its height. Phaeton is a paranormal investigator with the ability to sense or see supernatural beings. He is investigating a murder that he suspects is the work of an empusa/vampire. America, who has her own paranormal abilities, is able to help with his work given her extensive travel and experience in Egypt. I love that the mythology around the seductive empusa had its basis in Egyptian mythology with the jackal headed god, Anubis, making an appearance. Most vampire stories find roots in a European mythos which gets stale after a while. It was refreshing to get a taste of a new mythology.
However, I think the supernatural aspects of the story were also its weakest points, at least in terms of how they were developed. I felt the actual paranormal investigation took backstage to the sexual adventures of the couple. I wish the story was a bit heavier on solving and capturing the goddess terrorizing the mortals of London. Instead, it felt a bit rushed at the end.
Though a bit light on the paranormal for my tastes, I can’t help but recommend this book. The Seduction of Phaeton Black was bawdy, infectious fun. Read it and I dare you not to smile.