Steampunk Paranormal Romance, Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
Wicked as they Come, Blud Series #1

PJV Quickie: A very different take on the usual Paranormal Romance, ‘Wicked as They Come’ was unique and I was quickly sucked into the world, but something about the romance wasn’t as scintillating as I would have liked.

Title: Wicked as They Come
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Series: Blud #1
ISBN: 1451657889
Publication: March 27th 2012 by Pocket
Received paperback review copy from Pocket in exchange for a review
Links: Author Web >> Author Twitter >> Purchase Book >> Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review

The premise of this novel blew my socks off. Alternate dimensions, people are sucked into the world when they are sleeping, in a coma or a vegetable. The alternate dimension could compare to the 1700s-ish – but they have a slight problem with vampires. They call them the Blud. Everything can become a blood-sucking fiend – rabbits, deer, rats (yeah argh!) and the remaining humans have locked themselves up in cities, afraid and festering. Great concept!

The deliciously crafted heroine is Tish, an in-home care provider that happens upon an estate sale where she decides to pinch herself a locket that she finds stuffed in a book. The locket is quite interesting looking but will not come open, that is until she finds herself in another world, butt-naked and draped over a rock. Since she had been sleeping, she figures it a dream, especially when Criminy Stain steps into her clearing and turns her world upside down.

I loved Tish and was entranced by her take on this other world. She was very spunky and tough in that “normal” way (not the ass-kicking Urban Fantasy way). I enjoyed her interaction and her acceptance of the new world she found herself in. She actually enjoyed her circumstances – which I think is fun and different because most heroines are all lost in the “What, Whys and Holy Sh*ts” to stop and appreciate their interesting surroundings. I also understood the author’s focused transition, the point being that Tish had to step out of her comfort zone, out of normal and into the Blud world. I think the plot, the setting and character crafting was amazing in ‘Wicked as They Come’. Dawson crafted and excellent novel and I can’t wait to read more of her writing.

Why the low rating though? You are probably asking yourself. Well, the fact that ‘Wicked as They Come’ is a paranormal romance. Yet, the romance is where I found the story lacking. It all starts with Criminy Stain, at first impression of him — he screamed Jack Sparrow and he was just too much. He literally threw himself at Tish and then there was the journal that showed that they were married, so that sort of threw all tension out the window. On top of that, the description of his “claws” kind of freaked me out. I know Tish wasn’t bothered by it – but I was. Your hands I think are integral in a relationship, touching, caresses — “ah get away from me with those blackened claws”. Sorry! So, I was sort of pushing her to go for someone else, which rarely happens for me in a paranormal romance and because of this, the book wasn’t what it should have been for me.

I want to swoon over the hero and there was no swooning for me. My humble opinion leads me to believe that with a few tweaks and pushes to the right, ‘Wicked as They Come’ might have been better served with a little less romance and a bit more Urban Fantasy. I also wanted to see a bit more steampunkery, yes there were mechanicals galore, but I just didn’t get the steampunk paranormal romance vibe like I have with other greats in the sub-genre.

Recommendations:

Recommended for fans of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, this might not be a good transition novel with all the Bluds, but I think PNR fans will embrace this one with open arms – maybe Criminy will make you swoon. Romance means adults only.

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