Title: Borrowed Souls
Series: Soul Charmer #1
Pages: 312 pages
Publisher: Talos Press
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Blurb: Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.
Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.
To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.
With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.
Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.
Borrowed Souls is a dark, gritty story built on the fascinating premise of soul renting and features a single-minded heroine who will do anything to protect her family. I really liked the characters and storyline, and while I wouldn’t consider it a cliffhanger, Ms. Meuller left just enough of a teaser to make me want more!
Borrowed Souls is the debut urban fantasy novel from Vampire Book Club founder Chelsea Mueller. She’s been blogging about books for a few years, so if you think she’d have a pretty good handle on writing one, you’d be right. She jumps right in with the first sentence:
Callie Delgado’s brother is an addict, and she’s not done bailing him out of his problems yet. She’s hoping he’s finally hit rock bottom, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t it. In order to get him out of trouble with the mob – alive – Callie’s got to borrow a soul to commit a crime. Apparently, renting souls isn’t cheap, so Callie has to work for the Soul Charmer to pay for the rental. Enter Derek, an enforcer for the Soul Charmer. He’s big, quiet, and no-nonsense. And maybe a little sexy, but Callie’s got to work with him for two weeks so she’s not going to notice that.
As Callie and Derek go about the business of collecting overdue soul rentals, a recurring theme emerges – the souls are missing. Callie and Derek must figure out where the souls are going and why, while at the same time Callie is under increasing pressure from the mob that’s holding her brother hostage.
What I liked:
1. I love that Callie’s uncomfortable and unsure about what to do for the Soul Charmer, and that he really, really creeps her out.
2. The characters and the worldbuilding are pretty descriptive; I have a good, solid image in my mind while I’m reading.
3. I like how Callie’s relationship with Derek started slow and they didn’t just fall into bed.
4. The mystery of the missing souls is interesting; I want to know more about the ‘bigger picture’.
What I didn’t like:
1. The concept of soul renting was a bit confusing, and while I think it’s cool, I still don’t understand it and I’m hoping we’ll learn more.
2. I found it frustrating that Callie wouldn’t tell her brother no.
3. I would have liked to see more positive representation of female characters, most of them were pretty awful.
Overall, Borrowed Souls was an interesting take on the urban fantasy genre and I’m looking forward to reading more in the Soul Charmer series. If you’re looking for something a little different in the urban fantasy genre that’s sexy but not sex-filled, I’d recommend Borrowed Souls.
*Full Disclosure – I know Chelsea only as a fellow blogger; we have never worked together.*
I received this book for free from Provided by Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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