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Wednesday, September 05, 2007:
"Fairyville" by Emma Holly (2007) review

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Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (September 4, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0425217051
ISBN-13: 978-0425217054

Fairville, Arizona, located just north of Sedona, is no ordinary town. There's an energy here most people can't explain -- and playful desires that beg to be fulfilled.

Wish you were bed.

That's the wish that plagues Zoe Clare, a medium who has no trouble communicating with the dead - or with real, live fairies, for that matter! The problem is, she can't seem to get her feelings across to her landlord-slash-manager, the mysterious Magnus Monroe. He's Fairyville's most eligible - and sexiest - bachelor, and Zoe's tired of watching him celebrate each full moon with just about every woman in town but her. In a place like Fairyville, his erotic antics are almost par for the course, but Zoe suspects the reason for them runs deeper.

Even when Magnus gets her hotter than the desert sun, he holds back from the ultimate intimacy. As a result, the return of Zoe's high school flame leaves her more than a little vulnerable to her old boyfriend's charms. How Alex broke her heart is a scandal no one in Fairyville has forgotten. But even if Zoe isn't ready to forget, she's ready to forgive. The rules they're about to break will bring out the jealousy in Magnus - and the astounding truth.

Like I mentioned recently in another review of Emma Holly's work, this is an author that is either hit or miss with me. This time, I have to admit, is a definite hit. It's scorching hot, sexy, and whimsical. All the elements came together in a story that totally worked for me and the dirty girl side who loves it when an author isn't shy about revealing some of the deepest, most forbidden fantasies and puts them on paper.

I would first like to mention that despite my expectations after reading "All U Can Eat", Holly's last book, the characters are not as dark and tortured. Both Zoe and Magnus are rather sweet, happy, caring and passionate souls, very likable characters. I was a bit surprised by that, truly expecting them to be hiding horribly tragic pasts or ugly secrets, but instead their natural makeup compells them to be care-free, full of life, and open to possibility. I had great affection for these characters.

Zoe Clare, despite her calling and understanding of life on a different plain, is unexpectedly unawakened, though by no means a virgin. She's hopelessly fallen for her boss, Magnus Monroe, a beyond gorgeous man who has incredibly vigorous appetites, yet only succumbs to them during the full moon, but sadly, never with Zoe. After one particular wild night in which Zoe inevitably hears about from a friend, her frustration gets the better of her and she can't control her attraction to Magnus any longer, and for a moment, she believes that Magnus feels the same way, but then he rejects her advances, pleading for her friendship instead. Feeling unwanted, mortified, she nevertheless agrees, because Zoe didn't have it in her to hate him, even if what he does with other women breaks her heart in two.

Magnus hates what he's doing to Zoe, but being what he is, he has no choice. She is the one woman he could love forever, but Magnus has a secret, one he can't reveal to anyone for fear of being discovered. See, Magnus is not human, and his mother is a very powerful being in his world. She wants him back at her side, but Magnus has no desire to rule with her, instead preferring the unpredictable human world he's existed in for the last two years, and being near the one person who is most dear to him. If his mother ever knew about her, she'd hurt Zoe, and Magnus can't risk that every happening, so he keeps his secret to himself, having to love her from a distance, but content as long as he can be with her in some small way.

Feeling alone, Zoe is in a vulnerable place, and because she has no idea about Magnus' secret, even though she resides in Fairyville where stuff like this happens quite often, she easily succumbs to the seductive charms of her old high school boyfriend Alex, in town with his sexy partner to solve a case that could only take place in Fairyville. Alex has changed a bit since she'd seen him last, but one thing that hasn't changed is their attraction for each other - it's as hot and rampant as ever! Will hooking up with Alex break her heart, or will it bring to her the love she's always wanted?

Okay, I'm not going to lie; this book is definitely my definition of a guilty pleasure. Emma Holly can make even this traditional romantic find nothing wrong with multiple partners or any of those other shocking and raunchy things that might make me disgusted or not put up with from any other author. But going in, I knew that I wasn't going to get a monogamous love story with only the hero and heroine, so I can handle the truth. This story is just as deliciously wicked as "All U Can Eat", but with a lighter tone and a paranormal kick that I thoroughly enjoyed.

One of the more endearing elements of the story is that Zoe has her own following of tiny fairies the size of a penny, and they are colorful little sprites of opinion and sass, and I adored their brave little hearts. Samuel and Florabel are too precious. They stole their way into my heart, just like Zoe's kitten, Corky, did. Lots to get hooked on in this book.

And....okay I admit it, I eagerly looked forward to each hot, dirty and wicked sex scene because EH has a way of making them exciting and sexual and sizzling to the nth degree, no matter who is in them. I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, so be warned before picking this one up that there are scenes involving m/m and m/f/m action. But it totally works for me within the parameters of the story, so if you dig melt-your-Victoria's-Secrets type stories with a bit of a paranormal kick, I think you'll go for this one in a big way. Originally I wasn't going to get the book because I am starting to lose my taste for most paranormals (JR Ward and Singh's Psy/Changeling series excluded), having felt a little overwhelmed at how many there are out there, but with the promise of fairies and some naughty sex, how could I resist? Well, you already know I didn't ;)

If I have any issue with the book, I wish that the love story between Zoe and Magnus would have been developed more fully and we got to see them falling in love instead of just being told they are. A lot of the time is spent with them apart, and while Zoe realizes she loves Magnus above all others, it didn't ring entirely true when I didn't really see or feel the connection. Still, I think Holly tells more open-minded romances, and that means a broader definition of what love means to different couples and exactly how it's expressed. Free your mind, and the rest will follow, I guess. Anyway, it won't stop me from re-reading the book. Looking forward to it actually.

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  1. Oh Stace - I'm SO glad you enjoyed Fairyville! I adore Emma. She's a guaranteed hot read for me!

    I can't wait to pick this one up!

  2. MK, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Can't wait to hear your thoughts :)

  3. She does have a way of making you accept multiple partners doesn't she? Normally that is a BIG no no for me, but I loved All U Can Eat. I bought Fairville the other day and I'm looking forward to reading it. *grimace* there are SO many I'm looking forward to reading!!! So many it almost scares me.

  4. Emma Holly is a hit or mis for me, too.
    I'm going to get this one though.

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