Title: The Seduction of Phaeton Black
Author: Jillian Stone
May Contain Spoilers
In the gaslit streets of Victorian London, phantoms rule the night, demons dance till dawn, and one supernatural detective dares to be seduced by the greatest power of all. . .
He’s The Man With The Magic Touch
A master of deduction, seduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard’s secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he’s asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he’s ever known. . .
She’s The Devilish Miss Jones
Pressing a knife to his throat–and demanding he make love to her–Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing her. As deadly as she is, with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampiric killer he’s been staking out–but she may be just what Phaeton needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possesses uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only salvation. . .or ultimate sacrifice.
The Seduction of Phaeton Black is like An Affair with Mr Kennedy on steroids. I have to admit that I was a little leery before I started reading Jillian Stone’s latest release. How could it live up to my high expectations? I loved Mr Kennedy, a sexy romp with a Scotland Yard detective who could easily give Remington Steel or James Bond a run for their money. He is gifted in everything that he does; he’s a magnificent rider, a crack shot, and can hold his own in a fist fight. Best of all, he’s a wonderful lover and partner. Guys like Mr Kennedy don’t exist in real life because the pressure of being that perfect would quickly cause a seizure. Cassie had me pulling my hair out a few times, because for such an intelligent lady, she could be so dumb, but Zak needed to be a hero, and a woman with more common sense wouldn’t have needed rescuing.
In steps Phaeton Black. I admit that it took me a while to warm up to this guy. He is rather juvenile and thinks with his crotch instead of his brain. Probably because most people thinks he nuts due to all of the paranormal sightings he has, but still. He showed an appalling lack of discretion and caution, but I did finally start to appreciate his character. He’s a flirt and a player, with no plans of ever getting shackled to one woman. He doesn’t want kids, either, because he’s afraid that they will be as messed up as he is. After the death of his mother when he was a young lad, his father had no patience for Phaeton or his supernatural abilities, and quickly packed him off to boarding school. Poor guy. I guess an emotional blow like that will warp anyone, especially a guy who sees all of the scary things that go bump in the night. Best to just pretend to not see them at all.
When America Jones takes him hostage in a dark alley, Phaeton is quick to turn the tables on the desperate lass. Even though he’s the one held at knife-point, he is quick to take advantage of the situation. This is the only part of the story that I didn’t like. I wanted Phaeton to be noble. He wasn’t. He was a cad at best, and a sex offender at worst. Yuck. Not sexy, not worthy of high regard, and it took almost the entire book for him to redeem himself in my eyes.
I enjoyed the world building here, and found the addition of paranormal beasts to Victorian England fun and interesting. Well, not fun for Phaeton, but certainly entertaining for me. This guy is oozing with supernatural abilities, but because he has repressed them and never learned how to use them, he finds sightings of supernatural creatures disturbing. America embraces her gifts, and she longs for Phaeton to do the same. It’s not healthy to suppress all of that power, and it puts him at a distinct disadvantage when the beasties are on the prowl for a new victim to snack on. Phaeton’s association with Dr Exeter, a mysterious meddler with powers that give Phaeton pause, slowly convinces him look at his own abilities in a new light. I am extremely hopeful that between America and Exeter, Phaeton will learn how to develop his gifts without worrying about how others perceive him. After getting into trouble with his superiors at Scotland Yard, and his father’s rejection, though, I understand his reluctance to do that.
The pacing faltered near the end, but otherwise I had a hard time putting the book down. I loved America and Exeter, and once Phaeton’s questionable charms finally wore me down, I liked him, too. It just took a lot longer because he has so many flaws and weaknesses. Once he started thinking with the head on his shoulders, and not the head in his pants, I did find him much more likeable, and now I can hardly wait for his next adventure.
Grade: B, leaning to a B+
Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours