*review contains one spoiler*
Over all this anthology is a mixed bag! But lots of fun.
Cherries worth Getting, by Nicole Kimberling
Irregulars Agent Keith Curry is set to work on a case with his ex-fuck buddy and Goblin expert Günter Heartman. The case is about finding who is committing murders and serving up human flesh on their restaurant menu.
The connection between Keith and Günter is just adorable, and as the case develops, so do the feelings that both men have been keeping at bay. I really enjoyed this story. 3 stars
Green Glass Beads, by Josh Lanyon
Who knew the fae had glitter spunk? What a revelation! LOL. This fun story revolved around Archer Green, a half –fae curator at a secret museum for magical artefacts, who was supposed to work in conjunction with the Irregulars, whenever a rare artefact was located. His greatest passion was in searching for a string of green Glass Beads, that held a power known only to Archer. However the new irregular Commander, named Rake has own ideas about what Archer gets up to and believes it is anything but legal. As the story develops we see that Rake has his own agenda when it comes to Archer Green, it was very personal! Great fun sex scene! Gorgeous ending. 3stars
No Life But This, by Astrid Amara
To begin with I was really enjoying Astrid’s story. I thought the characters of Irregulars Agent Hawk and Aztaw expert/consultant Deven held a lot of promise. However, then the back story of the realm of Aztaw kicked in, and boy it was just so ludicrous.
*spoiler* Deven was a human who had been taken as a child to the magical realm of Aztaw by his crazy father- a realm that had NOT ONE endearing feature. The land was in perpetual darkness, the Aztaw were hideous monsters that used human sacrifice to fuel their magic, and had a busy little industry in human slavery and murder. So why Deven was endeared to the place I could not, for the life of me, figure out. There was no sexual connection between him and the ‘lord’ he has served as assassin in Aztaw, so why was he so loyal to a realm that saw him as a tool when alive, or otherwise…meat?
Back in the real world Deven seemed to be a likeable guy, with interesting magical talents, and the romantic fission between him and Hawk was intriguing. However, the constant clumsy repetition and adding to the whacky tales of Aztaw crushed the life out of any good things about the story for me. Disappointing. 2 stars
Things Unseen and Deadly, by Ginn Hale
This was so good! I love Ginn’s writing, and in this story we meet Half Dead Henry, a character that was mentioned as an aside in Nicole Kimberling’s story. I loved how Hale incorporated so many of Kimberling’s characters and remained consistent with the descriptions of the Irregulars headquarters, agents, weapons, and methods. Everything fitted so perfectly. The story concerned a young man who had, years before witnessed his father’s brutal murder. Jason Shamir saw things…things that no one else saw, and it wasn’t until he stumbled into an Irregulars stakeout that he realised that what he saw was in-fact real. Jason is put under the protection of an Agent known as Half Dead Henry, (for reasons we discover later!) and from there the story unfolds. I loved both characters and I loved how their connection developed into something fantastically life affirming.
A delight 4 stars