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Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
WICKED AS THEY COME is Delilah S. Dawson’s debut novel, it is a refreshing blend of paranormal, urban fantasy and romance, consisting of words so beautifully crafted I could hear carnival music in my head and could clearly visualize the sights and sounds of the Caravan in vivid technicolor. I was transported to another world, a modern day world consisting of wonders of days gone by, steampunk elements, bludanimals, clockworck pets, vampires, a strong yet wounded heroine, quirky yet sexy hero, fantasy, passion, humor, magic, and love.
Tish is a nurse, taking care of her ailing grandmother and recovering from an abusive relationship. Tish finds herself in a strange land, where there are humans called Pinkies and vampire-ish people called Bludmen, cute bunnies called bludbunnies, who will eat you faster than a piranha and other assorted bludanimals. Tish has one goal in mind, getting out of this strange land and back to her grandmother.
Criminy Stain, sighhhhhh, is a Bludman, the charismatic leader of the traveling carnival. He is sexy, funny, and totally in love with Tish. In my mind Criminy is a sexy mix of Russell Brand meets Captain Jack Sparrow meets Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp).
Criminy and Tish set out to save the Bludmen, while on their journey Tish finds it hard to resist her growing feelings for Criminy. They set out on an action packed, at times gory, adventure that tests their strength, trust and the growing bond between them. The chemistry between the two is intense. The love scenes are quite steamy. The love scenes occur in the latter part of the book and in my opinion were paced perfectly for the story line. I cannot find one bad thing to say about this book, the epilogue was original and has me hanging off a cliff waiting to see what happens next in the wonderful world of Sang.
Before reading WICKED AS THEY COME, I had not read anything steampunk-ish, never thought I would want to. Maybe it was a spell Criminy Stain put on me while I was drooling over him on the cover, all I know is as I read the blurb, I knew, without a doubt, I would read WICKED AS THEY COME. From the first page, I was immediately drawn into the story and couldn’t put it down. I was not even half way through it and was telling friends “you HAVE to read this”. Now that I have read it, I definitely want to read more of the sub-genre. I can totally see WICKED AS THEY COME as a movie, produced/directed by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp as Criminy.
I recommend this book to paranormal, urban fantasy, and steam punk fans, as well as anyone looking for something different to read. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book from Delilah S. Dawson.
p.s. I want a Clockwork of my own! =)
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