While visiting New York City, Timona Calverson is kidnapped and taken to a brothel. After a daring and rather improbable escape, she is rescued by Irish cop and recent immigrant Mick McCann. Mick takes Timona to his small tenement apartment and although he thinks she's a prostitute and doesn't believe her story, kindly nurses her back to health. Timona, however, is from a prominent and eccentric family and known the world over for her wild escapades and extensive travels.
I love that Somebody Wonderful is set for the most part in the late 19th Century New York City slums, and that it's both a romance and an adventure. What type of adventure? Well, I absolute agree with the book summary which states that, "Timona's adventures formed the blueprint for the Perils of Pauline." The central characters certainly made this an entertaining read, and the secondary played their roles quite well. As far as the romance goes, I really enjoyed Timona's "slyness" and determination, especially when it came down to making Mick her man, as well as Mick's initial prudish attitudes toward women and almost too perfect personality. However, the fact that Mick and Timona communicated, minimizing misunderstandings between them, was a big plus. Somebody Wonderful is a romance that left me with smile. Grade B+
Under Her Skin with Jeaniene Frost, Meljean Brook and Ilona Andrews
This was a good paranormal romance anthology with three good stories by favorite authors. All three of these stories were previously published in the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, which I've not read. However, I'd already read Meljean Brook's story "In Sheep's Clothing," so in reality I only read two out of the three stories in this anthology.
Jeanine Frost's "Pack" is a short story about a hiker who gets lost in the woods and is attacked by wolves, bitten, and turned into a werewolf against her will. Although the premise for this story is not quite unique, I found Frost's werewolf "pack" quite interesting. Most of all I liked the fact that the woman in this story didn't accept her situation readily. The length of the story didn't affect its impact and the story feels complete. Grade B
"Grace of Small Magics" by Ilona Andrews is another short story with a familiar premise. This one is about a woman who must repay a family blood debt to another magical clan by providing a service. I like the world building in this short story and would love to read more in this setting. Andrews uses tension, fear and action to showcase the characters. I particularly enjoy when Grace realizes she has more to offer than her paltry small magics. The weaknesses in this story are the romance, which is underdeveloped, and the lack of details within the story, probably due to its length. In this case, a longer version would have been a plus. Grade B-