The start of an original new urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan. Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck. This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable… that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated. Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
When I saw the cover and read the synopsis I knew I had to review In a Fix and was pleased when the publisher agreed to send it to me. I love urban fantasy and Linda Grimes delivered a hilarious, unique tale with a flawed, quirky protagonist. She reminded me of the character, Claudia Donovan, from the television series Warehouse 13. I laughed my way through this and look forward to more books featuring snarky Ceil Halligan and the men in her life.
Ceil Halligan is an aura adapter. Just by touching you she can assume your looks. After some research she will be able to seamlessly slip into your life and handle difficult situations for you. Her clients are all obtained through word of mouth and can afford her hefty fees. She is not the only adaptor living in Washington D.C. Her best friends, Billy and Mark use their abilities on the job. Mark is a CIA agent who finds his skill set useful and Mark handles odd assignments. Ceil is on a case impersonating a client; who is hoping to secure a marriage proposal from her wealthy, smoking hot boyfriend. Things are going along smoothly and it looks like she might be making her client’s wishes come true. That is until he goes missing, his home is blown to bits and someone is trying to kidnap her client. The tale that unfolds was suspenseful, highly entertaining and the villains were downright hilarious.
I really liked Ceil. She is quirky, awkward, brave and snarky. After Mark convinces her she is not cut out to be an agent, Ceil opens her own successful business helping clients. Besides meddling from her family and the boys(Mark and Billy) she is quite happy and very determined to hold her own. She has had a serious crush on Mark and wonders if he will ever see her as a woman. Ceil is bright but compulsive and this has a tendency to get her in a pickle or save the day. It all depends on who you talk too! I adored Billy, he is smexy but also a big goof-ball. He protects Ceil but also realizes how badly she wants to spread her wings. Mark is mister serious, and maybe a little bit of a male chauvinist. It’s hard for him to see woman doing dangerous work- especially Ceil. There is a bit of a love triangle or should I say sexual- tension- triangle. Now I hate triangles but this one totally worked and I loved watching it all unfold. The villains in this tale are modern day Vikings from Sweden and we travel there as Ceil and the others work to save her client. The Vikings were well fleshed out and I loved reading about their wacky agenda. Other characters added to the suspense and humor of the tale.
The world-building in this new urban fantasy was fascinating and the snarky humorous way it was delivered made this a highly entertaining read. It took me a second to get my bearings at the beginning but Grimes did an excellent job of explaining both the aura-adaptors and the character’s histories. The tale moved at a good pace and I easily finished this in a single day. Grimes provides plenty of suspense, drama and action scenes. The interactions between Ceil and the boys had me laughing and sometimes cooling myself off. There is some foul language but when used it felt appropriate. While there is a lot of sexual tension and some deliciously hot kisses, anything more was implied. I am looking forward to reading more about these characters and aura-adaptors.
I highly recommend In a Fix to fans of urban fantasy and snarky protagonists. If you like the Charley Davidson series you will probably enjoy this one as well. There is no news regarding the next book in this series, but I will keep you updated. I have added Linda Grimes to my authors list and look forward to reading her next book.
I want to thank Tor for sending me this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.
I gave this novel 4 cups of coffee out of 5.
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