Red by Kate SeRine
“My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.” Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little—a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood—has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned—she’s not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red’s new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters… Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red’s old flames. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there’s one thing Red knows for sure, it’s that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences…
I love fairy-tale retellings and urban fantasy. When I read Cait’s review @Basia’s Bookshelf I knew I had to read this book. So I grabbed a copy of Red, to share with you. When a spell goes awry characters find themselves in the “here and how.” Filled with humor, beloved characters, suspense and romance this novel grabbed me from the first pages. SeRine has added her own unique twist and created a new series you are going to love.
SeRine drops us right into the story when we meet Tess “Red” Little, aka Little Red Riding Hood. She works as an enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. (FMA) Dressed in combat boots and carrying a gun she brings in suspects, solves cases and protects the fairytale community from exposing themselves to the Ordinaries. When someone or something begins brutally murdering Tales (story book characters who have crossed over and live among humans), Red finds herself looking at a suspect list that reads like her little black book. She has been involved with all of them and not one is going to appreciate being questioned. She also finds herself with a partner and Red prefers to work alone. Her new partner is the smexy, fedora wearing Nate Grimm. He’s the lead detective for FMA and a grim reaper. The tale that unfolds is filled with sexual tension, suspense, danger and a list of characters that kept me completely immersed in the tale.
Red is all attitude and kick-ass awesomeness. As the number one enforcer the Tales respect her. Dressed in combat boots and a trench coat, Tales know that if Red is sent to find you; you’re coming in. I liked Red; she is complex and easy to connect with. Being immortal she has lived among the Ordinaries (humans) for some time, she loves her job and is confident in her sexuality. Oddly she doesn’t really see herself as beautiful and I think that is part of her charm. She has some baggage from her story and is trying to rewrite it in the “here and now.” She has commitment issues and lives with her Gram. (Yep the one in the tale) Gram was a hoot and I loved this feisty, funny old lady. Nate is a grim reaper and one of the best detectives in FMA. He dresses like Neal Caffrey from the hit show, White Collar and has all the confidence and swag. He oozes smexy and I couldn’t help but swoon for him. He really gets Red and his need to protect her was sweet. The sexual tension between them was delightful. Nate was a perfect gentleman, but said and did things that made Red swoon. She has a really tough time trusting anyone, but she just might learn she can trust Nate. That is if his secret doesn’t destroy her. We meet other characters, and SeRine’s depiction of them in the “here and now” was at times hilarious. The fact that Red was involved with almost all of the suspects at one time or another added tension and some sexual angst.
The world building for Red was fascinating. While we are not provided with a lot of details as to how the whole migration from the pages of fairy tales to the “here and now” began, we are offered enough to satisfy this reader. Sometimes whole characters from tales crossed over and at other times only one. The spell also seeped into the pages of classics and I loved this little twist. I loved discovering who each character was and what became of them. The murder mystery was good with a list of suspects that kept Red busy. Foreshadowing and character details led me to discover who was behind the attacks but I enjoyed the ride. SeRine cleverly added twist to the plot that caused tension. The romance was sweet, slow to develop and felt genuine. While there is some sexual content, it is implied but totally hot. There is some profanity but it’s not abusive and felt appropriate. The tale flowed at a fast clip with just the right amount of details. I loved the authors writing style and she brought these characters to life. Witty banter and hilarious moments kept me enthralled. The plot development for this series is endless and I like that Red and Nate’s tale ended and I am super excited about the next Tale’s story.
If you like fairytale retellings and urban fantasies with kick-ass protagonist then Red is definitely for you. The Better to See You is the next book in the Transplanted Tales series and a little teaser is included in the back of this book. It was enough to have this reader drooling for more. I have added Kate SeRine to my list and will definitely continue this series.
I gave this novel 4.5 cups of coffee out of 5.