by Kate SeRine
Series: Transplanted Tales #2
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Once upon a time, a spell went awry and Make Believe characters were cast into the ordinary world. And the results aren’t always happily ever after…Everyone thinks fairy godmothers can do no wrong. But if not for a certain spell mis-cast by Lavender Seelie, Cinderella’s former fairy godmother, the Tales would not be stuck in the Here and Now. Fortunately for Lavender, she’s about to get a second chance at a happy ending… The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, seems like the perfect place for Lavender to start a new life—especially when she discovers an unexpected ally in Seth, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender wonders if Seth’s deep sensuality has blinded her to the truth. And that distraction could put innocent lives in danger. Including her own…
The Transplanted Tale series by Kate SeRine is such a fun series with zany characters straight from our beloved fairy-tales. The story goes that a spell gone awry in Make Believe ripped some of the characters from their pages into our world. Now they are forced to live among the ordinaries in the Here and Now. They have rules for blending in and they are strictly enforced by the Fairytale Management Authority. In the first book, we met Red aka “Little Red Riding Hood” In The Better to See You, we get Seth aka the “Big Bad Wolf” and Lavender Seelie’s aka “Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother” tale. I consumed this smexy, hilarious, action-packed tale in a single evening.
The tale begins in Chicago near the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. Red and Nate (the Grim Reaper) are called to the Charmings’ residence after a fire destroys their home. Lavender their fairy godmother is having problems controlling her magic and accidentally burnt it down. Red sends Lavender to “The Refuge”; a sanctuary for tales. Lavender discovers that Red has sent her to stay with Seth aka “The Big Bad Wolf” and when dead bodies start showing up in Refuge with ancient Tale symbols the tale that unfolds is suspenseful and utterly romantic.
We met Seth in the first tale, and I love his backstory. He is the brooding loner type and oozes smexy. I adored, poor misunderstood Lavender. She has made some major mistakes as a fairy godmother and sadly the whole tale world knows about them. She means well but somehow things always go wrong. At her core, she is a good fairy and I laughed at her antics, cheered her when she was kick-ass and totally wanted her to get her HEA. The banter and dance Seth and Lavender shared was delightful and I loved watching this romance unfold. SeRine did an awesome job of showing the wolf side of Seth and I love when authors are able to do that. The cast of characters living in the Refuge were all fascinating and developed. I loved figuring out what tale they came from and seeing what they were doing in the Here and Now. The villains were downright creepy and I enjoyed watching the case unfold. We, of course, saw Red and Nate and you do not want to miss updates about them.
SeRine has created such an interesting plot with endless possibilities. The Tales in the Here and Now are each unique and she does an excellent job of fleshing them out. While each of the tales can be read as a standalone and feature a different couple and a suspenseful mystery I would recommend reading them from the beginning. Seth and Lavender’s romance felt genuine and I quickly came to care for them. We got some ooh, la, la moments as well as some bittersweet ones. They each have their own baggage and quirks which made them unique. The murder mystery was suspenseful, and a little gruesome. I loved the supernatural elements involved with this one. Twists and a few surprised kept me enthralled. The ending was well done, and I was sad to see it end.
If you love fairy-tales and want a grown-up retelling then The Better to See You and the Transplanted Tales are a must read. Along Came a Spider due out in August of 2013 will feature Beatrice aka “Little Miss Muffet”.
Author Guest Post
I absolutely love dreaming up hot, sexy men to share with my readers. It’s one of the main perks of writing romance, in my opinion. I mean, seriously—who could ever get tired of daydreaming all day long about swoon-worthy heroes? Not this gal! So, in the spirit of Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights blog hop, let me introduce Nate Grimm, the enigmatic Reaper who gets Tess “Red” Little all hot-n-bothered in this scene from RED. Enjoy! ~Kate
Excerpt from RED (Transplanted Tales #1)
For the second day in a row, I woke up with a hangover that would’ve made Bacchus proud. And that wine-swilling reprobate could tie one on.
I rolled out of bed and promptly plopped onto the floor with a loud thud, which rattled the glass on my nightstand as well as the throbbing brain in my skull. I winced, glad Gran wasn’t there to hear the aftereffects of my ill-advised overindulgence. Then I caught the unmistakable aroma of bacon in the air. I frowned in spite of my stomach growling in eager anticipation. Gran was gone. She couldn’t be downstairs cooking breakfast. Which meant—
My eyes went wide. “Oh, my God.”
I struggled to my feet, still a little off balance, and lunged for the doorknob. Fortunately, before throwing open the door and racing downstairs, I happened to look down and noticed that I was completely naked. Nude. Sans clothing.
As my synapses began to fire, I tried to put two and two together. Unfortunately, the answer to the equation was all a little fuzzy. The last thing I remember was Nate pulling the covers over me and maybe kissing my hair. I rubbed my eyes, trying to banish the last vestiges of inebriation, but there was nothing else. Zip. No other memories of anything after that point. How the hell could I possibly not remember sleeping with someone that hot, for crying out loud? It seemed unfair on a cosmic level.
The sound of pans clacking together downstairs reminded me that sooner or later I was going to have to face Nate even though I had no frigging idea what I was going to say. Should I pretend to remember what happened and say something about how nice it was but we worked together and yadda yadda blah blah blah? Or should I just cop to the fact I didn’t remember a thing and hope he didn’t take it personally?
Or maybe I should just pretend like nothing happened and see if he said anything first. Yeah. I liked that plan.
Coward, I chastised, pulling my bathrobe from the back of my door and slipping it on before creeping guiltily down the stairs.
The surprisingly welcome fragrances of breakfast grew stronger as I approached, making my mouth water in anticipation. And if that hadn’t done it, the sight I came upon in the kitchen certainly would have done the trick.
Nate was standing at the stove with his back to me. His bareback. As I had noticed in the past, his shoulders were strong and broad, but my imagination hadn’t done him justice. His was by far the most incredible male physique I’d ever seen. He made the chiseled beauty of Achilles and sculpted perfection of Vlad look like rough drafts of the masterpiece.
As I watched him in stunned silence, he moved with a kind of mesmerizingly sinewy grace, his lean muscles bulging and rippling in a carefully choreographed dance. Adding to the breathtaking beauty of his movements were the black flames I’d noticed on his neck and scalp. I was surprised to find they didn’t end there but, in fact, started there, fanning out across his shoulders to engulf his biceps, then dancing down his back in intricate designs, licking his skin with fiery sensuality. I had never seen anything so sexy.
Unable to resist the pull of my libido’s curiosity, I drifted forward and reached out, compelled to touch him and feel the heat of those flames. The instant my fingertips met his skin, Nate’s muscles flinched and his hands stilled. As he slowly turned to face me, my fingers traced the flames around to where they seared his well-defined pectorals and taut belly.
“So incredible,” I murmured as my hand drifted lower, determined to discover where the fire ended.
Nate caught my hand in his before I could follow the designs where they disappeared below his waistband. Suddenly realizing what I was doing, I jumped back and snatched my hand away, flushing fiercely.
“God, I’m sorry!” I gasped, averting my gaze. “I just . . .”
I didn’t even know how to finish the thought. I just want to explore every inch of your amazing body . . . with my tongue seemed a bit too forward.
“Don’t worry about it,” Nate said, striding over to the dining room table and grabbing up the shirt hanging over the back of a chair. He shrugged into it, covering up the flames and breaking their spell over me.
“They’re beautiful,” I said, trying to say something appropriate. “Where did you have them done?”
“They’re not tattoos,” he muttered.
I arched my brows, more curious than ever. “What are they?”
Nate kept his gaze averted. “Penance.”
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