I really enjoyed this book by Stevenson, but I’ll be firm here—the cute cover designed to match the other Hinky books? Not quite right for me. This is not a romance, and not a comedy, although there is love, sexy steam, and a lot of humor in the book. But there’s also dark power, pain and despair, scary and strong magic, and a deeply sensual look at the mind of someone with morals who has survived as an energy vampire for decades—and now she’s hanging on by her psychic fingernails.
Hel Nagzy disintegrated her first boyfriend at 17, and decades later, she can’t even risk petting her cat. Teaching ADHD and autistic kids and competing in roller derby keep her (mostly) fed and sane. But Hel wants more—she wants a real life, she wants a way out of her aging, alcoholic mother’s massive medical bills, and she wants to love and be loved. She’s surviving in a strange, alternate world where the authorities of Chicago are pretending that things are normal while entire parts of major world cities are disappearing into magical no-man’s-lands.
Then the Feds find out she’s been reading New Age web sites, looking for people researching the current weird upshift in magic. Nick, an anti-magic cop, shows up. They need her help flushing out a magical threat, though they don’t seem to know what she is. The cop has his own problems, plus the presence of magic arouses him, and he thinks Hel must be underage, which is making him feel lousy about his attraction to her.
What is going on is probably not quite what you’re expecting, the hints of how magic is working are intriguing, and yes, the ending is hopeful!
A Hinky Taste of You is magical, truly romantic, and so worth reading. But if you’re looking for category anything, it’s probably not your cup of tea. Recommended!
Read a sample or buy A Hinky Taste of You here.