Mini-Reviews: Comeuppance Served Cold & InterceptedComeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on March 22, 2022
Genres: Fantasy
Source: the library

Marion Deeds's Comeuppance Served Cold is a hard-boiled historical fantasy of criminality and magic, couched in the glamour of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

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Seattle, 1929—a bitterly divided city overflowing with wealth, violence, and magic.

A respected magus and city leader intent on criminalizing Seattle’s most vulnerable magickers hires a young woman as a lady’s companion to curb his rebellious daughter’s outrageous behavior.

The widowed owner of a speakeasy encounters an opportunity to make her husband’s murderer pay while she tries to keep her shapeshifter brother safe.

A notorious thief slips into the city to complete a delicate and dangerous job that will leave chaos in its wake.

One thing is for certain—comeuppance, eventually, waits for everyone.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Newly arrived in Seattle, Dolly White has been hired as a lady’s companion for the unbridled socialite Fiona Earnshaw. According to her father, Fiona’s wild ways are unbecoming of a woman poised on the cusp of marriage, and Dolly’s got to set her straight. But unbeknownst to Mr. Earnshaw, Dolly has a long list of things she plans to do in Seattle…and few of them would garner his approval.

With an unconventional heroine (maybe even an anti-heroine), a great cast of supporting characters, and the glitzy Jazz Age aesthetic, this story had its hooks in me from the start. Readers who prefer world building that delves deep into its magic system may be disappointed by the rather scant details, and I confess that I wanted more a smidge more detail myself. But the mysteriousness of the magic did contribute to the overall sense of intrigue. From magical artefacts to animal shifters, children who got sucked into faerie land to blind tattooists who tattoo protection into your skin, there’s a lot of magical goodness lurking beneath the surface. Throw in some corrupt magical bureaucrats and some “good for her” style revenge, and we’ve got ourselves a winner.

Comeuppance Served Cold is not just impressive in its characterization, but also in its unusual structure. It’s clear from the first few chapters that all is not as it seems, but Marion Deeds doesn’t give you any easy answers. Deeds doesn’t pander to her readers with easy, quick reveals – instead she trusts us to pick up on the undercurrents of the story and the subtleties of her writing. There are many hints in the first few chapters that not all is as it seems, but you’ll need to patiently wait to uncover all of them. 

Thankfully, the wait is not a long one: at less than 200 pages, Comeuppance Served Cold is a novella that packs a punch. Perfectly paced and plotted, this story kept my eyes glued to the page. Although there’s a satisfying conclusion to this story – it would work as a standalone – I’m hopeful that Deeds has at least a couple more stories about Dolly’s adventures up her sleeve.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Mini-Reviews: Comeuppance Served Cold & InterceptedIntercepted by Alexa Martin
Published by Penguin on September 11, 2018
Genres: Romance
Source: the publisher

Series in development with Starz & G-Unit Films and Television by 50 Cent and La La Anthony

One of NPR's Best Books of 2018
An Amazon Best Romance of 2018 Pick

An iBooks “Best of September” Pick
A GoodReads Best of the Month pick for September

One of Booklist's Top 10 Romance Debuts for 2018 
One of BookBubs Best Fall Romances of 2018

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights. 

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation. 

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.

Marlee has been dating her NFL-star boyfriend, Chris, since they were in high school. They’ve had their ups and downs, but Marlee’s convinced that things have finally taken a turn for the better. Sure, he still treats her like his little servant and belittles her work, but think of all the good times they’ve shared!  Then she finds out that Chris is cheating on her – again – and she’s finally done with his sorry ass. Marlee’s ready to leave him and the Mustangs in her dust.

But moving on and moving up is easier said than done. With her old flame Gavin now playing for the Mustangs, it seems like Marlee really can’t escape football. Slowly and carefully wooing her, Gavin’s genuine interest in Marlee and his gentlemanly behaviour might just be enough to make her change her mind about professional athletes. Their romance was exactly the warm and secure relationship that Marlee needed to heal from the wounds of her past. 

Since Intercepted is told entirely from Marlee’s POV, there isn’t that much detail about football in here. For me, that was a plus. Instead of high stakes football games, much of the drama here came from the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of the players. There’s something about the concept of WAGs that I find kind of gross – maybe it’s the blatant heteronormativity. Despite myself, I was entertained by the pettiness, the drama, and the snark wars between Marlee and the WAGs. Folks who love reality TV “best moments” compilations will find lots to enjoy. 

There’s some disappointing “girl hate” going on in Intercepted, although I can’t say I blame Marlee since the WAGS were actually pretty hateful themselves. Thankfully, Marlee’s long-time friend Naomi and newcomer Brynn balance things out. These women were interesting characters in their own right, and they both supported Marlee and called her out when needed. I wanted to see more scenes with the three of them, and an explanation for how they’ll stay connected to each other in the future. 

I recommend Intercepted to readers who like their romance with a healthy dose of snarky humour.