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ARC Review: Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall
Iron & Velvet
Book Info

Released: 16 December 2013
Genre: LGBT, Urban Fantasy
Series: , Paranormal Investigator #1
Pages: 277


I definitely recommend Iron & Velvet if you enjoy a great paranormal series full of wit and humor, a little bit of spice, and great action ~ Under the Covers

Yay!! Iron & Velvet is the first book in what promises to be an excellent urban fantasy series – I can’t wait to read more!

Kate Kane is a paranormal investigator, but her work of late has been slow…or rather nonexistent. That is until she is summoned by a Vampire Prince to investigate a death in the Prince’s territory. You come to find out that this Prince – the Prince of Cups – is actually a she, as the title is a formal title and not gender-specific. Being that Kate is a lesbian and completely attracted to the Prince – Julian Saint-Germain – she takes the job. Of course, since she currently has no work getting paid is quite the incentive as well.

After some quick investigating, Kate determines that the murder victim outside of Julian’s club is a werewolf. This could prove bad and lead to tensions between the vampires and werewolves and other paranormal beings as well if things are not resolved quickly. Not too long after there is another another attack specifically on Julian. Are these attacks related or separate? Kate works hard to discover the truth.

Hall has created an excellent beginning to this urban fantasy series – one of my favorite genres. I had never read lesbian romance before so I was a bit hesitant, but I shouldn’t have been. There were some romantic parts, but it was done well, like that with other genres and I found I didn’t mind the extra girly bits even though I primarily read m/m or heterosexual. First of all, Kate Kane is awesome! She has a fabulous dry humor, and she had me laughing out loud quite a bit. Add to that that she is not a damsel in distress by any stretch of the imagination, nor is she so over-the-top with powers and strength that she is ridiculously unrealistic. She’s somewhere right in the middle, and damn near perfect for a main character female lead. She makes mistakes, but she owns up to them, and she has strength in battle at appropriate times but not so perfect that she doesn’t get harmed. She really is a perfect mix for a female heroine in my opinion.

Add to that, Hall has written a slew of fabulous supporting characters that I enjoyed reading about immensely. While Kate tries to deny herself feelings for Julian, she finally gives in, and these two women together are a joy to read. They have great banter and even better chemistry. Throughout the book, the reader is introduced to a handful of other characters who make repeat appearances, and they are really enjoyable to read as well. Some are annoying but add depth to the story, and others are just ones I really, really like and hope to see more of in future books.

Hall entices the reader as well with some questions and mysteries surrounding Kate that I look forward to learning. Her mother is a powerful Faery, and while we get information about her and Kate’s lineage, I look forward to learning more about their history and their relationship. And then there’s the issue of her previous partner in the business who is now dead. Kate blames herself for his death, but we don’t know the details of it yet.

The only quibble I had with Iron & Velvet is that it seemed that just about every female character in the book was a lesbian, and just about all of them are or have been infatuated with or attracted to Kate. To me that just doesn’t seem very realistic, in either sense. Also, there were a few editing mistakes – missing words or the wrong word usage – but those were not enough to distract me from the enjoyment of the book.

Overall, I definitely recommend Iron & Velvet if you enjoy a great paranormal series full of wit and humor, a little bit of spice, and great action. Hall writes very well, and I was able to imagine the scenery and action taking place with his descriptions and prose. I leave you with a great quote that shows Kate’s humor and is a great descriptor for the book as a whole:

“Overall chance of getting murdered: low.
Overall chance of miserable, soul-destroying break-up: moderate.
Overall chance of lots of red hot monkey sex: high to extreme.
Overall chance of boredom: zero.
I was liking these odds.”

*ARC provided by publisher

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About Alexis Hall

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a seventeenth century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car. He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

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  1. I haven’t dipped my toe into f/f yet, but I think this one would make a good choice for a starter. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, Sophia – I agree with you that it would. Like I said, it was my first, and I was hesitant to be sure, but the bit of smexy time there was was done well, and it wasn’t too much. Overall just a great UF novel!

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