Monday, July 2, 2018

Butterfly Assassin by Annabelle Jacobs Blog Tour

Clapham Common—a new pack with their own set of problems…

Shifter Aaron Harper gets drawn into illegal underground fighting to keep an eye on his best friend. The thrill of the fight keeps him coming back for more, but discovery could mean imprisonment and banishment from their pack. Without a beta to watch over them, common sense takes a back seat.

Michael Archer of the Shifter Crimes Task Force is investigating recent murders. Despite the brutal cause of death pointing to the work of a shifter’s claws, instinct tells him a well-known nightclub owner is involved, but they have no proof.

Aaron and Michael’s paths cross after another body with the same injuries is discovered. With Aaron finding himself on the wrong side of the SCTF and Michael looking for a killer, any attraction between them is both ill-advised and unlikely. But fate has other ideas.

Set in the Regent’s Park pack world.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Annabelle Jacobs is a new-to-me author.

Butterfly Assassin has a dark and gritty vibe of a police procedural novel involving the mafia, with a side of shifter politics as the paranormal world-building. Aaron is a shifter fighter in an illegal bare-knuckle fighting ring, doing so to protect his gambler of a best buddy.

Michael is a detective trying to solve a string of shifter murders, which he assumes is done by 'Mr. Smith,' lord of the illegal underbelly.

Extremely fact-based, Butterfly Assassin is the epitome of a police procedural combined with Urban Fantasy. Without any humor, no spark of flirtation or romance, my mind played a trick on me by reading the narration in a flat, dry tone, which is completely on me.

The premise was plotted well, which is why I rated a book that wasn't my cup of tea four stars. Tight and concise, the dark and gritty vibe was consistent from start to finish. While there was a thread of interest by the narrators, and they do eventually give into temptation, personally for me, I needed a bit more character and relationship development. I could buy there being attraction but absolutely nothing past a quick hookup to satisfy an urge, because there was no intimacy shown on page to solidify a partnership of any kind.

The sleuthing and mystery was so intense, any and all romance was buried deep, to the point I didn't develop an emotional connection to the narrators. That was my issue in a nutshell. While well-written and developed plot-wise, the characters didn't resonate with me because I couldn't/didn't connect with them emotionally, which had me losing interest in their journey. Not just on the romance front, but I never connected to either narrator.

I continued to the end to see how the murder plot was solved, having no hook with either Aaron or Michael or the side cast of characters.

While not to my tastes, I do recommend to readers looking for a serious take on a police procedural featuring Urban Fantasy elements.

I loved the world building in this book. Straddling the line between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, the author presents readers with a gritty and slightly dystopian version of London where humans and shifters live uneasily together.

The urban fantasy elements of the story add interest to a relatively simple police procedural. I enjoyed the conflict between the human police and the shifter packs, and the intricate pack hierarchies makes the investigation even more complicated.

But while I enjoyed the police hunt for a shifter serial killer, I didn’t fully engage with the romance between Michael and Aaron. I think my main problem is that there really isn’t any romance. The hook-up to happily ever after connection between these two offers a few hot scenes but bypasses the emotions, the friendship, and the building sexual tension that get me to invest in a romance. The happily ever after in this book is a paranormal romance construct that sits awkwardly on an otherwise gritty urban fantasy read. I like these characters and with proper development they could easily support a series. They didn’t need a happily ever after in this book.

I’d like to see more stories in this world. This book has great promise as the start of a series if it ditches the paranormal romance constructs and develops the gritty and non-conventional elements of this story.

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Connect with Annabelle

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Butterfly Assassin by Annabelle Jacobs to read and review for this tour.

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