Review: Arcane Chaos by Joey W. Hill
The backstory of Ramona is what really makes this story good for me. Book three in the rebranded Arcane Trilogy starts out as a slow burn for me and then heats up with the action scenes. This book may be read as a standalone. Recommended to read the first two books to get a better sense of the world building as well as the how the characters relate to each other. I did expect kinkier BDSM in this story. Surprisingly, it is a minor element to this story.
The initial meet between Silas, a Grim Reaper and Ramona is sexy and filled with erotic tension. It is clear there is chemistry to be explored. After the initial contact, bad things happen, and it takes a while before Silas finally comes back for the promise of a first date. This part dragged a bit for me, yet it is important to the storyline. Let's get to the good stuff! The sex! Yeah, there isn't sexy times as much as I thought. There are some delicious bondage D/s scenes. There are some soft and understated submission and erotic power exchange between Ramona and Silas. It may be subtle enough that some kinkier readers may miss it.
So what was this story about? I found it to be more Urban Fantasy than Paranormal Romance (PNR). I'm still tagging it as a PNR, but it felt more plot driven than relationship driven. I liked the plot and finding out the "big bad" villain and the whys is ... depressing. I found that I understood the motive and there isn't a good answer. This story contains a gritty realism with how life can be. Whilst there is a happily ever after for our protagonists, it is not without loss and sorrow. I appreciate this balanced view because everything working out and no loss of life is a bit too "Disney-ified" for me. Ms. Hill creates a rich story with highs, lows, and disappointments. She balances this with hope, friendship, and undying love. I love this mix of emotions to draw out the feels. This witchy tale is recommended to romance readers who enjoy complex issues that takes sacrifice to resolve it.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.