Booked for Murder by R.J. Blain
Book 1 of Vigilante Magical Librarians
Published by Pen & Page Publishing (18th August 2020)
Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK |
My rating: ⭐ ⭐
I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Tours as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Actual rating of 2.5
Janette was a body guard of the rich and fabulous. When a car accident took that life away from her and she was given barely any hope of waking up, letalone surviving, she beat the odds. She woke up and when she did, she hightailed it out of there to hide in plain sight and live the remainder of her life the best she could with her injuries. Life as a librarian suits her just fine, she has some friends, a cat and she is surrounded by books. No one cares that she limps and they even help her when she lets them. But when her former boss’s best friend is murdered on the steps of Janette’s library, things take a turn for the interesting. With the help from said former boss, as well as her friends and fellow librarians, they set out on the task of catching the killer, what Janette doesn’t count on, is her ex-employer’s need to reclaim what belongs to him.
I’ve read a book from Blain before. It was one of her magical romantic comedies. I was hoping that I would enjoy this book better as it’s the beginning of a new series so figured the narrative might have a different voice…it didn’t.
The premise for this story was awesome and that synopsis sold me the second that I read it. But unfortunately, the story fell a bit short of my expectations. The synopsis had me thinking that we were going to have a kick arse, strong female lead who is fighting back against her ex-employer who would be a dangerous and powerful man who is willing to do whatever it takes to get Janette back in some form or another. However, what I got was a female lead who is incredibly whiney and childish and a male lead who I can barely even call that, if I’m honest. He was just as whiney as his female counterpart, and he came across as a twelve year old boy who has to do what mummy tells him left he get yelled at. This was just a real mood killer for me and I found it a struggle to get through the book as I just really didn’t like these characters at all. Too much whine for me I think.
Janette has been through a lot and she has an interesting backstory, but I felt like it all took a backseat to her “fluffy Goddess” of a cat, which is called this or some variation of this literally everytime said cat is mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats and understand how demanding and temperamental they can be, but I feel like it was trying to hard to be a quirk that made Janette endearing to the reader, when all it did for me is make me want to throttle her and tell her to grow up a bit. She had an interesting relationship with another character that was touted as a frenemies kinda thing, which is cool, but once again, it was laid on a bit heavy handed and was trying to hard to be a quirk in the story and the characters that it just became annoying. Also the mention and obsession over orange chicken became quite irritating, I believe this was also meant to be a quirk, it just didn’t work out that way for me. Bradley, the ex-employer, man I wish he had have turned out how I envisioned in my head when I read this synopsis. Instead he was a simpering man child who was so far under mummy’s finger that I’m surprised he could function. I was expecting major dangerous, rich and powerful alpha-hole male and I got a baby who possibly still needs his diaper changed. Sorry, I’m just not a fan of any of these characters at all. The parents pandered to their adult children, the adult children were whiney and my favourite character was the cat.
The story had some fantastic ideas and for the most part were executed fine, though I felt like the engagement contract was just random and out of the blue and just didn’t seem to flow with the story at all. There was no questioning it or anything from the characters and it just seemed so out of place in the story. It was explained as to why it was happening, but honestly, a lot of it went over my head. There was so much technical and legal jargon in the story that I feel like I zoned out when imperative stuff was being explained because it was just prattling on and became quite boring. Also, nothing really happens in this book. It’s almost a set up for the rest of the series, I was expecting at least a little action to happen, but honestly the whole book is pretty much Bradley finding out Janette is alive and functioning, her parents finding out the same, her co-workers finding out who she really is, and them all setting up this investigator cell so that they can hunt some killers. Nothing happened…I was so confused when I finished it, I almost felt like, where is the rest of the book?
All in all, this book had a lot of promise but it just fell a bit short for me. If you’re after characters with a bit of sass and lots of issues, and a light, easy read. Give it a go. For me, I think I’m going to have to bow out from this author. I’m in the minority on my feelings about her work, which I’m glad for. I just wish I was able to enjoy it as much as her fans do.