Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Review: Frosty Relations by Tara Quan

4.5 stars 

Frosty Relations was so, so short, and yet it was the most well-rounded and enjoyable paranormal novella I have read in a long time. 

On Christmas Eve, HR assistant and supernatural familiar Mina Mao is sent on a blind date-slash-one night stand, only to find that her date is no other than Jack Frost, her boss and oldest family friend. 

In Jack, Quan managed a jackass hero whose behaviour I bought, but whom I didn't hate (although that's not true of his appearance in the preceding novella Flirting with Fire, when he came across as a Grade-A dick). He's a warlock, and warlocks can't properly contain and channel their power without a familiar. Mina's dad had long been Jack's father's familiar, and she was expected to take over that role for Jack, only it never happened. Nevertheless, she's ended up working for the Frosts anyway, and Jack's behaviour is simply him trying to draw her attention. A wee bit more redemption on Jack's part wouldn't have gone astray, neither would have some indication of how he and Mina would function as a couple, but we all also know novellas take no prisoners. 

Both Mina and Jack were very witty, and their shared history, which informs much of their present interactions, was sweet and poignant. Given its length, the backstory is remarkably nuanced, as is the worldbuilding surrounding magic. There's also just the right balance of story and page-turning sexytimes, which is something I often find skewed in paranormal novellas. 

Quan has found a really great formula, and she uses it to effect here and in the other stories in the series (though this one is definitely my standout).  I look more to reading more from her. 

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