Expected Release Date:  March 12, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Urban Arcana
Series Best Read In Order: Probably.
Steam Level: Steamy

Official Blurb:

As a cop who keeps paranormals in line, Des has a hard time trusting them. So why does he want the beautiful werewolf Lana more than his next breath? She’s mouthy, flamboyant and distractingly sexy—not the type of woman for a reserved mage like him. Lana admires Des, but she can’t be with someone who won’t take her seriously, no matter how much she’d love to rip off his dress shirt. When a dangerous new drug shows up in Detroit, Des must locate the source, and Lana is determined to help. But their plan goes awry, trapping them in a demon dimension. To return home, Lana and Des must flee through a series of unpredictable alternate realities, fighting enemies while trying to shut down the drug trade. But if they’re going to survive, they’ll have to rely on each other, even though getting closer will add fuel to a fire that’s already burning out of control…

What Worked For Me:

  • I really loved the Urban Arcana universe, and in this particular story I especially enjoyed the idea of new designer street drugs being brought in from different dimension.
  • Des was scrumptious. Sexy, intelligent, and frankly a bit of a stick-in-the-mud at first, I loved watching him struggle against his attraction to Lana. I really enjoyed watching him come over his deeply ingrained prejudices over the course of the novel, and how that worked into the plot as a whole.
  • Lana was probably my favorite character in this book.  She was a strong, intelligent woman who went after what she wanted. More than that, however, she wasn’t one of those heroines who rush off into danger only to get their bums handed to them as a result.  Certainly, she had her own weaknesses, but as alpha as she was, she was also smart enough to pick her battles, and I liked that.
  • The steam factor was also perfect for the pacing, with just enough heat to keep things interesting while not slowing down the action.
  • I really enjoyed the fact that there was so much packed into this book — action, forbidden romance, danger, inter-dimensional travel, capture, escape, political intrigue and family drama. Even more than that, however, was the fact that the story remained beautifully light in spite of being so action packed, and was never really dragged down by any of the heavier plot points in the story.
  • I was quite pleased with the ending, and I think that previous fans of the series will be absolutely thrilled.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • It was my own fault for starting a series with Book 4, but I really do not think it completely “worked” as a standalone. While there was certainly enough background information given that I was never actually “lost”, I do think there was far too much that I’d missed out on to fully appreciate this story. For example, I had the feeling that Des and Lana had some sort of history of animosity and sexual tension, but because I hadn’t actually witnessed any of that, their relationship seemed to progress far too quickly.
  • I wasn’t thrilled with the scene involving the bracelets. I can’t go further into detail without giving away a major spoiler, but it almost felt as a bit of a shortcut in their relationship, and that threw the pacing off a bit.

While I think that newcomers to the series will easily follow along with the action and the characters,  I can tell you that it would probably be better having read the series in order.  I think I personally expected there to be more unresolved sexual tension between Lana and Des, but was instead left with a suspicion that most of the tension between them may have occurred in a previous book.

Overall, however, I definitely enjoyed it.  Lana and Des worked very well together as a couple in spite of their own hesitance to enter into a relationship, and the exciting universe of Urban Arcana was highly entertaining.

Recommended for fans of fast paced paranormal romance, exciting journeys, and forbidden love.

4/5 Stars.