Welcome to Illusion Town on the colony world of Harmony—like Las Vegas on Earth, but way more weird.
Living in this new, alien world doesn’t stop the settlers from trying to re-create what they’ve left behind. Case in point—weddings are still the highlight of any social calendar. But it’s the after-party that turns disastrous for Lucy Bell. Kidnapped and drugged as she leaves the party, she manages to escape—only to find herself lost in the mysterious, alien underground maze of glowing green tunnels beneath Illusion Town. She’s been surviving on determination and cold pizza, scavenged for her by a special dust bunny, when help finally shows up.
Gabriel Jones is the Guild Hunter sent to rescue her, but escaping the underground ruins isn’t the end of her troubles—it’s only the beginning. With no rational reason for her abduction, and her sole witness gone on another assignment for the Guild, whispers start circulating that Lucy made it all up. Soon her life unravels until she has nothing left but her pride. The last thing she expects is for Gabriel Jones to come back to town for her.
The Lucy that Gabriel finds is not the same woman he rescued, the one who looked at him as if he were her hero. This Lucy is sharp, angry, and more than a little cynical—instead of awe, she treats him with extreme caution. But a killer is still hunting her, and there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to heroes. Despite her wariness, Gabriel is also the one person who believes Lucy—after all, he was there. He’s determined to help clear her reputation, no matter what it takes. And as the new Guild Boss, his word is law, even in the lawlessness of Illusion Town.
Guild Boss by Jayne Castle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was so fun. I read it for The Poisoned Pen Bookstore Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book-of-the-Month Club. I’d recommend it for anyone who enjoys an urban fantasy feel, as underground, lively scenes within a romance plot.
I should say that everything about this book is what I loathe in a book. I honestly would have never picked it to read on my own. I have to say that because if you’re like me, you may hopefully be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
Here is what is usually a hard pass for me when it comes to first impressions of a book:
-People on the cover. Unless it’s nonfiction.
-Urban fantasy feel. Urban fantasy in general.
-Urban settings. Especially Las Vegas.
-Paranormal unless it’s LitRPG.
-Finding out it’s the middle of the series. It’s rare I will go back and read them in proper order.
-More than 5 in a series. Unless it’s Agatha Raisin of course. I just change reading/seasonal moods and genres so much that I find series hard to get through, unless they follow weather series, those are fun.
-Blurbs that more than a few paragraphs long. Unless it’s nonfiction.
-Reading a first page and seeing how it’s likely going to be overly descriptive.
-People on the cover. Again. Unless it’s nonfiction.
The commonality is that they’re all typically signs that a book is going to be boring for me.
But this one certainly wasn’t boring, in fact it was such a good story.
My favorite bits were the subtle humor like Old World items references. Made me laugh so much.
And the dust bunny, the cutest. I loved Otis. So cute! Captured my heart. The glue for me.
My interest did waver here and there at the beginning. I’d not read any of the previous book but I think those like me who are entering mid-way through the series will pick up on it easily.
And about page 30 was when I got more into it.
I hadn’t realized that this would also be a romance read. Was an interesting surprise.
The writing used a bit of passive voice more than I cared for at the beginning, but more or less either disappeared or became less obvious as I read on, and I started to enjoy it much more thereafter.
I loathe descriptions that are just there. Like a long black dress for example. I’d be more interested if the length of the dress was describing it for style, distinguishing and giving context like a princess dress, a ballgown of sorts, as opposed to something else, just to get an initial picture or if there was an upcoming scene of the character tripping over it or getting it caught in the door, otherwise the first mention of all the descriptions to go with it is always enough for me. However, as I read on I quite enjoyed that any repeated descriptions were a rarity.
I will look forward to more. Also I didn’t realize the author was also Amanda Quick. Lovely.
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