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Naked (Phoenix Rising) (Volume 1) Paperback – April 13, 2017
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Phoebe Addison is a librarian who has left the safety of her country mouse life to rescue her sister from a baddie in a future world full of monsters. Micajah St. John is the scariest monster of them all, a former spy turned shape-shifting genetic super soldier who meets Phoe fighting werewolves on a train. She hires him to help her; he shifts into a dragon; his ex-girlfriend tries to kill her--incidents ensue. But basically as in all the best love stories, he rescues her, and she rescues him right back.
This book is so far beyond the current norm for action-adventure and sci-fi romance it's almost ridiculous. The relationship between Phoe and Cage is sparky and sexy and beautifully paced, but the action and sci-fi elements are just as good. There's world-building here that rivals most of the Nebula and Hugo winners I've read lately. This is book one in a series, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Not to be missed.
I'm sooooo excited this is a series, because I've fallen in love with Cage in a big way. I definitely want Book 2...like, yesterday.
In this book we have shifters, some are were animals, some are dragon, and there are vampires. It reminded me in some ways of a story that one of my friends wrote as there was a creature called an “ultra” and she had once talked with me about ultras long before this particular book came in front of me. I can only assume that the ultras are also a shared thing in the shifter subgenre books, so now I am simply going to have to look for more shifter stories to find out if my thoughts are correct.
There is also a little bit of magic, but it is not gone into in detail as to how the ONE person that is encountered can do magic actually gets down to it. I would have liked to know more about that character due to my interest in magic.
I enjoyed the conspiracy theory in this and having to figure out who may or may not have been a double or perhaps triple agent. I enjoyed the genetic aspect to the shifting and how the characters grew. Since it was an erotic book I expected from the beginning that the lead man and woman would fall in love, or at least lust. I was glad to see them as complex characters though and not cookie cutter, which is all too easy to do. Derek Machine to me felt a little flat though, but it is super hard to make a good 3D villain. I wanted to know what made him so crazy, what drove him to such greed and disrespect. Was he simply a psychopathic narcissist or had something happened in his past?
I also have to point out that I greatly liked that Phoebe became a phoenix. I did have to groan though as I know someone that often gets called Phoebe, helps in a virtual library reading aloud, and has a rather fiery avatar in Second Life. I couldn’t help the chuckles. I very much doubt that Phoebe in the book had anything to do with this person, but I’m forever going to giggle about the coincidence.
It was a good book, I definitely enjoyed it, and I will be very likely to look for more. This book leaves an opening for another, so I am indeed curious about what happens with Cage and Phoebe next.
The book starts with a bang and pretty much keeps up the same pace throughout. A book's characters are very important to my enjoyment of a story and the two main protagonists in Naked were very engaging.
Phoebe Addison is a shy, retiring librarian who is thrust into a world she never knew existed. On her way to return a strange artefact sent to her by her much more adventurous sister, she very quickly realises that there are people looking for the medallion who will stop at nothing to take it from her.
She is saved from certain death by the enigmatic Macijah "Cage" St. John who has powers she'd never even imagined in her worst nightmares. Nevertheless, she is desperate enough to beg him to help her - too afraid to be left alone. Cage reluctantly agrees to get her where she needs to be.
From there it's pretty much non stop action with some romance thrown in. As another reviewer mentioned, it's a little like a fantasy/sci-fi version of Romancing The Stone and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended