Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale, and Astrid Amara
It’s a secret international organization operating in cities on every continent. It polices relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, enforcing immigration laws, the transfers of magical artifacts, and crimes against humanity.
The agents who work for the NATO Irregular Affairs Division can’t tell anyone what they do, or how hard they work to keep us safe. It brings a colorful collection of men together:
Agent Henry Falk, the undead bum. Agent Keith Curry, former carnivore chef turned vegetarian; Agent Rake, Babylonian demon with a penchant for easy living; and Agent Silas August, uncompromising jerk.
Four cities, four mysteries, four times the romance. Is your security clearance high enough to read on?
Cherries Worth Getting by N. Kimberling – made me glad I am a vegetarian. Former chef Keith Curry and trans-goblin Gunther Heartman investigate contraband food items while trying in vain to keep it professional between the two of them. Nicole Kimberling sets up a world where extra-humans exists side by side with regular people and the Secrecy Act is in place. Extra-humans being vampires, goblins, fae folks and other mythical creatures from all over the world. Foodies might get an extra kick with the gourmet part.
Green Glass Beads by Josh Lanyon – a fluffy faery-demon romance that’s also a heist and an obsessive quest for family heirlooms. Sidhe politics and history were mentioned but not elaborated upon. Archer, our half faery-half human protagonist, is an intelligence but impulsive ex-terrorist and Rake is the Irregular agent tasked to investigate him. This is my first Josh Lanyon story which, I’m glad, didn’t disappoint. It’s character-driven with demon action, magic and some heartwarming moments.
No Life But This by Astrid Amara – Aztaw history and culture is fascinating and terrifying in equal measures. For a moment, I bought the whole Aztaw thing as a real Mexican mythology until I tried googling it. Silas August is a jerk who wears designer suits. Deven is both a childlike man and skilled assassin, a combination that has its own ironic appeal. This is my favorite of the bunch since it was dark, bloody and dangerous with slow build romance simmering underneath.
Things Unseen and Deadly by Ginn Hale – another sidhe story involving Half-dead Henry who was almost a century old and Jason Shamir, a young man struggling with what he thought were hallucinations. I like how this is connected with the first story and a good wrap-up of the series.
Cherries Worth Getting – 3.5 stars
Green Glass Beads – 3.5 stars
No Life But This – 4 stars
Things Unseen and Deadly – 3 stars
Overall: 4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The dead are selfish:
They make us cry, and they don’t care,
They stay quiet in the most inconvenient places,
They refuse to walk, and we have to carry them
On our backs to the tomb…Angel Gonzalez
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Koiike – Shisito Karari
Omoigabuchi, a pond with a legend attached: “If two people go in together, they will be bound to each other for life.” The story of three couples who get dragged into this love pond.
While it’s highly unlikely that school boys would care about love ponds, this is still a moderately good volume of interconnected stories. The first couple was the most interesting one for me because it had the potential to be hilarious but the author chose to focus on the boring third pair.