New to me author, Terri L. Austin is on the blog today with the first in her A Null for Hire fantasy series, narrated by Hollie Jackson. Please read on for my review of
Intrigued by the description of a heroine that is a Null – she nullifies the powers of the paranormals around her, I was curious to see just how the story would unfold. Holly was born into a magical family, but is different from everyone else: she draws the power away from others- which, now that she’s older has worked into quite the lucrative business. But, it’s still very lonely as people used to using their power (whatever it may be) at will, she is a bit of a damper. But then, a young witch is found dead, clutching an amulet that is cursed. Black magic is to be avoided by all, but Holly’s unique abilities allow her to drain the magic, and render it harmless, on a request from her grandfather. But – he’s got conditions: there is a need to find a murderer, and there is a sorcerer on the case who can use Holly’s skills and talents – even if he won’t admit it.
Cade is one of those arrogant, handsome and talented men, who uses his fear of Holly’s strange abilities to take control (even though he won’t admit it at first) and it turns him into possibly the most despicable romantic interest ever created. And – the fact that Holly is drawn to him, despite his lack of (early on) redeemable features. They do have chemistry though, and the trope that is almost unstated is the fated mates bit: as the two are meant to be together….. once Cade develops some cracks in his tough guy façade, he does get a bit more likable, and the sexual tension between them is off the charts for a new introduction.
Narration for this book is provided by Hollie Jackson, and I’ve experienced her before with young-ish heroines. Her voice works naturally to capture the new-adult aged voice of Holly, and she does make some adjustments to differentiate characters in tone and pacing. But, what I discovered in this read, there was a decided sense of care taken to exactly hit each word in the book, perhaps to the detriment of some emotional moments, or pauses to bring frustration, tension or concern to the fore.
The mystery and it’s unraveling was best realized in this book, and with the addition of Holly’s unique abilities, really kept me interested in finding out who the killer was, and just why they did it. With a romance that didn’t go far enough to redeem Cade by his behaviors, and a few of Holly’s own insecurities left unexplained, there are more answers yet to discover in her ongoing story, not the least of which is if Cade will fully flush out into a believable romantic interest, not just one of convenience or ‘fated’ to be.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 3
Author: Terri L. Austin
Series: A Null for Hire #1
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Narrator: Hollie Jackson
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 25 April, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 4 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
They call me an abomination. A mutant. A curse on their kind.
I don't let it bother me.
My name is Holly James, and what they say is true. I'm a freak of nature-a null. My mere presence zaps the magic from Others, rendering them powerless. That's why they hate me. But here's the kicker: I've found a way to profit from my lack of mojo. Whether it's acting as a mystical wet blanket in a dispute between pyromancers or keeping hormonal shifters from changing during a sweet sixteen party, I provide a highly specialized service.
For a hefty fee.
When a young witch turns up dead, clutching an amulet cursed with black magic, my estranged grandfather asks for my help. In return for nullifying the necklace, Gramps promises to find my missing mother-a witch who vanished after my birth.
Of course there's a catch. He wants me to assist Cade McAllister, the arrogant sorcerer in charge of investigating the case. Cade resents my existence, let alone my attempts to help.
Still, I'll do whatever it takes to find my mom. For my own peace of mind I have to know what happened to her, and I won't allow anything to get in my way. Not even this crazy, irrational longing I feel for a hot sorcerer with the sexiest scowl I've ever seen.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.