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If you like urban fantasy with badass heroines and lots of action scenes, then Bad Girls Drink Blood may be the book for you. Keep reading to learn more, and by the end of this post, you should have all the info you need to decide whether to add this novel to your to-read list.
Bad Girls Drink Blood by S.L. Choi
Series: Blood Fae Druid
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: May 17, 2022
Publisher: City Owl Press
Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination.
After a life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane Callaghan gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good.
The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good.
That ends when a routine job goes sideways leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power.
As far as Lane’s concerned, good riddance, considering they would rather see her dead—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose to return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her…or let them burn.
Disclosure: I bought an ebook copy of Bad Girls Drink Blood during its 99¢ launch sale, so while I was later provided a free copy for review as part of the blog tour, I didn’t end up using it.
In my opinion, the two strongest parts of this book were the heroine and her relationship with her sisters.
Lane is a wonderfully complex, flawed protagonist. She has low self-esteem and self-loathing issues thanks to the prejudice she faced growing up in the fae realm. She tends to rush into things without thinking, and she’s got an explosive, hair-trigger temper.
She’s also tough as nails, funny as hell, and full of love for her family.
Lane lives and works with her adoptive sisters, and they have a wonderful and realistic sibling relationship. They tease each other and get on each other’s nerves sometimes, but they always have one another’s backs. Lane’s sisters are the only ones who can get her to stop and look before she leaps, and they’re the only ones she doesn’t snap at when she’s in a bad mood. She obviously adores them, and when they get captured by the villain near the end of the book, Lane loses it.
There’s a romantic subplot as well, but I thought Lane’s relationship with her sisters far outshined that with her love interest.
The main plot is a mystery/quest with plenty of action. The Callaghan sisters need to find who stole the sun stones and return them to the fae realm before all the sun fae lose their magic. The story moves quickly and has some intriguing twists and turns.
I have some nitpicky criticisms about the overuse of phrases like “this male” and “the female” to describe every character, which I thought sounded awkward, but overall this was a fun read. The action scenes are epic, and there’s interesting world-building with the overlapping human and fae worlds. Lane is a fantastic, sympathetic protagonist with an engaging POV who drew me in by the first few chapters, making me love the characters she loved and hate the ones she hated. (Screw the sun fae.😁)
All in all, Bad Girls Drink Blood is a promising start to a new urban fantasy series.
Shown on page:
- Explicit language
- Gratuitous violence (Marvel style – over the top, often with humor)
- Adult situations – aka steamy romantic stuff (no on page sex)
- Childhood bullying
I’d been nursing my drink for the past hour, along with my pride. I didn’t want to face my sisters. I didn’t want to tell them I’d screwed up.
The morning sun broke through stained-glass windows high on the far wall of the shotgun-style front room. It illuminated the rich mahogany bar top and the pale red layer of melted ice atop the disgusting virgin Bloody Mary I’d made the mistake of ordering.
“I don’t smell nos blood.” A hand large enough to crack a watermelon like an egg slid in front of me and tapped a chipped fingernail on my glass.
“Too early for that stuff.” He didn’t need to know I was allergic. That type of info would ruin my rep. “Tomato juice and plenty of vodka.”
“Yous should go straight vodka. Don’t mess with that vegetable stuff.”
“Never mind.” I swung around on the well-worn saddle of my stool and faced the ogre. Rip, a regular fixture at the bar, had a remarkably expressive face for something that resembled an unfinished block of gray sculpting clay. Broad as a refrigerator and somewhere close to seven feet tall, he dwarfed my already short stature. Both of his ever-roaming—and more than a little creepy—chameleon-like eyes landed on me.
“Lane Callaghan.” He pinched the lapels of my jacket to straighten it. The shifting sides revealed a shoulder sheath holding a push dagger under each arm, and he tweaked one with a thick finger. “What’s a bad girl like yous doing in a nice bar like this?”
Despite playing into the corny cliché, I snatched his finger and bent it back, stopping before it reached the point of pain. “Never touch a girl’s hardware unless you’re prepared to lose a finger.” I tempered the action with a wink. Though, I meant it. Don’t touch my blades.
“No touch. Gots it.” He threw his hands in the air. Such a drama queen.
From the front of the bar voices rose, furniture clattered on the hardwood floors, and a bottle shattered. The only one to react was Teddy, the bartender, bar owner, and resident eye candy, who appeared from behind the bar and easily vaulted over the counter before the fighters could cause any damage to his establishment.
A nice bar, indeed. Nice was relative in Interlands, but the ogre did run a bookie business from the booth he rented here, so he was biased. To be fair, Teddy kept the place in surprisingly good shape, considering the locals and some of their shady side businesses. Myself included.
Cleanliness was not a typical werewolf trait, not that I’d ever seen Teddy go furry. Not in the seven years I’d known him, but it was obvious in the way he moved, the way he easily cowed other wolves—and just about anyone else, really.
I hitched my elbows on the bar behind me and leaned against it. “What’s up, Rip?”
He rolled his thick shoulders and did a quick side-to-side look, as if there might actually be someone in here who didn’t know why he’d approached me.
“Yous lookin’ for work?”
My nostrils flared with a slow, deep breath. The crisp grapefruit scent of whatever cleaner Teddy used to keep a bar full of humans, fae, and other degenerates suspiciously clean invaded my senses. If I said yes, my sisters would be pissed. I was already on a job, but I’d screwed it up, and we were less than a month away from having our electricity cut off, so why not?
“You know, being propositioned for work in a bar would offend most women.” I tugged my ponytail forward and began twisting the deep auburn strands into a fat braid. A red so deep it was nearly black, but not the black-on-black of a true blood fae.
The ogre’s full belly laugh sounded like stones rattling inside a bass drum. His gut was about the size of one, too. “Most don’t get paid to beats up folks and take their money.”
“True.” My business card might say private investigator, but as my failed attempt to tail someone solo proved this morning, I should stick with being the muscle of my sibling trio, even if my sisters insisted otherwise. “All right. Who is it, and what’s the timetable?”
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About the Author
S.L. Choi is an urban fantasy author with a deep love for humor, fast-paced action, and hit-you-in-the-heart feels. She grew up imagining goblins living in the rocks outside her bedroom window, while fairies flew through the flowers. Now she puts those stories to paper. When not writing, she is either photographing the beautiful New England area, hiking, gaming with her equally nerdy husband, or attending to the small furry overlord who rules them both.
Author Website: https://slchoi.com/
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