5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Paranormal Romance
I can't remember the last time I was this excited about discovering a new author. After reading all of J.R. Ward, Karen Moning (probably the closest in style) and Jeaniene Frost, I have spent months looking for an author who would make me feel PASSIONATE about what I was reading. Sadly, I read (despite good ratings) a number of books that were just okay -- predictable...
Published 1 month ago by Connie
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsure
I really enjoy another series from this author but I couldn't get into the story with this one. I couldn't really connect with the characters and was annoyed that all Corine thinks about is men and sex. A lot of eye roll from me. I will stick with the story that I like from her.
Published 6 months ago by DeMoNeSs
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Paranormal Romance,
This review is from: Blue Diablo: A Corine Solomon Novel (Kindle Edition)I can't remember the last time I was this excited about discovering a new author. After reading all of J.R. Ward, Karen Moning (probably the closest in style) and Jeaniene Frost, I have spent months looking for an author who would make me feel PASSIONATE about what I was reading. Sadly, I read (despite good ratings) a number of books that were just okay -- predictable plots, cookie-cutter characters and writing that never got beyond adequate.
Everything changed when I started reading BLUE DIABLO -- a totally original plot, fascinating characters, great writing, witty dialogue, passion, and suspense. AMAZING! Few writers of paranormal or urban fantasy are really able to do a credible of encouraging readers to suspend their disbelief without a number of eye-rolls along the way. Not once in BLUE DIABLO, did something seem over the top to me. Although this is urban fantasy/paranormal, everything is believable due to Ms. Aguirre's incredible ability to layer information, rather than just dump facts on the reader. Welcome to a world where witches and incantations exist and where the person beside you might have some unique power. The paranormal aspects are just one facet of the book. On the simplest level, it is the story of a man and a woman struggling to deal with their own issues while working toward a common goal.
Corine Solomon has been in hiding in Mexico for eighteen months after the break up of her relationship from Chance. She lives in fear that she will be discovered by the enemies she has collected over the years, most through no fault of her own. Corine has the ability to read objects (psychometry). Her talent has led her to be exploited in the past and comes at a hefty price to her own health. Because Corine was not born with the gift (explained in the novel), she suffers physically every time she is asked to use her talent. She is dragged back into Chance`s life against her own better judgement because of her love for his mother.
Chance is a man of mystery -- so mysterious that after years of living together, Corine doesn't even know his real name. Chance has the ability to put the odds in his favor in any given situation. Although he has been careful to use this power for appropriate purposes, there are usually negative consequences for those around him. If Chance is more lucky, the rest of the people in the vicinity are automatically less lucky. It is this fact that had led to the dissolution of his relationship with Corine. Chance`s luck comes with a heavy price which has affected his ability to be close to Corine.
Ms. Aguirre creates a lot of tension in the first chapter. We know very little of Chance other than Corine is concerned about having been found by him. We are privy to her thoughts about him and little of it shines a positive light on Chance. As they start working together, the reader has to make his/her own judgement about what is said and done versus what is perceived. Corine is forced to look at her past with Chance in a new light. Even her view of how and why they separated is shattered. It is very interesting that although there are no explicit sex scenes in the book, there is still a high level of sexual tension. These are two passionate people. He's the raven. She's the peacock. Toss an empathic cop into the mix and sparks fly.
Ann Aguirre is a subtle writer. She doesn't tell you what the characters are like. She lets their thoughts and behaviors define them. I can't remember the last time when I highlighted more information in a novel -- witty dialogue, intriguing behaviors, pieces of information that might help me solve the mystery. This is a book to sink your teeth into and enjoy.
If you are looking for a light, summer read, perhaps this is a book to save for when you feel ready to be immersed in a story. Maybe the best way to explain it is to say that fans of mainstream Hollywood action flicks might be somewhat less attracted to this method of story-telling than someone who likes an independent film or is open to a less overt way to tell a story. Think quirky, unique, funny, poignant and suspenseful. I had well over one hundred highlights as I read this book, noting things I thought represented great dialogue or interesting examples of relationship issues as well as flat our humor.
"Sometimes when you meet someone, there`s a click. I don`t believe in love at first sight but I believe that that click. Recognition." He`d kissed me then and whispered: "Click".
"What are you asking for, Chance?" He sucked in a breath like he had a hole in his chest. "Something I haven`t known in a long time, Corine. A little peace." Then he seemed to read my misgivings because he sighed. "Not sex. I`ll even sleep in my socks."
"If I refuse to sleep with you, there must be someone else? Don`t you ever get tired of lugging that ego around?" "I brought a wheelbarrow."
"Once I would have slid my arm around his waist and leaned into him. Once he would`ve slid his hands into my hair as he kissed me, careless of people passing by around us."
Chance shook his head. "Only you could go out for dog food and come back with a man."
I have already downloaded the second book in the Corine Solomon series. I highly recommend BLUE DIABLO. (Once you`ve read all Ann Aguirre`s books check out her former pen names Ava Gray and Ellen Connor for more books to love.)
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsure,
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This review is from: Blue Diablo: A Corine Solomon Novel (Mass Market Paperback)I really enjoy another series from this author but I couldn't get into the story with this one. I couldn't really connect with the characters and was annoyed that all Corine thinks about is men and sex. A lot of eye roll from me. I will stick with the story that I like from her.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem,
This review is from: Blue Diablo: A Corine Solomon Novel (Mass Market Paperback)This book is the rarest of gems: an urban fantasy novel that doesn't involve vampires, shapeshifters, or faeries. Every single character is human, and the supernatural aspects don't necessarily translate to being able to kick the bad guys' heads in a dozen different ways without breaking a sweat. In short, Blue Diablo is what you need to check out if you've been tiring of the angsty bloodsuckers overpopulating your nearest bookstore.
I've become an Ann Aguirre fangirl, so of course I enjoyed the story. Aguirre excels at creating flawed, endearing characters, and her narration style sets readers right in the middle of the action and inside the protagonist's head.
I loved the way the magic worked in Blue Diablo. It was subtle, and required work on the part of the person using it. When Corine reads objects, she not only has to concentrate on it, the object burns her hands, leaving a whole mess of scars on her palms. Chance's luck works out nicely for him, but usually puts anyone with him at a disadvantage (ie: the falling anvil will miss him... and hit the person standing next to him). Jesse is an empath, and sometimes has problems telling his own emotions apart from other peoples'. You'll note none of these abilities are big, flashy things. Unlike superheroes, these powers are subtle things, and aren't generally a whole lot of use when it comes to actually facing down anyone with malicious intentions.
What else makes the book stand out? The setting. With flavours of Mexico and southwest USA, this is a welcome change from the gritty Chicago-esque feel of most of the urban settings we see. There are plenty of little southwest touches in there to add flavour, and that flavour is delicious.
There's of course a complex love triangle in here, with some wonderful chemistry between Corine and the two men chasing her. The dialogue is sharp and sparkly (in the non-vampiric sense of the word), and at several points in the story I giggled out loud. It's all very character driven, from relatable people, all of whom have to deal with their own various issues as well as finding out what happened to Chance's mother. The book is addictive and just a lot of fun.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Corine Solomon", Awesome While Reluctant Heroine,
This review is from: Blue Diablo: A Corine Solomon Novel (Mass Market Paperback)"Blue Diablo", is an Urban Fantasy written in the first person and what I liked about the heroine and narrator of the story, "Corine Solomon", is that she is real. Corine doesn't see herself as beautiful; in fact she talks about her imperfections, and dressing "hippie chic". She possesses a dry wit that permeates the narrative of this novel and had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. Corine isn't a gun toting, martial arts expert; her mother gifted her with a unique, rare ability that while provided her a source of income for a time also causes her heartache and nearly cost her life. She is a "handler", which means she has a psychic or magical (whichever you believe it to be) ability to touch an object and visualize what the owner was doing at the time they last handled it. And, her gift gets her into a truckload of trouble.
After leaving her lover and manager, Chance 18 months earlier, Corine Solomon has made a life for herself in Mexico City. She opened a little pawnshop and sells goods of all description, making a decent profit. She has been comfortable and made very sure she covered her tracks when she walked out on Chance and her previous life.
However, we would have no story without a hitch right?
Chance turns up at her shop to plead for help in locating his mother Yi-Min-Chin who has gone missing and considered kidnapped. Chance presents Corine with a little pewter Buddha that his mother considered her "luck" and begs her to handle it so they can glean some information with respect to Min's whereabouts.
Corine and Chance's relationship history is extremely tumultuous and needless to say, it goes against her better judgment to become involved with him again. She is about to send him packing, however when she sees the pewter Buddha, she knows something horrible has happened to Min, because she was never without it. Min is a woman who Corine had grown to care for. When Corine "handles" the Buddha, she senses Min's feelings, her fear and resignation at being taken, and she sees a white van she is escorted to. Corine's gift does come with a physically painful price that you will understand if you read the book.
Chance is gifted with luck. Essentially, wherever he goes things seem to go in his favor, no matter how bad the situation, nothing happens to him. However, his power doesn't extend to protecting those around him and because of this Corine was very nearly killed during their last "job" together.
Corine agrees to go to Laredo with Chance where his mother was last seen and Detective Jesse Saldana, from the "Crimes Against Persons Unit" or CAPERS is working on Yi-Min-Chin's disappearance. Chance knows the police have his mother's purse because it was found in the blood-spattered corner of an abandoned warehouse. Chance wants the purse so Corine can handle it.
Saldana, it turns out, is an empath and he and Corine feel and instant connection because of their gifts.
Here is a short example of the wonderful prose and Corine's (Ann Aguirre's) inherent wit. Chance and Corine arrive at the police station in Laredo and she is introduced to Jesse Saldana for the first time:
"My hormones gave a little skip as I gave him the once-over: an intriguing mix of long, tall Texan in battered boots, touched with Latin heat. He had legs that stretched forever in jeans faded almost to white, not the kind bought with designer "wear" but Levi's washed till the seams and creases got thin. He'd clipped his badge to his belt in plain sight.
As I checked out the rest of him, I admired shoulders showcased by a rumpled white shirt and a forest green blazer. He had a striped tie stuffed in his right jacket pocket, probably to satisfy the letter of the dress code. Nice face, I decided, if scruffy and unshaven. Frosting the hunk cake was a tousled mess of tawny, sun streaked hair."
Can I say, yum?
The stage is set for readers to be taken on a thrill ride where Corine and Chance battle a warlock, demons, spirits, zombies and a crime syndicate. The setting, steeped with Spanish influence is perfect for majic and the occult rituals. The first person narrative allows us to see, feel and hear the events that take place through Corine who is frightened half to death most of the time, but somehow prevails despite enduring one harrowing experience after another.
Then there is her frustration with her ex lover and I understood her cynicism given their history and Chance's occasional indifference. There is no sex in this book; however the story is steamy because it is rife with sexual tension and temptation, which Corine struggles to resist in the extreme. I was grinding my teeth wondering whether she might give in to Chance who wants her but has significant relationship issues and communication problems. And, there is Jesse who considers himself a mentor to Corine because of her gift, but a burgeoning attraction flames between them.
Ann Aguirre developed a strong cast of supporting characters who are drawn into a plot that is full of intrigue, and twists and turns.
It is not clear until the closing pages of the book whether Corine and Chance will succeed in their efforts to rescue Min.
I am looking forward to the next chapter of Corine Solomon's story.
Oh and by the way, the title of this book? You will never guess what it is derived from.
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Blue Diablo: A Corine Solomon Novel by Ann Aguirre (Mass Market Paperback - April 7 2009)
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