Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Release Date: August 2, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.”
Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little—a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood—has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned—she’s not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red’s new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters.
Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red’s old flames. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there’s one thing Red knows for sure, it’s that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences
"I know Wolf hurt you," Nate said, "but how can you not believe in happily ever after? You're a fairytale.""I'm not a fairytale," I snapped. "I'm a parable. A moral. And a misguided one at that. The first time I heard my own story it was being told to a group of young girls as a cauthonary tale about the evils of men and sexuality!"RED is a procedural Urban Fantasy about Tess Little (Little Red Riding Hood), an Enforcer for Fairytale Management Authority (FMA), as she investigates a series of murders that seem to involve a couple of men from her past. Her partner, the hot and sexy Nate Grimm (yes, THAT Grimm), also a Reaper (yes, a Grim Reaper), helps with her investigation, ensuring that she keeps level headed as their prime suspects are very close and dear to Red. Super sleuthing aside, the sexual tension between these two is so thick and tight it's only a matter of time before it snaps and evolve into a delicious love affair.
Red Little is a remarkable adult version of an otherwise naive character, very low key and she's the type of heroine you root for and admire. As the synopsis infers, Red is no longer the little girl we've come to know, she's had her share of lovers and heartaches which made her a hardened and insecure cynic. I was expecting Big Bad Wolf Seth as Red's love interest but it turns out they've already broken up and Red had quite an interesting list of ex-lovers after that relationship went kaput. This aspect in Red's character threw me off as I would never have expected Little Red to be such a heartthrob much less ride several "hoods". It was a bold move but it worked out well for me and the story.
As for Nate Grimm, I was so happy that he's one of the main characters in this series, a good fairy tale reboot should have a Grimm somewhere and Nate didn't disappoint. Not only is he lethal but that edge is tempered with a certain kind of sweetness I like in my man, fictional or not. The man can cook, very protective and tender towards Red I can't help but swoon a little. The sexiest part for me was when he gave Red a bath after a very traumatic experience, that entire scene was so sensual I wanted to trade places with our heroine!
I had a blast reading RED, KSerine did a wonderful job in basing this series in a buffet of stories ranging from The Brothers Grimm, to Jane Austen, various myths and a slew of other tales. And even if the characters are based on classic literature and folklore, they are still original as their "migration" into our world prompted them to evolve, leaving behind their fictional peculiarities in favor of making their own destinies. My favorites are the professional escort, Olivia "Snow" White, the Hollywood power couple James and Cindy Charming and Lavender Seelie, the alchie ex-fairy godmother of Cinderella who blames her addiction to Aladdin's genie. Lavender stood out the most to me, tugging my heartstrings despite her short appearance in the story and so I'm glad that Transplanted Tales 2, The Better to See You, will be her and Seth's story. I hope she gets the fresh start she desperately wants.
"No, I wouldn't go back to my story. I like it much better when I can write my own." Lavender's eyes glistened with unshed tears. "I want to write my own, too," she confided."But I don't even know where to start."RED by KSerine is a strong debut and an even stronger start to a wonderful series. It is the perfect amalgam of Urban Fantasy and dark fairy tale being both whimsical and deadly. I would recommend this to anybody who loves kick ass heroines, procedural series and mind boggling mysteries.