Title: The Truth is Even Stranger (A Paranormal’s Love: Book Nineteen)
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Length: 111 Pages
At a Glance: While following the formula, this installment is a level above the usual, starring compelling main characters with more than interesting backstories—and there are more Gargoyles on the way!
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Into the Paranormal World: Sometimes the truth is even stranger than fantasy.
Officer Tian Chavez goes undercover at a college in Durango, Colorado as Tian Whithern, a gangster. It’s not the first time he’s taken such an assignment, since he looks years younger than he actually is. Finding out who’s offering strength-enhancing drugs to students and other towns’ people takes a jaunt around the crazy maypole when he discovers the truth. It’s not drugs that give the ability, it’s completing a mate-bond with a paranormal creature. To his shock, he learns that gargoyles, shifters, and even vampires are real. Now, he needs to come up with a viable cover story.
make matters even stranger, Tian runs across Chef Roman, a gargoyle who seems to think they’re mates. While he finds the huge male attractive, Roman isn’t an exceptionally personable individual. Tian isn’t certain what to make of him or his gruff, bumbling attempts at seduction. When he realizes accepting a life with Roman would mean the end of his work…plus other drastic changes to his life, can he decide on what’s the right path?
Review: Tian is an undercover cop sent to Durango to help determine what is going on with some potential new street drug that is giving the users unusual strength. These “tips” have come in anonymously, but Tian has an in with the football team. Since they seem to have connections to the mysterious estate outside of town that has been intimated as involved with the potential “drug threat,” he manages to get himself invited to see the doctor there.
While at the estate, Tian gives the slip to his escort and sets off a wave of panic at the estate, and he inadvertently sees something he shouldn’t—namely, a gargoyle delivering food to a top-level meeting. Surprisingly, while Tian is freaking out, he’s not a total wreck. When Roman, the cranky gargoyle in question, starts to explain, things don’t go super smoothly. Luckily there are plenty of others around to help explain.
Tian gets that there are many secrets, and heck, he’s a secret keeper himself. Having grown up without a family, and doing undercover work since he joined the police force, he’s got plenty. He definitely feels the pull to Roman, but he’s wary about what that might mean to his future, his job, and his life. He’s got some help, though, navigating the strange new world.
When the true source of the tips is discovered, it’s time to put a new plan into action to get the investigation called off, and the estate and the football players left in peace. But, even that proves to be tricky and does not go smoothly. Roman and his friends come to Tian’s aid and help him make the changes he wants, and needs, to start a new life.
I really liked this chapter of this series. Tian is an interesting “outsider” character who doesn’t know how to accept a family and others who might have his back, so it’s a real adjustment for him. Roman has been alone for so long, and has carried so much baggage from his past life that he has trouble believing he could finally have something good for himself. These two have to work at communication and, luckily, they seem to figure it out. So, while this story follows the formula, this installment is a level above the usual due to compelling main characters with more than interesting backstories—and there are more Gargoyles on the way!
You can buy The Truth Is Even Stranger here: