By:  Laura Thalassa
Published:  2016
# of pages: 
The Bargainer (#1)
A to Z


Goodreads description:

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

My opinion:  I originally rated this 4 stars, but I changed it to 3 after thinking about it for awhile and starting the second book in the series, A Strange Hymn.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun read, but too many things didn’t make sense and there was too much repetition.  I can tell that when the author didn’t quite know what to do, she just had the main characters think loving or dirty or insecure or unsure thoughts.  I wish that there had been a little more action and real progress in the book.

The story follows Callie, who is a human, but a supernatural human.  She’s a siren and is able to glamour other humans and make them do whatever she wants them to do.  Her entire life changed as she found herself in trouble 8 years earlier.  She met the Bargainer, a Fae creature, and soon after that she went to a school for supernatural humans.  Now that she’s out of school, she puts her abilities to good use as a private investigator and tries to ignore the fact that she owes hundreds of favors to the mysterious Bargainer.  However, her life is once again disrupted as she becomes reacquainted with the Bargainer.  He says he needs her help so he must claim the favors she owes him.

This sounds like a really cool story, but like I said earlier, it’s mainly just Callie obsessing about the Bargainer.  At the end, the reader discovers that perhaps he didn’t really need her help and that explains why she didn’t ever really do anything the entire book.  Callie is a fun narrator so I’m disappointed that her physical appearance is always more appreciated than her wit and intellect.  If you don’t mind graphic sex scenes and want a fun read that doesn’t require much thought, I would recommend this, but otherwise I think there are books with similar plots that are more worth reading.

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars:  Fun narrative, but not enough substance or action.

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