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Stoned In Charm City (Charm City Darkness, #1) (2014)

by Kelly A. Harmon(Favorite Author)
4.09 of 5 Votes: 3
194155900X (ISBN13: 9781941559000)
Pole to Pole Publishing
review 1: I recieved this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.I've never read something that I could describe as Christian horror-erotica, but this book is exactly that.Assumpta is a young woman who's out on her luck; she's a woman of deep, Catholic faith, but one with special magical abilities. Assumpta is literally paying her father back for everything he bought her from her birth (the hospital bill) through to her eighteenth birthday when she moves out. This is, quite simply, absurd characterization and not an organic plot point at all. Money problems? Sure, but there are more believable ways to give a character financial problems. That's roughly the extent of Assumpta's character: broken, magical, and religious. She gets mixed up with Greg, a man who's cursed with a ... moredemon by an ancient artifact. Unfortunately, Greg and Assumpta have no chemistry. This is a problem with the character's throughout the novel. The closest a relationship in this novel gets to a real relationship is the one between Father Tony and Assumpta.The stone demons start out as a creepy mystery; they scuttle up and down Assumpta's body, and blessed items burn her. When Assumpta starts to turn to stone, I felt like I should've been invested in her, but by then, the demon plot went in a strange direction--and not good strange. There are numerous long scenes of demonic sexual assault, and erotica just isn't my thing. It's not that I'm a prude, it's just that the scenes are neither titilating nor horrific.The final nail for me was the major plot point where Assumpta becomes more desirable to the demons because she's been baptized. She spends a lot of time wringing her hands about Greg not being baptized, and like the shallow characters, the argument against atheism is equally paltry. To read this book, you do honestly have to believe in heaven and hell, or Assumpta's worry about Greg going to hell isn't going to mean much to you. I'm not opposed to characters who are Christian's, but this book isn't clever or thoughtful enough to pull off nuanced theological discussions.
review 2: What a rolicking good time this book ended up being. It wasn't a classic romance, more along the lines of an urban fantasy, though there were definitely erotica moments (mmm, Jak) and a potential romance (Greg) for heroine Assumpta (love the name)..There was much to enjoy about this book. I loved the "minions" as Assumpta comes to call the demons that attach themselves to Greg and her. There was a great hunt for not just one, but two holy relics in and around the church she attends. I really liked the fact that Assumpta wasn't just a Catholic by her name/parentage, but in how she thought and processed the world. It wasn't an add-on for the character, she lived and breathed her beliefs. Yes, she has issues with the Church (most Catholics do) and that's what made her such an incredibly believable character for me.Greg was fun too, though we never really get inside his head. It was interesting to watch him move from atheistic skeptic scientist to a believer in God (in general). The battle to get Greg baptized was fantastic with the demons trying their best to stop the process.Lest the above threaten to drive you off, this is 'not' a preachy book. Yes, there is religion woven in and you can't take that out without losing some of the best aspects of this book. This IS a battle against the devil and his minions, good vs. evil. Ms. Harmon never shies away from that fact or tries to play down the angel/demon/good/bad aspects. So to recap - love the book. It's got great action and true mortal consequences. I liked the ending and how it leads into the next book (which I will eagerly devour when it becomes available). Greg, Assumpta, Father Tom, and Jak were all great characters. Definitely worth your time if you like paranormal stories. 5 gargoyles all the way!I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. less
Reviews (see all)
2 1/2 stars. Main character was a little bit to self righteous for my liking.
Entirely too religious.Provided by Netgalley for an honest review.
Exciting scenes. Interesting plot. "Charming" heroine.
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