Title: Haute Pursuit
Author: Stephanie L Spann
Source: Author request
Genre: Paranormal romance
Reviewed by: Carin
There are a ton of upsides to living in San Francisco. Sparring with your friends, annoying your brat little sister, and hospitable weather, if you don't mind the fog.
There's only one DownSide.
All of the deranged, mutated freaks live there on the polar opposite side below the City. Not that Zev Ruzik, Chief of San Francisco's Paranormal Bureau, has ever been there. Twenty years ago, the portals had been welded shut and Zev became a poster boy for Division and Separation of Enhanced People. Today, he's the last male of his kind: heavy dose of werewolf blended with a breed best left unmentioned.
Lyra Methelle is the yin to his yang. Heavy on the 'other' stirred with a moderate helping of werewolf, also last of her kind. Perfect mate for Zev, or so an ancient religion says, but that excludes the fact that she's a DownSide Control agent who just broke a dozen laws to storm through a portal onto his side of the Golden Gate. Lyra is a Tracker with one goal: hunting down her arch nemesis before it locates its target.
Zev is ready to throw Lyra back through the portal, even though all intercity communications are nonfunctional, preventing transport. That is, until he discovers that Lyra's prey is searching for his little sister.
Now, all bets are off and Zev is forced into an uneasy partnership that has him striving to stay focused on their mission and to keep hot and heavy thoughts about Lyra's lush, diamond dipped curves out of mind.
Overall this is a decent story with a unique take on were-wolves and the realm of the paranormal. Zev and Lyra make a perfect pair as soul mates divided between the upside and the downside. Kept apart when the portals between the upside and the downside were sealed. The imagery is richly detailed allowing you to envision the characters and the world they inhabit with ease. The supporting characters also leave you with the sense that this isn't the end for the SF Paranormal Bureau or of Zev and Lyra.
On the down side from the very beginning of the book and continuing through out I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of the story, I felt that the characters could have been better developed and that some of the detail used could have been used to explain the world that the story takes place in. There are a few instances where the scene seemed to come to an unnatural end, as if I was missing the conclusion to the action in that scene.
I really felt this was a story with wonderful potential and a whole new take on the paranormal world which is rare in this genre. I hope that Ms. Spann will continue with more of the SF Paranormal Bureau and the up/downworld's she has created with just a little more development and explanation of the world in which the story takes place.
Okay I hope if you didn't want a spoiler you didn't page down this far, I must make a confession I am an arachnophobic , I detest spiders with my very heart and soul, so I felt it my duty to warn you that is book is full of them, not little regular spiders but 12 foot monster spiders. If I were to buy this book and no one told me about the spiders I would be angry, so there you have it a warning.