I’d read a number of MaryJanice Davidson’s “Undead and …” books – aka Queen Betsy, and they were funny in a really really vacuous sort of way.
Good for short train journeys or sitting in a doctor’s waiting room but nothing to keep you up at night. I can’t remember where I got to in the series as things got a bit weird (time travel and too much Satan)
So seeing ‘Derik’s Bane’ in a charity shop for a few pence didn’t seem a huge risk despite it barely being 200 pages long.
Derik Gardner is part of the Wyndham werewolf pack (MJD has written a few books on them and they crop up in Queen Betsy’s books) and is told that he has to “take care” of a woman who is the reincarnation of Morgan Le Fay or the world will end.
Morgan is now Doctor Sara Gunn who is so ditsy that she makes Queen Betsy look like a contender for University Challenge. Sarah is also apparently rather hard to kill – please note that this is purely due to dumb luck as she doesn’t help herself at all.
(This chap is called King Arthur Pendragon – admittedly by Deed Poll, and apparently considers himself to be the battle chieftain of the Council of British Druid Orders. I have seen him stride around a tiny UK shopping centre followed closely by
rent-a-cops Security, that was weird. Photo from the Guardian)
So Derik literally can’t kill her and falls for her instead, they go off on a road trip to stop the ‘real’ bad guys who want to bring back King Arthur somehow… exactly how they planned on doing this isn’t really explained and it feels like an excuse to stick Derik and Sarah on a road trip together so they can fall in love.
Sarah isn’t very likeably and is basically a 2D version of Queen Betsy, which is boring. Derik has no really personality and there isn’t a great deal of romance in this paranormal romance!
Unfortunately there also wasn’t enough plot to keep that 200 pages overly interesting – it is a road romance with just the road and the ending felt really rushed.
(this image seems to be rather popular on the internet, I am assuming that this is the original from FHM but there are a lot of weirdos out there.)
I will say that it REALLY helps to know who Rachel Ray is before reading this book. I hadn’t heard of her – as I have no interest in US cooking shows (or most cooking shows at all!) so was a bit confused whenever she was REPEATEDLY mentioned.
Now that I have checked out Rachel Ray’s internet bios (not just her official one!) I am not sure why this book is basically a fan letter to her – unless someone REALLY liked her FHM photo shoot…
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