Review: Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura Thalassa

Review: Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura ThalassaRhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
Series: The Bargainer #1
November 15, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 326
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Length: 9hours 46minutes
Also in this series: A Strange Hymn
Also by this author: A Strange Hymn
Amazon US
Goodreads

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.

Can we talk about this book for a minute? We really, really need to.

Rhapsodic is like…the perfect cup of coffee. You’re out to breakfast and the waitress pours your first cup. Then, you painstakingly add just the right amount of cream and/or sugar or honey or cinnamon or whatever additives you use to make that coffee JUST RIGHT.

Rhapsodic is that cup. It’s fantasy, complete with all the sexiest and most evil supernatural creatures you could want. It’s romance at it’s heartbreaking-ly best. It’s humorous, but never in a cheesy or over the top way. As if that all was not enough, it’s singed with this absolutely creepy, deliciously horrific plot line that kind of just scares the shit right out of you. Boom – perfect cup of java.

I guzzled it right up and am waiting for my refill.

Teach me again how to be someone’s nightmare.

Shall we take a quick break from my gushing to learn a little bit about the story? Sigh…I suppose.

Most of Rhapsodic is written in both the present and flashbacks to the past. We first meet Callie as a teenager, in deep trouble. With little option, she calls on the one person that can save her. The Bargainer (Des). Not a man you want to owe favors to if you can help it, but Callie really sees no other way out.

Seven years later, he’s popping back into her life and ready to collect on that favor and the many, many others she asked for in the year they first met. Some debts will be easy to repay, others will put her life in danger.

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of bouncing between past and present. However, it really worked here. Those bits gave us the foundation for Callie and Des’ relationship and how it’s really a second chance romance of sorts. It adds so much to the level of emotions this story produces from the reader and gives you a sense of Callie’s struggles, insecurities and current state of raw stubbornness to never be a victim again. I couldn’t help but love this girl.

Hell couldn’t give me a more wicked man; heaven couldn’t give me a more perfect moment.

Now, Des. Shit. This guy. Melted me. Utter goo, I tell you. He’s so dark and dangerous but when you get his honeyed moments, they are sweeter than sweet. Toothache sweet. I just wanted to lick those moments!

And the villain – ahhh, loved it! Thalassa wrote that like it came straight out of a horror book. It’s Fantasy, yes, but at it’s most disturbing. I don’t want to give anything away but the synopsis mentions missing warriors being brought back catatonic and with a baby at the breast. Creepy, yeah? Much more than you think.  The images now implanted in my head from this story are vividly disturbing. Of course, that only makes me love it more. Anyway…not only does Callie have to help solve this mystery but she has to survive a similar fate.

If you’re a romance reader that will generally shy away from Fantasy or even Urban Fantasy, due to lack of the sexy – have no fear. Rhapsodic has you covered. In spades. The sexual tension is spot on, the actual ‘get down’ moments were as well. Again – perfect cup of coffee!

I love you. I’ve loved you from the beginning. And I will love you long after the last stars dies. I will love you until the end of darkness itself.

Quick note on the audiobook, as I both read and listened, Susannah Jones nailed the narration. Could not have picked a better person! Not only do I want to binge all of Thalassa’s books now, but I want to binge all Jones’ narrations as well.

 

About Laura Thalassa

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Laura Thalassa spent her childhood cooking up fantastic tales with her best friend. Lucky for her overactive imagination, she also happened to love writing. She now spends her days penning everything from paranormal romance to young adult novels.

Laura Thalassa lives in sunny Santa Barbara, California with her husband, author Dan Rix.



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