(The Marnie Baranuik Files #1)

by A.J. Aalto

I could have sworn I’d read this book before…it felt so familiar: a DaySitter magic user bonded to a vampire with a clothes fetish. She gets into danger and they hang out at an isolated cabin with some federal officers to fight off ghouls and people out to break their bond.

But I couldn’t find any review and it wasn’t listed as read on Goodreads, so maybe its just the really familiar tropes. Who knows. Anyway, it was a fun read, mostly because Marnie and her irrepressible, irreverent voice is so over-the-top. And her bonded Cold Companion, Harry, is also rather over the top with his top hats, reading of inappropriate magazines, calling her “ducky” all the time, etc.

Really, the plot about Marnie being called into help the feds figure out the murderer of a girl (who becomes a ghoul) and then uncovers dastardly deeds by other supernaturals didn’t quite matter (and truthfully gets confusing after a while) because the real fun here is the constant, snide, sexual flirtation banter between Marnie and….really everyone else except her own brother (because ewww, that’s gross).

There’s lovely vampire, oops I mean revenant, tension between Harry and Marnie as their bond fluctuates, and some interesting concepts of what love and loyalty are like inherent in this book which does get somewhat resolved at the end, although that doesn’t keep Marnie from more fantasizing and banter.

And while the banter is what you would read this book for, it does get confusing at times. The scenes are somewhat loose, and the flow of dialogue required some backtracking to keep up with because of the banter and inside jokes, etc. Hopefully that will get a little tighter in the next few books, because I’ll definitely be following along with Marnie for a few more. It’s light-hearted, its escapist, and I like clothing, too!