The Catch

nv_thecatch     Author: Nessa Vincent

     Publisher: Loose Id

     Rating: 4 star

     Buy Links: Loose Id and Amazon

     Type: Standalone Novel

     Received from Publisher

Blurb: John Dearborn, newly dumped, meets a handsome stranger named Vic. Vic is a little weird, but he’s a catch—sexy, sweet, and an animal in bed. If John didn’t know better, he’d think Vic were too good to be true.

And in fact, Vic has a secret: despite his impressive good looks, he’s normally gray-skinned, hairy, and four feet tall, just like every other fairy in the woods. But to catch John’s attention, Vic is masquerading as a human—temporarily. When the spell breaks, Vic turns into a fairy again, John freaks out, and their relationship shatters.

Vic can’t go back to sleeping in a dead tree and eating bugs; he needs his human body, and he needs John. He has one last chance to pick up the pieces and become a human man again. But now there’s a catch. Vic will only remain human if he can wring a commitment out of a hurt and wary John, and the spell will keep him from confessing his feelings. Instead Vic has to show John why they’re so good together, and he can think of only one way…

Review: John has been soundly dumped by Kathie, his long-distance girlfriend of 18 months, and he can’t figure out what he did wrong. He had absolutely no clue she planned to end it or that she was even seeing anyone else. He’d even bought a ring when she talked about settling down, and he’d had it in his pocket that night with a vague plan of proposing. In fact, the entire relationship with Kathie had been an experiment that had gone so smoothly that until that moment, John had forgotten it was something he was just trying out. His boss, Merrick, seemed to have an answer, though. “You’re gay.”

After a ramble in Holmbush Wood downs with his dog Kimball, John catches the attention of a fairy named Vic. Vic becomes determined for John to be with him; however, John can’t see Vic in his fairy form. Vic tries all sorts of things — writing messages in flour on the floor, stealing things, leaving John’s laddie mags out all around the house… to no avail. And when John brings another man home after a date, Vic quickly ruins it. John is confused and a little frightened by the strange goings-on in his house; and Vic is anguished — how will he ever get the love of his life to see him?

This begins a convoluted quasi-Shakespearian tale of a fairy who believes in human love and desperately wants to become one — enough to leave his world behind. He makes a deal with Halym the Dragon, The Warden of Holmbush Woods. But there’s always a catch. He can become a human being, but he can’t give John his full name. To ensure this–if John ever speaks Vic’s full name, Vic will turn back into a fairy. Conversely, if Vic doesn’t tell John his full name, then John won’t know his true soul. And Vic wants that connection more than anything. Vic agrees to Halym’s conditions and voila! He’s a human–a very handsome human. Indeed, a catch!

Or at least John thinks so when he meets him on the streets of Chiddingfield. After they have a drink at the local pub, they end up at John’s house and have an amazing sexual encounter. Both are ecstatic at the connection; however, John is puzzled by Vic. He is very vague about where his home is and what he does for a living. It seems that it’s possible that he’s met someone who has less social skills than he does!

For Vic, operating in this new, strange world is scary and exciting. He doesn’t know what he is supposed to do or say, but he knows he can’t tell the truth because that would freak John out.

But when he meets John’s boss Merrick and recognizes him as the “Magician” that tried to bind his fairy magic to him years ago, he realizes that there is more to fear than John discovering who he is.

I just loved this story. You’ve got to suspend disbelief, first off. Second, even if you’re not a geek English major like me, if you love wordplay like puns and plays on words and double- and triple-entendres, this story will be a delight for you! These abound throughout the book. Last, and most importantly, this story is simply to amuse and delight. It won’t  cure any disease and may not even make sense – it is a lighthearted wisp of a dream, a delicate meringue that will dissolve at the faintest whiff. It is to be savored for the enchantment it is. So if you’re grumpy and inclined to be pessimistic, then skip this. But if you want a clever story, layered with old classic tropes, iced with delightful new twists, and decorated with lots of clever wordplay on top, then this is a delicious story for you. Brava, Nessa Vincent!

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