Title: By Fairy Means or Foul: A Starfig Investigations Novel
Author: Meghan Maslow
Release Date: September 29, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 280 pages
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The last thing half-dragon, half-fairy private investigator Twig Starfig wants to do is retrieve a stolen enchanted horn from a treacherous fae, but there’s no denying the dazzlingly gorgeous unicorn who asks Twig to do just that. Literally, no denying, because compelling the reluctant detective is all part of a unicorn’s seductive magic.
To add to his woes, Twig is saddled with the unicorn’s cheeky indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle. Dragons are supposed to want to eat humans, but Twig’s half-dragon side only wants to gobble up Quinn in a more . . . personal way. Making matters worse, it’s obvious the smokin’ hot but untrustworthy sidekick is hiding something. Something big. And not what’s in his trousers. In the PI business, that means trouble with a capital Q.
Throw in gads of zombies, a creepy ghost pirate ship, a malfunctioning magic carpet, and Twig’s overbearing fairy father’s demands to live up to the illustrious Starfig name. Naturally, an old but abiding enemy chooses this time to resurface, too. Those inconveniences Twig can handle. The realization he’s falling for a human who isn’t free to return his affections and whose life may hang on the success of his latest case?
Not so much.
Twisted Unicorns and Fairy-land Family Fun
I laughed and commiserated with Twig Starfig and Quinn the human in this one. It wasn’t as funny as I think it tried to be—it was too dark for that on its foundation—BUT! It definitely had its moments. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as say, TJ Klune’s The Lightning-Struck Heart, but I did find it entertaining.
Twig’s cluelessness and … selfishness? got tiresome. It was forgivable because his family was totally capital Fucked Up; he was half dragon, half self-absorbed fairy, so at least he came by it honestly and it wasn’t just callousness. Quinn was a tragic figure in general, but the fact that he was strong-willed kept his character from degenerating into that off-putting twink-in-distress territory, though arguably he truly belonged in an ‘in distress’ state. Actually, he was only a ‘twink’ because he’d been ‘groomed’ by an evil unicorn into a sex slave. That and in contrast to Twig, who was too small for dragonkind’s liking, but impressively sized in human terms, it made Quinn read as twink-like even when he wasn’t.
I liked the twists and turns in this one. The bad/evil unicorn, the family member out for blood, what Quinn turned out to be, the badass turned familiar, the way an actual relationship developed, Twig’s buried nice-ish guy chivalry, et cetera, et cetera. I would say more about what I liked about this story, but unfortunately, it would be too spoiler-y to do so even for me. So I’ll leave it at this: If you liked the humor and the types of characters in The Lightning-Struck Heart (Belen’s Review) and want to try a unique and slightly twisted version of that on for size, this is the book for you.