Review: Water Waltz

Reviewed by Jen

I am a fan of m/m romance and I enjoy the paranormal, so when I read this blurb on this story, I thought it might give me the best of both worlds.  The story takes place in a world filled with demons, angels, and other creatures who are at odds with humanity. The bulk of the book is set in the demon world, where the supernaturals like to kidnap humans and take them as slaves.  Not all the paranormals support this behavior.  In fact, the government has a covert agency to recover kidnapped humans and punish the offenders for their crimes.

Varun is a demon who works for the agency.  As the book begins, he rescues a human from bondage, and in the process uncovers a deeper schism between his people and the humans than he ever imagined.  But perhaps the bigger issue at the center of the story is his mysterious relationship with his butler, an angel named Triste.  The men were lovers for years, until Triste suddenly broke things off and took the job as Varun’s servant. Obviously, they still love each other, but won’t admit their feelings.

The why’s behind Triste’s decision to break up with Varun are revealed deep into the book. But until then, we have to watch both men engage in sexual relationships with other people.  This was a big turn off for me.  It’s hard to root for your main couple when they are both getting it on with other dudes for more than half the book.  In detail.  Speaking of the m/m action, I think everybody in the book is gay. There are maybe one or two females in the whole book –and all the guys are doing each other.  Even the humans.  I’m down with guy on guy, but it’s weird that no one likes the ladies.

The book is heavy into the political machinations of several entities, from the humans to the supes, to the factions fighting the slavers.  It got confusing at times and convoluted.  Some things were far too drawn out, while others were not given nearly enough time to play out.  One relationship in the second half of the book happens so fast, I nearly got whiplash.  The guy went from heartbroken, to sleeping with a new partner, to “growing his heart” in the other man’s chest (don’t ask) inside of 50 pages.

There is some pretty good action in the last 1/3 of the book; and I found Triste likeable and easy to root for. I just didn’t engage all that deeply.  It was definitely different, and it had some interesting parts.  But I’m not sure it was for me.

Rating: C-


*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Water Waltz
by Hayley B James
Release Date: February 13, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press