by Delta James
“Negotiation” is a clever, witty and sizzling hot paranormal mystery story from Delta James. If you had the pleasure of reading “Best Seller” (later expanded into “Advance”) then you’ll recognize some of the secondary characters and locations, but you definitely do not need to have read that book in order to enjoy this one. It’s a paranormal novel; be prepared to indulge in a great mix of reality, fantasy, folklore, history, suspense and otherworldly intrigue.
Rachel Moriarty is an American college professor who moved permanently to England five years ago, for reasons how she doesn’t like to discuss. She’s a history expert who gives specialized tours, one of which focuses on the notorious Jack the Ripper and the murders he committed in Victorian England. A bizarre experience during one of those tours leads her to pay a visit to Scotland Yard, where she is assigned to Detective Michael Holmes. He’s a man with a reputation for solving difficult cases. He also has a rather mysterious background. His past is an important part of the book, so I don’t want to write much about it, except to say that it’s extraordinary and unusual. Both Rachel and Michael have strong, well-defined personalities. The chemistry between them and the events in the story combine to firmly shove them both outside their comfort zones.
The last name Holmes is familiar to most people as being linked to Detective Sherlock Holmes of the famous book series – and whose arch-nemesis was Professor Moriarty. An array of clever names are something of a running joke in the series that consistently works.
I thought this book was an entertaining blend of lighthearted and intense. The juxtaposition of the different types of elements is well-done and certainly engaging. This story has insta-lust and insta-love, elements of D/s and consensual domestic discipline. We’re told that the heroine is 40 years old and although I don’t remember reading the hero’s age, it seemed to be similar. I think it fit the story much better than if they would have been younger. There are complicated elements in this book, but it’s so well put together that it’s easy to read. The teaser at the end of the story definitely has me looking forward to the next book in this series.
I read an advance copy of this story and I’m sharing my honest opinion of it.