Friday, February 7, 2014

Charming by Elliott James

Charming (Pax Arcana, #1)* * * 1/2

John Charming isn't your average Prince... 

He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?


This is not a genre that I often read.  But the synopsis sounded so entertaining that I had to give it a shot. Having been abandoned by the Order that trained him, John Charming is a loner living a quiet anonymous life.  Until the Valkyrie, Sig, follows a vampire into John’s bar.  Told from the first person POV, we get an up close and personal look at what it’s like to be John.  Part monster-hunting Knight, part something else, we experience first-hand John’s adventure as he and his new friends work quickly to find a vampire that is quickly and noticeably amassing followers and converts.

It took me a little bit to warm up to John.  Although charming (yeah, yeah; you are totally allowed to virtually punch me for that one)… it was, at times, difficult to connect with him since he comes across as almost too self-deprecating and snarky.  Eventually, you do learn something about John that completely humanizes him and makes him much more relatable.  And makes his self deprecating comments and snark much more understandable. It was at that point that I couldn’t put the story down.

This story ended up being an adventure full of monsters (good and bad), humans (good and bad), awesome weaponry, and action packed fight scenes.  There is also a lot of world building that is cleverly told through John.  No easy feat considering the story is told in the first person.

This isn’t my usual go-to genre.  You all know how love my romance.  But this was an exciting read full of fun and I ended up enjoying it immensely.  I look forward to the next book in the series.



  1. I picked up this book at BEA last year and have not gotten around to reading it yet. There are also probably about a half dozen short story / novellas that I assume are sort of prequels which I also want to read. I loved the cover.
    It is encouraging that you found in the end that the book was engaging and makes me more eager to get around to reading it. So, thanks!
    Tammy @ Bo's Book Nook

  2. Hi Bo! I can't wait to hear what you think as well. I have the novella on my TBR list and Dashing (#2) comes out sometime this year. I am really looking forward to it.