The last of my super February Laurenston marathon.
This book was something of a departure from her other paranormals. It still has the unmistakable Laurenston dual stamps of outrageous humor and sexiness. But instead of focusing on shifters this one borrows from a different mythology altogether.
Using Norse mythology as the background, the main characters are the Ravens of the God Odin and the Crows of the goddess Skuld. By day they look and act like regular people, who hold down regular jobs. But as needed, become winged avengers for their God. The Ravens are always male and usually plucked in childhood from their homes to serve as Odin's warriors. The Crows are altogether different. They are women who die and upon their death are offered a second chance at life as the winged warrior women of the Goddess Skuld.
Each set work together often to enact swift justice and/or punishment to transgressors against their Gods.
Neecy Lawrence is a crow. Her first life was a harrowing one. Found as a child in an alley in Harlem, she moved from a succession of foster homes until she finally hooked up a gang and became a gangbanger and drug dealer. She was shot to death after trying to leave her earlier life of crime to do something better. After accepting Skuld's offer of a second life, Neecy is the fiercest of the crows.
Wilhelm Yaeger is one of Odin's Ravens. He has long had a thing for Neecy and is finally making his move. However she is proving to be a bit difficult. She is always all business and really doesn't want to get involved.
However, there is a hunt in progress. An unknown group of assassins who are sent purposely to hunt down and decimate the crows. Neecy is determined to find out who the hunters are and eradicate them. Wilhelm is determined to make sure nothing happens to Neecy.
While the love story between Neecy and Yaeger was both sweet and hot, I must say what I really liked the best about this story was backdrop and the world building. It is nice to get something a bit different from the vamps and werewolves. It was interesting to read about the different warrior sects, how they were organized etc. I also like how she dealt with the issue of the wings for the Crows and the Ravens. When they weren't necessary, they retracted into the skin under a ridge of scar-like tissue. There were other nice touches that harken back to traditional Norse mythology with lots of references to the Valkyries and Valhalla.
Like her Pack & Pride series, Laurenston liberally populates her books with all ethnicities. There is a running joke that while Odin only plucks his Ravens from the Whitest of Nordic stock, Skuld's Crows look like a 'damned crayon box'.
Great book. Feels like the first in a series. I hope so.