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Review: All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes (Ciel Halligan #4)

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All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes // VBC ReviewAll Fixed Up (Ciel Halligan #4)
Linda Grimes
Published: May 24, 2016 (Tor)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jo

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, there may be references to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, In a Fix.

This is a very frustrated 3 star rating. On the surface this was set to be another great adventure for Ciel and the rest of her Adaptor family, filled with body swapping hi-jinx, kick-butt action and lots of snark. Unfortunately, what could have been a fantastic urban fantasy read, read more like a romantic suspense or contemporary romance, that left the fantasy plot feeling like an afterthought.

Ciel’s newest client is Dr. Philipa Carson, a renowned astronaut planning to become the first woman to conceive in Space. Unfortunately, during the pre-flight training, Dr Phil (*snort*) comes down with a kidney stone and if NASA finds out, she’ll be on the no fly list, permanently. Enter Ciel, aura adaptor and fixer extraordinaire, to fill in as Dr. Phil while she’s treated. Everything’s going well until the photographer documenting her time on the ‘Vomit Comet’ seemingly sees straight through Ciel’s projected aura. When word then comes in the her elderly aunt as been murder, Ciel must face the possibility there are those out there that can not only identify Adaptors but that these people are on a mission to rid the world of them.

Up until now (if I remember rightly) there hasn’t been a counterbalance to the Adaptors themselves, no Big Bad as such. So I was super excited about the premise of All Fixed up. And don’t get me wrong, there are some great action scenes, (seriously, don’t piss Ciel off in a space toilet replica), and there was a definite sense of menace running through the book as the murder rate racks up. The main problem for me was it was massively overshadowed by Major Relationship Drama. So much so that when it came to the final showdown it felt rushed and pretty anti-climatic, and the ‘Big Bad’ didn’t feel all that threatening.

So on to the drama. At the beginning of the book, Ciel is still ‘melting’ around Mark—despite sleeping with him by accident and nearly losing Billy over it in The Big Fix. That being said, she and Billy seem solid—until something BIG happens. And from that point on everyone involved make some really, really poor decisions that causes a huge amount of angst and pain. I was starting to get frustrated with this love triangle in the last book but here I found it overwhelming. I love romance in my urban fantasy, in fact it’s something I look for, but here it just seems to be going round in circles. I do really like Ciel as a character, she isn’t perfect but I’ve always found her likeable (and her inner dialogue has me snorting on a regular basis) but I just couldn’t get behind her choices, one in particular, in this book.

I honestly don’t know how I feel after finishing All Fixed up. I still love the characters, particularly the Halligan family and the concept of this world has so much potential. But the romantic element seems to be taking over and, for me, in a very frustrating way. I will pick up the next in the series because I’m invested now but I hope the relationship drama has been put to rest after this.

Sexual content: graphic sex

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