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I Belong

Review: Monster in My Closet by R.L. Naquin

Title: Monster in My Closet

Author: R.L. Naquin

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: A Monster Haven Story (Book 1)

Publication Date: July 30, 2012

Format: Ebook, 209 Pages

ISBN-10: 1426894139 (Carina Press)

ISBN-13: 978-1426894138 (Carina Press)

Reviewed by: Michelle


I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn’t imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I’d seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?

After all, I’ve always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don’t get me wrong, I like helping people–and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course…

Quick & Dirty: Quirky paranormal story with a slight romance and filled with demons and an evil incubus.

Opening Sentence: Of all the possible weapons I might have grabbed, I chose a toilet brush.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Monster in My Closet by R.L. Naquin is a contemporary story with a paranormal twist. The cover intrigued me and the synopsis piqued my interest. Monsters that go bump in the night are always something to scare young children, but when those same monsters visit your adult life then it becomes serious. I haven’t read urban fantasy in a while so I thought Monster in My Closet was going to be a great break from everything else.

Zoey had a monster in her closet growing up, but quickly outgrew it. Now all grown up, that same monster turned up in her living room. Her childhood nightmare became a reality, but instead of sharp teeth and terrifying scenarios, he’s here to help her. He tells Zoey that she senses the Hidden, those who have been around all along. Zoey is an empath, and the Hidden seek her help. When an incubus targets Zoey, her life quickly turns upside down. With the help of her newly found friends, she must do everything she can to not get her soul sucked away.

Zoey is quirky. She is eccentric and out of this world. Despite her abilities to hone in paranormal beings, she is also a normal person. Well, as normal as her personality will allow her. She is a wedding planner who is addicted to coffee. There was something about Zoey that allowed me to easily connect with her. I suppose it’s the fact that no matter what paranormalities come her way, she takes it in stride. I mean there are the initial freak outs, but for the most part she kept her cool. I admired that about her, and appreciated that she was written that way.

Part of me is torn when it comes with to the characters. Part of me feels that the quirky collection of characters is what sets this story apart from other paranormal reads. And the other part feels that the number of characters makes it difficult to focus on the main story, taking away from the focus. But I do feel that the characters are solid and well-rounded, and that Naquin took time to think about each one, creating them with a purpose in the story.

Naquin’s world in Monster in My Closet is interesting. It’s an alternate present day world with a paranormal twist. The world was contemporary, having details of day-to-day things that you and I normally have. Zoey is a wedding planner, her demon knows how to cook, and someone else owns an herbal store. I never know what to think when the world is so close to my own. My imagination doesn’t run amuck like it normally would if the world was set in a completely different setting.

There were times when I felt the pacing was too slow for what was going on. There were moments when it seemed like a lot of information to take in, and others when there wasn’t enough going on. The concept of Monster in My Closet was great, but I think it could have been carried out a little better. The dialogue was witty, but the setup just wasn’t there for me.

Notable Scene:

I flipped it over and looked for markings. I couldn’t discern any directions to the Well of Souls — not even one-sided directions that would have me diggin in the wrong place.

I watched too many movies.

Most likely, it was a pretty piece of jewelry Bruce thought I would like. I slipped it in my bag and forgot about it. It was going to be a long day. Mysterious amulets with hidden powers would have to wait.

A Monster Haven Story Series:

1. Monster in My Closet

2. Pooka in My Pantry

FTC Advisory: Carina Press provided me with a copy of Monster in My Closet.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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