The Guest With Claws
Monster/Science Fiction Romance
February 24, 2023- Self Published
Review by Angela
I love this author’s science fiction/alien romances and after seeing the cover for this first installment in an all new monster romance series, I knew I had to add it to my TBR.
This beginning was a bit slow for me, as the author set up the worldbuilding and introduced all the new characters. This is a mash-up of science fiction and monster romance, with a John Wick feel, which Ella Maven mentions as an inspiration in several social media posts. The main character, Nessa, takes a job at Hotel Castle Verna as a way to avoid ending up in a labor camp working off her medical debt. The hotel is… odd, but she is determined to do a great job. She even makes a few new friends.
She attracts the attention of one specific hotel patron, Lanis, an assassin who senses something special about the new hire. He feels the need to look after her, and she feels safe in his presence even though she doesn’t know why. Then it all comes to a head and the reasons why she feels safe with him, why she’s had so much overwhelming pain her whole life (which led to her medical debt), and why her parents left her a mysterious necklace and letter after their death all of a sudden makes sense. This is where the book picked up for me, and where I started to become really engaged with this world and these MCs.
This is a fated mates romance that worked for me, maybe because there wasn’t really instalove, just instalust (for reasons). Lanis and Nessa go on the run, fighting not just the enemies out to steal Nessa away, but their own people as well. They get to know each other, realize what they are to each other, and have been in Nessa’s previous life. There are some hot and heavy sex scenes, but plenty of sweetness as well. He’s an alpha male, but she really holds all the power. All of that appealed to me.
The Guest With Claws is a wonderful start to a new series, the worldbuilding is interesting and unique, and I’m intrigued by the secondary characters introduced. I’m looking forward to the second book in the series, The Stranger With Wings.
Content Warnings from the author: Reference to a past death that could be suicide, threat of sexual assault, anal sex, mentions of torture off-page, violence against bad guys who deserve it.