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Monster Haven #2

Pooka in My Pantry

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Zoey Donovan—empath, wedding planner, go-to girl for monsters with personal problems—has been marked twice for pickup by Death. On both occasions, Riley the smoking-hot reaper has refused to follow through. For his breach of protocol, Riley is now on probation. For her refusal to die on schedule, Zoey's right to live is challenged. She will have to undergo a life-or-death trial, but she won't know when or where it will happen…

Staying alive might not be so difficult if the Leprechaun Mafia hadn't strolled into town. Now every business owner with the slightest connection to the supernatural community is being threatened with the most appalling bad luck if they don't pay up. Mirrors are smashed, bodies are dropping, and Zoey's still got clients waiting for fabric samples.

With a little luck, she might be able to save everyone and still have time for a second attempt at a decent first date with her favorite reaper.

384 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 1, 2013

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About the author

R.L. Naquin

32 books279 followers
Rachel is the author of the urban fantasy Monster Haven series from Carina Press. She believes in magic, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks, and putting things off until stress gets them done faster at the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas.
Be among the special peeps who get all the R.L. Naquin updates first by signing up for the official newsletter here: http://rlnaquin.us6.list-manage.com/s...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 110 reviews
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews377 followers
September 7, 2017
It is completely crazy after only two books, these characters already hold a place in my heart. They are just that fun and lovable. Heck, this series is just that fun and lovable.

I can't believe I waited so long to start them, especially knowing how fun they are. They have the right amount of humor, drama, and romance, not to mention action, to completely keep me entertained and turning the pages. Plus the mish mesh of supernatural creatures, some very uncommon and ones I haven't heard of before, puts a whole new spin on the fantasy genre and really makes this series stand out. Every book there is something new, something better, something nastier, and just something more and I am seriously loving it.
Profile Image for Cee.
979 reviews224 followers
July 23, 2015
I learnt from this book that one truly does not want a pooka in their pantry. Those guys are nasty.

Zoey helps people and monsters alike - and her help is now needed more than ever. The Leprechaun Mafia is killing supernaturals, while Riley's boss is making life very difficult for Zoey. Will she survive the bad luck that seems to follow her everywhere?

The first Monster Haven book was a fun supernatural romp through a wacky urban fantasy world. It had some issues with plotting, not thoroughly mixing the storylines. Luckily, Pooka in My Pantry shows vast improvement in this area. The plotting was more consistent, and tension was sustained for a longer amount of time. I'm always glad to see an author improve, and Ms Naquin did overcome some issues that were prevalent in her debut novel.

Because of the happenings in Pooka in My Pantry, the tone of the novel is slightly more serious than the one in Monster in My Closet. Though it never gets truly dark, the atmosphere in this novel fits the subject matter. The stakes are raised for out main characters, as the people Zoey loves get in plenty of danger. It made for an engaging read, but for me the fun moments were too few and far in between. I was hoping for more laughs from this book, and less sadness.

That said, the Monster Haven world is still crazy, and I always enjoy seeing what kind of monsters the author comes up with now. The world is slowly expanding, more lore is being added, without it being overwhelming. I'm looking forward to see what comes next for Zoey, the reaper she's dating, and her closet monster.
Profile Image for chucklesthescot.
2,907 reviews118 followers
September 14, 2018
If Zoey thought the incubus problems were bad, then her new set of problems are going to be worse. Riley is on probation for saving her and Zoey is being investigated and tested to see if she is useful to the Powers that Be. If she is, she will be forced to work for them like her missing mother, if not she will be killed. The Leprechaun Mafia are in town demanding protection money from Zoey and her friends or death will follow, Maurice leaves to try and save his marriage and a bad luck pooka moves in and throws her life into utter chaos.

Zoey is tested by being given bad luck to endure so the arrival of Silas the Pooka multiplies it. Suddenly Zoey can't walk to her car without an accident happening. There is a lot of pure slapstick fun as Zoey becomes the most accident prone person in the world. Her date on the cruise ship with Riley is very funny-spied on by the obnoxious Art and his clicking pen, followed by her bad luck Pooka and ending up in the mess from hell. I don't want to spoil it for readers but the whole scene is funny and totally over the top which appealed to my sense of humour. Sara has to come and stay with Zoey when bad luck starts rubbing off on her which leads to a lot of crazy things happening at the house with Maurice trying to keep things tidy without being seen. Iris of course is a bit more difficult to hide...

Don't panic if you are fans of Maurice because there is plenty of Maurice in the book to enjoy. He is even more concerned about everything that is happening to Zoey and proves himself to be a loyal friend as always. I still don't really feel the chemistry between Zoey and Riley but I do quite like him as a character so it doesn't affect my opinion of the book. I hated Silas to start with but he did grow on me as time went on. I also liked the gremlins who reminded me of Smeagol in Lord of the Rings, and the very cool Frannie. We see plenty of Sara, Andrew, Iris and co as well which is good. The Mafia make good bad guys and there is something that I really hated them for doing, something that made me cry like a blubbering wreck for several pages and curse the author many times . It was HORRIBLE and SAD!!!

There is plenty going on in this book. There are lots of things to laugh at, sad gut wrenching moments, tons of action, Zoey getting into lots of accidents and problems and a mystery to solve. It was interesting to delve into a bit of Zoey's past with a few hints about what happened to her mother, which seems to be explored more in the next full length book.

I'm enjoying this series and I'm now reading book 3 but I do have a slight concern about the next book involving a road trip for Zoey and Riley. If Maurice is missing, half the fun is gone!!!
Profile Image for Anne Odom.
Author 3 books10 followers
May 23, 2014
The tone of this second book seemed to be more consistent with the Bad Things that happen in it -- as opposed to the first one that came across all light and fluffy, even though it was full of serial rape and murder.

- The leprechaun mafia - I felt they were a really great set of villains
- How bad luck was made deadly - some darkly creative scenarios there
- The pooka - another good "love to hate" character
- The reaper continues to grow on me
- Lucky boogers

- I'm assuming that you've read the first book. If you haven't, you might want to stop, because this is going to be a spoiler for the first book. Zoey's best friend Sara was repeatedly raped by an incubus over many days during the last book. Because it was all supernatural-related, Sara didn't remember anything about what had happened. Zoey decides NOT TO TELL HER. This really threw me for a loop. The book's explanation is that it's better for her to go on as if nothing happened, so she wouldn't be traumatized -- but no one ever covers whether incubus sex has risk of disease or impregnation, and I kind of believe everyone should get to know if someone else has been INSIDE their body.

- This is a spoiler for this book, but I feel like it's close enough to a trigger to include it. Sara finally learns what's really going on with Zoey, and MAURICE tells Sara what happened with the incubus. We know this because Sara approaches Zoey and says "Maurice tells me I slept with an incubus." Zoey agrees/nods or something. What she DOESN'T do is correct Sara and say "Uh, no, you were raped. It was totally nonconsensual".

I was kind of horrified about how the serial rape was handled in the first book. I picked this book up because I wanted to see how the author handled it as the characters developed. I'm still pretty horrified, though I will confess I did read the third book, too, hoping against hope that this situation would be handled better. I've got a review over on that one, too.
Profile Image for Elspeth.
836 reviews131 followers
September 28, 2013
I love this series! You can also read mine, and MLE's reviews on our blog.I couldn’t put this down, even on a work night I stayed up too late reading it. It was that good.Zoey is back again, and she is not a happy girl. Riley has been missing in action, a no show for their second, first date, and when he finally does call, he comes with trouble. A paper pusher bureaucrat with a bad luck spell, and a bad attitude.Now Zoey had enough in her hands with Maurice gone to see if he can patch things up with his wife, the leprechaun mafia in town, and a Pooka moving into her guest room with a penchant to walking around au natural. She really didn’t need a bad luck spell on top of it all.Well with this all happening I just could not stop reading. I had to know what was going to happen next. So this was a great second book, and after the ending I can’t wait for the next installment. Naquin does a very good job on leaving you wanting more, but not to the point where you want to chuck your book slash kindle across the room.
Profile Image for Fefi.
961 reviews9 followers
January 8, 2022
Con quello che è successo nel precedente libro, Riley inizia ad aver problemi con il suo capo, mentre Zoey se la deve vedere con dei fastidiosi Leprecauni mafiosi e con Silas, un Puka che si comporta esttamente al contrario del fidato mostro nell'armadio Maurice.
Anche in questo secondo volume della serie non manca la simpatia di come Zoey affronta temi sempre attuali, in primis il pizzo che la mafia chiede ai negozianti umani, ma con poteri soprannaturali e una specie di malocchio che la porta a trovarsi in situazioni davvero comiche.
Il suo rapporto con Riley prosegue, ma continua a non essere questo al centro della storia; ci sono nuove creature fantastiche che vengono a chiederle aiuto; nuove rivelazioni sulla mamma e spunta uno strano Consiglio che supervisiona i Nascosti.
Anche questo secondo volume scorre velocemente, si ridacchia, si riflette e ci si incuriosisce su cosa succederà prossimamente.
Ora nel giardino di Zoey è comparso un unicorno ferito...

Profile Image for roxtao.
78 reviews16 followers
April 21, 2013
If last year, when I was reading the first novel in this series I was still unsure if I should dare to name it like this, now – after a sequel and a short story, I can say without doubt that A Monster Haven Story series is one of the best stories I’ve ever read!

I think this time, it’s not the action that grew my enthusiasm to maximum limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the action is not fascinating or that the plot is weak. On the contrary! But there are other reasons why these books impressed me this much. First, it’s the fact that reading this sequel I remembered that for years I believed that there is a parallel universe populated by every magical being we imagine and every crazy idea we have. It seemed impossible that all those creatures born in our mind and all those imaginary friends we create when we are children could only live in our imagination. No, they surely have their own world where they appear and live since the first moment we create them. It has to be like this, otherwise the universe would be extremely sad, boring and uninteresting. And the community of supernatural beings described by the author in A Monster Haven Story reminded me of that world of incredible creatures. There’s something so natural in their existence, so casual and normal that when you start reading the story, you get back a part of the soul you had as a child and thought it was lost forever.

The second thing that fascinated me is the way the author builds the characters, their emotions, the feelings that grow from their interactions and the relations created between them. I think that not even when I was reading love stories full of romance and depth, the affection, care and tenderness weren’t flowing from those books the way they are flowing from the novels written by R.L. Naquin. During so many moments, you are completely „wrapped” in emotions that are surprisingly tender and real. And the author is able to offer you all these things without even mentioning them directly. She doesn’t need to express clearly every emotion, she only engages her readers with simple actions, tiny gestures or some common replies.

This sequel, Pooka in My Pantry was flawless! Even if I really, really wished to devour it in just a few hours, I actually read it as slow as I could (probably no more than 40 or 50 pages per day), only to prolong the happiness. And it really was a perfect story! I have to confess, during a few chapters, I was terrified. Because my favorite character… leaves! He has some problems to solve and he disappears, without mentioning exactly how many days/chapters he’ll be missing. And if we’re talking about Maurice, I have to mention something that surprised me. Probably every reader falls in love with a character by time to time. Of course, during so many years of reading, I had time to add about five characters that are clearly book crushes. Not only that they were at the time I was reading those books, but they remained like this over the years. Maurice is not a crush. Not in the same way. But as I was reading Pooka in My Pantry I discovered that never, not even when I was falling in love with a character I didn’t wish more than I wish now to move a character from a book into reality! Or to move myself in the world described in the book.

But Maurice is not the only perfect character. The secondary characters also have wonderful portraits and the final feeling is that you’d do anything just to switch places with – or at least to be near – Zoey. The plot is surprising and most of the time, you have no idea what’s going to happen next. Any assumptions you might have are quickly destroyed. Every time you think you know what’s the next move, a new character appears or a new event takes place and breaks your guess. The mystery keeps growing and the solving seems to be more and more complicated. And the ending is amazing! Stepping a little in a steampunk area through the secrets discovered by the heroine, the last chapters offer a new perspective over the series and make you daydream about the next sequel. I also loved the fact that although this time the problems are more complicated and everything is happening at a higher level, the situation for Zoey is somehow more optimistic. She doesn’t have just a personal fight, she is now a key element in a major war. And this time, she has a great safety net: a group of dear and loyal friends that will stay near her in any situation, a love that is now free to grow without any macabre events and a whole community of supernatural beings that will surely help her when the time will come.

I won’t write any “Pros” and “Cons”. Because the whole book was so delicious and fascinating that I should mention every single element that was used to build this story. Moreover, there really weren’t any aspects that could be considered a “Con”.

The last thing that I have to tell you is that this kind of books is the one that transform reading from a pleasure to real need: the books that make you dream the way you haven’t dreamed in years, since you were a child and the impossible only needed a spark in order to become possible; the books that are changing your feelings in a second; the books that delete the reality surrounding you, replacing it with the magical scenes from the story; the books that make you wish with all your heart to become one of the characters inside; the stories that become almost personal, intimate, because they influence you more than other books did during whole years. I can count on my fingers the novels that got in this category and will forever remain stuck in my heart. A Monster Haven Story is clearly one of these books, so it’s obvious why I recommend it.
November 16, 2015
Romance and Fantasy for Cosmopolitan Girls
Il secondo libro della serie Monster Paradise, non può essere considerato uno stand alone. Vi consiglio quindi, nel caso non aveste letto il romanzo precedente, di leggere la nostra recensione per evitare che gli inevitabili spoiler vi rovinino la scoperta di questo romanzo.

Ritroviamo Zoey, la simpatica wedding planner, che sta prendendo il suo tempo per accettare la nuova concezione sua della vita: è un'empatica, vive con Maurice, il mostro dell'armadio, ed sta frequentando Riley, un mietitore d'anime. La sua casa è diventata un luogo di rifugio tra i Nascosti, creature soprannaturali, e lei non può evitare di restarne coinvolta ed aiutarli per qualsiasi problema abbiano da risolvere.
Alla fine del primo capitolo, la vita di Zoey è stata salvata da Riley il quale è andato contro gli ordini che gli erano stati impartiti, ossia prendere l'anima della ragazza, invece l'ha aiutata a sconfiggere il demone e le ha permesso di vivere. Adesso il Regale Ordine dei Cupi Mietitori ha aperto un'indagine sul suo operato e siccome si sospetta che Zoey sia un Aegis, potrebbero lasciar correre, altrimenti la nostra amica verrà giustiziata.

Aegis è un personaggio molto raro, si tratta di un essere umano con un dono eccezionale soprannaturale che attrae a sé i Nascosti. Sono praticamente estinti e se si confermasse che Zoey lo sia a tutti gli effetti, allora la sua vita diventerebbe più che preziosa agli occhi dell'Ordine. Si prende una settimana di tempo per compiere le verifiche del caso, dopodiché il fato di Zoey verrà deciso.
Questa volta la protagonista dovrà vedersela con dei leprecauni mafiosi, un puka dispettoso porta sfortuna e dei simpatici gremlins. Tra un matrimonio e l'altro, nuovi mostri e ulteriori problemi, impara a conoscere se stessa e come sia complicato il mondo dal quale ormai non potrà più sottrarsi.

Il titolo del romanzo fa pensare che il Puka sia la chiave di volta della trama... in realtà arriva a metà svolgimento e il suo contributo è pressoché inesistente. A parte qualche battuta divertente, è un combina guai e il suo scopo non è stato chiarito fino in fondo, se fate eccezione ad un periodo lunghissimo dove si cerca di spiegare come funziona il rapporto fortuna/sfortuna come un'espressione algebrica. AIUTO!!!!

Ricco di personaggi, trama complessa e non sempre chiara, ho avuto grande difficoltà a concludere questo romanzo e una volta giunta alla fine...mi imbatto in una simpatica apertura per il terzo volume. Ammetto di aver capito poco di questa storia, sicuramente è un problema personale, forse non mi entusiasma abbastanza...eppure non sono estranea ai fantasy...per il resto è scritto bene e i dialoghi sono molto divertenti. La caratteristica che più adoro della scrittrice è il suo uso tutto personale di usare delle similitudini impossibili per descrivere le emozioni.
Se leggerò il capitolo conclusivo? Forse no...ma mai dire mai!!!
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,343 reviews1,016 followers
May 17, 2014
Zoey may have fought off an incubus with the help of her friends but now she's drawn the attention of an even bigger enemy. With the Leprechaun Mafia in town Zoey soon finds herself suffering from a bad luck curse but they aren't just going after her, they are also targeting her friends and other Hidden members of the town and Zoey isn't going to let that stand. While fighting off the Mafia she's also worrying about Riley who is on probation since he saved her life on the two occasions he was supposed to take her soul. Riley's boss seems to be taking an unusual amount of interest in Zoey's affairs too which is making her extremely uncomfortable and adding to the danger she faces. How is Zoey supposed to put a stop to the Leprechauns when the Board of Hidden Affairs are on her case too?

When the first page of a book contains the sentence "But no amount of flexibility prepared me to assist in the live birth of a sea serpent in my own back yard." you know you're going to be in for a fun read. Pooka in My Pantry is full of humour from the beginning and it had me giggling the whole way through. I can't tell you how much fun this series is to read and I absolutely love all of the characters we have been introduced to. Zoey is clumsy at the best of times but under a bad luck curse she is positively lethal to herself and anyone else who happens to be in her vicinity, literally nobody is safe when she's in a room with them which leads to some incredibly funny accidents.

Just when she was starting to develop feelings for Riley he disappeared on her without a word so when he comes back she's not sure whether to be pissed that he left or happy that he's come back safely. It doesn't help that now he's on probation he has a supervisor constantly shadowing his every movement, even when the two try to get some alone time to talk. What's really weird is that his boss seems just as interested in Zoey as he his in what Riley is doing and she is beyond angry when he starts threatening her. Zoey isn't the kind of girl who takes things sitting down though so they'd best watch out. I have to say I'm really enjoying the way Zoey and Riley's relationship is developing, R.L. Naquin is taking her time building the romance so that it feels realistic and I think they're great together.

It's not often that the side characters are as memorable as they are in this series, I love Maurice the closet monster but I also really like Zoey's human friends Sara and Andrew and you can't forget the brownie family that Zoey took in and has kind of adopted as her own. Each character brings something new to the story and I'm glad we get to know them all a little better in every book. I'm just so glad that I discovered this series, I haven't read about a bunch of such fun and quirky characters for a long time and I can't wait to dive back in and follow more of their adventures.
Profile Image for Alessandra  Nicolini.
540 reviews18 followers
August 31, 2015
Recensito per il blog di "leggereromanticamente":


Eccoci arrivati al secondo capitolo di questa saga fantasy frizzante e un tantino folle, dove la nostra povera Zoey è costretta ad affrontare una valanga di guai che sembrano moltiplicarsi a vista d’occhio, regalandoci sempre un bel sorriso e ogni tanto anche un po’ di sana preoccupazione.

Riley viene messo in punizione dai suoi superiori, perché il bel paramedico nel primo libro si è preso la briga di salvare la vita di Zoey per ben due volte, violando spudoratamente le leggi che avrebbe dovuto rispettare. Ma non preoccupatevi, perché la ramanzina tocca anche a lei, che dovrebbe essere morta stecchita e invece si ritrova viva e vegeta… più goffa e pasticciona che mai.
Per questo motivo il Consiglio degli Affari Nascosti decide di sottoporla ad un test per verificare se Zoey è realmente un Aegis: un umano che vigila sui Nascosti, proteggendoli grazie a una dote speciale in suo possesso (che nel suo caso è appunto l’empatia). Se fallirà, dovrà finire in una bara una volta per tutte.
Ma i guai non vengono mai da soli, perché uno tira l’altro come in una catena di Sant’ Antonio. Per cui la povera Zoey si trova costretta a subire le minacce di morte da parte della mafia dei Leprecauni, che le impongono di pagare un pizzo in cambio di protezione e riversano su di lei (e sulle persone che la circondano) una sfortuna di proporzioni epiche. Sfortuna che crescerà a vista d’occhio per colpa di un malocchio lanciato su di lei dagli stessi membri del Consiglio e soprattutto per colpa di Silas, un puka peloso che si insedia di prepotenza a casa sua come un ospite sgradito, sempre disordinato e simpatico come un pugno in pieno stomaco.
Ma per fortuna Zoey sopporta tutto col suo solito umorismo e con una sana e grassa risata. E per questo io l’adoro.

Insomma, questo secondo capitolo della saga è un bel minestrone di pasticci, disavventure e ogni forma di iella che possa precipitare sulla testa di un essere umano… tutti descritti e affrontati in modo ironico, leggero e brillante. Così, grazie all’aiuto di amici fantastici e un pochino strambi, come sempre Zoey ce la metterà tutta per superare ogni situazione catastrofica nel miglior modo possibile. Con mezzi alquanto discutibili… ma è il risultato che conta, no?
Il lato romance non è mai preponderante, resta sempre soft, quasi un po’ appartato, facendo la sua comparsa a volte in modo dolce e delicato, altre volte in modo buffo e assolutamente divertente (quei due poveretti non riescono a passare una serata tranquilla senza intrusi sgraditi o “intoppi sovrannaturali” di qualche tipo). Tuttavia non ho sentito così tanto la sua mancanza, forse perché il resto della storia è talmente dinamico, vivace e frizzante da catturare la tua attenzione e farti passare il tempo in modo divertente e molto più che piacevole.
Profile Image for AlenGarou.
1,324 reviews105 followers
June 14, 2016
Ok, ho dovuto convincermi a riprendere in mano questa serie… Serie che nel frattempo continuavo a comprare, finché non mi sono accorta di avere quattro libri da leggere. Tragedia!
Vi prego, ditemi che non sono l’unica pirla del caso!
Ad ogni modo, non sarà proprio un capolavoro, ma come storia è divertente e autoironica, se nonché piena di sfiga. Ed è proprio la sfiga ad essere il centro focale di questo volume.
Perché nella mia vita la sfortuna non basta mai ahahahaha
Ammetto che molte volte mi sono ritrovata a ridere come una pirla a discapito di Zoey (e no, non mi dispiace), ma anche se rischiava di uccidersi scivolando su una buccia di banana, le sue disavventure sono originali, alquanto bizzarre e per nulla scontante. E sì, divertenti.
Eccetto per Milo.
Sono andata in crisi mistica quando è stato investito a causa della mafia dei Leprecauni ed ero pronta a fare una strage se moriva. Grazie al cielo Zoey è riuscita ad allontanare Riley con i suoi super poteri da Aegis prima che potesse prendere l’anima del piccolo.
Giusto per farvi una sintesi: Zoey viene marchiata dal supervisore di Riley, che spera di vederla morta entro 13 giorni. Questo marchio attira la sfiga come un cheeseburger mi trascina al Mac. Aggiungiamo all’equazione un Puka, Silas, che è il peggior coinquilino mai esistito sulla faccia della terra e che porta guai a manetta. Moltiplichiamo per i Leprecauni che vendono fortuna…. Se paghi. Se rifiuti ti lanciano addosso la iella che ti ammazza… se sei fortunato. E terminiamo con un po’ di appuntamenti finiti male tra lei e Riley, per non parlare della costante presenza di Art, il supervisore. Ciliegina sulla torta, Maurice se ne va.
No, non per sempre, ma per una settimana.
E in sette giorni ne muore di gente.
Ripeto: è abbastanza strana come serie. Zoey poi si distingue tra la folla che è un piacere e non si può non apprezzarla per le sue disgrazie. Non è male come una lettura veloce e spensierata e inoltre è una buona occasione per ritrovare grandissime creature del folklore con tutti i difetti del caso XD
Ma ciò che mi ha veramente sconvolto non è tanto il fatto che Sara abbia scoperto tutto (è anche vero che Zoey è una pessima bugiarda), ma…
Sara che filtra con Maurice??? D:
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Atunah.
281 reviews49 followers
March 20, 2015
This is again a series where its difficult for me to do reviews for. I have the same problem with the Kate Daniels series and Mercy Thompson. As the series goes on, there is just stuff happening that has to be read in order and I hate spoiling. So I'll keep it to the characters.

Zoey, I still love you. She is just so cute. We are now really starting to see her grow into her role. The one she never asked for. She is making some decisions that are long reaching. Before, she would just basically go with the flow and deal with the monsters and how stuff was happening. It was more of a reaction to everything. Now she is starting to be more in a active role in her life. She wants answers, she is learning to say no and taking charge. Its really nice to see.

Its also nice to see her relationships grow and how she is realizing that all that crazy is now her family.

I also like that her friend and business partner is finally becoming more of a character and is not in the dark anymore. This gives the opportunity for them all to be working together. Kind of like the crew on the TV show "Grimm".

It will also be interesting to follow the bigger story line that opened up in the last part of this installment. Very intrigued.
Profile Image for Federica Laviano.
291 reviews4 followers
June 11, 2015
Pensate che i gatti neri, gli specchi infranti, il sale versato non portino sfortuna? Questo perché non avete mai fatto arrabbiare un leprecauno... E se poi insieme a questi nanetti incazzosi, ci mettete un puka maleducato e disordinato e una caccola di troll che non è mai dove dovrebbe essere tranne quando non dovrebbe esserci, beh... che altro potete aspettarvi se non un completo disastro? Ma Zoey è tosta e non si arrende di fronte alla sfortuna. Anche se è veramente uno tsunami di sfiga, quello che la colpisce...
Profile Image for Catty-cat.
238 reviews6 followers
October 11, 2013
Not as good as the first one and zoey constant self flagellation (yep EVERYTHING is your fault !!!) got quite old after a while.
Loved the leprechaun mafia and the gremlins though.
Profile Image for Carrie.
2,312 reviews18 followers
July 30, 2018
This book certainly moves this whole larger story along in leaps and bounds. Definitely the turning point in the series, I am simply dying to know what happens next.

We join Zoey as she tries to find her place in this world filled with “hidden.” She’s just using her instincts and her empathic gift to get by, still hiding her secret life from her BFF. That possible love interest from the end of the last book, Riley? Well he stood her up. I’m mad at him on her behalf, but that is really the least of her worries. Maurice is trying to get back together with his estranged wife so ends up taking some time away from Zoey’s house. This, unfortunately, leaves a vacancy that is immediately filled by an annoying Pooka (bad luck bringer).

When things appear to not be able to get worse, Riley’s return is accompanied by an auditor of sorts who will be tester her for her Aegis abilities and then deciding if she should have died. No pressure. Oh, and the leprechaun mafia is in town, shaking down humans with magical gifts for money and killing them in horrible bad luck scenarios if they refuse to pay. It’s through this high stress time that Zoey somehow unleashes some more of her mysterious powers.

There’s some information that gets uncovered about her mother’s disappearance, some more infrastructure revealed from the hidden world, love interests, pets in peril, and lots of secrets getting revealed. This book was definitely a turning point in the series, giving Zoey more power, more confidence, and a more definitive goal. She’s going to be the best Aegis ever!
Profile Image for Tracy.
933 reviews70 followers
October 6, 2013
Seriously Addictive Series
You'd think finding out you're an empath and monsters are real, then dispatching a deadly incubus and saving the lives of countless women would have granted wedding planner extraordinaire Zoey Donovan at least a small reprieve from the crazy, but no. No such luck for the intrepid helper of the Hidden. Between delivering sea monster babies and doling out love advice to closet monsters, keeping half her life a secret from her best friend, and pining for her missing sorta-boyfriend, EMT/not-so-grim reaper Riley, Zoey's life has not just taken a turn for the surreal, it's parked there and grown roots.

Now she's managed to annoy Death.

Apparently Zoey has the extreme misfortune of still being alive, despite being slated to die on two separate occasions. Death gets mighty cranky when that happens. Throws the whole cosmic balance out of alignment. Now she's got to deal with Riley's supervisor and a craptastic bit of bad mojo tripping her up at every turn. If she survives the next two weeks she'll get taken off death's To Do list, but it will out her as an Aegis to the Hidden head honchos.

If that happens she'll be snatched from her life and everything she knows and be consigned to work for the Hidden council for the rest of her life, so it's sort of a whole damned if she does, dead if she doesn't sort of situation. Which...when you consider just how Zoey's life has been going lately...isn't really all that surprising when you think of it.

Just another day in the life of Zoey Donovan and her creepy coterie.

Friends don't let friends get felt up by the supernatural.

It was love at first paragraph. Seriously, all it took was the first paragraph of the first book to know I would adore this series, and the kicks and giggles just keep on rolling in this second installment. I love the characters, I totally dig the author's voice, and the stories keep me entertained for hours of pure reading bliss.

Zoey is so much fun as the heroine. She's wacky, weird, and wonderfully socially challenged. With a heart as big as Texas and a penchant for trouble, she's easy to root for when her life spins out of control. Which it does. Constantly. Love it!

Even more than my appreciation for Zoey is my absolute worship of her inner circle of monsters and other non-human creatures. Maurice! Molly! Iris! It doesn't matter how much page time they get, they steal every scene. Especially Maurice. I was even more bummed than Zoey when Maurice went to visit his estranged wife for so much of the narrative. And don't even get me started on Andrew's fennec fox, Milo.

No, really, do not get me started. I'm still struggling with forgiving Naquin for that. Bad author! No cookie for you!

We get to see some new faces in this one, of course. As the title suggests, we meet a wonderfully pervy little pooka who, while not as universally appealing as Maurice, did add a good amount of chaotic amusement. And then there were the gremlins. I loved the gremlins. Bump and Glob and Bink were in what? Two scenes? They stole the book, I swear. So cute! So fun!

With this wonderful cast of characters, I have to admit, the story doesn't really need to be that spectacular to keep me entertained, which is probably a good thing, because in both books, the external plot conflicts were my least favorite parts of the books. And this one was just a bit less engaging than the last. I love the chaos of Zoey's life, but for about three quarters of this book the storyline centered around her surviving all the bad luck thrown her way.

It was fun, sometimes hilarious, it was even occasionally heartbreaking, but it wasn't exactly layered or complex. Towards the end of the book the plot starts to add some interesting elements, and there are some twists and turns I wasn't expecting as the book rolls towards conclusion, but it ended up seeming almost like an afterthought, or some heavy-handed foreshadowing of a more meaty conflict for the next book. It didn't quite fit as seamlessly into this one as I would have liked.

I have one more slightly dissatisfied confession, too. Despite my rabid fandom of romance, Riley didn't work for me as Zoey's erstwhile romantic interest in this book. We met him in the first book and I liked him just fine there, but in this one he just seemed more of a character appendage than the story contributor he was in book one. Most of the time here he pops up looking wild-eyed or acting worried for Zoey, is good for a lip lock or two, then slips beneath the surface again until the next time he is brought into a scene. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for romance man candy, but he just didn't offer me much beyond that in this story. I hope there is more done with his character in the next book.

It certainly goes without saying that I'll be slavering to get my hands on that next book. I can't wait to see how the developments in this one translate to upcoming events in the next. I can't wait for more of Zoey's wacky day-to-day life, either. That's some of the absolute best of both books!

Speaking of both books, I think new readers could probably start the series here and catch up to what's gone on with little trouble. Naquin explains previous events well enough, and she has an ease with reminding readers what went on before that I appreciated. I wouldn't recommend you do that, though. Start with the first book. Don't miss out on any of what went before. You'll thank me for it. Trust me.

More Quotables:
"Did you ever hear the song, 'Don't Fear the Reaper?'"
"Did you ever think that song wouldn't have been written if people didn't already fear them? Nobody's written a song called 'Don't Fear the Kittens,' have they? Of course not. Nobody's afraid of kittens. That would be stupid. Everybody in their right mind is afraid of reapers."

We talked and laughed, and for a while, I thought we were safe from anything else going wrong. Never say that. Never think it. That's usually when the screaming starts.

Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Carina Press via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,365 reviews101 followers
May 16, 2020
Can I just say? The girl on the cover is gorgeous.

I don't know why but this book took me a while and a couple of days to get through it. I also don't know why I found parts of it to be boring when there was a lot of excitement.

Finally finally (emphasis on the last finally) she and Riley kiss. Something that Riley said that they needed to finally kiss I 100% agreed with. Their romance progression is so slow it drags more than a slow burn novel. We'll be lucky if they ever have sex by book 4 (or whatever the last book in the series is). I guess the author tried to compensate for describing the kiss, but then she repeated her descriptions and it just didn't do much for me for something we were waiting for such a long time lol. You can tell I just really want to read a romance novel :D

I was mad on Zoey's behalf when Silas was just like hi, I live here now. Also, those leprechauns the nerve of themselves to offer protection-from what? them cursing everyone with bad luck!!! I'm glad that Sara finally knows about the Hidden. She took that surprisingly well. But did Zoey tell her that Zoey is an empath? I don't think so.

Not sure if I would want to read the next book. I think I need to read something with more sexy times if you know what I mean ;)
Profile Image for Raen.
15 reviews
September 1, 2017
Really, I would give this something closer to 4.5 stars. It's working it's way into my heart as a favorite. As I suspected after the first book, more questions are answered and more asked as the swirling mysteries around Zoey evolve and take shape. The second installment is just as much fun as the first and somehow manages to be more serious at the same time. As well written as the first, I expect the third to be just as much fun, answer more questions and ask new ones as well. This series is truly worth the read though, again, not if you're looking for something super serious. While it has it's serious moments and plot points (and no, they're not super tangled and some will see them coming, some will not - regardless, they're well done and well executed and you don't feel like rolling your eyes because you saw it coming, you just wait with excitement for the moment) it has a feel that's light-hearted and as warm as it is sometimes silly - but really, what did you expect from an empath...?
385 reviews
April 13, 2019
Funny, action packed with great quirky characters

I tried book 1 because the title drew me in. Now, I am hooked. So, first off I have this in both kindle and audio. If you like audio books, the narrator does a great job, her timing and voices are spot on for me. The first book really defined the primary characters and "hidden" world. This book continued world building while focusing on Zoey's "trial" and a string of bad luck. This book also gave me the first glimpse into the overall story arc of the series. I find the storyline unique. The friendships and support the characters show for one another is great as well. The main character cares and has now created her own quirky family. I'm glad Sara is now in the know. I love Maurice. I look forward to what comes next.
Profile Image for Angela.
2,439 reviews4 followers
August 18, 2018
Really liked this story. Things continue a short time after the first book and we get to see some more complications arrive in Zoey's life as well as some more folklore monsters/creatures. I like how each of the fairytale folk manage to have relevance to the story as it continues, so often in books like these secondary characters show up for no apparent reason, but its nice that there's purpose to each even if we haven't seen them all yet. I'm also glad that Zoey was able to get the close friendship she had with Sara back fully and in a non dramatic over the top way. Definitely planning to keep reading this series.
736 reviews
August 6, 2019
Wonderful series!

I absolutely love this series! I laughed and cried for the characters. Fabulous plot with lots of twists and turns you will not see coming. I highly recommend this series and author.
Profile Image for Sabina Bundgaard.
Author 16 books25 followers
January 25, 2013
OBS! This review may contain spoilers for Monster in My Closet, so if you haven’t read it and still continue to read this review; I did warn you. Don’t come crying to me! :-)

There are times when I get a book and I sigh when reading. Because sometimes it’s just not what you expected and not good. And then there are the times where you stumble over a hidden gem and you submerge into the world the author created and when you finally get up for air, you look around and are surprised by the dark outside (or the morning light shining in).

Rachel with her Monster in My Closet was a hidden gem for me. So imagine my surprise and utter delight when receiving an ARC of her sequel Pooka in My pantry. (I confess, I squealed – loudly)

I loved Monster in My Closet. Zoey and her friends made me laugh on a day where I didn’t believe I could even muster a smile. I shook my head at Zoey’s quirkiness , her choice of clothes, well even her choice of weapon. :-) And I just adored the cover of the book. Seriously.

I will try and do this book justice, but it’s kinda hard when I liked it so much.

Soo. Zoey’s been trying to adjust to her new life as a helper of the Hidden creatures. She had a baby dragon with a cold (careful so he doesn’t combust!), a sea serpent giving birth in her pool (a quite cold, but wonderful moment) and this is the tip of the iceberg. Zoey is a Empath (and maybe more),and all her life she has helped other people, the problem now is, she can’t tell her best friend what’s going on. Sara’s been a vital part of Zoey for as long as she can remember and it’s killing her she can’t talk to her, that she has to lie to her to cover up her “other” crazy life.

But how can you tell a person you have a closet monster in your spare bedroom? A closet monster who likes to cook and clean and is living with you because his wife kicked him out? How do you tell your best friend your maybe-boyfriend is a Reaper who collects souls when their time is up? That you have a brownie family living in a giant mushroom in your backyard, a skunk-Ape as a bodyguard? Imagine the conversation!

In Monster in My Closet, Zoey was marked for death twice and both times she escaped with help by Riley (her maybe-boyfriend), which landed him in a HEAP of trouble. Riley disappears and Zoey is concerned he is paying for helping her. When he finally returns he’s on probation with a watch (Art) to make sure he doesn’t step out of line. Unfortunately the Board of Hidden Affairs couldn’t care less about Riley, they’re much more interested in Zoey, because maybe she’s more than what you can see, and to find out they’re putting her to through a test that just might cost her life.

Then add a Pooka who doesn’t know boundaries if it hit him in the head (or how to wear pants) who brings so much bad luck with him he is a walking disaster for everyone around him (and insisting on moving in with Zoey) and a gang of thugs (oops, sorry leprechaun mafia) who insists people pay them protection money so they don’t get a bout of…. uhmm, bad luck their way. Not to mention Maurice (Zoey’s friend, the Closet Monster) is returning home to try and make up with his wife, and you have a wonderful story filled with surprises, good and bad luck (and a lot of algebra), love and friendship and a woman with a mind set on not taking shit from anyone. :-)

Pooka in My Pantry is a wonderful continuation of Rachel’s Monster Haven series and left me craving more. I just love Zoey and her friends and no matter what happen, you can trust Zoey to be there for her friends – with or without a toiletbrush. :-)

If you like a different story, your heroines to be quirky, magical creatures, mystery and a touch of love (romance and friendship), this series is definitely for you.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,475 reviews83 followers
April 7, 2013

POOKAH IN MY PANTRY --- Now that sounds a bit naughty doesn't it!

The poor heroine in this book just can't get laid! hook-up with her guy. They have every intention of getting some skin on skin, and they even come close, but they don't seem to, um, get right down to it. Sadly.

Either someone wants her dead, or she's been stood up, or there's and emergency. How's that song go? [She] "Can't Get No Satisfaction!" So while the steamy intent is there the lack of consummation makes this romantic Urban Fantasy. Fortunately the story has a lot of interesting plot, character and promise.

It must be said that this is the second book in this series and doesn't stand alone. You should, in my humble (snort!) opinion read the first book and then this one. Of course, if you're versed in all things Urban Fantasy it wouldn't take much to cotton on, but why be confused or miss out on the enjoyment of reading MONSTER IN MY CLOSET?

Why I like this series even without sheet time:

• Truly quirky and likeable characters, the leprechaun mafia, domestically abused brownies, and murdered seers, not to mention a fennec fox. I was unable to get a photo of actual leprechauns so I decided that an animal lover would want to see what a Fennec Fox looks like! In Maine there's a word "cunnin," meaning adorably cute and clever. That fox is "cunnin." Indeed that Fennec fox, Milo, her friend Andrew's pet is a big focus in the story. I just read a site that said it could live with other pets that will not fit in its mouth! It also chewed up a bunch of furniture so it's much like having a puppy! NOT something you run out and buy on impulse.

• Zoey is really beset upon. It seems as if she is under a cloud, but she seems to have that glass-half-full attitude and rolls with it. She also doesn't see herself as particularly special, but she certainly is.

• A unique story line with aspects I did not see the heroine overcoming.

• Real consequences to magic. Sometimes in UF or PNR, the use of magic is just a throw-off; but for me, it's important that serious messing with magic has serious consequences. Here people die, things explode.

• Good continuity. I haven't caught her out yet. And, you know I am nasty about continuity! Also, good research and reasonably good world-building although it sometimes feels a bit seat-of-the-pantsish.

If you like your paranormal without sex but don't mind a little steam in the form of making out then this will suit you. I enjoyed it a lot because the sexy romance was there.You think it's going to happen, a lot. SO the fun of anticipation is there even if the *ahem* climax isn't!

All in all this is among the fresher things I have read this spring so I feel happy in recommending it to you.

The fox, gets hurt in the course of the plot, but it is not gratuitous and there's plenty of foreshadowing.
Profile Image for Meigan.
1,177 reviews70 followers
October 17, 2014
Zoey Donovan continues to enchant me, as does Naquin and the way she spins such a fun story while incorporating underused, super fun creatures in her Monster Haven series. Leprechauns, pookas, brownies, closet monsters. All fun, all different, all instrumental in making this such a great series for me.

In this installment, Zoey is facing one of her biggest adversaries - bad luck. There isn't much one can do about bad luck, especially when you have an invisible bad luck rune painted on your hand. Add to that, the Leprechaun Mafia is in town. They can bring you luck, for a price. But be fast; their prices reach the exorbitant range in merely a few hours :) Failure to pay for their protection equals extra bad luck in the most classic of forms - black cats, open umbrellas, you name the superstition, they'll unleash it on you.

Zoey is also being watched. After Riley is forced to undergo Reaper retraining, he is being shadowed by another reaper. Everywhere he goes, Art must follow. And take endless notes. Art has his eye on Zoey for bigger reasons and he informs her that she will have to undergo a trial for the Board of Hidden Affairs. The outcome could be death, which seems like it's Art's wettest dream come true, but true to Zoey's nature, she's not prepared to make Art's dream a reality. Zoey is also piecing together her lost memories. Not all of them, of course, but she along with Aggie are starting to remember more and more of Zoey's missing mother. Some of the revelations are quite surprising, some are heartbreaking, all just point out that fact that she's still missing.

The creatures still continue to make this series for me. Maurice is hands-down my favorite. A neat freak closet monster, who also happens to be a gourmet chef? Yes, please, send one to my closet. He has also proven that he not only isn't a monster in the traditional sense, but he's a very loyal friend. Much more so than the pooka who took his place while he dealt with his impending divorce. Can't blame the pooka for being an unholy ass, it's in his nature.

One thing I do wish for in future installments - I'm hoping Riley and Zoey make some headway in their relationship. They really can't seem to make it past the first date with his reaper texts and her monster life always interceding. Hopefully things start progressing for them in the additional books but with Zoey's life taking an unexpected turn, it doesn't look like it will be any time soon.

I absolutely recommend this book and series; it's just so much fun. From the quirky "real" people, the the oddball monsters Zoey picks up along the way, every installment in this series continues to be a blast.
Profile Image for Kevin.
Author 5 books19 followers
March 25, 2013
Pooka in My Pantry is the second in Naquin's Monster Haven series. As with Monster in My Closet, Pooka is an urban fantasy set in our world but with the idea that Hidden creatures (everything from brownies to gremlins to sea serpents) exist just out of sight.

It's never easy starting a new job, and for Zoey Donovan the weirdness level of her new role as caretaker for the Hidden has now come under scrutiny.

As an empath, Zoey is able to feel what others are feeling. It has made her a social worker of sorts for creatures like brownies, pygmy dragons, skunk apes, and -- of course -- her closet monster, Maurice. In the first book, Monster in My Closet, Zoey managed to help a lot of the Hidden and even send an incubus back to hell, but no good deed ever goes unpunished.

Now the Board of Hidden Affairs suspects that Zoey may be the "Aegis," official defender of the Hidden -- a title she's not sure she wants to have. To prove herself, she's forced to undergo the scrutiny of Art -- a representative of the Board -- for a couple of weeks, and her luck has suddenly turned much worse. Maybe it has something to do with the pooka that showed up on her doorstep, or the Leprechaun thugs that seem to be running a collection racket on the local businesses.

If you thought Monster was a good read, you'll love Pooka in My Pantry. R.L. Naquin continues this delightful series, bringing back most of the original cast of the first novel. Maurice, Riley, Andrew and Milo, Sara, and Molly are back for round 2, and it just gets more interesting in this new installment.

While Zoey is trying her best to pass the Board's test, she also has to put out some metaphorical fires that are threatening not only her private life but also her business. And if you think her love life couldn't get any more complicated, you'll have to see how many tries at a "first" date she has with Riley.

Pooka is more than just a good second book in the series, it's an improvement over Monster -- which was already great to begin with. Pooka has raised the stakes, making it an all-around better book. It has moments of heart-breaking sadness, followed by scenes that are laugh-out-loud funny. Naquin has definitely upped her game with this second book. I can't wait for Fairies in My Fireplace, which is due out in September.
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