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Iron & Velvet

(Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,841 ratings  ·  378 reviews
First rule in this line of business: don’t sleep with the client.

My name’s Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case, I should have told her no. But I’ve always been a sucker for a femme fatale.

It always goes the same way. You move too fast, you get in too deep, and before you know it, someone winds up dead. Last time it was my par
ebook, 1st edition, 277 pages
Published December 16th 2013 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 14th 2013)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  1,841 ratings  ·  378 reviews

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Start your review of Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator, #1)
RANT reviews, I wrote 389 reviews so far and can actually count the ranty ones on one hand... Were lesbians the problem here?

Contrary to those who managed to more or less enjoy this book upon their 2nd or 3rd attempt, at first I figured it best to simply DNF it. After partaking in the hype for this highly anticipated F/F story with its gorgeous cover, I can only feel sad about this. I was so excited that my non F/F reading friends were willing to make an exception for Iron & Velvet. So what made
Lex Kent
4.50 Stars. I'm a big fan of this series. I have read versions of this book a total of 3 or 4 times now. I love reading this series in October since it's one of my favorite lesfic paranormal series. Alexis Hall, recently released this series again so I thought it was the perfect time for another re-read. He mentioned some light editing and cleaning up/changing some lines. I'm not sure if it is my imagination but the book seemed a little more current. I remember Kate using her phone sparingly so ...more
Julio Genao
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved
never been so turned-on by sapphic shenanigans in my life.

wildly entertaining, relentlessly kinetic, and riotously funny.

all the adverbs. this book deserves all the adverbs in the world.

i think the intentional repetition was mostly a mistake—eight hundred year old vampire, here lies Kate Kane, wine and rose petals—and why our heroine left an apparently indestructible sexbot behind to mind the car instead of utilizing her in the Finerr Batturr is beyond me—but aside from those quibbles, I haven't
K.J. Charles
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was fun. Actual fun, with an author taking joy in the writing, exuberant plotting, shameless and enjoyable use of genre tropes and some lovely bits of invention. I stopped reading PNR and most urban fantasy ages ago because I was so fed up with the same old same old. This book takes the same old, and uses it unapologetically, but makes it feel fresh again.

- It's hilarious. I was laughing out loud at several points. Yes, you could use the word 'sassy', but it's actually funny with it, which
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**1.5 stars**

I had a lot of issues with this book, which bums me out because I was actually excited to try a F/F. I'll try to list them all out for you guys but, honestly, this will probably be a quicky review because this book didn't inspire much emotion in me.

1) It was boring. I'm sorry but it was. I had to push myself to read it and I put it down many times and forced myself to pick it up again. I found the long list of characters to be tedious and I couldn't get engaged with the story.

2) I
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it

So…I should probably preface this review by saying that the author is a friend. And I know there are sometimes questions around people reviewing works of friends in an unbiased light. Does knowing the author make me like the book more? I don’t know. I think it makes me understand it better as I have a way to ask him questions directly when I need to. But, I’ll say that I believe my review is fair and honest...from my perspective.

I received the ARC of this book months ago. And as many other revie
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Overall chance of getting murdered: low.
Overall chance of miserable, soul-destroying break-up: moderate.
Overall chance of lots of red-hot monkey sex: high to extreme.
Overall chance of boredom: zero.
I was liking those odds.

Yeah, I was liking those odds, too, because foremost Iron & Velvet is highly entertaining and funny, with a nice romance on the side, and lots of serious arse-kicking as the main dish.

Part of the blurb sums it up nicely: Now half the monsters in London are at each other's throa
So upon reading my second book by this author, I noticed similar, if not exactly, the same likes and dislikes I had with his first book, Glitterland. For me, this started poorly, so poorly that I initially did not finish it. And, once again, like with Glitterland, I gave myself a break and restarted it and carried on to finish. The second half? Sweet whisky Jesus, where did this come from? Why wasn’t the rest of the book more like this? I can’t figure out why in both instances with this author t ...more

2.5 stars

Kate lives in a dangerous world populated by lots of superbeings: vamps, weres, demons, mages, faeries...

She is a supa herself, a faerie with some skillz of her own. One of them being gorgeous, as few in this world seem able to resist her charms. Oh, and she’s a huntress with a nose for the scent which helps her PI work. Kate’s been hired to investigate the dead bodies piling up in London.

The premise is interesting-- a lesbian private dick ( “I’m cynical, not a complete dick” ) who b
Massive Character Crush!

The plot. PI Kate Kane gets hired to solve the murder of a werewolf left behind the club of vampire Prince Julian Saint-Germain. Time is of the essence when soon another attack follows and tensions between vampires, werewolves, mages, demons and faeries is at an all time high. All Kate has to do is find the killer, keep her current GF safe from her former GF, while resisting the charms of the local pack's Alpha, who happens to be a lingerie model.

The characters. Kate. Fu
Rosa, really
Recently I wrote a review of a book I can’t even remember – oh, wait, yes I do, it was this blah POS – in which I stated that I suffer from a horrible disease that makes me read books I know are just going to suck. It helps if there’s a half-naked man on the cover. I’m a publisher’s wet dream: I fall for the man boobs every time.

But I digress (man boobies are distracting). There’s another disease I suffer from. I like to call it: “Rosa, really, really likes your book, except when she doesn’t and
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the most trope-y and unnecessarily overdramatic things I have ever read, and I was living for it.
This is a story about Kate, a paranormal investigator, as she tries to solve the murder of a werewolf, falls for a vampire prince (don't let the name fool you, Julian is a vampire woman), while also trying not to anger various other paranormal creatures.
Everyone in this book is a combination of queer, ridiculous, and horny, often all three, and... I didn't know how much I needed a
Iron & Velvet is an over-the-top good time.

Kate is a semi-standard Urban Fantasy heroine, a noir-ish detective in this case, with some magic powers but mostly familiar human baggage, and an ability to not get killed doing stupid stuff. In over her head most of the time, she flails around an alternate-universe London, pissing off the various powers that be, and surviving on luck, smart remarks, sex, and a tinge of wild magic.

What makes it different is that Kate is a lesbian, and the book is choc
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
If you start reading Iron & Velvet expecting it to be yet another 'serious' urban fantasy with a strong PI heroine, you would be wrong.

It is a parody of almost every single trope (and maybe even some characters) you can find in urban fantasy today. In paranormal romance too.
You have your noirish PI heroine with not so ordinary origin (fighting against it, of course) and interesting Past. There is a hint of unused power. Then you have a freaky love interest, an insane ex-boyfriend, one awesome
Kat, short for Clara
If possible, I love this book even more now than when I read it for the first time 4 1/2 years ago. So much about Iron & Velvet makes me happy.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love vampires and mages and fae magic. To get all of that in a lesfic paranormal mystery is a great find. What made this 5 stars for me though is Kates dry cynical humour. It's not for everyone but i loved it. ...more
Lilia Ford
The paranormal PI is its own little mini-genre, and the plot and world-building here followed the main patterns of the other examples I've read, especially the heavyweight of the genre, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. Hall's main innovation then was making Kate a lesbian, and what an innovation! Kate's a terrific character, a really fresh take on the familiar hard-boiled, hard-drinking PI type. Also, since I think of that character as quintessentially American, the "Englishness" of the narra ...more
Jude in the Stars
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate Kane (not Batwoman) is a London PI with a complex backstory. Her partner was killed and it seems she was responsible, one of her exes is a vampire, another is a Witch Queen, she swears she’ll never get involved with another vampire but never say never, eh? So when a werewolf is murdered and Kate is asked by a Vampire Prince (who would be a princess if she wasn’t a vampire, I guess) to investigate, she agrees and tries hard (not really) to resist her employer’s charms.

I know it’s unfair but
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm very selective when it comes to paranormal books, meaning I tend to not like most of them, but colour me pleasantly surprised. Really like this book. The story is witty and funny. Kate Kane is a kick-ass PI. The book has the usual characters (vampires, werewolves, witches, faes, etc.) but this world is quite original from other stories. Yes, was skeptical about a man writing lesbian fiction, but it truly is a non-issue as the book is very well-written. Looking forward to reading book 2 and h ...more
Isa Lavinia

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing through Netgalley

As I read this book's description it went something like this:
Book: "My name's Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case--"
Me: *yawn* Boring!
Book: "I should have told her no. But I've always been a sucker for a femme fatale."
Me: *stars in my eyes*

Because really:

But as it turns out, a story cannot be sustained by lesbians alone.

Kate Kane (not Batwoman), is the child of a being of untold power, who
Laylah Hunter
Welp, this one passed the "stay up two hours past bedtime for just one more chapter--ok one MORE more chapter" test. Minor quibbles of the 4.5-stars variety but rounding up for that.

Kate is a charming narrator, wry and self-aware, an excellent updating of the noir detective trope, complete with the fascination with femmes fatales that she knows will only lead to trouble. And it's such fun to read. This is a story where all the ladies are gorgeous and most of them are aggressive about it, and I l
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
"I've spent the entire case sifting through poo."

Kate Kane is a paranormal investigator. She drinks too much, smokes too much, is extremely cynical and has a bad track record when it comes to relationships. She recently broke up with her girlfriend (for unexplained reasons) and is still pretty bummed about it. Her business partner was murdered by her rebound girlfriend and business is slow. She's hired by a vampire prince, Julian, to investigate the murder of a werewolf outside her club a
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesbian, paranormal
4.5 stars. I was not sure what to expect from this book as there were mixed reviews. It was like marmite (British spread, which I adore), you either love it or hate it. I loved it. At first it was like being on a rollercoaster ride, a bit slow, building anticipation, not sure whether this is the ride that goes upside down and at all angles, or a safe bet. Very quickly the story picks up speed and similar to a rollercoaster was non stop action. At the end I was pleased to come away in one piece a ...more
Vanessa North
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was hit or miss with a lot of my friends, and having read their reviews, i can easily see how and why they felt the way they did, either for or against.

Personally, I enjoyed it. Absolutely knife-sharp humor, fantastic wordplay, and completely intoxicating worldbuilding tipped me firmly into the "Kate Kane fan" camp.

I would have loved to see tighter pacing, particularly in the first half. The first 30 percent especially was very heavy in internal monologue which is very tempting to ski
BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Lust, betrayal, magic, fae, vampires, werewolves, witches - oh my! What isn't in this story? Even a bit of kinky BDSM is thrown in. Mr. Hall is a new to me author and I am hooked. First off, this is a lesbian story which is so hard to come by. To have a well written one with a mystery is even better. Then to add paranormal elements which all work together, I'm entranced. Topping it off with some kinky rough sex and a bit of bondage, I'm completely enslaved. I must read the next book in this seri ...more
Peasblossom (Anna)
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I originally wrote this review in a "highlights, lowlights, general thoughts" kind of format... Gonna leave it intact here, because I wrote it immediately after finishing, and I think the review feels fresher that way. :)

My highlights are the author's humor, the completely delightful wordplay ("I’d never seen anyone look genuinely crestfallen before, but Julian’s crest fell pretty damn hard."), and the joy of finding a Detective/ PNR novel that actually pulls off Noir properly. I loved Kate, and
Drea (LilyElement Reviews)
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

P.I. Kate Kane is in a bad way. Her partner’s dead, she’s nearly out of booze, and the bill collectors are hounding her. Against her better judgment she accepts a job solving a murder on the dreaded vampires’ turf. That vampire happens to be a hot chick Kate knows is exactly the wrong sort for her (and thus exactly the sort she digs). One thing leads to six others and bam, Kate is stuck in the middle of monster politics with a b

The review contains mild spoilers (sorry about that)

“Big bad faery shit lord killed your boyfriend and captured your vampire granny. A bunch of us are getting together to fuck it up. Do you want in?”

“Flats or heels?”

First and foremost – this book is FUN. It made me chuckle, laugh and is the reason for several coffee stains on a very nice white T-shirt of mine.

I am a fan of kick-arse anti heroines so … what’s not to love about Kate Kane?
She is a (mostly) mortal paranormal PI with trust issues an
3.5 stars rounding up for enjoyment

Kate Kane is a revised version of Sam Spade for our modern times. She's a private eye living in urban fantasy London and she investigates cases involving vampires, werewolves, the fae, and other otherworldly creatures. The case this time is the murder of a werewolf outside a nightclub, and Kate is asked to look into it by an alluring vampire. She couldn't resist.

This is a paranormal romance with a lesbian character at the center, and there's more focus on the
The setup for this book is (pretty explicitly) what if a British version of Bella Swann grew up, dumped Edward, and became a hard-drinking private detective (in full noir mode) who dates women? (So, feel free to imagine Kristin Stewart playing the role with a British accent.)

Honestly, I found all of those initial parallels (clever though many of them were!) to be so explicit that they were distracting and stopped me from really sinking into this story itself. Every time there'd be a new note ab
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Let's talk F/F, vampires, werewolves, fairies, London, and whiskey! 6 70 Nov 18, 2013 05:59AM  

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Genrequeer writer of kissing books.

I use Goodreads incredibly sporadically, which means I review when I remember. If at all.

Please note: I don’t read / reply to DMs. If you would like to get in touch, the best way is via email which you can find in the contact section on my website <3

Other books in the series

Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator (4 books)
  • Shadows & Dreams (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #2)
  • Fire & Water (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #3)
  • Smoke & Ashes (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #4)

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