Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

Oct 2016: Iron and Velvet > Iron and Velvet Discussion *SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Marae I guess I'll start off this discussion. I haven't started the book yet but I've gotten a digital copy from my library! I'm so excited for our first f/f romance! Has anyone started this yet? Good so far?

message 2: by Beth (new)

Beth (wanderingflame) | 12 comments I tried to read this one a few months ago and couldn't get through it. I picked it up again to see if I can finish it for the discussion but I'm having the same problems as before. The main character really rubs me the wrong way. It feels like she's trying too hard to be a tough detective and then suddenly she's bouncing in bed yelling, "Pudding nun!" I had to go back and verify that she's meant to be thirty-three because she acts very childish most of the time. I also didn't understand why everyone who meets her wants to bang her. The supporting cast is a parade of Kate's exes and newbies who lust at first sight, and I had trouble keeping track of everyone.

I'll keep trying to get through the book in case there's something near the end that makes it all better, but I'm curious what other people think. I've read other books by this author that I liked, so I have to assume the issue is Kate, which is a bummer because it's hard to find good F/F books that aren't wholly erotica or romance-focused. This is more of a story-focused urban fantasy where the main character is also into ladies.

message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate (kilotangobravo) | 27 comments I just grabbed a copy from Overdrive! I've been meaning to read this forever so yay, Bonnie! I know it has mixed reviews but I read Hall's For Real earlier this year and LOVED IT. It's the best bdsm romance I've ever read. Thinking of reading it again this year!

Maybe "Iron and Velvet" has first book syndrome?

message 4: by Melani (new)

Melani I was unimpressed. It was a quick read though. And where ever the line is between borrowing character tropes and flat out copying, I think this author crossed it, there are just too many things pulled from other novels and put in this one.

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments If you're looking for good old paranormal romance (albeit F/F to distinguish it) with the tough-talking, no-nonsense, ass-kicking, born special protag, this is for you. It reminds me of a lot of the many, many other stories that fit this bill, although some aspects it does better than those other books. I think I just wasn't in the mood for that kind of thing right now.

It DID make me smile a lot - the author can be quite amusing with the narration, very witty.

I can't say I much cared for our oversexed MC. She has slept with and/or dated so many of the characters in this book, and thinks about sleeping with all of the rest. She and Julian had met, what, two times before deciding they were girlfriends? The sex scene in the club was pretty hot, I guess. And they were kind of sweet together. But yeah, not instalove here, but kind of instadating, especially odd for someone who initially declares "I don't date vampires".

I kind of just started skimming at the end, but like I said, I think I just wasn't in the mood for this kind of story right now.

message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (cozyuptocrime) | 46 comments Even though this is short, it's a slow read for me. I'm only on chapter 4, and I'm pretty sure it started with the same sentence as chapter 1 (which already uses the word 'stale' twice in one sentence!!), and for one moment I was horrified that I'm reading in some kind of time loop. Either way, I agree the the MC's personality and narration is kind of a turn-off for me. It's already repetitive and I'm not even 50 pages in. We'll see if I can make it through this one.

message 7: by Linnea (last edited Oct 13, 2016 07:08AM) (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 81 comments Melani wrote: "I was unimpressed. It was a quick read though. And where ever the line is between borrowing character tropes and flat out copying, I think this author crossed it, there are just too many things pul..."

As I understand it, Iron & Velvet is supposed to be satire/parody and the borrowing/copying from other works is intentional. (For example, the name Kate is taken from Kate Daniels.)

message 8: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 335 comments I don't feel the marketing for this book did a very good job of communicating the parody aspect of the book in this case. I read it back almost 2 years ago, and didn't get the parody vibe at all at the time. I grabbed it from the library again a couple days ago to see if I liked it any better once I knew. I felt better about having given it a second star (I was doubting that for awhile), and I might even call it 2 1/2, but I still wasn't really feeling it. I really liked the idea, but the execution didn't quite match up with what I was hoping for from it. Chalking this one up to simply being a style mismatch for me. I don't hate it, I think it could be a grand hit for the right person, that just wasn't me.

message 9: by Melani (new)

Melani Linnea wrote: "As I understand it, Iron & Velvet is supposed to be satire/parody ..."

I understood that, but that doesn't mean I thought it was clever or well done. It's far too referential to be something creative and new. There's a line, somewhere, between pastiche and plagiarism, and this book came pretty close to crossing that line. Far too close for my liking.

message 10: by Jenn (last edited Oct 13, 2016 09:09AM) (new)

Jenn (wildflowerz) I didn't like it. Really much at all. The main character was unlikable to me as a reader but to EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. in the book she was like heroin to an addict. Everyone loved her. Which made it even harder to understand when she appeared so unlikable to me.

The book seemed INCREDIBLY repetitive. Words were used multiple times in close proximity, sometimes even in the same sentence. There were a ton of grammatical errors as well. One thing in particular fit both of these complaints for me: chaise longue. Okay, I know what a chaise lounge is. There's one right behind me as I type this. But why did it need to be repeatedly referenced? Why was it always italicized? And why was it spelled wrong every single time? It was repeated so often that I actually looked up "longue" to make sure it wasn't something else. (Spoiler alert: it's not).

The repetitions were other places also. Every time we see Nimue (except the last time), she's described as wearing jeans and a hoodie and having let her hair grow out. I'm pretty sure the EXACT sentence is used to describe her. When we first meet her, Kate says that she forgets about all the times they had together and possibly even her appearance, until she sees her again. So maybe that's why we get the exact same description. Which would have been fine had it been some sort of plot point, but it wasn't, so I was just annoyed.

Certain types of phrases were repeated also. In one section, something is described as "Worst. (insert item). Ever." at least 3 or 4 times. When she's assembling her team, we get a constant update of the list of people every time she adds a new one. This one, I think, was supposed to be funny, but after the 4th time you hear it, it was not.

I like paranormal/supernatural fiction like this, in general. I don't generally read a lot of F/F, but I'm not opposed to it. THAT was probably the best part of this book, since you don't see it so much in standard fiction and it was nice that it was normalized (as much as it can be in a book about fey, witches, vampires, and werewolves). But overall, after about half the book, it felt like pulling teeth to get through it.

message 11: by Linnea (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 81 comments Jenn wrote: "I didn't like it. Really much at all. The main character was unlikable to me as a reader but to EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. in the book she was like heroin to an addict. Everyone loved her. Which made..."

Please excuse a non-native English speaker here, but I'm a bit confused. I thought it was spelled "chaise lounge" only in America. In French it's most certainly "chaise longue" (longue = long).

message 12: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (wildflowerz) Linnea wrote: "Jenn wrote: "I didn't like it. Really much at all. The main character was unlikable to me as a reader but to EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. in the book she was like heroin to an addict. Everyone loved he..."

Really?? I had no idea! I mean, this takes place in it the same there? I tried looking it up and got a general "not found" so I thought it was an error. My apologies then! The rest of my problems with it stand, but I learned something new. Is it still pronounced like lounge, or is it pronounced like "long?"

message 13: by Linnea (new)

Linnea (robotmaria) | 81 comments Jenn wrote: "Linnea wrote: "Jenn wrote: "I didn't like it. Really much at all. The main character was unlikable to me as a reader but to EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. in the book she was like heroin to an addict. Ev..."

I'm Swedish so I can't really confirm anything, but from what I can remember from school I believe "longue" is pronounced similar to "long", but with a slightly more prominent "g".

As for British English I can't really say for sure, but the author of the book is from the UK, so it is possible they use the original french spelling.

message 14: by Jessica (last edited Oct 13, 2016 07:29PM) (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments Jenn wrote: "I didn't like it. Really much at all. The main character was unlikable to me as a reader but to EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. in the book she was like heroin to an addict. Everyone loved her. Which made..."

The first time the description repeated itself about Nimue, I thought it was a whoopsie, but then recalled the narrator telling us that you tend to forget things that happened in Nim's presence after leaving. So that explained why it kept mentioning the hoodie and jeans and hair length, but in the end I guess I don't really see what the point was of having that be the case, when in fact Kate was able to remember just about everything else that happened with Nim.

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 182 comments I'm actually kind of surprised most of the feedback has been negative so far! I didn't love this book by any means, but I did think it was way better executed than, say, Flesh or In the Black. I think I just wasn't in the mood for the kind of flip, tongue-in-cheek feel of this one right now.

message 16: by Beth (last edited Oct 13, 2016 08:25PM) (new)

Beth (wanderingflame) | 12 comments Linnea wrote: "As I understand it, Iron & Velvet is supposed to be satire/parody and the borrowing/copying from other works is intentional. (For example, the name Kate is taken from Kate Daniels.) "

I hadn't realized this. If that's the case, I wish the book description had some kind of hint that it was meant to be a parody, like a wink wink, nudge nudge or "Stop me if you've heard this before." (A Monty Python reference would've been perfect if the author is from the UK.) Instead, it read like it was going to be an urban-fantasy-noir-detective story which had me intrigued.

It also bums me out that something meant to be parody/satire would use a F/F romance. The urban fantasy genre could use some diversity in its romance, but I'd rather see it in a book that's taking its story seriously.

I finally made it to the end by sheer force of will but I still feel the same as when I DNF'd the book. I'll be curious what the VFBC ladies think.

Also, did anyone else have trouble understanding the King of the Court of Love or was it just me?

message 17: by Melani (last edited Oct 14, 2016 06:18AM) (new)

Melani Beth wrote: "Also, did anyone else have trouble understanding the King of the Court of Love or was it just me? ..."

Oh that was another thing that annoyed me. I mean, I get it, he hasn't really dealt with humans since the middle ages but to have him speak in Middle English and not provide a translation was annoying as all get out. It was pretentious on the part of the author, threw the reader out of the story, and didn't make sense to boot.

message 18: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Linnea wrote: "Please excuse a non-native English speaker here, but I'm a bit confused. I thought it was spelled "chaise lounge" only in America. In French it's most certainly "chaise longue" (longue = long). ..."

Yeah - it's chaise longue in British English too. Because it's a long chair.

I'm only a few pages in but I am loving the sense of place. I'm so used to urban novels set in American cities, so having one where I actually know where she is going is great!

message 19: by Alicia (new)

Alicia I like the idea that all proper werewolves are female. Introducing a transman werewolf is a nice idea since there seems to be so much more visibility for transwomen (although I just read Eligible (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld and it also has a transmale character (apologies if I have used the wrong terminology - please let me know what terminology is appropriate).

message 20: by Peter (new)

Peter | 55 comments Linnea wrote: ...I believe "longue" is pronounced similar to "long", but with a slightly more prominent "g".
According to a book I read, the French (or maybe just Parisians?) had a short-lived fixation with mispronouncing certain words, replacing "r" sounds with with "z" sounds. I'm not sure if there was any consistent effect on spelling. Anyway, chaire longue (long chair) turned into chaise longue. Then they got over it, and normal pronounciation and spelling resumed except for that phrase! Since "chaise" has been adopted as an English word, nobody notices it. However, since the closest English word to "longue"containing the same letters is "lounge", it is understandable that some English-speakers confuse the words. In this context, however, the "e" is not pronounced, and the "u" is just to stop the "g" from turning into a "j" sound (as in "jagged").

message 21: by Gary (last edited Oct 15, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Gary I just started this one. She certainly dives right in. There's no "world behind the veil" kind of stuff that characterizes a lot of urban fantasy. It's more like "Bang! There's vampires and you can fuck 'em! If you want. But they're dicks. So don't. Unless you wanna."

I'm finding the noir aspects of the dialogue in particular contrasting weirdly with the London setting. Kate often sounds like Bogart, if Bogey slept with a vibrator under his pillow rather than a .38, which makes the occasional "Britishism" interact strangely with the quick-paced patter of the narrative and dialogue. For instance:
"There's a dead body in the alley outside."

"And it just slipped your mind?"

"No, I just decided to seduce you first."

"Corpse first."

"He's dead, he's not going anywhere." [Normally there should be a period there after dead, but I think she wanted the pacing to be snazzy, so the comma conveys a certain speed....]

"You're dead."

"Yes, but I'm better in bed."

That's all well and good, but then later we get: "Fabulous. Shall we shag to seal the deal?"

Shag? Oh, right. London. I forgot about that with all the curt/cute expository dialogue....

Of course, it's contemporary, and it's been a decade or two since I spent some time in Olde Londinium, so maybe folks would be more likely to say things like "vampires are out for, y'know, blood" but it is reading as a little awkward to me.

Big picture, dismissive, one-line, movie pitch characterization: It's True Blood meets The Big Sleep with Guy Ritchie on top.

Like I said, though, I've just started so I could be wrong on any particular point, or it could shift into something else by the end of the "first act" as it were.

message 22: by Alicia (new)

Alicia I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I had hoped. I don't read a lot of urban fantasy so the overworked tropes didn't bug me as much as it did some people, but I just didn't find it very engaging.

It felt like we were dropped in the middle of a series but without ever giving enough information to make the backstory make sense.

But as I said before, I did like the sense of place. And it made me give an arch, knowing smile that she's got most of Soho being owned by vampires instead of two rival property development companies that some of us think of as vampires. But that's a really niche joke.

message 23: by Ashley (last edited Oct 17, 2016 03:30AM) (new)

Ashley | 4 comments I really don't get this book. I'm only 25% of the way through, and it's tough going.

If it's parody, it's not very good parody. It's very funny in places (the Twilight riff is great) but the tone is all over the place. I just don't feel like there's anything to hook myself onto, anything that grounds the whole story, like the romance angle possibly could.

I'd have to respectfully disagree about the sense of place. Some descriptions of London/UK life are OK (like the skater park), but the rest just seems like a laundry list of London locations and British brands ("Sainsbury's Red Label" what is the point of mentioning that?) In another discussion it was mentioned that characters in fiction aren't often shown having periods or doing other bodily functions because it breaks up the story, and it's uninteresting. The majority of the references to British places and brands is like that for me, it's jarring and dull.

So far, this book reads like a bad crack fic, like they're trying to make fun of the tropes but haven't ratcheted things up to the required level of crazy, so it's just left me feeling confused and bored.

message 24: by Gary (new)

Gary Ashley wrote: "I'd have to respectfully disagree about the sense of place."

I'm finding it an easier read than you seem to be, but I don't disagree on your assessment, particularly regarding the British bits. They seem tacked on, like the book was originally set in Los Angeles or San Francisco and then rewritten for a British market when no American publisher picked it up. Which is weird, because the author's bio says that he "did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s" and lives in England. This is terrible, but it kind of reads like that guy you meet at the nightclub who affects a British accent to pick up girls from the suburbs even though he's really born and raised in Long Beach. You may have met that guy.... (view spoiler)

So far, the British references (the book is set in London, so calling them "references" is a little dismissive, but it does feel that way) do take me out of the narrative from time to time. I read a couple of pages of dialogue and then went back and re-read them with British accents out loud and it came out sounding very Nigel from Long Beach.

message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather | 175 comments I'm not very far in, but I find myself wishing it had been set in the past (like the 20s or even earlier). I don't mind the lack of place, but I feel like it's out of time. I find it jarring every time she mentions a cell phone.

message 26: by Heather (new)

Heather | 175 comments This book also missed an amazing opportunity to drop the class level down a notch in the following dialogue with Kate turning down Tash from the lesbian bar:

T: "There's my number in case you change your mind and buy some handcuffs."

K: I gave her my card. "Fine. There's mine."

T: "Oh wow!" she cried. "You've got a card and everything. I'll call you next time I want something private investigated."

How hard it is to write, "I'll call you next time I want my private investigated?" Come on!

message 27: by Melani (new)

Melani Heather wrote: "This book also missed an amazing opportunity to drop the class level down a notch in the following dialogue with Kate turning down Tash from the lesbian bar:

T: "There's my number in case you chan..."

I think the book probably went there first, there are a couple of times where that almost but not quite innuendo happens, but it got edited out for some reason. Because you're right. It's a missed opportunity and the text hints with strength at the innuendo but never fully goes there.

message 28: by Katie (new)

Katie I enjoyed the story for the most part. It was light and easy to read. I did chuckle from time to time. I do agree with some earlier posts about the odd repetitive areas. Also, Kate Kane reminded me, a little too much, of Anita Blake. But otherwise, the story was fun. This was my first paranormal f/f romance and I will be keeping an eye out for more from now on.

message 29: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Crane-rosset | 104 comments Linnea wrote: "Jenn wrote: "I didn't like it. Really much at all. The main character was unlikable to me as a reader but to EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. in the book she was like heroin to an addict. Everyone loved he..."

Right, "long chair."

That's what three years of living in France gets me. :)

message 30: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (cozyuptocrime) | 46 comments I tried to make it through this book (got to 28%) but I just couldn't even though it was super short. Which is sad because I even skim-read my way through to finish Flesh which I'm pretty sure I gave 1 star to. But seeing that it would take me 2 more hours on my Kindle just made me think that was 2 hours I could spend reading a different book. This book was just not for me.

message 31: by Gary (last edited Oct 23, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Gary I'm at about the mid-point or so, and I have to say that at first I was finding the way the protagonist/narrator constantly sexualizes situations and other characters a little annoying, but I kind of like it now. She's constantly distracted by the physicality of those she meets and where that first read as affected, it now kind of reads like a nod at stream-of-consciousness writing.

She acts on her sexuality, of course. There's a lot of explicit sex. But more often she shrugs off that constant, drip-drip-drip of sexual thoughts and observations. So, it's more like the author was going for that little, nagging voice in her (and the reader's) head that is constantly on the make. The little voice that says, "Hey, nice ass!" when a stranger walks by or "Maybe I'll get a little of that..." whenever there's a glimpse of attractive flesh before the ego and superego chime in. That typically doesn't appear in prose, even in erotica. The first person thoughts of characters are either completely tumescent or expressly prim.

That's not to say that I don't have criticisms of the text in broad terms. The pacing is nearly manic. The dialogue often very contrived, as is the way it interacts with the narrative. Some of the sex scenes read as more than a little unlikely when it comes to actual events. Sexy times getting interrupted by a (view spoiler) and then resuming with the participants covered in (view spoiler) seems like it would be a mood killer. Similarly, I've never had a (view spoiler) but it seems like that would dampen the libido a smidge.

Of course, three's an explanation in that Kate isn't entirely (view spoiler) so maybe she's operating at a different tolerance level, but at certain points that does make the events read as a little cartoonish. Japanese cartoonish, to be specific.... And that kind of thing doesn't lend itself to verisimilitude.

message 32: by Melani (new)

Melani Gary wrote: "I'm at about the mid-point or so, and I have to say that at first I was finding the way the protagonist/narrator constantly sexualizes situations and other characters a little annoying, but I kind ..."

You know, I didn't even consider the implications of a tentacle monster interrupting two women having sex, and then the evisceration of the tentacle monster and resuming of the sex. I'm sure it was intentional, but it went right over my head.

message 33: by Kirsten (last edited Oct 24, 2016 07:36AM) (new)

Kirsten (zephyr42) | 139 comments I rarely chime in the discussion threads, but I really loved this book and I wanted to throw in my few cents. This book is goofy - it's not that well edited, but maybe I've been reading enough Daredevil fanfic that it doesn't faze me much. I really appreciated that Kate was established in the world instead of this being a 'portal fantasy' where she trudges through the unknown. There's a level of her being unaware of who Julian is, but it's more of a "I've made assumptions based on my vague knowledge of this level of society" and not "A MYSTERIOUS FIGURE. SHROUDED IN MORE MYSTERY." Kate knows what she's doing, but she gets sidetracked and runs into problems along the way - some of her own making, some accidental. I loved that her exes weren't vindictive or all painted with the same brush; it's a pretty small fantastical community in London, and for a while she got a lot of attention. It seemed relatively normal for a woman who came out of an abusive relationship and out of the closet to have a few relationships and take a while to find what she wants.

And while I saw the Patrick/Twilight parallels, I saw this more as a take-off of Buffy and Angel, made all the more hilarious because Boreanaz IMMEDIATELY came to mind when Hall described him as "gorgeous in a boy-band sort of way".

I can see how the Middle English through some people off, but I skimmed over it. The main character couldn't understand him very well and we were seeing/hearing this through her, so it made sense to me to not have a translation.

This book has a rocky first half, no doubt about it. Wading through it and finishing the book made it worth it to me, and I'm curious to read the second book sometime in the future.

message 34: by Candyinmyheels (new)

Candyinmyheels | 24 comments Wow, not much love for Iron and Velvet so far. I enjoyed it! It was a nice palate cleanser after I finished a bunch of serious nonfiction books. I cared about the heroine and wanted her to make it out alive. I enjoyed the British slang and the setting in London. The sex scenes were hot.

message 35: by Carly (new)

Carly Crusade | 51 comments I thought this book was quick and fun. I enjoyed it despite it's flaws. It definitely isn't something you can take too seriously. I found it annoying that everyone was instantly attracted to the main character but now that I've read others' comments about this being a parody I can see why the author did that. It was definitely funny at times though some of the jokes were just dumb and/or reaching too far. I also agree with a lot of the comments above about it being repetitive. Every time the author used the "Here lies Kate blah blah blah" line I almost put the book down. I found Kate to be annoyingly immature. I also think the book was a little sloppy and had way too much going on.

Also, did anyone else notice the Anne Rice diss? I don't care if it's a parody you just don't do that.

With all that said I still found it entertaining and mildly enjoyable.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

This was my very first Vaginal Fantasy read. I've been watching for a while just because I enjoy our lovely hosts, but as a gay woman I'm not particularly interested in reading straight romance. So I was excited to see a lesbian pick this month and finally get the chance to read along!

I thought this book was a fun read. My biggest issue with it was the seemingly important backstories that are mentioned in passing but never fully explained (Kate's dead partner, whatever happened with Patrick, her relationship with Nimue, etc.). And, yeah, it was overly referential and there were odd repetitive bits that really should have been cut out in editing. I wasn't hugely bothered by those things though.

I did find the romance a bit disappointing. I wasn't really into Julian and kind of wanted Kate to get back with Nimue the whole time. I mean, sure, Julian is the vampire god of sex or whatever, but Nimue seemed way more romance-worthy. Kate and Julian didn't seem to have any kind of deeper connection worthy of staging a heroic, daring rescue for.

Basically, it had its problems but it was very funny at parts and kept me entertained so-- I give it a B-.

message 37: by Frakki (new)

Frakki Karu | 509 comments What I'm liking so far is that women are the bosses in each group/family so far. Even without the w/w romance, that is a nice change.

I'm only a few chapters in and I'm a bit lost. Is this series an extension of another series? It feels like there's a lot of history I'm missing, such as the death of her partner. She also mentioned some wars. Will that be explained? Or should I just roll with it?

message 38: by Frakki (new)

Frakki Karu | 509 comments An all-night blues and pudding bar? Is that a thing?

message 39: by Gary (new)

Gary Frakki wrote: "An all-night blues and pudding bar? Is that a thing?"

Huh. Apparently, it is a thing. A quick Google search for "all night pudding bar" turned up:
The Coolest Late-Night Dessert Bars In London - Marie Claire

The Pudding Bar, Greek Street

Perfect for: Puddings with a glass of Pinot.

New pop-up, The Pudding Bar (open until Jan 2015) is situated in the heart of Soho, opposite celebrity hotspot Soho House. It’s the coolest new hangout where you can enjoy a bottle of prosecco to wash down one of their Banofee Delights.
Full article:

Four stars on Yelp, which is pretty good. Hopefully it won't get reviewed by either trolls of the Internet kind or trolls of the urban fantasy kind.

message 40: by Candyinmyheels (new)

Candyinmyheels | 24 comments Frakki, there's a lot of backstory that's briefly mentioned and never explained much. I think there were a few things that the author revisited later. Just go with it.
I found some of it intriguing. Maybe it comes back in later books in the series.

message 41: by Annalies (new)

Annalies | 4 comments Was anyone else kinda disappointed by the sexy times? I love Julian and I thought the other characters were fun and interesting but well I've read other books by this author and i couldn't help but wish they'd decided to make this story a m/m bc tbh that's definitely where they shine.

message 42: by Kate (new)

Kate (kilotangobravo) | 27 comments I loved it. I thought Julian was sexy, I thought Kate was appropriately wry in that Sam Spade, Harry Dresden model (I think my enjoyment was enhanced from listening to nine Dresden Files books in a row last year) and I thought the book really shined when it was weirdly funny. That scene with the sad washing machine really got me, for example.

I wish there had been more sexytimes, but I enjoyed the sex scenes that were there. I need more books in my life with good F/F sex scenes.

I do think "Iron & Velvet" suffered from first book (or early book?) - itis. I read Hall's more recent "For Real" earlier this year and it is now one of my favorite books ever. The characterization was so multi-dimensional it was almost painful. I think "Iron & Velvet" could benefit from that level of writing. Kate is fun for one-liners, but I would have liked to know more of her inner self. And Julian! The hints we get of her past! Oh man! I would kill for a book all about her. Less "sweetings", more conflicted former ninja nun!

Overall, this was a 4 star read for me and I'll definitely been reading book 2.

message 43: by Ami (new)

Ami Powell | 1 comments I liked it! I love detective/noir novels and I liked the light airy style. I loved every single "..... Beloved daughter. Sorely missed." I laughed a lot. No, this isn't Raymond Chandler. It was a decent little murder mystery. It's paranormal detective work. I liked it better than the last vampire murder mystery. Kate wasn't a complete twat. I never understand paranormal stories when the character is thrust into a vampire/demon/angel infested world and they are just total whiny brats about everything. It's irritating. Kate rolls with it. She was a cool chick, I'd have a whiskey with her fo' sho'. I'm gonna read the next one.

message 44: by Casey (new)

Casey (casey_lovescritters) | 11 comments Iron and Velvet grew on me by the end. In the beginning I found the quick, choppy writing style to be hard to follow, and there were way to many references to the main character's backstory. Felt like I was in at least the second book of a series.

Once the narrative focused on following leads of the mystery, I found myself enjoying it. I was entertained.

Everyone throwing themselves at Kate made me assume it was because of her faery blood - that's a common trope - rather than her just being very desirable on her own. I would think she's not smelling so great with all the drinking and re-wearing old clothes.

Overall, I was entertained, even if the beginning was rough.

message 45: by Gary (new)

Gary Casey wrote: "Overall, I was entertained, even if the beginning was rough."

I'm not quite finished yet, but it did seem to hit a stride at about the midpoint or so. I still have a few quibbles, and I'm withholding judgment until I'm done, but the latter half of the book is a smoother read. It's possible that I've just grown accustomed to it, but I don't think that's the case.

message 46: by Bex (new)

Bex | 4 comments Jenn wrote: "The repetitions were other places also. Every time we see Nimue..."

That bugged me! I went back and marked down the pages where it happened. It is literally the same wording all three times. That's really something an editor should have caught, unless the author was doing it deliberately. Which, if he was, I cannot fathom why.

I didn't know this was supposed to be a parody, either. I thought it was easy to read, got through it in less than twenty four hours. Amateur things like repeating established information bothered me, but not enough to stop reading.

ALL of the female characters, and Patrick, falling all over Kate was a bit much. But, if it's a parody of a detective novel, then it makes sense. It just seemed a little too coincidental that all these women are gay. I get that Kate is part faerie and they have a hypnotic draw, much like vampires, but it can't be that easy for her to pull, can it?

Overall I didn't hate or love the story. It was a bit confusing. There were a lot of red herrings, almost too many, before we found the actual evil-doer. Then his motivation being "because it's in my story now" was anticlimactic.
But the secondary characters were fun and dynamic. I wish we'd seen more of some of them than we do. Or that there were fewer of them so we could have really gotten to know them: like Jack, or the Incubus guy, or the drag queen vampire.
Also: Eve? Kate b*tched about Eve so much I was sure we were going to meet her, then we didn't. So why mention her at all?

message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

It wasn't my favorite, but I did enjoy Iron & Velvet. I thought the world and magic were interesting, even though I did feel as if we were just thrown in the middle with sometimes little explanation. But I did like that Kate was already established in the world.

I didn't get that it was supposed to be some big parody, I just thought that Hall was poking fun at some vamp and werewolf tropes, and I can appreciate that. I also appreciated all the role reversal; the prince of cups was a female, the alpha werewolf was a female, the sexy eye candy was male (ashriel), the club's bouncer was a woman, even the plumber was a woman.

However, was a lot of repetition, some of it a style choice which didn't bother me, but some of it was just poor editing and that was kind of annoying. I noticed that a lot of people found the the old English annoying, but Kate couldn't understand him, so it didn't bother me that it wasn't translated.

And lastly, just a list of things I liked about this book: a living statue who considers the feelings of a washing machine; how often Kate says "fuck;" ninja nuns who hunt the supernatural; zombie ninja nuns who hunt the supernatural; the amazingly gross King of the Court of Love and his sewer knights; "Here lies Kate Kane. Killed.... Beloved Daughter. Sorely Missed." Which I read in Bridget Jones's voice.

message 48: by Shaitarn (new)

Shaitarn | 23 comments It was okay; I think I was expecting a darker book and was kind of disappointed that this one wasn't. I would've liked more information on the backstory and if the author writes a prequel about ninja pudding nuns, I'm totally up for it!

BTW, did anyone else think everyone falling for Kate was a shot at the UF/PNR books were the main (female) character is always hit on by just about every male she comes across?

Two stars, plus one for the tentacle monster.

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