Jill Shalvis takes a detour from her usual fare in her newest book, Out of This World, published by Kensington’s Brava imprint. Out of this World is different from Shalvis’ previous books in that this book is a paranormal romance and is told in the first person.
Rachel Bond has just inherited a bed and breakfast from her crazy great-aunt Gertrude. Aside from the fact that Rachel doesn’t know anything about running a B&B, this particular B&B is located in the wilds of Alaska. It’s accessible only by a tiny plane that comes once a week – luckily for Rachel, it’s making a special trip to pick her and best friend Kellan up at the end of the weekend. When they arrive to scope things out, they’re just planning on checking in and checking out. Unfortunately, within five minutes of landing Kel and Rach realize that everything isn’t as idyllic as they originally thought. They must hike miles to get to the main house, the cook isn’t worth her salt, and the guide gets lost with a map. In case things weren’t enough fun, on a hike with Axel, the hapless guide, both Kel and Rach get struck by lightning.
Getting struck by lightening, while a harrowing experience, appears to have its benefits. Rachel can now see through things – clothing included – and Kellan has Superman-level strength. All of a sudden, Rachel is hit with an onslaught of lustful feelings toward Kellan, and she can see (x-ray vision, remember) that he’s feeling similarly. While stuck in the wilds of Alaska, Rachel and Kellan must figure out the mystery surrounding this crazy B&B, as well as determine whether or not the feelings they have toward each other are a result of all of the weird things that have been happening to them or if they’re experiencing the real thing. And if they want to leave the B&B alive, they need to fight off bloodthirsty pirates. So much for a relaxing little weekend in Alaska.
Out of This World is a fun, fast read, perfect for those who like their paranormals light and without a lot of world building. The world in Out of This World is just like ours, except there are some crazy things that go on - and some people have special powers. Shalvis does a wonderful job of keeping Out of This World grounded just enough in the real world that fans of her usual fare should not be scared off by the paranormal label. My only complaint with this novel is that the ending seems to be slightly out of step with the rest of the story. What appears at the beginning to be a light, quirky and (mostly) contemporary romance veers off into a dark and violent arena near the end. The ending notwithstanding though, Out of This World is a thoroughly enjoyable read and it will leave fans wanting for another story set in this world.