Okay, full disclosure – I know Amy Bellows. Sort of. Amy and I know each other in that way that writers who live on opposite sides of the world and have connected online know each other and I’m a fan. I love her shifter stories – in particular her penguins – and I love dragons so I figured Expensive was going to be good.
Every now and then as a writer you read something that makes you put your book (electronic or paper) down, take a breath and whisper “Wow! I wish I could write like that.” Expensive did that for me.
Andrew, the dragon shifter, is so endearing – he’s earnest and sweet, innocent yet resigned if not outright cynical. I wanted to gather him up and protect him from all that is bad in his world. When he makes his first sacrifice – like everything about Andrew, it was a heartbreaking dichotomy, both massive and minor that you know is going to end with tears. His and yours.
Timber is every good guy dressed up in tough, rough, and probably trouble that you can dream of – and I admit I have an even bigger weakness for those than I do for sweet and vulnerable (I’m complicated, what can I say?). His unique challenges allow him to understand Andrew’s without dismissing them or judging them and even before you meet him, he is every bit the hero Andrew needs.
The writing in this book is pared back without ever lacking in impact. The world building is stunning: beautifully crafted and painstakingly constructed to give a seamless continuity between the fantastical and the mundane without ever feeling you have been removed from the story.
Expensive has Amy’s trademark steamy nesting and egg moments and as always the scene is both heated and heartwarming. If you’ve read Amy’s penguin shifters you’ll understand, and won’t be disappointed. If this is your first book of Amy’s – you’re in for a treat.
The thing that always impresses me with Amy is she has an exceptional skill for making the unbelievable not just believable but… normal. When I finished Expensive, I looked out my office window at the Southern Cross – thousands of miles from Amy’s sky and a whole world away from Andrews – and expected to see him soar overhead. I’d be lying if I said a part of me wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t.
Expensive was in a word stunning.