This is the second book in a fantasy/romance/thriller trilogy set in present day Las Vegas. For nearly 2 years I lived in Las Vegas and am now always hyper-critical of movies, shows (I’m looking at you, CSI: Las Vegas!) and stories set in the area and Ms. Lamoree’s depiction of the entire town is just spot-on.
Rianna has recently started working for a “security consultation firm” in Las Vegas. They use her unique talents and abilities to zero in on gamblers who seem to have some unnaturally lucrative luck. Rianna works for the only psychic firm in town and feels highly underappreciated by her employer and even her friends. She wants nothing more than a chance to prove to the world that she actually isn’t just a run-of-the-mill psychic. She wants to prove that she has true potential and power.
The story begins in Red Rock Canyon (which just happens to be one of my favorite parts of Vegas) with Rianna, leading her non-supportive, out of town friends on a hike to perform a magic ritual. She means well, but the ritual has an unexpected outcome. As Rianna tries to unravel the mystery of her current situation, she becomes a large part of an even greater, more deadly issue and time is running out!
Grammar/Spelling: I didn’t notice any grammar or spelling issues.
Character Development: Never Smile at a Crocodile (I can never say the title enough!) has a fairly unique cast of characters. Even though the characters are all varying degrees of psychic, they are still easy to relate to, even for the less-than-psychic reader.
Somehow, either through magic or her amazing writing ability (maybe both?), Ms. Lamoree has managed to develop each character with the right amount of believability and understanding without giving away too much. She leaves the reader desiring of both more back story by reading the first in the series and continuing the story with the next book.
Rianna is idiosyncratic, eager to learn and has evidently been through some tough things without having her spirit dampened or losing the desire to please those around her. Through her eyes, the world seems a little brighter and, to her, all knowledge is worth having.
Writing Style: The story flows very easily and rather quickly, keeping the reader on edge of their proverbial seats. As I stated earlier, the details about Las Vegas’ layout, such as the location of the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) near Desert Inn Road were really great. I would have liked for more in-depth explanations regarding the characters’ psychic abilities and how each employee’s individual skills related to each other. Perhaps the next book will shed some light on their relationships.
Continuity: There were no issues with continuity.
Overall Rating: 4+
Never Smile at a Crocodile is a brilliant tale with great characters and a fast moving storyline. This book has the distinctive ability to stand alone from the other two novels in the trilogy or is a great addition to the series. I look forward to reading the previous volume, Painting the Roses Red, to learn a bit more about the characters and how they all came to be together. I would recommend this to anyone with even a moderate belief in fate, psychic abilities and love. Great work, Ms. Lamoree!