Soulless (Parasol Protectorate Series #1) -
The Parasol Protectorate is a new to me Steampunk/Paranormal series that introduces one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time: The Soulless Alexis Tarabotti. Alexis is thus designated because she is essentially without a soul and her ability to negate the powers of the supernatural make her an extremely rare creature indeed. If that isn’t bad enough she is also a spinster (although well off) and has an unfortunately large nose thanks to her deceased Italian father (she mentions this repeatedly). Despite these unavoidable setbacks Alexis is determined not to let any of them bother her; speaking her mind, decidedly not hiding her intelligence and wit and lovable (to me) sense of humor. Things get sticky however when Alexis is inexplicably attacked by a vampire and the crime is investigated by Alpha werewolf and Head of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, Lord Conall Maccon. While they race to solve the mystery of unaffiliated and disappearing vampires their courtship blossoms and the forthright Lord Maccon (he is an alpha werewolf after all!) realizes that Alexis is quite the right match for him. As he pursues her and she retreats, they draw close to the real culprit behind the strange goings on and get thrown together (and drawn apart) in confrontations both dangerous and hysterical!A great, fun read, I will seeing more of Alexis Tarbotti and her deadly parasol!