by Kate SeRine
Published by Kensington Publishing
Book 1 in the Transplanted Tales series
“My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.”
Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little—a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood—has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned—she’s not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red’s new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters…
Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red’s old flames. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there’s one thing Red knows for sure, it’s that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences…
Urban Fairytale Retelling - Romance
Red by Kate SeRine is the first book in her Transplanted Tales series, and centers around Tess Little - aka Little Red Riding Hood. When a spell doesn't go as expected in the world of Make Believe, several characters were transplanted to the ordinary world - including Tess Little. They have made a little niche in the world for them, and Tess does what she can to help her fellow Tales as an enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. When Tess finds outs that the top 3 suspects are Tess's ex-lovers , she is forced to partner up with the top detective of the FMA - Nate Grimm, who also happens to be a part time reaper. Not used to having a partner, Tess doesn't know what to expect, or if she can trust the sexy and mysterious Nate.
This series has been on my TBR for a couple of years now, and after reading a short story related to the series in Shifters & Mistletoe, I knew I wanted to read these books sooner rather than later. I actually was looking for books on kindle unlimited, and when I saw Red was available, I knew it was time to jump in. And despite me trying to save my money, I did end up purchasing the rest of the books because I really enjoyed this book. It's unique, adult spin on Little Red Riding Hood. Its a fun, sexy retelling. The plot is intriguing, and romance is top notch. It's definitely not as steamy as I am used to, but its not fade to black. More ... tame. I don't want to give anything away, but one of the things I appreciated was just how different Kate SeRine made this story. I would have been expecting Red to end up with the "Big Bad Wolf" - and don't get me wrong, there is a story there - but Kate brought in Nate Grimm, and I gotta say, I love him. For a reaper, he is adorable. It just works. And it ends in a way where the story can (and does) continue. And because I don't want to give Nate all my love, I also loved Tess 'Red' Little. I love a kick ass woman who doesn't apologize for owning who she is and who she is with.
If you enjoy retellings of your favorite childhood stories, but with an adult twist, you will love Red. Strong heroine - check! Handsome, trustworthy, strong hero - check! Entertaining plot with a side of romance - you got it! You will love this one, I promise you.
Tess: “I’m not a fairytale,”
Tess: “I’m a parable. A moral. And a misguided one at that. The first time I heard my own story it was being told to a group of young girls as a cautionary tale about the evils of men and sexuality!” Nate: “When were you two together?”
I glanced at the lights above the elevator, wondering if the damn thing was even in service.
Tess: “It was after that. He made me dinner.”
A smug grin slowly curved Nate’s lips.
Nate: “So, the way to your heart is through your stomach? I thought that was just a guy thing.”
I squared my shoulders and mentally pleaded with the elevator to get its ass in gear.
Tess: “Girl’s gotta eat.”
Nate crossed his arms and leaned casually against the wall, regarding me with open amusement.
Nate: “So since I made you breakfast . . .”
I shot him a deadly look as the elevator finally arrived.
Tess: “Don’t even go there.” Tess: “Smack my ass again, Caliban, and I’ll arrest you for assault.”
Caliban: “Once upon a time you wouldn’t have minded a good smack on the ass. . . .”
I closed my eyes and counted to ten. Twice. This was going to be a long day. Tess: “Thanks for the sandwich,”
I mumbled around a mouthful of pure heaven.
Tess: “This is delicious.”
Nate gave me a self-satisfied smile.
Nate: “Thanks. It’s the herbed mayonnaise. I mixed it myself. If you’re nice to me, maybe I’ll give you the recipe.”
Tess: “Don’t bother. I don’t cook.”
Nate lifted his brows.
Nate: “Not at all?”
Nate: “But you love to eat.”
Tess: “So does a dog. Doesn’t mean it cooks.” Tess: “This is Red.”
Vlad: “Hello, little one.” Vlad: “I have been a very good vampire. I have not killed a single soul since being rehabilitated by you.”
Tess: “God, Vlad, you make that sound dirty,”
I grumbled, searching his office for my shirt and missing boot. Gran shot me an irritated glance.
Gran: “I am just saying that he has gone out of his way for you. He seems like a perfect gentleman. And he certainly is handsome enough.”
Tess: “I’ll give you that last one. But he’s also a Reaper, Gran.”
She polished off the brownie and brushed the crumbs from her hands.
Gran: “Well, we all have our idiosyncrasies.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Tess: “Idiosyncrasies? Gran, he’s Death. Capital D.”
Gran: “Yes, dear, I know. You said that already. What is your point exactly?” I didn’t even know how to finish the thought. I just want to explore every inch of your amazing body . . . with my tongue seemed a bit too forward. Tess: “You’re an ass,”
I teased, taking a swing at his arm as he tried to dart away. He laughed, rubbing at his upper arm where I’d slugged him.
Nate: “Ah, but you love me.”
I tossed a crooked smile over my shoulder as I headed out of the kitchen.
Tess: “I love your scrambled eggs,”
I corrected. When I heard him chuckle, I paused and turned around just a little, suddenly feeling nervous.
Tess: “But I have to admit, I do kinda like having you around.”
Nate: “Good thing,”
Nate said, strolling toward me. He leaned a shoulder against the door frame, slouching in such a casual way that his face was alarmingly close to mine.
Tess: “Why’s that?”
I managed to ask, my voice sounding annoyingly breathless. Nate dipped his head a little lower, and for a moment, I forgot to breathe. But then he gave me a chuck on the chin and offered me that wide, cocky smirk of his.
Nate: “Because you’re taking so long to get ready, I’ll be here forever.” Gran: “I sent your clothes to the laundry,”
Gran explained, thrusting the bag at me,
Gran: “and brought you some fresh ones.”
She leaned toward me and lowered her voice, but not nearly low enough, as she said,
Gran: “I had difficulty finding panties, though, dear. Those little scraps you wear get lost in your delicates drawer.”
I saw Eddie try to hide a smile, then glanced at Nate, who didn’t even bother.
Tess: “Thanks, Gran,”
I mumbled, taking the bag.
Tess: “I’ll just go change.”
Gran: “Yes, do, my darling,”
Gran said, brushing my damp hair back from my eyes.
Gran: “You will feel better once you’re back in your own things. These hospital gowns are so uncomfortable, especially with the back hanging open—of course, you don’t seem to mind your backside hanging out if your style of undergarments is any indication.”
I groaned. Nate: “Why don’t we head home,”
Nate replied, his steps purposeful as he strode toward the doors to the ballroom.
Nate: “We can talk there.”
Tess: “Afraid I’ll make a scene?”
I called to his back. Nate’s steps halted, and his head hung down between his shoulders.
Tess: “Damn. I was only joking. This must be a real pisser.”
Nate: “I’m in love with you,”
Nate blurted. I swear I didn’t breathe for a good thirty seconds. When I finally exhaled, it burst from me as,
Nate turned back around and took a couple of steps toward me, but stopped short of arm’s length.
Nate: “I have been in love with you since the moment I saw you. I just wasn’t sure what to call it back then.” I was in love with Nate. And it wasn’t just a girl’s first love, or a lust-fueled infatuation, or even the cautious love of one too afraid to follow where happiness might lead. This was the love of a woman whose heart had found its home. Tess: “Think you can keep up with me? Being an Enforcer requires some pretty strenuous physical activity. . . .”
Nate: “I think you’ll find my stamina equal to the task,”
he said, bending a little to nuzzle my neck, and setting my head spinning.
Nate: “Care for a demonstration?”
Tess: “God, yes,” Tess: “I mean, I understand why you lied to me, and I—”
Nate abruptly lifted his head and gave me an exasperated look.
Nate: “Shut up and let me love you.”