Let's check them off, shall we?
No brooding mysterious supernatural drop-dead gorgeous Alpha Males.
No lead character suddenly becoming more and more powerful and gaining every goddamned supernatural superpower under the sun.
No lead character having every single person of the opposite sex (or same,whatever)they meet, falling madly and passionately in love/lust with them.
No love triangle between lead, and a brooding mysterious supernatural drop-dead gorgeous yet perhaps slightly evil Alpha Male, and a powerful strong lighter yet still so drop-dead gorgeous other Alpha Male. With the two Alpha Males being on opposite ends of the supernatural creature scale.
No graphic sex scenes.
No falling in love/lust the second they meet each other,then running circles around each other while the lead tries to deny the obvious lust and instant horniness they experience every time they meet.
No saving the world and being the only person in the ENTIRE world able to do it.
No vampires. Or werewolves. Sparkly or otherwise.
See why I gave it 5 stars?
I'm very very close to completely giving up on ANY Urban Fantasy series that has a female lead character. I'm gravitating more and more towards the ones with male leads, regardless of whether the author is male or female. There's Mark del Franco's "Connor Grey" series. Anton Strout's "Simon Canderous" series. Kevin Hearne's "Hounded" series (oh the LOVE I have for Atticus and Oberon!). And now, to add to my list of series to continue reading and to continue loving is K A Stewart's Jesse James Dawson series.
I am so very very very
tired of female protagonists in Urban Fantasy, who are ALL involved in bloody love triangles (usually between a vampire and werewolf, or mage and demon), who ALL have deep dark tortured souls and lives, who ALL fall madly in love or lust with the Alpha Male the second they meet (I love and adore my husband, but I can tell you honestly, that I did NOT get short of breath, or nearly faint from the emotions, or was mesmerized by his eyes, or grow instantly wet with horniness and decided I must have him right NOW, when I first met him. It took time for all those things to happen *laughs* ), who ALL have intense physical battles and yet seem to shake off the injuries very easily, and who ALL gain in power until they are The Most Powerful and Greatest Kick Ass Heroine in All the Worlds.
So damn tired.
So along comes Jesse James Dawson. He's one of a group of Champions. Those who have sold their souls to demons to gain whatever it is they want in life, come to the Champions, who then battle said demons to have the soul returned. Putting up their own soul in return.
If you're at all intersted in this series, no doubt you've read other reviews that detail the plot of the story. So I'm not going to rehash here. I want to talk about Jesse.
He's married. He has a kid. He ends up in hospital quite regularly due to injuries sustained in the battles. He's not rich, so he works part-time in a dead-end retail job to help pay the bills - which are mainly from his hospital stays and doctor bills. He worries about money and being able to pay those bills. He worries about being able to pay the college bills when his daughter grows up. He worries about his wife, who is a witch, and the effect her magic causes on her health and well-being.
He's also snarky as all get-out, which is a major plus in my book. I LOVE the snarkiness. Humour to me, is a MUST in urban fantasy. We've gotta have those pithy one-liners. Jesse has no magic - he relies on the protective wards his wife does, and his sword and strength. He's not stronger than the average man, he has no superpowers. He's just a normal damn bloke fighting for something he believes in, and to help those who need it. He doesn't drive a fancy bitchin' motorcycle, he doesn't suddenly become more powerful or stronger than anyone else, he doesn't save the world.
He saves people's souls, one at a time.