Series: Monster Haven #1
Author: R.L. Naquin
Pages: 272 (Kindle)
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: July 30, 2012
I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn't imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I'd seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?
After all, I've always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don't get me wrong, I like helping people--and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course...
Monster in My Closet was so freaking fun! It has the right balance of silly and dark. When it starts, Zoey is being reunited with Maurice, the monster who lived in her closet as a child. Of course, Zoey thinks he was just part of her childhood imagination, but soon learns that her mother did indeed allow him to live with them before she disappeared. Maurice cooks, cleans, and generally takes care of Zoey, so she lets him stay. Then other supernatural creatures start showing up, Zoey learns that she’s an empath, and she’s being stalked by a sex demon. Needless to say, her life just got infinitely more complicated.
I loved Zoey! She is so cute and funny and quirky! She’s a wedding planner with no fashion sense and an aversion to technology, but she gets the job done thanks to her uncanny ability to know exactly how the brides are feeling. Monster in My Closet does a really great job of establishing Zoey’s ability. It’s not that she’s just coming in her power, she just never knew that other people didn’t sense others emotions. It was great to see her struggle with that bit of information and see how blocking emotions changed how she interacted. For instance, she has no idea how to read body language, since that often doesn’t match up with a person’s true feelings. I just really liked how it was handled and explained.
The plot of Monster in My Closet was pretty great too. Zoey stumbles upon Sebastian, the incubus, on the street, and once he got a taste of all those emotions she collects, he can’t get enough. However, Zoey is now under magical protection, so he starts going after the brides that she’s working for. Now, it’s up to Zoey to stop him before he kills all of the women that she knows. There was one part of the plot that I had to roll my eyes at a bit. I couldn’t believe that Zoey didn’t realize what was happening to her best friend once she starts learning more about Sebastian’s abilities and motivations. It’s super obvious, but it took Zoey until the very end to see it. Oh well.
Monster in My Closet was just a lot of fun. It did a great job of introducing Zoey and some of the supernatural creatures who exist. There’s also a mystery surround her missing mother, which I suspect will be explored more in future books. And there’s a blossoming romance! I can’t wait to find out more about Riley!