Whatever for Hire

A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count)

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
324 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Bad things happen when the devil is bored; fortunately, Kanika seems to have captured his attention. His unwanted help in rescuing a cat from a tree had been the catalyst, leaving her with a debt and giving him a personal invitation to come and manipulate her. He had great plans for her. But she was no fool; she knew better than to play with the devil... She had known better. Yet now he was one of her clients, and he had made an offer too tempting to refuse. All she had to do was sign something, without reading it, and accept the first job he sent her way as repayment for a debt. What she didn't expect was for things to be so complicated. A kidnapping gone wrong sees her victim turn the tide, but had he not, then they would never have uncovered the undead plague that afflicted the world, a problem that if not reined in could spell the end of days.

The narrative in Whatever for Hire is so brilliant that you will struggle to tear yourself away for even a minute. The story has a great humour to it, and the first person narrative holds true to Kanika's character perfectly. I enjoyed every minute of this book, from the flippancy of Kanika when dealing with the devil, seeing how far she could push her luck, to her awesome, if somewhat unreliable, shifting abilities. There is a lot to this plot, and it certainly went beyond what I expected. R.J. Blain has written an amazing paranormal romance/urban fantasy where you can't help but hope for the characters to get together. This is helped by the fact that they are so believable. There are questions about Malcolm that will plague you until the moment of truth, and the added bonus of the mystery surrounding Kanika herself, but all that pales when placed beside a plot which just keeps getting better. Brilliantly written, full of action, mystery, suspense, romance, revenge, and more than a little interference from Heaven and Hell.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Kanika could never have anticipated that rescuing a cat with a misspelt name would lead to a job offer from Satan. What’s even worse is that Satan seems to like her. All Kanika has to do is accept the next job she’s offered through her mercenary business, Whatever for Hire. Kidnapping is a tricky business, but when her target is a smoking hot firefighter with a penchant for rescuing puppies and kittens, Kanika almost believes she’s gotten lucky. Then somebody sends a pyro to kill her and Satan shows up with a friendly wager. Where the devil is concerned, every gift horse needs to be looked in the mouth.

RJ Blain’s skill for writing sassy, funny, and sexy urban fantasy hits all the right spots in Whatever for Hire, the fourth book of Blain’s Magical Romantic Comedies. Blain keeps readers on their toes as the plot evolves with every seemingly random twist and turn advancing the story in unexpected ways. Some of these points come across as being a little contrived, but my main complaint is that at least one concept is introduced that’s never followed up on. There’s a huge focus on physical attractiveness that’s accompanied by mutual sexual objectification between Kanika and Malcolm rather than the mushier brand of romance. It would be excessive if not for a vague satiric undertone. I loved Kanika’s uneasy acquaintance with Satan and the hilarity that usually accompanies their conversations. Although it runs a little long, Whatever for Hire entertains from page one to its fascinating conclusion.

Liz Konkel

Whatever for Hire by RJ Blain finds Kanika in way over her head. Kanika was only trying to get a cat out of a tree when the devil pays her an annoying visit and she ends up owing him a favor, which leads her to taking a job to abduct a handsome man who's willing to risk his life to rescue kittens. Should be easy, right? Wrong. Everything was going fine until someone sets their car on fire and nearly kills her. Now she wants revenge. Soon she finds herself making yet another bargain with the devil and signing paperwork she's not allowed to read. When she notices an increase in dead people, all roads lead to a group called Wishing Well, which has been bargaining for souls, right before these people died in suspicious circumstances. Somehow she's found herself in the center of it all as she works to uncover the truth, figure out who's trying to kill her, get the upper hand over a rich family, and figure out the devil's ulterior motive.

The humor runs rampant throughout the story with puns, jokes, and chaos often at Kanika's expense or inadvertently caused by her. RJ Blain includes several fun cat puns as Kanika turns into various beings, including one that is a cat. Cat lovers will have fun with Kanika. The elements of romantic comedy are campy, flirty, and entirely fun. Blain weaves together several mythological and magical creatures for an action-packed joyride, including Egyptian mythology. Kanika encounters dead men wanting to be vampires, mummies with attitude, large personality devils, and much more. The relationship between Kanika and Malcolm is full of chemistry and connection, but also contains some heart and humor as they're an equal match of wit and power. Kanika is a wanderer and has this spunky attitude you can't help loving. Her voice is realistic and sarcastic, her attitude perfectly fitted to her Sphinx and cat-like nature. She's a feisty heroine who doesn't try to be a hero and constantly leaves chaos in her wake without even trying. Malcolm is the dashing and handsome prince type, except he's snarky and in many ways he's more of a trickster than a prince, but full of charm either way. This is what makes them a perfect match to the other.

Whatever for Hire is a funny good time with memorable moments, including Kanika dealing with sitting next to a dead guy on a plane and getting drugged up in the hospital by pixie dust. Blain has a unique voice and take on mythology in a way that hasn't been seen before. Most of the focus is on bargaining and making deals with the devil, while also exploring the idea of the soul, love, and curses. The idea of devils and demons is done in a new way that's a little eccentric and campy, while also being gritty and dangerous. There's a lot of charm in the devil calling her cupcake and constantly meddling in her life. Blain includes social commentary throughout which is often included in either a humorous way or a justice served way. You'll find nothing else like Whatever for Hire. The humor is spot-on, the dialogue is clever, the mythology merges with urban fantasy to create a whole new idea of magic, the romance is flirty and fun, and the characters are full of snark and completely brilliant.

Ruffina Oserio

Whatever for Hire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) by RJ Blain is a hilarious story with exceptional characters, a tale that introduces Mephistopheles at the very beginning and leads readers from one hilarious piece of mischief to the next. When Kanika accepts to rescue Miss Angorra’s cat from a tree for fifty dollars, she believes it will be an easy job, but little does she know that she is walking into the devil's trap. Now she's got a debt to pay to the devil and the life of her kitten-rescuing Scot is on the line. Then there is Malcolm Findlay Stewart, a very handsome, clever, black-sheep-of-the-family go-getter, who gets on Kanika's nerves. A very bad move for him.

This is one hell of a humorous ride and readers will surely be captivated by the protagonist, a character who is many things in one, besides being a woman who attracts the attention of the devil. The narrative is excellent and the diction exquisite. Told in a down-to-earth style and in the first person narrative, the story pulls readers into the worldview of the protagonist. The scenes are well-written, balanced, and focused. While the narrative is filled with vivid and cinematic descriptions, one of RJ Blain's fortes is the sense of humor that is injected into the narrative. The narrator has a unique way of expressing things and there is a mischievousness that comes across in a way that will arrest the attention of any reader and hold it till the very last satisfying sentence. Whatever for Hire: a Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) features romance, family themes, and magic, a well-crafted story that keeps readers rooting for the well-developed characters. The best escape I have had in a while.

Sierra Edelen

Work isn’t always easy to find, especially when you are a drifter like Kanika. So she starts her own business - Whatever for Hire. And that is where all her troubles and the biggest change in her life come from. In the middle of rescuing a cat from a tree, she ends up making a deal with Mephistopheles, the devil. The deal is to work a couple of jobs for him, and she cannot refuse the first one he gives her. With this deal in hand, Kanika is hired to kidnap a handsome man by the name of Malcolm Findlay Stewart. It’s supposed to be a live job, just keep him out of the way for a while, but will she be able to survive for that long? Without compromising her morals? RJ Blain takes us for a wild ride in Whatever for Hire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count).

Whatever for Hire is a fiction-based action thriller of the fantasy variety, while still having wonderful elements of comedy and romance. It is artfully done as it mixes just the right amounts of action and comedy at just the right times, playing with the reader's emotions, keeping them on the edge of their seat one moment and lying down in it the next from laughing so hard with Kanika’s antics. The flow of the words and the plot are also just as smooth, throwing in just enough interesting words and scenes to make this book very enjoyable. Learning that RJ Blain has more books of the same variety makes me excited to read more from this author.