Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert
Published by Cedar Fort
Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Olivia is the kind of person who prefers to live in solitude. She doesn’t have friends, lives alone, and spends her days going to work and back at the small coffee shop where she makes a living. One night, her depression overtakes her and her suicide attempt very well would have been successful if not for the neighbor who saved her and called the ambulance in time. Although Olivia doesn’t like to be around other people as a rule, she is curious enough about the man who rescued her to seek him out and get some answers about why he would go out of his way for a complete stranger. What she finds with this stranger is not at all what she anticipated, and her life begins to change in unexpected ways.
Emerald City was an interesting read for me. It almost felt like two separate books, as the first half is completely different from the second half. Basically what happens (as spoiler-free as possible) is that Olivia falls for her savior, Jude. They have this incredibly intense but platonic friendship, in which Olivia is in love with Jude and it seems like he feels the same way but nothing really comes of it. But at about two-thirds of the way through the book, Jude reveals that he is not who he appears to be. He is otherworldly, and Olivia must choose to accept that about him and love him anyway, or move on with her life. Jude also must make a huge decision in regards to their relationship.
Had I known this book was a paranormal romance, I’m not sure I would have picked it up; however, I did enjoy the book quite a bit so for that I’m glad I read it. I was completely invested in Olivia’s story from the first page – her suicide attempt is what Leppert begins the book with, so I was sucked into the pages immediately. While the romance between Olivia and Jude is not a real romance by any means, and completely chaste, I was still addicted to finding out if something would actually happen between the two of them, so that kept me compulsively turning the pages.
The ending of the novel definitely felt rushed to me, and I’m not sure I can say the writing was anything special. However, those are minor complaints because honestly I had a difficult time putting this book down. Emerald City is the kind of book I like to call “brain candy” but sometimes that’s exactly the type of read I’m looking for. I definitely enjoyed this novel and would recommend it, even if you don’t typically read paranormal romance. It might surprise you.