My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/biting-oz-by-mary-hughes
Gunter Marie “Junior” Stieg has had family duty practically beaten into her brain with a sausage stick. But though she loves her parents, Junior wants more than a life spent in her hometown of Meiers Corners. She wants to make it to New York City, and the local production of Oz, Wonderful Oz is her chance. Junior’s playing in the pit orchestra, and if the show’s a success, she’s on her way to Broadway. There’re just a few not-so-minor roadblocks on this particular yellow brick road. Someone is threatening Mishela, the show’s star, and Junior finds herself lusting after the young woman’s bodyguard. Glynn Rhys-Jenkins is a distraction Junior can’t afford…and a temptation she can’t resist. As the threats against Mishela, the musical, and Meiers Corners itself mount, Junior is drawn into a paranormal battle that could ruin everything she holds dear. To save her town, Junior must come to terms with her own feelings, including the newfound love she has for Glynn.
Pulse-pounding danger meets slapstick sausage and cheese wars in the quirky Biting Oz. Author Mary Hughes has a way of blending sensuality, danger, and over-the-top oddness in a way few authors ever could, which is why I simply adore her books.
Junior is a woman on a mission; she wants to make her dreams a reality while still being a good daughter. I admired Junior for both her ambition and her love for her family. Though I adore Meiers Corners and there is something truly special about the town and its residents, there can be something almost claustrophobic about living in such a close-knit town. What Junior needed was to find her own balance, and it was wonderful to watch her come into her own and truly uncover what it was she wanted in Biting Oz. As for Glynn… Can I borrow a phrase from a previous Biting Love heroine and say “Holy Donut!”? Glynn is a too-sexy-for-words vampire who could make any woman fall head over heels in lust. He also had a vulnerable side that made me want to hug him. Quite simply, I loved Glynn. And, as with all of Ms. Hughes’s heroes, I’d even go so far as to say I’d wade through a flood of pistachio fluff if I had to for a chance to get a hero like Glynn.
Speaking of pistachio fluff (don’t worry – you’ll witness the horror of that food-like item if you read Biting Oz), the town of Meiers Corners is even more madcap than usual in Biting Oz. There were times the slapstick was a bit too much for me, but that’s simply a personal preference. My affection for the town has grown from the first few Biting Love novels and because I was so attached to Meiers Corners, the stakes of the battle between good and evil in Biting Oz were all the higher for me. This time around, the town’s in serious danger, and though I won’t spoil what happens, suffice it to say that the action of the book will have you every bit as engaged as the romance between Junior and Glynn.
Biting Oz is the fifth novel in the Biting Love series and though it can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading Bite My Fire, Biting Nixie, The Bite of Silence, and Biting Me Softly first. Readers new to the series might miss out on some of the enjoyment that comes from having grown attached to characters from previous books, most of whom play strong supporting roles in Biting Oz. In addition to old favorites, Ms. Hughes has a plethora of unmatched characters in Biting Oz whose stories I am anxious for, most notably Mishela, Rocky, and “Scary Ancient Dude” himself, Kai Elias. So while I finished Biting Oz a well satisfied reader, I am already eager for my next Biting Love fix!