Review: The Surrender Gate (Desire Exchange #1) by Christopher Rice

Surrender GateAfter reading the novella set in the same universe, I immediately purchased the author’s full-length novel. And while I enjoyed it for what it was, a paranormal romance with plenty of erotic moments, I wasn’t as blown away as I was by my first experience with Rice’s writing. 

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters, from the main three to each of the supporting cast. This story also took the “paranormal” concept and added an interesting little spin — the main hero and heroine are 100 percent human, and they are both experiencing the supernatural elements of this world together. However, though the supernatural gave Emily a bit of a nudge regarding her life, I think the relationship would have developed without the external influence. All the magic did was push along a bit of character development.

My largest quibble is the uneven tone. Moments of inappropriate levity that didn’t fit the atmosphere the author had created. I think I’d happily read another book with these exact characters, but I’d rather it be a straight romantic thriller rather than the paranormal romance of this tale. Mashing in the paranormal gave me the impression of a cross-over fanfiction story rather than a wholly developed world, especially since very few answers about the not-quite-human characters are answered.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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