Saturday, 24 January 2015 / No comments

The Lost Souls Dating Agency by Suneeti Rekhari

Title: The Lost Souls Dating Agency
Author: Suneeti Rekhari
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Date of Publication: July 1st 2014
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher
Read: December 2014
Publisher's synopsis:
She started out as just an ordinary university student, but the sudden and unexpected inheritance of an unused warehouse on the industrial side of town throws Shalini’s life plan askew.

Drawing from her strengths, she decides to set up a matchmaking business, helping the lonely to find a soulmate. But something unusual happens, something unexpected—her first client doesn’t fit the regular profile. Victor is dark, handsome, emotionally available...and a vampire.

Suddenly Shalini’s already disrupted world becomes a place where rules no longer apply. She must learn to adapt to her new occupation of finding The One for a prospective clientele of vampires, shape-shifters, and other beings more likely to bite first and ask questions later. And there are those out there who are less than happy with her entrepreneurial spirit.

But just as Shalini begins to think she can cope with anything, she discovers that she has bitten off more than she can chew, and played with powerful forces that have the potential to not only destroy the Lost Souls Dating Agency—but Shalini herself.


 When Shalini's adopted uncle disappears, she discovers that she inherited a warehouse in an  industrial area not far from her Kensington home. There she discovers a strange clock which won't be removed from the wall, and a newspaper, The Mythical Weekly, aimed at supernaturals. Quickly accepting that this isn't a hoax and that supernatural creatures do exist, she decides that vampires and other mythical creatures must have just as much trouble finding love as she and her friends do, and so sets up a dating agency exclusively for them. 

Her first client, Victor, is a vampire who is sick of dating undead women and wants to find a human wife. Shalini knows just the woman, but other vampires aren't terribly happy about one of their own mixing with humans, it's beneath them. 

With no knowledge of the supernatural world, it's initially difficult for Shalini to find matches for her clients, but soon she becomes more involved in supernatural affairs than she would like. It's not long before she and her friends are in danger, and Shalini must find a way to save them all, while completing her third year of university and navigating her own fledgling romance.

I liked the Melbourne locations, with places like Melbourne University, Highpoint and South Yarra featuring, although occasionally it did feel a little like place-name dropping.

Although it was a really interesting premise with a lot of comedic potential, the story didn't really grab me and I never felt particularly invested in the characters. Shalini's jump from stressed uni student with a missing guardian to, "Hey, I'll open a dating agency!" just didn't gel for me, and I don't think the book completely lived up to its potential. It also ends rather abruptly, and the fate of the characters will need to be decided in a sequel.

It is billed as a New Adult title, although unlike books in the genre, this is a very chaste romance, with only one kiss taking place.

At $3.99 for the e-book, it's worth downloading and giving it a go, particularly for those doing the diversity challenge as there are several non-Anglo characters, including the lead.



 
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