Righteous Decisions (Decisions, #1) by Casey Harvell

Righteous Decisions (Decisions, #1)Righteous Decisions by Casey Harvell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review is in association with The Review Board:

I love a good first person present tense narrative and Casey Harvell delivers in Righteous Decisions (Decisions Series).
Lettie is a main character anyone could relate to; her attitude and personality so finely honed I often wondered just how much of her personality had been culled from Ms. Harvell’s. Whether heavily or lightly sampled from, Lettie is a character who quickly engages the reader with her modern life complete with all its natural woes: never enough money; a junker car stolen in a moment of pure recklessness on Lettie’s part; a gay best friend who is surprisingly endearing and consistently selfless; incredibly talented yet so unaware of her talent she could take the world by storm if she only shared her work more often (sound familiar, anyone creative??); and the youngest in a family consisting of an older sister and brother.
Ms. Harvell’s attention to detail is delicious. She brings her characters to life as if she is writing about the everyday relationships in her own life. I was a bit alarmed at the introduction of a potential dual love interest near the beginning of the book, suddenly full of dread that I had somehow stumbled into yet another formulaic young adult paranormal thriller (think Twilight, The Hunger Games, Nine Lives of Chloe King and so on) so when things took a suddenly swift and paranormal shift away from aforementioned formula-bores I was immediately intrigued and thrilled.
There is a slow build to the paranormal aspects of the story which I appreciated. I felt like I got to know Lettie pretty well as a person before Harvell began weaving in the various elements that comprised this riveting novel. The introduction of the two potential love interests was handled marvelously in the association of Stimulus and Cerberus and all the various pairings that could result from such a close and intense relationship.
Harvell’s romance is simply… hot. I didn’t expect there to be such a sexual content to the book but this element only served to make Lettie and Gabe as a couple more believable. Delivering enough detail to make sparks dance across your ereader screen, Harvell writes of both emotional, sensual, and sexual intimacy with finesse, using the erotic passages not as gratuitous fluff but actually moving the story forward. This is such a rare find that I can only applaud with gusto.
Casey Harvell tells a story in Righteous Decisions that will captivate you with equal amounts of action, romance, intrigue, drama, and paranormal weirdness; all handled with apparent natural talent in combining so many elements into a cunningly yet subtly wrought saga. I found myself sputtering in frustration at the end of the book, not having realized I had arrived and suddenly wanting more.
Just a few notes and suggestions, none of which detracted from my overall enjoyment of this read:

Formatting: There were no page breaks between chapters in the pdf version; various chapters begin at the end of a page. This is great for e-book conversion but attention to separating the chapters provides a nice thinking/pausing space for the brain and gives the text a more professional appearance.

Editing misses:
Chapter Eight
“There’s no way that in good conscious I can let a pregnant lady sleep on my couch.” (conscience, not conscious)
Chapter Ten:
“I’m still on the creepy guy hit list and my conscious refuses to let this Bernard guy continue on with his drug and slave trading.” (conscience)
Chapter Eleven, Page 136:
“They’re supposed to use full caution that they’re existence remains secret, but sometimes they go rogue.” (their. not they’re)
Chapter Twelve, Page 147:
“Your laid up in a hospital bed and asking me if I’m OK?” (You’re, not your)
Page 151:
“And poor Michael, Lettie, you has us both so worried.” (had, not has)
Page 155:
“I should get going though, visiting hours are almost over and Max and I are going out to celebrate my best friends awakening.” (friend’s)
Chapter Thirteen, page 157:
“After my initial scarfing of hospital food it, lost its appeal rather quickly.” (misplaced comma or an extra word)
Chapter Fifteen included several small editing misses as well, enough that this chapter should merit some revisiting.

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