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Tooth and Nail
Jennifer Safrey
Night Shade Books, 320 pages

Tooth and Nail
Jennifer Safrey
Jennifer Safrey is the author of four romance novels. Tooth and Nail is her first foray into urban fantasy. She is the co-owner of Emerald Yoga Studio in Pembroke, Mass., and teaches vinyasa flow yoga. She holds a black belt in taekwondo. She grew up just outside New York City and is a graduate of Boston University.

Jennifer Safrey Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Katherine Petersen

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Amateur boxer Gemma Cross has quit her job as a pollster to prevent any potential controversies from affecting her boyfriend, Avery McCormack's race for the House of Representatives. On the heels of this decision, Gemma learns a long-kept secret about herself: she is part fae and part human. As a half-human, the fae have called upon her to become a warrior for their cause to return to the Olde Way of peace and harmony. But Gemma isn't part just any fae, she's part tooth fairy. The fae achieve their mission by collecting children's baby teeth and distilling their innocence.

Having had a taste of what this means, Gemma agrees to help and gets some fae training from Svein, a full fae who ends up being part of a love triangle. I won't go into who the culprit is or Gemma's plan to take him/her out as that would be giving too much away. Suffice it to say that a dentist -- now we can all understand that one, right? -- is at the heart of it all.

I admire Jennifer Safrey's creativity and ingenuity with the plot. Little has been written about tooth fairies except for a piece of Heather Blake's It Takes A Witch, a cozy paranormal mystery, and The Tooth Fairy a scary novel by Graham Joyce. Gemma also shows both women and men that women can be treated as equal in the boxing ring. She get teased by the men she fights with, but it's all in good fun. The plot has some complex and unexpected twists as well. Where I have issues with Gemma in that she has quit her job to avoid any complications with Avery's campaign, but does she really think she can hide being part fae and that this won't have an impact on an election?

Most urban fantasy novels have a lot of killing, albeit deserved or not, so the fact that this story has little bloodshed stands out. It's also interesting to see a story where the fae are illustrated as well since most often they are spiteful, potentially nasty, creatures. Personally, Gemma didn't come off the page as truly alive to me as many characters have, but this could be me and not the book. If you're looking for a new take on urban fantasy that goes against the grain in many ways, give this one a try.

Copyright © 2012 Katherine Petersen

Katherine Petersen started reading as a young child and hasn't stopped. She still thinks she can read all the books she wants, but might, at some point, realize the impossibility of this mission. While she enjoys other genres, she thrives on fantasy, science fiction and mysteries.


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