Thursday, March 22, 2012

Devin O'Branagan's Red Hot Liberty: a review

Molly O'Malley's new assistant, Robin Knight, is a sexy Englishman with mysterious psychic abilities and the gift of animal communication. This comes in handy when Molly's dog becomes depressed over romantic problems, and when she wants to tell her humans the details of a haunted dog show event known as The Twilight Bone Incident.

Robin's mission is to help Molly learn that it is an enchanted world where all things are possible. However, the men in Molly's life are threatened by his powerful presence and pressure her into making difficult choices.

Further complicating her life is new client, Liberty True—a tin-foil-hat-wearing, conspiracy-theory-believing, rebel patriot—who invites Molly to a different kind of tea party and drags her, kicking and screaming, into the revolution. Soon, Homeland Security is following Molly and she receives death threats.

Coming to her aid? A Goth colleague who lives on the dark side, a charismatic cowboy preacher who lives on the light side, a quirky psychic who lives between the worlds, and the departed spirit of her best friend.

A sassy tale about a woman on the verge of losing everything, who undertakes a quest to slay the dragon of fear and become her own hero.


Sequels often go downhill. My suspicion (and experience) is that the author spends so much time plotting out the first one, falls in love with the characters and wants to do more with them, but doesn’t spend nearly as much time plotting out the second, so it becomes a series of random events made up for the sake of keeping characters alive.

Occasionally, an author gets it right, and the second book lives up to the first. Even more occasionally, the second surpasses the first. That is the case with Devin O’Branagan’s Red Hot Liberty. Perhaps an example of how more time with a character leads to the author knowing her better, Liberty goes deeper into Molly O’Malley’s character, giving her more dimensions as a human being. New people are introduced, old favourites come back for a visit, and once again it becomes a matter of fighting what you believe in, or playing it safe to protect the ones you love.

Liberty also brought into my life another great character to laugh with and love: the goth chick Babylon (I really seem to have a thing for O’Branagan’s goth characters…). She’s tough, dry as sandpaper, knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. With her extreme kick-ass ability, she and Molly bring out the edgy side of women that never fails to appeal to me.

Once in a while sliding into the more paranormal, Liberty for the most part stays grounded, focusing on real problems of relationships, politics, grief, and puppy love – literally.

Again I laughed, again I cried, but this time around it was with characters I already knew and have laughed and cried with before, which made the experience that much sweeter. Summer is just around the corner, ladies and gents, and this book should definitely be added to your "summer reads" list.

And of course one of the best parts about this book is that it gave O’Branagan the opportunity to write her novella Show Dog Sings the Blues, which I will be reviewing on Saturday, so come back!

Find more information about Red Hot Liberty here


  1. I loved all the quirky characters in Red Hot Liberty, even the ones that were not so likeable. Great review on a great book.

  2. What a wonderful review of my novel! Thank you so much. I'm glad it brought you joy. :-)

  3. Great review! Another novel to move up on my TBR list!