This book is a light-hearted and entertaining mix of light romance and magical fantasy.
At the start of the book, the heroine, Jane Drysdale, has a very ordinary life in Michigan with a dead-end job, supplementing her income by organising the local equivalent of Ann Summers parties. She's driving home when a rabbit runs onto the road and into her car.
Next thing she knows, a group of elves arrest her on a charge of murder, claiming that the rabbit was an elf in disguise. Naturally at first she thinks she's been kidnapped by lunatics wearing Spock ears. But in fact she is has been taken to Sylthia in the magical world of Lowth, and soon finds herself on trial for her life. The only bright spot is her seriously attractive defence lawyer. This is only the start of a series of insane adventures.
There is a lot of very amusing humour, particularly the fact that Jane has a tendancy to outrageous frankness and cannot resist putting into her conversation references to earth films and books which completely confuse the elves, faries etc she is speaking to.
"What do you say to a naked elf" appears to be written more for a female than male audience but if I'm anything of a sample it is funny enough that at least some men would also enjoy it.
I was rather reminded of Linnea Sinclair's books which mix romance and science fiction in a similar way to the mix here of romance and fantasy, except that Sterling's book is several degrees raunchier. Anyone who enjoyed Sinclair's books such as "An accidental goddess" or "Finders Keepers" might quite possibly also like "What do you say to a naked elf", and vice versa.
Jane Drysdale supplements her income with "Realm of Pleasures" parties, selling sex toys, lotions and other such paraphernalia. Driving home from her latest party she loses control of her vehicle and hits a rabbit (in fact she could swear the bunny sort of morphed into a human before she lost consciousness). Waking in the presence of a group of men who disparagingly refer to her as mortal confuses her; however Jane is soon made all too aware that she faces possible death for the murder of Tivat the Elf (aka the bunny). She finds herself transported to the magical world of Lowth, home of fairies, elves, evil wizards and sandobbles (semi-sentient quicksand creatures) to stand trial for murder. Jane however is not one to sit idly by and let the powers that be dictate her fate (even if they are magical beings). She has no problem defending herself, nevertheless she is attracted to her lawyer Charlie the Whelphite (½ Elf ½ Fairy) so for the moment is content to remain in the kingdom of Sylthia. In fact she has some pretty interesting thoughts regarding Charlie's wings and sets out to seduce him - the rather strait-laced lawyer doesn't have a chance. Jane enters the placid Lowth like a whirling dervish and her presence soon causes chaos. Within hours of her stay she discovers Lowth has bestowed magical powers on her, found in a possibly compromising position with the decrepit King of Sylthia and that's only the beginning. In just a few short weeks she seems set to radically change Lowth society. Women now have undergarments and sex toys, skirt lengths become shorter and it appears Jane is exactly what is needed to stop the Dymynsh (a scourge that is slowly leaching the life from Lowth and its people). Some of the population however are not so happy with these changes and an attempt is made on Jane's life.
Though not altogether ashamed of his beautiful wings, Charlie hides them away and is astounded with himself when he voluntarily strips naked and spreads them wide for Jane's admiration (his wings that is). It appears that Lowth also has plans for Charlie and despite his reservations, he finds himself entering the fairy realm Isleighah and discovering his unknown fairy heritage. Falling in love with Jane he does everything he can to help when she is handed over to the evil wizard Blacwin yet events soon escalate out of control as Jane and Charlie find themselves manipulated by the powers of good, evil and the planet itself.
This book was a riot and I cannot believe how many times it made me chuckle out loud. Jane is definitely a likeable character, mad as a hatter, unable to control what comes out of her mouth but fiercely determined to battle the Dymynsh and save the world she has begun to love. Her and Charlie have a fantastic relationship, their bickering was hilarious (Jane leaving Charlie confused with her constant movie quotes) and their reconciliations hot and steamy. This book is a great blend of fantasy, romance and adventure and I feel it will appeal to fellow fans of Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series.
A good laugh, but a quick read (3 hrs it took me). Give it a go - I think it would be a very good book to take on holiday and reed at the airport when your flight is delayed. If you want a serious romance story, you should look elsewhere, but for a bit of light-hearted lovey-dovey stuff (with a smidgen of red hot thrown in for good luck), then give 'What do you say to a naked elf?' a try.