In Unicorn Bait by S. A. Hunter, Naomi’s day begins badly with her examining an artifact of her late grandfather’s – a purported ‘unicorn horn’. She accidentally pricks her finger and drops the horn, breaking it – and then the world she knows disappears and she is transported to a burning hut in a village that is under attack. An old woman named Agatha saves her from being raped and murdered, and gives her a dress to wear so she won’t stand out so much. Unfortunately, the leader of the pillagers, Lord Tavik thinks her to be the wife of the late lord of the realm, Lady Naomi. As the conqueror, and he insists she marry him or die.
Lord Tavik wears an evil-looking mask at all times, never taking it off for one moment. He’s murderous, given to conquering and blood-shed. He hates Agatha, and is completely paranoid. Naomi agrees to marry him as long as there is no sex and he agrees, giving her a cook, Yula, as her maid/jailor. Oddly enough, he honors his side of the bargain.
After arriving at Tavik’s home castle, Naomi finds a mouse who not only talks, he claims to be a wizard, Mister Squibbles. Apparently a spell has gone awry and he ended up as a mouse. He agrees to tell her about Unicorns if she will provide him with wine and cheese. It turns out Tavik and Agatha are at odds over the evil God he worships. It also turns out Mister Squibbles knows Agatha better than he would admit as he is her familiar.
This book is a hoot. Naomi is desperate to find a unicorn, so she can get back home and she needs a virgin to act as bait to attract one. Oh my! Guess what worshipper of an evil God is a virgin! The adventures she has as a result of her inadvertent breaking of her grandfather’s Unicorn Horn are wildly creative and the characters are fun and extremely likeable. I found myself thinking about this tale all day when I was doing other things and couldn’t wait to get back to reading it.
Hunter manages to tell a tale that's a hilarious take on the classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tale with just a hint of 'Sleeping Beauty' rolled into it , making it both modern and clever. Naomi and Tavik have great chemistry and all of the characters make you want to know them. Unicorn Bait is a great romp and I loved it - it's a great read and for the price of .99 at amazon.com how can you lose?