***posted as a guest review over at paranormalhaven.com**** I haven’t read anything by Lee Roland before, and I chose Vicious Moon to review because it features the supernatural specimen of my choice, witches. The book itself is sort of an odd mixture of PNR and UF, although if I really had to choose, I’d go with UF. The relationship between the two main characters develops sort of haphazardly, and that aspect of the novel is what disappointed me the most.Nix Ianira is an earth witch and a licensed private investigator. She’s retrieved by the Sisters of Justice (the Earth Mother’s enforcers/executioners) and taken back to Twitch Crossing, Georgia, Nix’s hometown. Nix learns that her grandmother had her escorted back to Georgia because she fears something has happened to Nix’s sister, Marisol. Nix heads to Duivel, Missouri where her sister was last seen and soon finds herself in over her head. She travels to a location just outside of Duivel that is known as the Barrows, a tract of land that has ruins nearby as well as the “Zombie Zone” – the heart of evil where a demon just happens to reside as described by a fellow witch.Nix meets Etienne, a man that controls the Barrows and whom is immune to any sort of magic. Besides Etienne, there are several names that are tossed out that are pertinent in earlier books, but don’t have any real significance in Vicious Moon. While investigating the disappearance of her sister, Nix has Etienne shadowing her every move. An enigmatic figure with a strong dislike of witches, Etienne and Nix work uneasily together to discover what happened to Nix’s sister. I never really bought into the romance between the two of them for a couple of reasons. Nix is a lot more open with Etienne as opposed to vice versa. This leads to an imbalance in the developing relationship and it doesn’t really progress on his side at all until he becomes physically intimate with Nix. Nix pays for Etienne’s prejudice against witches often at the expense of her being hurt. Nix isn’t a soft or gentle character. She doesn’t make excuses for not being a perfect or good witch. The voice of her character is often abrupt and unapologetic, and it took me awhile to get used to the voice, but once I did, I actually did enjoy her as she was written. Many references are made to Aiakos, the demon that Etienne serves, but whom does not grace the pages very often. I was a little disconcerted by this as there are events that are referenced in regards to his character that obviously took place in previous books, but with little explanation. The pacing is pretty even throughout the book, but the awkward romance (and I think I’m being generous in calling it a romance) really did detract from the story. Had it been portrayed differently, or not at all for that matter, it would’ve been a stronger book. On the other hand, I did enjoy the way the magic system was presented and the idea of the Barrows.