Witches Be Burned
Magic & Mayhem # 2
By Stacey Kennedy
Hello Lovely Bookclubbers! On this beautiful Wednesday, May 20th, I am happy to introduce a new paranormal romance (you know how stoked I get about witches, vamps, and wolves–Oh my!). Just released for purchase yesterday (hot off the presses!), this book has a little bit of everything. And come on! Doesn’t the cover tell you just about everything you need to know here…
So I’ll start you off with a little light reading, then I’ll get into my report! (Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for your opportunity to win free stuff!)
In Stacey Kennedy’s steamy paranormal romance novel, a rookie guardian sworn to combat the undead risks life and love in a world of violence, witchcraft, and seduction.
Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.
Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.
Kate’s Book Report:
Who can argue with that? I certainly am looking for a man who will protect me until his last breath… and then some (you know I love a good ghost love story too!). But really I have to admit, I found it difficult to get into this book. I’m a little persnickety sometimes with series though, I like to read them in order, and I also admit that I missed installation one of this Magic and Mayhem line. That annoyed me, but I can’t really blame Witches be Burned for that. Let’s just say I felt like I was behind the eight ball from the get-go and I had a lot of catching up to do. Add into that Kyden isn’t exactly my kind of leading man–he’s more the “me man, you woman” kind of dude, where I generally like my men a little more nuanced. And Nexi comes across as a stupid little human trying to play with the big gods. But wait–! Don’t stop reading. Those were just my first impressions, and we all know (while they are important) they are not always accurate. So I commanded myself to read on.
And then what?
I entered a world of intrigue and magic, populated by some of the sexiest good and bad guys I’ve ever seen. The devil here is definitely swoon worthy with devastating charm. I also found a world of complicated love. Nexi and Kyden are a love story of interspecies complications. With more and more diverse examples of love being seen and displayed everywhere (every commercial these days has an interracial, same sex, multi-leveled relationship featured), Kyden and Nexi seem right on time. Where Magic and Mayhem #1 most probably left off with the two comfortably in love, installment #2 is the real life after the “happily ever after” ending. And there are problems! Punctuated by amazing action, the electricity of magic, a mixed bag of motivations and personal plots.
There is a lot going on here!
But what I loved more than anything was this little kernel of truth that I got out of this wickedly wonderful read… Even with gorgeous burly men around who want to protect you, in the end, you have to save you! While these characters are not some of my favorite, I found value in the web of truth that Stacey Kennedy weaves with them. There is a lot here to like, and I did! So I’d say take a chance this summer, add it to your beach book reads, but be sure to be by water because Witches be Burned is HOT!
Okay, now a little About the Author:
Stacey Kennedy is the USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin series. Growing up, Stacey’s mind wandered the path less traveled, and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion—always staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she’s not on Mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you’ll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter, and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones, and Sons of Anarchy.
Now for the good stuff! A little taste to tempt your reading plate…
His eyes blazed, red-hot. “You could die.”
“You’re right, I could, and so could you.” She softened her voice, hoping to improve his mood. “There’s always the possibility of that, but I can’t live in fear.”
A pause. Then, “You make me live in fear.”
The haunted look crossing his face flooded her with a coldness that neither Kyden nor the warm bathwater could ease. Lazarus had created this—and she wished she would’ve made his death more painful, or at least longer than the few seconds it took her to kill him with her magic.
“I can’t stay in the Otherworld forever and do nothing,” she admitted to him, hoping honesty would help him understand her position. “It feels good to finally get back out there—to be doing something other than mourning everyone I lost. Just as you take pride in working for the Council, so do I.” The line between his brows deepened, the refusal right there on his lips, but she added for good measure, “I need you to support me, not grumble at me.”
More silence. Then, “I dislike these human conversations you subject me to. It’s ridiculous.”
She shrugged, not knowing what else to do. What could she say? She had been raised human. In the Otherworld, she’d noticed that some of the men were still stuck in the middle ages. They liked beating their chests and protecting what was theirs or mine, as they called it. Well, Nexi lived in modern times, and she would make damn sure no one forgot that fact. Her adoptive mortal parents hadn’t raised her to sit down and shut up, they’d raised her to stand up and fight.
Kyden stared at her. Right through her. Right into the depths of her soul. “That’s what you need of me? To support you?”
“Yes, that’s what I want.” Then she threw on the big finale that would push him past his domineering ways. “That’s what would make me happy.”
With his eyes instantly amused, he snorted a laugh. “You are too damn smart for your own good. You know this, right?” At her shameless grin and nod, he added, “Promise me this: If we fight, we fight together as we did tonight. Don’t be a hero. Don’t save someone else to the point that it puts you in grave danger. Promise me that will you think of your life before anyone else’s.”
She rolled her eyes, fully understanding—she often acted to save the ones she loved before she saved herself. But she was a guardian and she loved people, and that included being a brash fool at times in the fight against evil. “I promise I won’t put myself in unnecessary danger.”
His features went all stormy in the way they did when he was in Elite Guardian mode. “That’s not good enough.”
“Okay,” she said, rethinking, and quickly added, “I promise not to think I’m invincible. Plus, I won’t go jumping into a dangerous case on my own and will wait for backup. Better?”
“Yes,” he replied with a nod, shifting himself beneath her and sending the bubbles popping around them. “That will do.”
It took only a split second to realize that the position he was getting himself into would take her to places that didn’t involve talking. All the tension vanished from his expression in a millisecond and his grin turned downright sinful, making her ache between her thighs. The warmth of the water around her embraced her as he trailed his hands along her back and said, “Now, enough talking about how the fact that I want to keep you safe is a bad thing. Come here. I must punish you.”
Yes, there is a whole lot of burning going on here! But don’t take my word for it…
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Kate E. Stephenson is a freelance communications specialist whose business encompasses content writing, comprehensive editing and quality resume services. Lexicon is her brainchild, a blog all about Language—insight into today’s job market and hiring tips, book releases and reviews, and general folly concerning the many mysterious facets of the English language. Be sure to read more about Kate, check out a full listing of services and rates, and enjoy her weekly columns on Kate.Book.com!