A woman driven to excel. A man ashamed of his past. A desire that could lead them to bliss…or peril.
Etta Mae Cook, a mountain witch from Appalachia, arrives in London in 1895. Her goal: to study magic. But she steps off the train and into a dangerous world of politics, decadence, and power. Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales, and the Fay Clan are waging a silent war. In the balance: the future of spellcraft in the kingdom. Etta’s lineage and magical power make her an asset - or a threat - to all three formidable forces.
Her choices skew when she meets Malcolm Seward, a mage of the Fay Clan. He once held a prominent role in society, but a tragic mistake forced him to flee into obscurity. His attraction to Etta draws him back into the fray, but though she’s drawn to him in return, she didn’t come to England for desire.
Despite her intentions, their passion flares, and Malcolm falls for her. Now, Etta must choose: love, or ambition? Either path could mean the renewal -- or the destruction -- of British sorcery. If she follows her heart, will she doom their magic?
Praise for Essential Magic:
“Vivid backdrop…thorough research...very hot.” - Avonna from The Romance Reviews
“Engrossing and dramatic…. Tantalizing details.” -J.L. Gribble, author of Steel Victory
“The writing is just lovely…. Characters you care about!” -Maria V. Snyder, author of Poison Study
“The romance is sweet and hot.” – Amazon reviewer
“Cara McKinnon does a masterful job of transporting her readers to magical 19th century Scotland. Her detailed descriptions of historically accurate attire and etiquette helped to fully immerse me in a story that I was unwilling to put down until the very end. Engaging characters, powerful emotions; all with a unique and captivating method used to describe the casting of spells.” -Christina Robbins, author of Seeking Solace
Plot: The narrative starts with the promise of magical adventures for Etta, but the plot meanders and lags until the very end.
Prose: McKinnon writes clear and often beautiful prose, utilizing apt analogies to give liveliness to the text.
Originality: An American girl with native blood who lands in London society makes a good frame for this romance novel.
Character Development: The tension created for Etta by her upbringing and new surroundings results in much reflection on her part. However, the text could use more hints into other characters' motivations, especially Mrs. Upton's.
Date Submitted: August 18, 2017