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Elana McDougall
Hidden Magic: The Eldritch of Hallows
Fans of Kelley Armstrong and Nora Roberts will love the romantic fantasy "Hidden Magic'. Sasha's harrowing escape from her murderous boyfriend leads her to the secretive village of Hallows where she finds shelter and a very sexy sheriff. But Hallows has its own secrets and when evil from her past threatens, can she use what she has learned to defend herself and the man determined to win her heart?
A woman on the run from her abusive ex-fiancé grapples with secrets from her past and her attraction to a sexy sheriff in McDougall’s steamy debut. When Sasha’s car breaks down outside the small town of Hallows, N.C., she realizes that the lack of internet and cell phone reception make the charming town an ideal spot to disappear. But Sasha isn’t the only person hiding in Hallows. For centuries, the town has been a haven for mages, shapeshifters, trolls, and fae, many of whom see Sasha’s arrival as a threat to their safety. Jake Wulfrik, the local sheriff, won’t let anyone harm the woman he feels so drawn to, but when real danger comes to Hallows, Sasha may not be able to risk trusting Jake.

McDougall entices readers into a world where magical beings hide in the shadows, fearing persecution and exploitation by humans. Hallows is a complex society with political structures, social hierarchies, and a rich but bitter history. As Sasha settles in, vivid descriptions paint both the town and its inhabitants clearly in the imagination. A violent murder just outside city limits introduces an element of intrigue and keeps readers guessing as to the true nature of the threats to Hallows and Sasha.

Jake and Sasha share an intense physical attraction, but the reader’s impression of their compatibility suffers from a lack of depth in their personal interactions. In the context of Sasha’s traumatic previous relationships, the absence of a developed trust base sets off warning bells in the mild power play flavoring the sex scenes. However, there is a satisfying sense of growth in the bonds Sasha forms with her newfound friends and the way the magic of Hallows awakens secrets from her childhood. McDougall’s well-formed magical world will hold the reader’s interest as the mystery and romance unfold.

Takeaway: Paranormal romance readers who relish suspenseful plotting and alpha male heroes will enjoy this tale of self-discovery.

Great for fans of Carol Van Natta’s Shifter Mate Magic, Sedona Venez’s Taming the Beast.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: -
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A