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.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A