Release Date: March 23, 2011
Series: #2 in That Old Black Magic
More Info: Amazon Samhain The Book Depository
After this much foreplay, something’s bound to combust.
As head mistress of Beaumont coven house, Clarissa Miles has perfected two things: keeping her sister witches from accidentally turning innocent bystanders into toads, and resisting the sexy overtures of her familiar, werewolf Logan Scott.
But her resolve is vanishing—fast. Seven years ago she sold her soul to save her father, and that contract is coming due. The allure of spending her last days indulging in some dirty, naked loving is too tempting to resist.
Logan has patiently ridden out the past seven years, content to do Clarissa’s bidding and ignoring his consuming need to mark her as his. Now that the ban on witch/familiar fraternizing has been lifted, he’s off the leash and ready to launch a full-on sensual assault on her defenses. They’re destined mates, and he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her.
It’s delightfully easy to get her in bed. Get at her heart? Not so much. Especially when a deadly predator stakes its claim on her…and Logan faces a battle not only to win her heart, but save her soul.
Warning: This book contains a villain with more personalities than Sybil, a witch in search of redemption and a dirty-talking werewolf hell-bent on claiming his mate in every wicked, sexy way possible. Spontaneous howling may occur.
***This review contains spoilers for book 1***
This one is very different from the first book. Although the events occur in a shorter time, the pace of the story is slower, and there's less action. Well, less overall action, and almost no fighting, but there's lots of sexual action. Lots and lots of sexual action. Lots. :D The first book was a paranormal romance with the two genres pretty well evenly blended. This one is an erotic romance set within a paranormal world. Since I wasn't expecting that, it took me a while to shift gears as I read. Whereas we had zombies and vodoo in the first book, in this one we get Christianity's seven deadly sins, as you may have realized from the book's description.
We're introduced to the paranormal conflict right away - Clarissa sold her soul seven years ago and payment has come due. The romantic conflict is also introduced right away - Logan has wanted Clarissa ever since he became her familiar but there were rules about witches and familiars being involved and Clarissa has had an emotional barrier erected around herself. The rules have been invoked and Logan has decide to make his move on Clarissa. It doesn't help Logan's case that he's been, in Clarissa's words, a "horndog" She describes him as "(a) werewolf familiar (who) brought a whole new meaning to the word horndog..."
From there, the story is focused mainly on Clarissa and Logan for about the first half of the book. They sleep together, often, and the sex scenes are both steamy and raunchy. Redford really turns up the heat in this story. There's a lot more sex in this one and it's not for the faint of heart.
In the first book, Clarissa came off as a hard-assed, tough, unfeeling witch at first, but we get hints of a softer side. In this book, we see both sides, her hard and her practical. She had a rough childhood and it's left it's mark on her - she holds people at arm's length, is afraid to let people get close, and focuses on being practical. But, while she may have an emotional wall up, softer feelings do creep in. Logan is cocky, plain spoken, raunchy, stubborn, swears frequently, and is not above pushing people's buttons just for fun. He wants Clarissa and nothing will get in his way. He's one of the few people who sees her softer side, even before they're involved. Even her coven sisters are oblivious; they readily accept the hard shell she presents as the real Clarissa.
Redford employs a familiar romance trope, though we really only see it from Logan's perspective - Logan, though he's wanted Clarissa for years, doesn't really fall in love until they have sex. Sex with her is so awesome that he's "bat-shit crazy in love with Clarissa Miles, the woman who lived by the motto of allowing no one past the closely guarded gate shielding her heart." If we hadn't spent so much of the story already in his head and seen his feelings, I'd have had a hard time with this. It's not a trope I care for usually, but Redford makes it work
The non-romantic action, Clarissa and the demon who has a lien on her soul, really don't have much impact until about the last third to half of the story. Clarissa has accepted her fate but is determined not to let the demon take others. For a while I wasn't sure if there would be an HEA for Logan and Clarissa, but there is and it works for me. The very last page, concerning Willa, one of the coven witches, completely took me by surprise. Talk about a cliff hanger.
We learn about Clarissa's family in this book, and get to see her interactions with her father and mother, we learn about her childhood, but we don't learn about Logan's family or background. There's also not as much world building as I'd like; for instance, we don't really get to see in either book what purpose exactly the familiars serve in this world.
I enjoyed this story but not as much as I did the first book. Tomorrow, come back to find out about book three, "Maximum Witch" which releases next month. It has a HAWT cover. :P
I received this Kindle book from the author for review.