So, you like a little sparkle in your life, the twinkle of magic or the twinkle in a handsome man’s eye? Have I got the box set for you. Even a super-voracious speedreader will get at least a full weekend (no breaks) out of this 4 e-book Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance collection. For normal readers, it could be weeks of fun in a crazy-good deal. Let me tell you about the one I was dying to read first…
Witch’s Awakening by Neely Powell (half of whom is our own Leigh Neely, doncha know) is our first introduction to the Connelly witches, a clan who left Ireland to reside in the valley of a mountainous area of North Georgia since the 1750s, and whose protection has helped make New Mourne and Mourne County safe haven for other supes, that is, supernatural types. Today, their town faces practical challenges of expansion and even gentrification with a gated community that would like to exert more influence on, well, everything. There’s also some religious friction between groups, struggling small businesses, and in short, it’s a charming place you’d enjoy visiting, but not Stepford perfect, thank goodness.
Brenna Burns is the oldest of the current generation of five, redheaded Connelly witches, a group which includes her younger sister Fiona, best cousin Eva Grace, also cousins Lauren and Maggie. After a few years in Atlanta, Brenna’s just moved back to her hometown with the impending nuptials of Eva Grace and Garth, the local sheriff and a shapeshifter himself. But then–and this is no spoiler, it’s Chapter 1!–Garth is killed by a spectral entity called the Woman in White, the bane of the Connelly witches since they landed. When she appears, misery reigns and a witch must die. So why was Garth killed? Can he possibly be this generation’s sacrifice to the Woman in White? Given the position in the story, and the fact there are 33 chapters in all, I’m going to let you guess whether the murderous old antique has more trouble planned.
Brenna is a woman in conflict, and that’s all to the good. She’s drawn home by the powerful pull of this land and her magical identity, however, her relationships with the other strong females in her family are thorny, A natural leader, she strains against the guidance of even her beloved grandmother, Sarah, the current matriarch who basically raised her. Sarah’s time is passing, but under the current crisis, keeping the most powerful witch in charge makes sense. And what about Brenna’s mother and her sandwiched generation? Well, Brenna’s mom has spent decades gallivanting around the world in academic pursuits with her husband, and Brenna still feels hostile and abandoned. The earlier loss of one of Brenna’s aunts to the Woman in White carved its mark into all the women of Brenna’s mother’s generation, that woman’s daughter (now grown-up Eva Grace), and the lives of all the connected family. The pervasive fear of repeating that intense suffering has made the earlier generations complacent in a way that makes the warrior maiden in Brenna want to scream in frustration. For me, unraveling the way the previous witches dealt with the generational plague upon them was one of the most interesting twists–it was completely understandable, but also short-sighted, creating so many problems for the younger witches… and perhaps even beyond.
I’ve made comparisons to Ilona Andrews regarding a previous Neely Powell title, and I’ll do it again, because it’s who I think of when a big supernatural family’s issues get crucial and complicated. Here, we have 3 living generations of women, each relating differently among themselves as a unit and also relating as individuals and a unit to the older or younger groups as well. And you can add to that mix the witches of the past, who speak through the family’s historical record, The Connelly Book of Magic, which has also been fractured and compromised over the generations. The inheritance of previous bad decisions, all well-meaning and even right for their moments, that nonetheless hamstring Brenna’s current generation’s ability to protect themselves and make progress is something I really enjoyed about this story.
And now, to love–this is a romance, you know. Jake Tyler is another shapeshifter, drawn to the area and the sheriff’s department by the salesmanship of his best friend Garth. With Garth’s death, Jake becomes sheriff himself, at least temporarily. He didn’t covet it, doesn’t enjoy the politics at play, and doesn’t have time to grieve, because the Woman in White, seemingly goaded by the witches’ resistance to offering up one of their own, is wreaking unpredictable havoc in the town and among its residents. Not only that, Jake’s being distracted by a newly arrived, sexy witch he finds practicing her craft skyclad (naked) in the woods. Yes, these witches are comfy in their skins, and Jake’s an action-oriented physical type, too, no matter which body he’s wearing, so I think you can see where this is going. The problem won’t be with sexual attraction, it will be with yielding the emotional baggage and self-imposed, lonely responsibilities that independent Brenna and haunted Jake bring along with their hotness.
Sounds good, you think? Well, not just good, because there are 3 more e-books in this box set of urban fantasy/paranormal romance! Here’s the download on the others:
Reap & Repent by Lisa Medley: Deacon recognizes Ruth for what she is: a fellow soul reaper. Their chance meeting sparks an undeniable attraction—and it draws the attention of an ancient evil that would destroy them both. Wicked Ink by Misty Simon: Garrett’s gift for violence is tattooed on his flesh. Dory looks like the typical girl next door, but she has dark secrets of her own. When a predator strikes, Garrett learns that Dory is the only one who can save him. But first, he’ll have to save her…. Her Wild Protector by Naomi Bellina: A freak accident leaves Tara with powers that capture the notice of two shape-shifters—one who wants to kill her, and one who can’t help falling in love with her.
Special Purple Font of Emphasis: Okay, the list price for all four e-books is $4.99 (and I’m even seeing that marked down at this moment, more than a buck cheaper if you pre-order–the books will whiz to you on Tuesday, March 3rd)!
It’s simply a ridiculously good deal if you enjoy these kinds of reads (as I do), trying new series and authors, or know someone who does! Congrats to our own Leigh Neely and Neely Powell–may many more people discover those cursed flame-haired Connelly witches!
UPDATE: It’s such a crazy-good deal that I couldn’t stop myself from offering at least one (maybe more) on Facebook. If you want to comment here, Like over there, show up anywhere, make sure I can contact you, and you may have a chance to win!