Billy Blade is a hardworking, hard living, razor sharp musical force. Mysterious behind his dark shades, the rough around the edges Texan mesmerizes with his haunting harmonica and tantalizes with his dangerous looks and smooth country charm. His latest album is topping the charts. He’s the newly crowned King of the Bacchus Krewe. He’s definitely living the rock star dream.
Exotic Creole beauty Thyme Bellerose couldn’t be more content. She has it all. An adoring grandmother. A handsome Tulane medical student beau. A satisfying job in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Her life is as rich as the ice cream she creates. She’s got everything under control.
But control is an illusion. Dreams can turn into nightmares. And now during Mardi Gras, otherworldly powers stand ready to shape their destinies in ways they could never imagine. Shadow and light. Magic and mystery. Reality and myth. All come together in a place where rules bend and lines blur. Even those between life and death.
~ Part One and Part Two. The full and complete novel.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars - Worth a Reader's Time
Review Copy gifted by Author
I met the author of Strange Magic at a signing and was intrigued by the way she described the book. "A singer who can summon the dead with his harmonica." Paranormal romance is not my "go to" genre, but I do enjoy it and was definitely willing to try a new to me author.
SO GLAD I DID!
Ms. Mankin does a fantastic job of world building, weaving together several mythologies around the vibrant culture of New Orleans. Her characters are colorful and entertaining and it's incredibly fun to go on the journey of discovery with them.
Strange Magic focuses on Billy and Thyme. Both of who have emotional wounds to battle and histories they know nothing about. Their meeting and early relationship are definitely different, but it works and is a pleasure to watch. You can't help but root for them as the story moves forward.
One challenge for stories like this can be building the "world" while also keeping the story moving. This story is definitely one of the better examples of how it can be done well. The reader learns the details and mythology at the same time as Thyme then Billy do. That keeps you on your toes as you read and I have to admit that I really feared a cliffhanger when I was about 80% into the book! But, everything gets wrapped up well without feeling rushed.
This was my first book by this author, but it definitely won't be my last. Ms. Mankin has joined Dianne Duvall as paranormal authors I really look forward to reading.
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