Of Spells and Fur
by Valerie Evans
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
As the only known survivor of a horrific massacre years earlier, Molly Hastings has rebuilt her life as a dedicated member of the Anberlin sentries. It’s her job to protect and police the supernatural citizens who call the town home, but the discovery of several bodies has put everyone on edge with no suspect in sight.
Further complicating matters are a call from the home she left behind and the sudden arrival of a werewolf motorcycle club with ties to her past. An unexpected ally is found with Parker Hayes, a hunter facing down his own demons and searching for a future not based in bloodshed, who inspires feelings she hasn’t felt in years.
Amidst the clash between her past and present, Molly finds herself questioning everything she knows about not only those she’s meant to protect but the Sentries themselves. Could everything she’s been taught be a lie, and if it is, can she protect those she cares about?
*Le sigh* Before I can even truly get into reviewing this book I have to say AGAIN, this book is part of a series and that information was not readily apparent. So, I picked it up without knowing it was part of a series, and without having read the previous books. I am SO SICK of having this happen! I’d guess this is probably book 4 of The Anberlin Chronicles. Maybe the author will call it a spin-off but it read like a book 4 to me. It is readable on its own, but you definitely feel that you are missing past information and investment in characters.
Outside of that one big detraction, I thought this was pretty sweet. I liked that The hero and heroine were both full adults, no chosen teenagers here. The inclusion of parenthood was a nice change. The fact that XXX let YYY take the lead in most decisions was appreciable and I thought the plot interesting. I did think the author took the disappointingly predictable easy out with the ex-husband and I had really hoped for something more/better. But the moral dilemma he presented was an interesting one up until that point.
I read an Advanced Readers’ Copy, which usually comes to reviewers pre-final edits. So, I can’t speak to the copy editing. But, there was a habitual simplicity that popped up noticeably and could have been addressed and smoothed out. Sentences like, “A nod was given with her words…” “A pause was made beside a tree while…” “A pause was taken to lean back in…” “A mental checklist was gone through…” “A deep breath was taken before…” “A bit of water was poured into the cup beside the bed before…” “A final check was done on Natalie before…” “A purple crayon was removed before…” “A question was raised about desert…” “A pause was made to drop off…” I imagine you get the point. The repetition of this particular sentence structure to move scenes alone was hard to ignore.
All in all, however, I liked the book enough to be interested in going back and reading the series from the beginning.
Valerie Evans is a modern fantasy addict living in Georgia who finally took the plunge to self-publish her first novel after nearly seven years. She is the author of The Anberlin Chronicles series and the forthcoming Wolves of Worsham series. In her free time, she likes to read all genres with a focus on fantasy, entertain her very clingy dog, and collect Funkos pops plus journals.
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