Tag Archives: Lucia Ashta

supernatural bounty hunger

Book Review: Magic Bite, by Leia Stone & Lucía Ashta

I purchased a Supernatural Book Crate and a signed copy of Magic Bite, by Leia Stone and Lucía Ashta was one of the books included.

supernatural bounty hunter stone and Ashta

Evie Black and her demon imp partner, Cass, are two of the most fearsome supernatural bounty hunters on the West Coast. But when Evie’s beloved grandmother dies, her world shatters.

After finding the bottom of a bottle of tequila, Evie breaks the one rule she knows better than to ignore: Never hook up with a werewolf.

Especially when he’s the local alpha who, oh by the way, happens to be her gran’s sworn enemy.

Yeah, complicated doesn’t even begin to cover what happens next.

reachinghope - my review

This review will contain spoilers. I want to discuss the difference between what the blurb sets the reader up to expect and what we are actually given and there isn’t a way to do that without revealing what actually happens.

It is unfortunate, but we have to accept that there are still expectations of women and female behavior in America (and the West in general) that are focused on being caring and maternal. The idea of motherhood is still held as the gold standard. While more woman than ever now enter arenas of physical strength, violence, and authority that were previously denied to them (with and without children), they are still considered transgressive to a certain degree.

I say all of this because when I pick up a book about a woman who is one of “the most fearsome supernatural bounty hunters on the West Coast,” I am choosing to read about a woman who is defying cultural expectations of female behavior. That is part of the appeal.

So, when I’m promised a transgressive, kick-ass female character and instead handed a woman who gets herself knocked up in the first chapter, spends most of the book coming to terms with her impending motherhood, and being coddled and protected by a man, I feel very much as if a bait and switch has occurred. As if I have, instead, been handed the shining model of ‘womanhood’ that I sought explicitly to avoid.

Yes, that’s a bit of an exaggeration for the sake of making the point, but the point still stands. A female character can be a mother and still be the transgressive character I refer to. I mean look at Sarah Connor, or just maternal and still defy the cultural dictates of acceptably soft femininity. Look at Ripley (at least in the movies). But that’s not what Magic Bite: Supernatural Bounty Hunter does. It instead gives us the whole ‘fragile woman being protected by a man’ punchline (even as it claims to be giving us something else entirely).

And the thing is that this isn’t a bad book. It isn’t a bad story-line. (The writing and editing isn’t bad either.) But why would the authors choose to set the reader up to expect one sort of story and then give them another? Why not be honest about what is found inside…unless they’re painfully oblivious or actually trying to trick and trap one sort of reader into reading a whole different sort of story? Which is kind of how a lot of us feel about society in general and motherhood, as if society is trying to drag us onto that path no matter the underhanded means. So, having a book do this to us, feels like one more grasping, “but don’t you really want a baby” hand to slap away. It feels like yet another microaggression and impending insult to personal autonomy.

And we just won’t even go into the unlikelihood that a trained supernatural bounty hunter, who has had several supernatural boyfriends and sexual partners (and a supernatural doctor) wouldn’t have been told that human birth control wouldn’t work with werewolves, making the whole idea of an accidental pregnancy ridiculous. We’ll just let that stand.

All in all, Magic Bite is a prosaic but otherwise fine, middle of the road paranormal read (that ends on a cliffhanger just as the action finally starts). You’ll have seen all of these tropes before, but a lot of us read PNR because we enjoy them. So, I’m not put off by tropiness in and of itself. But it is 100% not what it promises on the packaging.

Supernatural Bounty Hunter photo

Other Reviews:

Whiskey & Wit Book reviews: Magic Bite


perfect pending

Book Review: Perfect Pending, by Lucia Ashta

I picked up Lucia Ashta‘s Perfect Pending (Witches of Gales Haven, #1) as an Amazon freebie, last summer.
perfect pending lucia ashta

Marla’s ancestors saddled her with frizzy red hair, sarcasm on tap, the Gawama last name, and the urge to run from her problems.

Her bloodline was also supposed to guarantee she’d be a powerful witch.

She isn’t, not by a long shot.

Only those with magic are allowed in her hometown. Now that her teenage children are awakening, and sparking enough power to be a fire hazard, she’s headed back.

Even if she isn’t ready. Even if she’s fresh out of divorce court.

Home is where her family is. Her nan is head of the council, and her aunts claim multiple orgasms are the source of their limber joints.

But then Marla and her kids all but blow up the town on day one. And her first boyfriend, the one who broke her heart long before her ex did, seems better than ever.

He has his eye on her…

So does everyone else.

Somehow it’s on her, and the magical creature who won’t get out of her head, to save Gales Haven. Before her former mother-in-law redecorates the town in baby pink … and breaks the centuries-old spell that keeps it safe and hidden.

Perfect Pending is a Paranormal Women’s Fiction novel. If you love snarky stories with women so empowered they’re a force to be reckoned with, then you’ll love Perfect Pending, the first book in the Witches of Gales Haven series.

my review

You know, as a 43-year-old woman I am loving this newish Paranormal Women’s Fiction genre. Getting to have all the paranormal fun with heroines that are my own age is a hoot. As with any genre some of the ones I’ve read have been better than others. I’d call this one middle of the road. The writing and editing are perfectly readable. But the whole thing—with militant hedgehog mothers, talking mice, sex obsessed geriatrics, etc—was just a little too over the top cutesy for me. It felt very much like it was trying too hard.

Having said that, I liked Marla and her kids. (And the kids were tolerable. So often kids in such books are ridiculous in one manner or another.) I appreciate that the love interest was gentle and kind, no alpha ass-hole in sight. And the theme that family persists is a good one.

All in all, I’d read another Ashta book.

perfect pending