Bittersweet Magic (A Novel of the Order #2) – Nina Croft

BittersweetMagic500pxIt takes a skilled author to tell a captivating paranormal these days and Nina Croft is just such a storyteller. I believe more than the word “vampire” is required to impress contemporary readers of the well established paranormal/urban fantasy genre and Croft’s Bittersweet Magic is just that story. Bittersweet Magic is set in a world where vampires, werewolves, demons and the fae exist in hiding, though for how long is unclear.

I recently discovered Nina Croft’s work and was captivated by her sci-fi/romance The Descartes Legacy. Despite suffering from some “paranormal fatigue” (my diagnosis – likely from over exposure) I decided that reading something new by this talented author was worth it. Bittersweet Magic is not the first in this series but it reads well as a standalone. What I will say is that I was intrigued enough by the characters in Bittersweet Magic that I would recommend going back and reading Bittersweet Blood the first in the series if for no other reason than to enjoy Nina’s superior world building and likable characters, even her bad guys are compelling.

Roz has been indebted to the demon Asmodai for five hundred years, and her freedom is just around the corner. All she has to do is complete one last task for him—obtain a key that had been hidden in a church centuries ago.

Piers, the Head of the Order and an ancient vampire, is intrigued by the woman who comes to him for help. She’s beautiful and seemingly kind, but she’s hiding something. And he’ll find out who she is and what she really wants once he uses his power to get inside her head. But Piers has no idea that Roz is immune to his mind-control…or that he is simply a pawn in her dangerous mission for freedom.

Indentured for half a century all Roz has to do to gain her freedom is find a return a key to her demon master. Disguised a nun, the key is practically within her grasp when it is snatched away in a savage attack leaving only Roz and a single nun alive to tell the tale. In a seemingly unrelated scenario Roz comes in contact with the Order, an organization of paranormal peace keepers she believes will kill her if they learn of her existence, not that Roz knows what she is. She and Piers, head of the Order, are mutually captivated by one another but not enough for Roz to divulge what little she knows of her origins.

Roz was blissfully free of stupid heroine syndrome and Piers was an intriguing sardonic character also refreshingly missing many of the literary cliches that are so sadly overused these days. Ultimately, Bittersweet Magic was just that a sweet love story with an edgy darkness.

AUTHOR: Nina Croft

RATING: 3 1/2 Stars

GENRE: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review. 

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