Witches Be Burned: Magic & Mayhem #2 by Stacey Kennedy

Witches Be Burned: Magic & Mayhem #2 by Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy is on the blog today. The second in her Magic & Mayhem series, you’ll want to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought after reading the excerpt here and entering the tour wide giveaway where you could win a bundle that includes a Loveswept Mug, Flirt Mug and Ebook Bundle

Witches Be Burned

The first I have read in this series, I adore Stacey Kennedy’s ability to tell a story and have me engaged early on. World building, different characters and non-stop action are hallmarks of this title, but I will say that I did find myself at a bit of a disadvantage not having read the first book.

Since I can only review what I did read, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and even in the ‘huh’ moments, I was compelled to know what came next.  Nexi, the heroine was dynamite in a tiny package! A guardian with magical abilities and a cat familiar named Willow, these two were indefatigable, ready to jump in and mix it up with anyone who posed  a threat.  Willow also had a smart mouth and a bit of attitude, wholly cat-like (if one is prone to anthropomorphism) and often very funny.  Nexi, too, had a great bantering ability, although I didn’t always see her softer side coming out in her interactions with Kyden.

Kyden is the hero, a guardian with a sword and the determination and desire to protect Nexi at all costs, he could be fearsome. Until face to face with Willow.  Obviously he is NOT a cat person, but they do work out their moments.  I felt bad for Kyden through much of the story: it was apparent he would go to great lengths for Nexi, and that he really wanted her for his own. She just wasn’t as demonstrative or affectionate and their romance felt very one-sided to me.

Action and danger wise – this story was jam packed and loaded: from huge battles to small mysteries and threats, there wasn’t much downtime for our H/h to have some steamy quiet time – but they did manage some of that too, and in typical Kennedy style those moments were steamy.  There are some points where the story does drag, some of the action gets long and conversations about feelings and the relationship between Nexi and Kyden were frustrating due to Nexi’s perseveration, but most of the story flowed well and smoothly forward.

I think that if I had read the first book in this series, would have liked this story much more, but as it stands, this is a good story with plenty to recommend, but only if you have read and enjoyed Werewolves Be Damned.

Witches Be Burned: Magic & Mayhem #2 by Stacey Kennedy

Title: Witches Be Burned
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Series: Magic & Mayhem #2
Genre: Magic
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 19 May, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 225
Rated: three-half-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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In Stacey Kennedy’s steamy paranormal romance novel, a rookie guardian sworn to combat the undead risks life and love in a world of violence, witchcraft, and seduction.

Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.

Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.

See the Magic & Mayhem Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

 

The bright flash of blue light cleared from Kyden’s eyes as the intense, suffocating wind caused by teleportation from the Otherworld began to fade. The alternate universe parallel to Earth, or the Earthworld, as it’s known to supernaturals, could be accessed by any supernatural at the gateway of the runes of Saint Andrews Castle in Scotland, or a much faster way, through a doorway located in the Otherworld’s castle, a portal designed by the original witch, Gwendolen, who signed the treaty of allegiance with Earth’s supernaturals, who sought a more peaceful life.

Kyden looked about at the suburban, tree-lined street. He noted that the Earthworld was vastly different from the Otherworld—even their smells. Plus, the sheer size of Earth astounded him, as the Otherworld was a speck of a planet as small as Vatican City with its population of eight hundred.

A light breeze brushed across Kyden, and the sword strapped to his bare back banged against his skin, reminding him of the job he had to do tonight. He surveyed the street, noting the eerie silence. At night most humans in the Earthworld slept. Nighttime in the Otherworld was when everyone awakened, including the Council’s Guard as this is when they hunted killers.

Energy stayed at Kyden’s back, keeping the portal to the Otherworld open for his return home. Moving forward, he stepped out of the shadows that had kept him hidden through teleportation.

The wretched scent of garbage forced his breathing to go shallow as he strode beneath the light post, focusing on the red-brick bungalow and the vampire sitting on the steps wearing a grim expression. To the vamp’s right, Kyden noticed a werewolf, who he’d worked with before on cases in Salt Lake City. Dressed in army pants and a black sleeveless T-shirt, the lean, athletic werewolf tracker Alazar looked lethal.

Kyden stepped onto the curb, nodding his head at Alazar. “Good to see you again.”

The wolf’s amber eyes blazed as he raked a hand through his dark hair. “Not under these circumstances, believe me. It’s a bad case.”

Kyden’s muscles flexed in anticipation as he turned to the detective, offering his hand. “Detective Myles?”

The vamp nodded and rose, returning the handshake. “Thanks for coming so quickly.” His pale blue eyes were alert, his thin lips pulled into a straight line. “The scene has been cleansed. We’re ready to move ahead.” Which meant that the vampires in the Council’s Guard had erased memories and implanted new ones in the minds of any human police called to the scene and any witnesses who’d seen or heard the murder.

Each member of the Council’s Guard played an important role. Werewolves depended on their heightened sense of scent to track killers. Vampires used their mind-altering abilities to glamour minds. Witches used magic to assist guardians when needed. And guardians hunted and destroyed murderers.

While the Otherworld suspected that the highest levels of Earth’s mortal government knew of supernaturals’ existence, they also assumed those officials knew that the Otherworld destroyed any supernatural threats. Kyden remained unsure if the government knew that the Council’s supernaturals had infiltrated all major cities’ police departments to keep on top of their crimes. Though he believed it didn’t matter much if they did, the system worked to keep mortals safe, as well as to keep the truth about supernaturals a secret from the human population.

The last thing the Otherworld needed was trouble that mirrored the history of the Salem witch trails, which was when Earth’s supernaturals realized they needed a change or they would be annihilated. The treaty to keep the secret of supernaturals’ existence from the population safeguarded against that tragedy ever happening again.

History had proven that mortals couldn’t cope with the existence of supernaturals. Secrecy was the only way to ensure the supernatural races thrived.

Those dark memories tainted Kyden’s mind as he glanced to the house with the cherry- red door, not seeing or hearing any movement inside, indicating only the dead remained. Biting back the urge to make assumptions, he turned to Myles. “Anything I need to know about the case?”

“It’s unusual, to say the least,” Myles replied briskly.


Kyden’s adrenaline spiked, rushing like rich energy through his veins. “All right. Show me what we got.”

 

 

 

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About Stacey Kennedy

STACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author of the CLUB SIN series. Growing up, Stacey's mind wandered the path less traveled and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion – staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she's not on mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you'll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy.

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