Cold Burn of Magic

Jennifer Estep
Cold Burn of Magic
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Kensington Books
Release Date
April 2015
Book 1 of Black Blade
Paranormal with Romantic Elements, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Romance

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Jun 01, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
128 people found the following review helpful
4.5 "Magic Mafia" Stars! What an interesting read that brings together a number of my loves and wraps it all up together in a completely unique packaging! Mixing some of my favorite sub-genres, paranormal/UF, contemporary YA/New Adult romance and Mafia-like romantic suspense, COLD BURN OF MAGIC is sure to appeal to a wide audience as it has a little something for everyone! What a fantastic beginning to a new series that is sure to be another hit for Jennifer Estep!

Lila Merriweather was forced to learn how to survive early in life. Having lost her mother (a former bodyguard) at a young age, she has tried her best with the help of her mother's friend, a pawn shop owner, to avoid foster homes. Earning her way by stealing and completing odd jobs that her mother's friend assigns to her, and living in the basement of a library that she can only visit after it closes at night, has taught her a lot about making ends meet in the magical world she lives in which is ruled by a few powerful Families of varying magical strengths. Above all costs, the one rule that she has learned she must essentially follow is to avoid the Families and never let them know her true magical talents, one of which would nearly certainly be stolen from her if she ever let it be discovered.

Everything, however, changes when Lila inadvertently gets involved in an assassination/kidnapping attempt against the son of the head of the Sinclair family, the second most powerful Family. With only a split second to determine her fate, and not really recognizing Devon as a member of the Sinclair Family, Lila throws all caution aside and saves Devon, exposing her extraordinary fighting skills.

As no good deed goes unpunished, it is this act of selflessness, which, for better or for worse, opens up a whole new world to her. While this puts her square in the sights of Devon Sinclair, a young man who is poised to become the head of the Sinclair Family, and who makes her feel things she has never felt before, it also may just mean that her destiny to live and die like her mother, at the hands of a Family feud, may also be sealed.

I loved both the suspense/action-packed angle and magic-filled nature of this young adult read. As I typically only read romance titles, I feel compelled to mention that although COLD BURN OF MAGIC is not labeled a romance title, it does have a satisfying, rather subdued, element of romance. In particular, it really felt to me like Ms. Estep was teeing up this romance aspect to play a more prominent role in upcoming books. I can't wait to continue the Black Blade Series with Dark Heart of Magic which is scheduled to be released in October 2015!
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