Strange Brew

Angela Colsin
Strange Brew
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Angela Colsin
Release Date
October 2014
Book 3 of The Crucible Series
Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance

Feeling out of touch with her magical gifts, Aislinn Carmichael is a witch seeking a means of restoring her ability to its fullest potential. So despite the warnings of family and friends, the endeavor inevitably drives her to accept the initiation trial of a witch coven called The Trine.

Their test demands the capture of a supernatural creature, a task Aislinn has little doubt she can accomplish with relative ease. But of all the potentially benign creatures she could've snared, none other than a feral werewolf stumbles into her trap. Making matters worse is The Trine's lethal intentions for her dangerous captive, forcing Aislinn to release him and potentially risk retaliation.

But vengeance is the farthest thing from the werewolf's mind.

Troy Ashland is a werewolf standing at death's door, slowly losing his humanity until there's nothing left but savage instincts. It's a process all werewolves face, and the only thing that can appease his restless beast is his mate. So when word arrives from an oracle saying to travel to the Southern US to find her, he's on the next flight out.

After his arrival in Arkin City, the last thing Troy expects is to be caught in a magical trap. But all is forgiven with one glimpse of his temporary jailor, who turns out to be the very woman he was searching for. Still, the task of winning her is surprisingly difficult. Not only is Aislinn inexplicably resisting their attraction, but The Trine won't leave well enough alone …

Book Review by Dawn (reviewer)
Oct 26, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
216 people found the following review helpful
When a witch and a werewolf find love, it's pure magic! Get it? Magic? *snorts* I kill myself, sometimes...

We return to Arkin City, but this time it isn't a lupine that we're rooting for. It's our resident witch, Aislinn, whom we met in the first book of this series. We do catch a glimpse or two of our original characters and a few new ones!

Aislinn is a witch on a mission to fix her magic, which has been out of sorts as of late. The ritual that will hopefully set her magic to rights requires that she abstain from intimacy for two months. So now would be a very bad time for her apparent life mate to come into the picture...

Troy has been searching for nearly two centuries to find his mate. And the longer it takes him to find her, the harder it becomes to hold on to his humanity. You see, Troy is a werewolf and his immortality comes with a price. He either finds his mate or loses himself to the savage beast inside of himself.

A not-very-chance encounter brings our witch and werewolf together. Troy realizes immediately who Aislinn is to him, but she needs a bit of encouragement to discover that her soul mate is right in front of her. Having her choice of a partner taken out of her hands is almost as startling as the intense attraction she feels to the werewolf.

Unfortunately, her vow to avoid intimacy isn't the only thing coming between her and Troy. The return of an absentee father, scheming witches, vexing ghosts, and ancient tomes get in the way of our couple's happily ever after. It will take an act of life-altering proportions to save Troy from a future of savagery and convince Ailslinn that she can trust fate with her heart.

This book was almost as good as the last two. Almost. The only thing that I think it was missing was more believable angst. I found Aislinn's planned ritual to be a weak reason for her to avoid getting to know Troy. Maybe if she were facing the loss of her magic entirely by breaking her vow, or something more dire, I would have agreed with her hesitancy. Other than that, this book was paranormal perfection!

In closing...
This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Each story is entirely different, filled with creatures of all kinds and romance aplenty. Four stars and on to the next book!
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Book Review by LiaL (reviewer)
Nov 02, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
171 people found the following review helpful
He needs his mate to survive. He has waited almost 200 years to find her and time is running out. When he is sent away to start a new clan, he is given the hope that he will find his mate there. He doesn't expect his mate to be a witch who captures him in a magical trap in order to prove herself to a coven. She is everything he wants and needs but is in great danger. He will need to keep her safe and convince her that they belong together.

Troy is a werewolf. Unlike the wolf shifters, they go insane if they don't find their mates by their 200th birthday and his is approaching. He had to watch his brother be killed and he is so close to the same end when he finally gets news about his mate's location. Their first meeting involves her capturing him in wolf form but releasing him when she realizes he is in danger from the other witches. Her decision starts a dangerous chain of events and Troy is determined to keep her safe and be with him forever.

Aislinn is a young witch. She is encouraged by her mother to increase her magical abilities and is working on a special spell when she is invited by a local coven to join them. They task her with capturing a supernatural creature for a night and she doesn't expect it to lead to finding a werewolf that claims her as his mate. The idea scares her as her own father abandoned her and her mother when she was only five. She also is concerned about the effects of becoming a werewolf. Her spell requires abstinence which doesn't make it any easier to deal with her attraction to Troy.

This is the third book in The Crucible series. It is a series that previously has featured an interesting mix of magic users including demons, shifters, draconians, vampires and fairies. This book introduces werewolves to the mix who are a little different from the wolf shifters. You can read each book as standalones but several characters from the earlier books in the series are included which is a great reason to read them all in order. The author always has a different take on the paranormal world than other authors and I really enjoy the world she has created. The werewolves in this story are not monsters but the males have the capacity to become very violent when they don't find their mates. They have unique differences from wolf shifters who also occupy the town and were the main focus of the first book in the series. Interestingly enough, the women are the ones that are the real leaders of the packs in the werewolf society.

My favorite parts of the series are the well developed characters, the strong females, and the time the author takes to develop the relationships. Aislinn is a woman that is comfortable with her sexuality and makes no excuses for her choices. She is confident in her body and would actually go around nude if it didn't cause so many issues with others. Her only insecurity is about trusting men. Her father leaving the family suddenly when she was a child has really scarred her and made her mistrust men. In particular, she has no faith in human men who do not mate for life like immortals often do. Troy attracts her like no other but they have to wait on the physical side until her birthday which gives them time to get to know one another. Troy and Aislinn have a great deal of respect for one another and you believe in their feelings because of the time taken to let them connect.

I highly recommend The Crucible series to those who love their paranormal romances with a good balance of action and adventure. Each book in the series introduces you to characters that are featured in later books so it is great if you can read them in order. The characters are very well developed and it is easy to connect to the story. The author has truly built a great series that offers a fun adventure for those who love the paranormal.
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