Essential Magic

Cara McKinnon
Essential Magic
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Publisher
Stars and Stone Books
Release Date
June 2016
ISBN
0997708107
Series
Book 1 of The Fay of Skye
Genre
Alternate Universe, Fantasy Romance, Historical Romance, Steampunk Romance

SUMMARY
She needs to learn magic. He has sworn to never cast a spell again. But falling in love changes everything.

Etta Mae Cook, a mountain witch from Appalachia, steps off the train in London in 1895 and into a dangerous world of politics, decadence, and power. Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales, and the Fay clan are waging a silent war. In the balance: the future of British magic. Etta's lineage and strength make her an asset--or a threat--to all three formidable forces.

Malcolm Seward has sworn he'll never do magic again. He once had a prominent role in society, but a tragic mistake left him shattered, and he has withdrawn from everyone he cares about. Etta's arrival makes him yearn for things he has long been too afraid to touch. Though she's drawn to him in return, her goal is to study magic. Desire is a distraction.

Despite her intentions, his fears, and his family's objections, the two soon surrender to their passion.

Now Etta must choose: love, or her ambition? Either path could mean the renewal--or the destruction--of British sorcery. If she follows her heart, will she doom their magic?

Book Review by Avonna Loves Genres (reviewer)
Dec 20, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
64 people found the following review helpful
ESSENTIAL MAGIC (The Fay of Skye Book 1) by Cara McKinnon is an alternate history romance set in a 19th century Victorian England that believes in and practices magic. An American witch is searching for her extended family for training and an English second son is afraid to use his magic since a terrible accident. This series is set around a dynasty of powerful English/Scottish magic wielders and the search for the reason that England is losing its magic.

Etta Mae Cook was raised in Appalachia by a Fay mother and a Choctaw medicine-man father. After her mother's death, she follows her last instructions to return to her distant clan relations in England to train her exceptionally strong powers. It is quite a cultural change from running through the mountains to being in the home of a Marquiness, but Etta is willing to put up with just about anything for the chance to train. What she wasn't expecting was an instant attraction to Mal, the second son of the Marquiness.

Malcolm Seward just wants to run his Scottish lands and forget about magic, but his family has other plans for him. When he meets Etta, there is an awakening of his power that he will fight at all costs and it could be at the cost of losing Etta. When the clan comes together for the birth of his sister's twins, many magically secrets become clear and Mal and Etta will need to work their magic together to triumph.

The author has set a vivid backdrop to this series and the research seems very thorough. The characters are all interesting because they have differing levels of magic and come from different levels of society. The romance was spread at a natural progression throughout the story with some very hot sex scenes. This book does give you a HEA for Mal and Etta, but carries over the overall arc of the search for the reason of the magical drain in England. An entertaining start to a new series.
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