Series: Arcadia Bell #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Pocket Books on June 28, 2011
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Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .
Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sometimes you should judge a book by its cover!
Arcadia “Cady” Bell is a free spirited young woman and who has been living under a different identity for seven years, starting a new life as a bar owner/bartender for a “demon friendly” establishment for Earthbounds (demons who are mostly human living on Earth). Arcadia is a powerful magician or mage, who has yet to realize the extent of her powers. When her past comes back to haunt her in the form of video footage of her “fugitive” parents, Arcadia must make things right by proving their innocence or surrendering herself to a terrible fate. To find the demon witness needed to clear her family’s name, Cady enlists the help of her friend Father Carrow, who then introduces her to Lon Butler, a demonologist with a vast knowledge of demons and a few secret abilities of his own. With a short deadline, Arcadia will have to trust Lon with her secrets in order to save her parents…and herself.
This is without a doubt the most impressive urban fantasy debut I’ve read this year! It’s the perfect blend of intriguing characters, action, suspense and a dash of sexy romance. The setting of sunny California is far from the dark cities we usually see in this genre and lends a lighter feel to the story. The heroine and hero are not your usual alpa heroes and their romance is just as unconventional, but somehow works. The characters feel very real, are well developed and definitely entertain. The world building is fabulous and the author introduces you to her world and its details without overwhelming. I found the story unfolding as a film in my mind with rich details, compliments of Ms. Bennett’s colorful writing.
Arcadia Bell quickly made it to the top of my favorite heroine’s list. She might be a magician (I know it sounds funny but she doesn’t pull rabbits out of a hat!) but she’s pretty well grounded; she’s smart, down to earth, knows her strengths and weaknesses and has a great sense of humor. Arcadia might not be the warrior type but she can defend and take care of herself when the occasion arises. Her sharp tongue and kind heart will have you under her spell instantly.
Lon Butler is a pleasant surprise as the hero. He’s about twenty years older than Arcadia, has a teenage son, but still has plenty of sex appeal. I immediately thought of Matthew McConaughey when Arcadia first describes him! Lon is incredibly intelligent, experienced and is also an Earthbound. With abilities of his own, Lon is the perfect compliment for Arcadia. He’s quite the gentleman, not your possessive hero and has a close knit bond with his son Jupe that will completely melt your heart! Jupe is a great addition to the story line and one character you’re not likely to forget.
The relationship between Arcadia and Lon is not instantaneous and is constantly evolving into something deeper. They have some sultry scenes together but the tender moments between them in the midst of all the danger are what really defines their romance. As the story develops, our main characters begin to slowly drop their guard with each other and open up to share secrets that will ultimately make their bond stronger. I was expecting the author to keep the sexual tension going well into the next book but was so thankful she put it to rest and indulged the readers with a little nooky between the characters…urban fantasy loves to tease!!
KINDLING THE MOON is a flawlessly original urban fantasy. The writing is excellent, the characters are charming, the romance is truly believable and they’re even a few unpredictable twists. If you’re looking for a fresh take on a genre that can sometimes seem repetitious, this book’s for you. Jenn Bennett has created an enchanting world of magic that will rock your world!