Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Darren is proud of his work on the FBI’s magical Talent unit. However, his own lack of magic means he can never be with Supervisory Special Agent and Shaman Kavon Boucher. The shamanic magic poses a real danger to any mundane who gets too close, so Darren tries to hide his attraction and keep a professional relationship at work. That resolve begins to crumble when a new man sets his sights on Kavon and Darren can’t control his resentment.
Now they have a brutal new case of a suspect targeting magical adepts. Darren tries to keep focused on that crime, but when he starts to show signs of his own magic, he hopes that maybe he can not only be a more effective part of the team but also a real partner to Kavon. He might have a second chance at love if only Kavon can learn to trust his new and unpredictable magic that has changed the rules of the magical game.
Review: Detective Darren Oberton loves his boss, Kavon Boucher. They can’t have a relationship. Not because of the whole superior/subordinate thing, but Kavon is a shaman and Darren is a mundane. Kavon’s magic could kill Darren. Enter Ben, the annoying adept. Darren is convinced Ben is using magic against him. Darren’s conversations with his co-workers are not pretty. For the most part, magic users are an underclass. They commit crimes like any other human, but they suffer the majority of the abuse. Darren appears to be yet another unlucky, magicless guy tired of being the only one in love who chooses to blame all his problems on a magic user. Not so much. Darren also happens to be not so mundane. Darren is a shaman. A powerful shaman. Not just powerful, he’s POWERFUL. So now, Darren is in love with a very stubborn Kavon, they’ve still got a serious case to deal with, and the magical powers that be are looking closely at Darren. Kavon finds himself lucky Darren is as stubborn as he is.
This is one of those books where you seem to know less about what’s going on when you’re done reading than before you started. I refuse to believe Ben is gone for good. I trust Dave about as far as I can throw him, and who put those shields on Darren? We know who the killer is, sort of. None of the other questions are answered. In reality, we don’t even know what all we don’t know.
It’s become increasingly difficult in contemporary fiction to have a compelling reason for a potential couple to be kept separate. Kavon and Darren started the book as potential star-crossed lovers. An early death is a good reason to keep people apart. Darren’s newly exposed powers threw out that trope. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Obviously I want them together, but I was thrown a curveball. I’m incredibly curious to see where this is going. And what’s up with Les? Why was his wasp there at the end? Why is he the only person Kavon can trust? I just want to know what’s going on!
I really liked this book. I’m eager for the next installment which is, thankfully, soon. I like Urban Fantasy that blends police procedural stories with magic in a way that both normalizes magic and makes mystical the commonplace things around us. My favorite aspect of this book is Kavon’s presumption he’s got the upper hand in all things Darren, and he doesn’t. Kavon is a black man and a magic user. Despite those societal strikes against him he’s going to catch criminals while working amongst a group of people who under normal circumstances would likely be looking for someone that fits Kavon’s description. Kavon isn’t going to let anything stand in the way of his goals. And then there’s Darren.