Series: Kate Daniels #4
Published by Ace on May 25th 2010
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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You have to admire and fear a writer that will go to darker places with an Urban Fantasy. There will be happenings that will start bringing Kate to the attention of more people who will connect the dots to figure out her lineage. Will friends be willing to turn against Kate for to turn her over to Roland?
In Magic Bleeds, we have two pressing storylines. The first being something is bringing plagues to Atlanta and using shifters to get things started. And all the witness give a different description of the person involved. Kate is called out to investigate a bar on the outskirts of town, where a fight has ended in death. When Kate gets there, she realizes the body is quickly breaking down into a plague which is almost sentient in nature. It’s trying to spread. She exhausts herself trying to draw magical symbols to keep the plague contained until the Order’s technical people can arrive for clean up. No matter how fast she writes the symbols, the plague keeps trying to find a way out of the protection spell.
An ancient presence has decided to destroy Atlanta for fun…and for Kate. They are using shifters as both puppets and as plague bringers, and they can control any males. Kate realizes that she needs to keep Curran, Jim and the others away, which doesn’t go well with the overprotective, macho shifters.
The ancient presence also has focused on Kate and her connection to Roland. Like the People, they can control the undead, but unlike the people, the are controlling undead mages and still using their magical abilities. With centuries of experience over Kate, Kate might just be in over her head against someone she should call — family.
More importantly, in this story the sexual tensions between Kate and Curran will come to a head. Kate lost the bet in the last book when Curran found where she, Jim and his people were hiding out. Kate was supposed to make Curran dinner — and serve it naked. Kate makes dinner, but Curran never shows. When she call the keep to find out if he is alright, she is told that Curran doesn’t wish to speak to her. While her first inclination is to storm the keep and kick some lion butt, she fears she is just setting herself up for further humiliation if she gets tossed out or worse, finds Curran there with another woman. So Kate crushes the fragile dreams she has been weaving about a future with Curran and ignores him for as long as possible. But it is hard to ignore a pissed off Beast Lord, especially when he finds you out with another man. Was the whole thing a misunderstanding or was Curran truly setting Kate up for a long, hard fall?
I definitely have been enjoying this series more reading it rather than listening to it, but oddly enough, I still hear the narrator in my head as far as Kate’s voice. Strange how that works. Kate always gets into a fix during these stories, but in this one there was a lot of nail biting over the plague-bringer and I don’t want to give away too much on that for anyone just starting the series.
Kate is also in over her head with this nemesis. They are much more powerful and Kate has to keep most of her friends out of the line of fire or they will be used against her. I really couldn’t figure out how she would survive this one.
There is a huge connection between them and Kate and Roland. Those around Kate are starting to pick up on Kate’s magic and connecting some dots to Roland. She knows her father would be pissed after raising her to keep her head down and don’t get close to anyone that she now allows people close and has put herself out there enough to save her friends so they are guessing her connection to Roland. The big question is whether any of those who know will betray Kate or will they stand beside her? I can’t wait to read more.
The tension here between Kate and Curran is as nail biting as the rest of the story. There was a lot of he said/she said screaming about whose fault their non-dinner was and finally Kate breaks down and confesses that his attentions made her think she might someday have all those things she never let herself believe in — home, husband, family, love, and Curran not showing for their date broke her heart. And she wanted nothing more to do with him. They both smart people and eventually started questioning why the other was so vehement that they were there and the other didn’t show. But still I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for somebody to make a move. Come on! These two really made you wait for it.
I can’t wait to get to the next book, but I will have to since I have a huge list of books to review and try as I might to keep the list light for the upcoming holidays, another and another keep getting snuck in. I do want to get back to this at the first opportunity since I am becoming addicted.
“So now you dislike me? Ironic, considering you pulled the plug on us.”
“I pulled the plug? You stood me up, you arrogant asshole!”
“You ran away!” He moved toward me. “I deserve an explanation.”
Slayer left its sheath almost on its own. It was the fastest draw of my life. One moment empty space lay between us and the next my saber jumped into my hand. “You deserve nothing.”
Gold rolled over currant’s eyes, so briefly that had I blinked, I would’ve missed it. His face gained a slightly bored expression. “Do you honestly think your toothpick can hurt me?”
“Let’s find out.”
“Let’s not.” Jim stepped between us.
Curran looked at him. His voice rasped with the beginning of a snarl. “What are you doing?”
He had lost his mind. Curran was hovering on the verge of violence and Jim had just made himself into a target.
“Jim, you want to step back.”
Jim remained rooted to the floor.
Curran’s gaze fastened on me, the gold burning scaling hot. Like looking into the eyes of a hungry lion and realizing I was food. My body locked, tiny hairs on the back of my neck rose on their ends, and inside me a tiny voice whispered in desperation, “Don’t breathe and he might forget you’re there.”
I flicked my saber, warming my wrist. “Your headlights don’t scare me.”
Jim squared his shoulders. “You can’t do this. Not here and not now.”
Curran’s voice slid into icy calm. “Be very careful, or I might start thinking you’re telling me what to do.”
If Curran ordered him to move, and Jim refused, it would be a challenge. Curran would have to fight his own chief of security and his best friend. They both knew it. That was why I was on the receiving end of Curran’s alpha stare. If he leveled it at Jim, there would be a fight.
I sidestepped. Jim moved with me. I stared at the ceiling and growled.
“Cute.” Curran said.
Die. “Why don’t you come over here and I’ll show you cute.”
“I’d love to, but he’s in the way. Besides, you had your chance to show me anything you wanted to. You’d just run away again.”
For the love of God. “I didn’t run away. I made you your damn dinner, but you didn’t have the decency to show.”
Jim’s eyebrows crept up. “Dinner?”
Curran’s eyes blazed. “You took off. I smelled you. You were there and then you got cold feet and ran. If you didn’t want to do this, all you had to do was pick up the phone and tell me not to show up. Did you actually think I’d make you serve me dinner naked? But you didn’t even bother.”
“Hey!” Jim barked.
“What?” Curran and I said at almost the same time.
Jim looked at me. “Did you make him dinner?”
He’d find out sooner or later. “Yes.”
Jim turned on his foot, went out of the room, and shut the door behind him.
“He thinks we’re mated.” Curran moved forward, too light on his feet for a man of his size, his gaze locked on me–a predator stalking its prey. “In the Pack, one doesn’t stand between mates. He’s being polite. He doesn’t realize you broke it off.”
“Oh no. No, I didn’t break it off. You had your chance and you blew it.”
Curran’s mask cracked. “The hell I did.”
All of the pain and anger of the past month smashed into me. Having him near was like ripping the dressing off a raw wound. Words just came tumbling out and I couldn’t stop them.
“So it’s my fault? I made you your bloody dinner. You didn’t show up. Just couldn’t pass up a chance to humiliate me, could you?”
Curran bit the air as if he had fang. “I was challenged by two bears. They broke two of my ribs and dislocated my hip. When Doolittle finally finished setting my bones, I was four hours late. I asked if you called and they said no.”
He’d sunk enough gravity into that “no” to bring down a building.
“If you were late, I would’ve turned the town inside out looking for you. I called you. You didn’t answer. I was so sure something happened to you I dropped everything and dragged myself to your house. I came to check on you with broken bones and you weren’t there.”
Curran snarled. “I left a note on your door.”
“More lies. I waited for you for three hours. I called the Keep, thinking that something happened to you, and your flunkies told me that the Beast Lord said he was too busy to speak to me.” I was shaking with rage. “That in the future I should address all of my concerns to Jim, because His Majesty declared that he didn’t want to be bothered with talking to the likes of me anymore.”
“That phone call happened in your head. You’re delusional.”
“You stood me up and then rubbed my nose in it.”
Something hissed behind the frosted glass in the main hall.
Curran lunged toward me. I should’ve thrust straight through him. Instead I just stood there, like an idiot.
He clamped me to him, spinning us so his back faced the glass.
The glass wall exploded.