ARC Mostly Magic by Donna June Cooper – 5 Stars

Mostly Magic


Click on cover to visit book’s Goodread page.  Synopsis and cover art thanks to Goodreads.

Book 2 in Books of the Kindling series – release date June 3, 2014

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Do dreams come true? Dr. Daniel Woodruff hopes they don’t, because his dreams predict a devastating future for him, for those he loves—and for the planet.

His latest premonition, which blows a huge crater in his eroding sanity, holds a singular horror—the loss of a wife and unborn child. Yet another reason he can let no one into his chaotic life, least of all a perky, persistent investigative reporter he finds simultaneously frustrating and fascinating.

Mel Noblett leaves no stone unturned in her one-woman crusade to save the environment. When a whistleblower in Italy proves too frightened to talk, Mel turns to a fall-back lead, an extremely eccentric, beekeeping professor who might just make the trip worthwhile.

Despite their instant attraction, Mel is relieved when Daniel keeps her at arm’s length. After all, she has a secret of her own—one that makes her preternaturally good at her job. And, when Daniel’s terrifying visions prove uncannily accurate and begin to revolve around Mel—it is a gift that could put her life in danger.

Warning: Reluctant seer of a bleak future meets petite force of nature who lights up the heart of his darkness. Where there’s smoke, there could be an unpredictable blaze of passion, but the rewards are oh, so sweet…

I read the first book in this series last week. I liked it, didn’t love it, wasn’t blown away by it. It was a sweet love story with a little magical twist to it.  This book is a whole different story. I loved this one.  I’ll go into why shortly, but I was hooked from the beginning and enjoyed every minute of the book.  If my time had not been broken up this week, by work and a vacation this would have been a two-day read at most for me.

So why was this one so much better than the first.  Well that is probably the main reason, the last one was this authors first book.  In Mostly Magic you can feel that Ms. Cooper has really begun to find her voice.  Her writing, while good in bk 1, blossoms in this story.  It is almost like she is more comfortable in the tale she is telling, more confident.  I expect her future additions to this series will just continue to get better and better.  She does a excellent job of weaving the story and the action is spread out more in book 2.  The romance is still more sweet than steamy, but I think it works for this story and its characters.  The story is also still pretty light on the paranormal, but I can tell the author is getting bolder and I can’t wait to see how she mixes things up in the next book.   I hope there is going to be a next book, as of this post there isn’t one listed on Goodreads, but as this book isn’t yet released I’m not too worried.  It also is a better book to me in that I am getting to know the world more; its characters and message.

What about this book did I enjoy? Plenty! I am really digging the environmental message and lessons that the author is mixing into the story.  Last book was about herbal medicine, this one bees.  I learned a lot and didn’t feel like I was getting a school lesson in the process.  The author wove the information into the story and used it to help move along the plot in a delightful way.  I also enjoyed that some of this story takes place off mountain.  Now I do enjoy the parts on-mountain and the beautiful descriptions of life there, but it was so much fun to visit Italy!  It is a country my husband and I have always wanted to visit, but have yet to do so.  The descriptions of and action in Florence were particularly well done.  It made me add the city to my must see list. Well this book and Dan Brown’s Inferno….

There isn’t much that  I didn’t like about the book.  There was a little bit of the lead male, Daniel, didn’t like himself, or rather his gift.  This usually annoys me in a story and will often be a reason I stop a book.  The way it is handled in this story is not too bad.  It was needed for character growth and in the end Daniel comes around.  It helped the plot more than hindered it in this story.  That is more a personal taste of mine then a default of any story though.  I just don’t care to be in character’s heads that don’t like themselves.

One message from the book really resonated with me, as it is something I have often struggled with.  I’m going to share a line from the book, but I don’t think it is going to give anything away.  But still spoiler alert, for those of you who are picky…   Daniel says to Mel near the end “Falling in Love with someone means you sign up for pain.”  This is so true!  You can not have love without pain or loss.  But if you don’t open yourself up to the potential of that pain then you are going to be denying yourself something so precious and wonderful all for your fear of feeling loss.   You have to let love in and risk being burned.  If not what is the point?  You will not be living life to the fullest if you don’t take the risk.  And when or if that love leaves you, be it death or other it was still worth it in the end.  Perhaps this is why I enjoyed this book so much more than the first.  I can identify with Daniel.  I can appreciate his thinking and struggles.  I get him more than I got Grace or Nick.

Lets see what else.  I liked Mel, she was feisty and a lot of fun.  Her family was a hoot and I loved her gift.  I think she was a perfect match for Daniel.  The ending was also beautiful.  Brought me to tears, in a good way, happy tears.  The book was a fun ride and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in the world.  The author has begun to weave a complex plot that has me hoping that everything works out in the end, for the story and our real world as well.  It made me think about the way I lead my own life and  the environment in which I live.  I hope you give this series a shot.  I would suggest starting with book one, you could read this one alone, but I think it will make more sense if you start at the beginning.


2 thoughts on “ARC Mostly Magic by Donna June Cooper – 5 Stars

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