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Genre: Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Pages: 349 pages, Mass Market Edition
Read Count: 3? (maybe more?)
My Rating: 5 stars!
Description: Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community. When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar frequented by both shapeshifters and necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father. This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…
In the interest of transparency … this is like the fourth time I’ve read this book 🙈 I’ve lost count, so it might be more than that. Ilona Andrews (a husband-and-wife writing duo) were also the first (and only!) author I’ve gone to see specifically. I’ve certainly gone to different book conferences and such where many authors are, but I drove to a different state specifically for them in this case! I would show pictures, but that was several years ago and … let’s just say braces were involved.
* As this is the fourth review in the series, I am not going into super deep detail in explaining things. If you feel confused, please navigate to the other reviews at the bottom of this post (they’re listed in order from one to three). Or you can click the links provided here: Magic Bites (book one), Magic Burns (book two), Magic Strikes (book three).
Magic Bleeds is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, picking up about four months after the third one (Magic Strikes) left off. If you remember the end of Magic Strikes, you’ll remember that it ended with Curran making sure Kate made good on the deal involved in the bet he won. This deal, which I’m trying to be vague about to avoid spoilers, was basically a date. Problem was, Curran never showed. Worried he was somewhere and hurt, Kate called the Keep, and was informed that His Furriness (meaning Curran, the Beast Lord and lion Shifter) was busy and to please direct future inquiries to the Pack Security Director.
The phone rang. I picked it up. “Kate Daniels”
“It’s me,” Curran said. “I—”
I hung up.
This is obviously troubling for someone to hear, especially for someone who had finally opened her heart up to the hope and possibility of a happy ending after over 20 years (I’m actually not positive how old she is) of loneliness. Kate was destroyed, and I was destroyed with her. The Kate Daniels books offer the absolute ~slowest~ of slow burns, and their romance had been building towards something amazing for awhile, only to be cut short. I was crushed. Kate was crushed. Feels were everywhere.
But when a new problem rolls into town, Kate (a mercenary who cleans up magical problems) finds out that the perpetrator is actually her Aunt, who was never to know that Kate existed, because she’d just go running to Kate’s father. Basically: Things get crazy, and Kate takes a stand, and we actually learn even more about the possibility of her powers and Kate gets even more badass, if that’s possible.
There’s also a lot of Pack in this one, and we learn a lot of about the BS of Shifter politics and basically just have a fun community of mouthy and bloodthirsty shifters on our hands, who either love or love-to-hate our precious Kate. Which is always entertaining.
“Some of you know me. Some of you have seen me fight and some of you are my friends. Have your vote. But know this: if you come to remove me, come in force, because if you try to separate me from him, I will kill every single one of you. My hand won’t shake. My aim won’t falter. My face will be the last thing you‟ll see before you die.”
I jammed the knife into the table and walked out.”
Speaking of Pack… CURRAN. I have to say, he really took a turn for me in this one! Not to say that I didn’t like him before, but I really love him now. The mating dance between Curran and Kate was absolutely hysterical, and when Curran yanks control back from his fellow Shifters, it’s hilarious. His anger felt so intense, I felt like the book was going to blow up in my hands, and I was cheering along with him. Either that, or participating in some startled laughter, my hand over my mouth to try to keep that in. The humans around me may have thought it strange, but at least I knew why I was laughing, and it was a damn good reason.
Beyond that, I finally started to get some depth to him. Again, not to say he was a flat character before, he was just… unexplored. It’s not the right word, but you get my drift. In Magic Bleeds, we finally got some lines filled in for us, and it really sharpened some things into perspective and I basically now love my Curran so much. Kate, you’ve got competition by me… Kate. Everything that Kate and Curran were feeling, whether it’s a sexual tension, passion, or an enduring love, I could feel in my bones. Mr and Mrs. Andrews were that good. Goddamn.
I’ve said it many times, but
most part of what makes this series so amazingly wonderful is this slow burn romance, that is so hard for other authors to mimic. It’s an enduring and evolving love story, not just a quick-fast romance. They’re growing and learning with each book and there are hurdles, as there will be for the rest of their lives. It’s a true love story, and it’s evident with every one of Curran and Kate’s interaction.
Their relationship may have been made official after four books, but they’ve still got many books to go, and I know that it doesn’t stagnate. Just the fact that they managed to weave the slowest of slow burns, as I keep saying, over four books and the reader doesn’t even care about the length of time tells you exactly the caliber of skill you’re dealing with here. They found that perfect medium of just long enough with all the repressed sexual tension and also it still leaves the reader (ME) salivating for more.
“People think I built the Pack, because I’m the guy who has the welfare of all shapeshifters in mind. They’re wrong. Everything I built, I did so that when I mate and have children, nobody can touch my family. (…) I built all this so I can protect you.”
And once again, Kate’s case was perfectly executed and written. It was simple case of magical plague, then a mythical plague-bringer from the first Babylon and then she was family and shit really hit the fan for Kate. Her gig is up, time’s running out, but so far, she seems to be having a handle on things. Mostly…
The Andrews’ really do write mystery’s so well. It was action-packed, intensely magical, fun and a wonderfully face-paced cozy mystery to snuggle up to. My friend actually got this really amazing weighted blanket (12 pounds), and I was snuggled in that, feeling wonderful and happy and loved, while reading this one and it was absolute perfection. Is a similar blanket in my Amazon shopping cart right now? Maybe…
That was an intense battle scene and the aftermath 💕✨ Oh my gosh, I was crying. Kate is such a strong character, I just… I can’t. Throughout the whole book, she’s an intensely practical, sarcastic, badass ninja with a huge heart who is also frequently hilarious, but in those final moments of the book, my heart really broke for her and she won a piece of my heart. THIS is why everyone loves Kate so much (and by everyone I mean the readers… and the characters), because of her perseverance and steadfast loyalty, proving herself again and again.
Really, this was the best one yet of the series, and this is one of those series where everyone says each book gets collectively better (which has proven true so far!). But the Andrews’ really ran my emotions all over the gamut with this one, as I experienced each emotion right alongside Kate, spending a large portion of the book pissed off, then giggling at the witty banter and hilarious one-liners, etc. It’s always a pretty outstanding feat for an author to have a reader’s emotion run alongside parallel to the characters at such a degree, but they did it, and they continue to do it with every damn book of their’s I’ve read.
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Have you read any of Ilona Andrews books? What are some of your favorite slow-burn romances? (Aren’t they the best?!) Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!