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Friday, October 28, 2011

Magic in the Wind by Christine Feehan


"Sarah's coming home." Ever since Damon Wilder sought refuge in Sea Haven, he's heard the same breathless rumor pass the lips of nearly every local in the sleepy coastal town. Even the wind seems to whisper her name - a reverie so powerfully suggestive that it carries the curious Damon to Sarah's clifftop home, and seeks to shelter him there.

But Damon has not arrived alone. Two men have tracked him to Sea Haven, and into the shadows of Drake House, where Sarah hides her own secrets. And danger- as well as a desire more urgent than either has ever known- is just a whisper away...

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** Contains Mild Spoilers **

As the first volume of a 7 book series, this novella at first seems to be a bit on the light side, but closer reading reveals considerable depth, depth that isn't necessarily immediately apparent, and maybe isn't really obvious until you've read more about the Drakes. There are some hints here of things we'll see (or probably see - not having read most of the series yet, I couldn't say at this point for sure) in the later books about Sarah's sisters. But while this novella does well at setting the stage for what will eventually be a much larger story no doubt, still it doesn't lose it's primary focus of Sarah and Damon's budding relationship. While much about who they are and what they do is left rather vague, we still get to know them fairly well as people, so the details of how they make (or made in Damon's case) their living don't seem all that important really. While we're told that Sarah is a "security specialist", a position with apparently involves SWAT team/assassin/spy type training as well as knowledge of physical/electronic security systems, what she does isn't ever defined very clearly, and the few glimpses we are shown of Sarah acting as the trained professional she apparently is seem to be rather out of sync with the slightly mysterious, definitely soft-hearted woman that we shown most of the time.



One thing that seems to be largely missing in this novella is serious conflict. True, they are having to deal with a team of kidnappers/assassins that are looking to finish what they started with Damon several months or more before the story started, but their few encounters with them are all fairly brief and generally quickly and relatively easily resolved, and since the mood of the story is predominately light-hearted and happy, it's difficult to feel too much suspense or tension about the hitmen. Furthermore, they are external to the main couple here - Sarah and Damon never have even a minor quarrel with each other, let alone any real conflicts between them, and while that adds to the rather fairy-tale, fated-to-be nature that Ms. Feehan obviously intended for their relationship, it also makes their romance seem a bit less real, because real couples do have at least occassional disagreements, even if only over relatively inconsequential things like what to have for dinner. Most likely Sarah and Damon will have their fair share of those kind of minor spats, but it would have been nice to seem them do more than simply gaze besottedly into each others eyes when they're together (when they weren't busy fending off inept hitmen or engaging in serious liplock or other more intense physical activities - and speaking of such, shouldn't their intense bedroom sessions have been kind of physically challenging for him with his bad hip? And yet nothing is said of there being any physical issues for him while making love to her...)

Now, a lot of what I've said above may seem negative toward this book, but it's certainly not my intent to give it a bad review overall - on the contrary, I've given it a full four stars because I think it is an excellent book, and certainly makes me interested in reading more about the Drake Sisters and the things they can do. Most of the issues I have with it are truly minor, and most of them are mostly likely due to the fact that this is just a novella, not a full novel, and so Ms. Feehan of course had to be rather more brief about some things than she might have been in a longer page count work. For fans of witches, or of paranormal romances, or both, this book will be well worth your time to read, as, I suspect, the whole series will be.

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