May 12, 2015

Books of the Kindling series. Donna June Cooper

book cover
More Than Magic  #1 in Books of the Kindling
Donna June Cooper
Published: Samhain Publishing
Date: 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Author
DEA agent Nick McKenzie is sure magic exists - a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that's wreaking havoc on the streets of Atlanta. He's also sure that locating and eliminating the source could mean his death.

When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner's anxious attempts to scare him off tell him something's afoot, and it s not her secret patch of a rare, ancient species of ginseng.

As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades into the distance, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with an inherited magical gift she didn't want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather's final, cryptic message.

The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now she must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world and her desire to save Nick s life.

My thoughts:

The first book in the series is the story of Grace and the DEA agent that comes to Grace's mountain to try and uncover a ring of drug smugglers, he even suspects it may be Grace.  This is a delightful, if slightly too lengthy tale of magic - an amazing amount of it, a clever dog Pooka, a young Jamie who has a head for codes and a couple that have the best interests of the world at heart.  There is an environmental message to the story, tastefully incorporated.  If you like contemporary romance, much magic, some mystery and justice served - you'll likely enjoy the read.

book cover
Mostly Magic #2 in Kindling series
Published: Samhain Publishing
Date: June 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance/Magic/Suspense/Paranormal
Source: Author
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.

My thoughts:

In this book it is the turn of Daniel to take centre stage.  He is beekeeper/bee whisperer and lecturer. He is struggling with his gift - when he touches someone he is thrust into the future and what is about to happen to them - usually he is shown something that could be a severe threat, even death.

The first third of the book takes place in France where Daniel first mets Mel, a persistent and tenacious journalist.  Daniel then returns to Woodruff Mountain and not long after Mel joins him. 

There I enjoyed meeting up again with Grace and Nick and  young Jaime.  Grace is able to help Daniel a little with his gift, as do other members of the family!  It turns out Daniel is not the only one with a gift and as the suspense builds in this book, it becomes a little like a game of chess. A move and then a counter move.

The story has a strong environmental message and explores the impact of humans on the planet - often threatening life, however the story also shows that each one using their specific gifts wisely can have a positive impact. 

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