More Than Magic (Book of the Kindling #1)
Donna June Cooper
Published: February 4, 2014 (Samhain)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Candace
Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Dr. Grace Woodruff has a way with her patients, and that way is magic. Not only is she a brilliant scientist, but she can also heal people with her touch. After her grandfather’s death, she goes back home to use her scientific abilities to raise the herbs her grandfather sold. Unfortunately, the homestead has come under the attention of government officials.
DEA Agent Nick McKenzie comes to Woodruff in an attempt to snuff out Smoky Mountain Magic, a new drug on the streets. Nick rents a room at Grace’s place and is immediately intrigued—and suspicious—of the beautiful young woman. To get to the bottom of this case Nick follows Grace, and finds himself falling for her and doubting her guilt.
More Than Magic is a great regional piece with local tradition, mountains, magic and healing. It is well-written, but a bit distracting with everything that is going on. Grace’s inner conflict with whether she should heal, her grief over Pops, her caretaker relationship with Jamie, missing her brother, the mountain “speaking,” the hidden crops, Nick’s case, the hidden meth lab and, at the bottom of the pile, the attraction between Nick and Grace. Everything else was played up more so than the relationship, which should be front and center since this is a romance. I checked Donna June Cooper’s website and this is planned series, so perhaps the other details are tied to world building. But I wanted more out of Nick and Grace’s relationship.
The villains are a trio, two dimwitted minions with a mastermind who has their own ties to magic.
Book two is Grace’s brother’s story. Cooper has a talent for writing and hopefully, the next book will spend more time playing up the romance.
Sexual content: Sex