The Magician by Carla Cook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is an older PNR that I found at a used bookshop, and it was surprisingly good. I liked the characters and the way the author took her time with the romance and didn't force the characters into an unrealisticly quick head-over-heels.
I deducted one star because I had issues with the pacing and structure in the second half of the book. The "all is lost" moment hits, the big bad is revealed, and then the resolution seems to come too suddenly and too easily, without the characters having to stake too much to regain equilibrium.
Then, after the big bad is put down permanently and they're safe, the story has one of those J.R. Ward-type "oh no, it's hopeless, they'll never be together" feints when we all know perfectly well, with only 3-5 pages left, that the happily-ever-after is right around the corner. J.R. Ward often does it well, but in this novel, it fell a little flat for me.
But if you happen across this one at your used bookstore, do give it a read. It has a very likely heroine, she has an adorable kiddo, and there are some really interesting paranormal plot elements.
I purchased this book with my own funds and was not obligated in any way to review it.