DarklingRating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

There is a small coastal town that from the outside looks like it could be any other town, but inside is magic that inhabits the resident witches. Ryder has lived here his entire life and he knows about secrets. It’s not a secret that he’s a witch, but it is a secret whose blood runs through his veins. Ryder is also in love with his best friend, Liam, and that is most certainly a secret. To top it all off, Ryder has one last secret that he feels if Liam knows, he will certainly have no chance with him at all.

Ryder and Liam are part of the same circle of witches and it’s common practice for them to share tarot card readings. This last reading however, offers up a potential catastrophe the guys know neither of them can stop. Ryder’s magic is also unsettled, for the dark magic that runs through his veins is ready to come out and play.

Ryder finally thinks he may have a chance with Liam, but family obligations and dark magic wait for no man and Ryder has to take the greatest chance of all in the hope he can claim his place with Liam finally by his side.

It was the magic that sold me on this book and the mention of tarot cards and of friends becoming lovers. There is a lot to like here in this book from newer author Brooklyn Ray. We are introduced to Ryder and Liam, two witches, who are the best of friends. Except they don’t know each other as well as they think as Ryder has secrets, so many secrets. The secrets have been in place during the two years of their friendship, but get addressed fairly early on in the book, which helps to move the story along.

There is a lot that happens in a shorter amount of pages here. We have the relationship between Ryder and Liam, the magic that lives in the town, a full cast of characters, and then Ryder ascending to the place he was supposed to be all along.

The relationship between the men is well done, but also had some unrealized potential for me. The longing and chemistry between Ryder and Liam comes off the page and when they finally get together it is an explosive of lust and passion and love and some darker magic. The scene was good but, since Ryder was holding back due to an unexposed secret, it had the potential to be great. It was all right there, but I just would have liked more.

And, that’s how I felt about a good portion of the book—that I just needed more. I needed more world building as there is a lot we are just supposed to go with. From all of the witches and magic in the town, to the witches’ circles and hierarchy, to the place that Ryder needs to be with his magic. It all worked for the most part and while I remained intrigued and could follow along, I kept feeling like I needed more in a lot of areas. Since this is the beginning of a series, there will be more to come, but I felt like parts of the foundation for the larger world were a little shaky for me.

Ray offers up many characters here that make up a magical family of both blood relatives and found family. While the ending left more questions as this will be a continuing series, I am going to cautiously recommend this one as I enjoyed the writing style, the characters, the magical elements, and the hints of stories yet to come.

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