Beware your heart and soul...
Evan broke Cassie's heart two months ago, and she still doesn't know why. She throws herself into family, friends, and her new job at the sheriff's department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her to heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him... irresistible.
Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the non-magical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor's wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands, with tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze. Book 3 in the Cassie Scot series.
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Another Great Cassie Scot Tale!
I loved "coming home" to Cassie and her life after enjoying the first two books in the series narrated by the same actor, Melissa Reisian Frank. It's difficult to keep the second, third or fourth book in a series as fresh and interesting as the first book, but in this case, Ms. Amsden has done a wonderful job. It was fun to see Cassie's role in the community and politics expanding, to meet more community members, and to see that she is indeed, capable of being "almost" taken advantage of by a mind mage. Seeing her vulnerability made her more endearing. I do not know this imaginary world of magic except through Ms. Amsden's books (I read mysteries and thrillers aside from this) but she has made it a very real world. I find myself accepting the outlandish with a sage nod, because it is handled so well in this series. I also continue to want to "slap both main characters upside the head" as they say, because they drive me crazy with their blind focus. What is wrong with Evan? Why wouldn't he want to relinquish that which isn't his if he loves her? (no spoilers here) And why can't Cassie see he loves her? He has shown her in all but one way. She is really still very young, however, and that's the answer. They're both kids, in their early twenties, and this is not surprising behavior for this age group. So again, very realistic in that sense. My favorite part of the story was when Cassie discovered a big secret about her past and started brewing her own concoctions. Although I was a little confused that her mother could still infuse magic into them even though she was originally a "drained" woman who had lost all her magic. (It may have been because she was currently pregnant with magical twins.) I also loved the scene where she found her own strength and stood up to the horrible men who claimed to be Christian but who were veritable monsters in disguise. Great scene, perfect for the temperament of the series.
Both Cassie Scot books - Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective, and Secrets and Lies are great companion books. I do recommend reading/listening to them in order!
Ms. Frank's voices are consistent from book to book which is nice, again, like "coming home" to a world you know and have missed. I enjoy her unique voices for all of the characters.
When Cassie warned Evan of the upcoming danger, and where he told her he loved her in spite of the fact that she despised him.
The triangle of Matt, Cassie, and Evan was most interesting - great angles here. And I loved the "surprise" in the Sheriff's office staff - no spoilers, but it was a nice twist!
- Aaron P. Lazar