The Ellwood Chronicles: The Enchanter’s Flame by Michelle Notaro
Strange things are happening all around Brinnswick. Things that remind me of a piece of my past I’d rather forget. Girls are being killed, drained of blood, and left with strange markings on their bodies. When I finally connect the cases together, a specialist is called in—though, what he’s a specialist of is beyond me.
When the chief assigns him as my new partner for the case, I can’t help but groan on the inside. Why of all people would I be assigned to Ailin Ellwood? The man is a disaster waiting to happen and a jerk to boot. A sexy jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.
What will Sebastian think when he discovers Ailin’s specialty? Will he make a run for it or will he stick around and discover a world of magic hidden beneath the city’s surface?
***The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book in the Ellwood Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance that contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and over.***
The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book of the highly enjoyable Ellwood Chronicles, a fantasy series about witches and other magic users blended with a chockful of romance, mystery, humor and a dash of police procedural.
Some niggles though. Ailin Ellwood, a very powerful witch, was partnered with Sebastian Fitz, a police detective, to solve a series of murders. At first, Sebastian didn’t know Ailin’s true identity. All he was told was that the man was a specialist. Seb was dragged along with only half an idea of what’s going and had to endure his partner’s assholic attitude. The witch gave cryptic non-answers and made life-altering decisions, ex. magically binding Seb for life, without even consulting him. Also, he constantly read the detective’s mind with no regard for his privacy.
This, understandably, drove the clueless Seb crazy. The story was written from his POV and most of it was him and his hilarious WTF reactions to whatever shit Ailin came up with. The poor guy simultaneously wanted throttle the jerk and get in his pants because Ailin’s got that cool Goth boy look to match the rude ‘tude. The result was a lot of sniping and griping and USTs all over the place. The two literally crackled when they touch!
The world-building wasn’t as immersive as I would have liked but still very intriguing. The setting was deliberately vague, going with that somewhere-in-the-US-but-not-really style. It’s set in the contemporary world where magic users live in secret and work with the government to keep that secret and keep dark forces at bay. The magical part was hinted early on and later became clear to Sebastian as his relationship with Ailin progressed.
We learn that many kinds of magical creatures exist and there are different magical affinities. These include nature, death, light, and shadow magic. They are associated with a certain color which matches the user’s eye-color. And because I’m a sucker for stuff like this, I immediately started imagining what my affinity would be.
We meet the Ellwood clan/coven. They’re a cocky bunch. Shipping Basil, Ailin’s lil bro, and Thayer, a coven member. Shipping them really hard.
We learn about Ailin’s true responsibilities and his deeper connection with Sebastian. Totally loving this vitmea viramore thing they had going on.
The backstory was also revealed. It spoke of war and how an entire specie of magic users become extinct. How these tie with their case unveiled more shocking revelations that turned Sebastian’s life and their entire world up side down.
I had fun with this one. There’s were many good points that overcame the niggles and overall, the story was very entertaining. Recommended for those who like their urban fantasy with a lot of kissing and bickering.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits