Magic Possessed (The Hidden #2)
by Jaime Rush
They are the Hidden.
Not quite human. Far from normal.
And never, ever safe…
Her brother was mysteriously murdered with no witnesses, clues—or motives. Yet Violet Castanega knows he won't be the last to die unless she seeks help. But the Hidden's law enforcement won't come to the aid of her rowdy dragon clan, and the only person who will listen to her is one tough cop. Violet has tangled with him before, and it got rough. This time, it's getting hot…
Too Close For Comfort
Powerful Guard member Kade Kavanaugh has been ordered to take out Violet Castanega. While assassination orders don't come with explanations, his instincts scream that killing the feisty beauty is wrong. Now Kade must put his career, not to mention his life, on the line to save her. But as the passion—and the danger—heat up between Kade and Violet, can they survive the darkest magick of all?
Themes: dragons, paranormal, magick
Rating: 3.5 stars
Well that was certainly an unexpected story with lots of twists and turns. I have been looking forward to the next in this series almost since I finished reading book one. This series is one that grabbed my attention from the very first novella and has yet to release my imagination from its hold. The basic premise of the series is that there is a hidden world within our own, one that consists of Dragon shapeshifters, magick users (Deuces), and even descendants of fallen angels (Caidos). Rush weaves an enchanting but terrifying tail of evil, and shows that it takes only the bravery and love of a few to overcome great and terrible odds and defeat that evil. This second full length novel in the Hidden series shows a second level of battles being orchestrated by a greater being in an attempt to regain their power and dominion over the Hidden and mundanes alike. It should also be noted that this book takes place simultaneously as book one, Dragon Awakened, giving the impressions of a very intricate plot to overthrow the world.
Violet’s brother has just been brutally murdered and she just can’t understand the reason why. Determined to understand, she begins asking questions of the Dragons living on the fringes of the magick that gives all members of the Hidden their strength and energy. Soon she discovers a plot that will lead her to seek the help of the Guard (the Hidden's police force) and led her down a dark and dangerous road. Luckily traveling that road with her is Kade, a magick user and guard member, who has decided to follow his gut and work with Violet to uncover the conspiracy around the deaths of all the Dragons. Soon their intense attraction pulls them together in a heated relationship that neither imagines ever going anywhere permanent, but that neither is able to deny or hide from. When all their beliefs are tested and the truth behind this evil plot comes out, neither Violet nor Kade will come out unscathed and only by banding together can they survive. Coming to depend on each other, however, provides another hurdle as their passion slowly blooms into something deeper and even more beautiful. But can a dedicated Deuce Guard and a trouble-making but sexy dragoness really bind their lives together forever?
Kade was an odd duck for me to read about. On the one hand his nature is impulsive, strong willed, and adventurous, but on the other hand he has been living against his nature to conform to the requirements of his job for years. He is just following orders when he sets out to assassinate Violet, but when he comes across her in a very vulnerable state, he is inexplicably unable to fulfill his mission, instead deciding to question Violet and try to understand why her murder has been called for. He immediately feels a connection to Violet, one that burns through every cell of his body, and he suspects she also feels that heat. As Kade pulls more and more away from just being a coldhearted “cop” (for lack of a better word) and more into a passionate man determined to right a wrong, I find myself falling more and more for him, as does Violet. Violet herself is a multifaceted gem, that has been hidden in the pile of rocks she calls her family. She had her wild and reckless days in her youth, but has become a levelheaded and responsible adult, the voice of reason in her deadly family, which has given her an interesting amount of credibility with others in the Fringes. When she takes on the task of saving all the dragons from a dangerous plot to wipe them out, she does what she thinks is best by contacting the guard, never knowing she is putting her own life on the line. I liked Violet a lot, especially her willingness to do whatever it takes to keep her family and friends safe. When she is faced with the ultimate test, she finds that loving Kade isn't as scary as she thought it might be and using that love to keep him safe and sane is worth any heartache.
In the end, I was amazed at the interweaving and planning required for such an elaborate plot and am REALLY looking forward to finding out what’s happening in book three, as I suspect it will also be happening in the same three-day time period as book one and two. Kade and Violet work well together as a team to overcome all odds, even going so far as to trust each other to the depths of their souls. Kade is a tough and terrifying man, who has lived his life, since the death of his father, for duty and honor and to protect his sister from shame, but when he is faced with an unthinkable decision, the goodness inside him and his own high morals overshadow his adherence to duty. Violet is a perfect foil for him, with her wild antics and teasing nature, she perfectly balances his true protective but adventurous temperament. When their love sneaks up on them both, it was great to see them both open their eyes to the wonder of the relationship they could share. I also loved getting a glimpse of the overall deadly plot that seems to be running through all three stories on the series and knowing just who the bad guys ultimately are is intriguing. Seeing more of the world they inhabit and getting to meet more of the characters was great, as well as getting hints of whose story might be next. Can’t wait to find out if good ultimately defeats evil.
*Book provided by publisher for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.