Monday, June 8, 2015

ARC Review: In the Air Tonight

In the Air Tonight (Sisters of the Craft #1)

by Lori Handeland


Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart's destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had...
With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere.
She’s learned to keep her visions to herself . . . until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along?
Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case—and with Bobby—the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows . . . and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?
Themes: Magick, Demons, paranormal
Rating: 3.75  stars
Heat Rating: 
One of my favorite authors, Lori Handeland, has begun an all new trilogy full of drama, intrigue, and the beauty of discovery for three long-separated sisters.  The set-up is an interesting one, with three sister-witches being sent 400 years into the future by their dying parents, also witches of course, to try to save them from the hunters that have set out to destroy their family.  Each of the sisters has grown up in a different area of the 21st century, unknowing of their powers it seems, but never fully fitting into their lives.  The first story revolves around the dark beauty, Raye, as she finds herself the center of a witch hunt and is confronted with the truth of her ancestry, the facts of her strange powers, and a man that could forever change her life.  I love Handeland’s NightCreature series and this trilogy is looking to be a success as well.  The only issue I had was with the way writing was actually done because personally I am not a big fan of romance novels written in first person, but with the over POVs and the skill of writing, Lori pulls it off and left me with a happy read and anticipation for the next two stories.  And I can tell any of her longtime fans, that we get some cameos from previous characters in her NightCreature series as well, which was AWESOME.
Raye is a haunted woman, literally and figuratively.  She has always had the strange ability to see the ghosts that surround us on a daily basis and has long come to understand that her little skill sets her apart from all others.   When a woman is brutally murdered in the her small, sleepy town, the woman’s ghost leads to more questions than answers for Raye, and ultimately brings her face to face with the disarmingly gorgeous detective that arrives in town to investigate the death.  Bobby has traveled a long way in hopes that the woman’s death provides him some insight to a string of murders he has investigated in New Orleans and the first person he meets is the enigmatic and dangerously sexy Raye, as she flees from a knife-wielding madman.  As they find themselves thrown together again and again by the killer and Bobby’s desire to keep Raye safe, their passion for one another becomes something neither can resist and leads to some interesting discoveries.  The question is can a man so against believing in anything supernatural handle being in love with a witch that sees the souls of the departed, including someone very special from his own past?
Raye was a very interesting character, a woman with no idea the true depths of her powers or real understanding of her heritage.  A foundling discovered abandoned on the side of the round as an infant, Raye has never felt connected to her family or the people in her small town.  Her strength comes from understanding and accepting that she’ll never fit in and she needs to be happy with who and what she is, even if at times her powers scare her or make her feel isolated.  I felt so bad for her as she tried to get Bobby to accept the truth of her skills and accept her for the woman she is, even though he is afraid of the past that haunts him.  I loved seeing her come into her own, once she understands the full scope of her abilities and learns to better control them.  I can see her becoming a strong force for good in the coming novels and see her finding herself even more as she reunites with her missing sisters.  Bobby on the other hand was an enigma; a man who has spent the majority of his adult life in New Orleans, the most paranormal packed and haunted city in the states, is firmly on the side of disbelief.  He is determined to resist believing in anything supernatural even if the facts are right in front of his face, and ultimately that will bring pain to Raye, whose entire existence is shrouded by the supernatural.  It was interesting to see him in action, fighting the bad guys, and he is obviously a strong and loving man, but his closed mind and refusal to discuss his past keeps a wall between him and Raye for a very long time, even going so far as to deny his feelings for her in his unwillingness to accept the truth.  I really came to love Bobby when he decided that maybe Raye was telling the truth and she is worth the fears and work it will take for him to overcome his suspicion.
Overall I found this story to be extremely interesting, especially the way Raye’s birth parents are worked into the story, because really what could be cooler.  There was of course a lot of set-up for the world in this story, but I found lots of reason to laugh, cry, and lust, and of course the HEA was one that I cannot wait to touch on more in the coming novels.  I am unsure how the sisters will finally be reunited, but I suspect it will be a gradual process, one that will take some buildup to get them all back together.  Raye was a wonderful character with lots of wit, sweetness, and sarcasm, to make her into a well-rounded woman that will be a great future addition.   Bobby was the kind of guy that just needed a swift kick in the butt to force him to see the things around him that he’s always felt but ultimately denied.  The love between Raye and Bobby was slow to build, but will obviously be lasting and true.  I imagine their partnership will become a crucial stepping stone in the future novels as Raye meets her sisters and they work to stay alive and protect themselves from a returning danger.  Another great series with all the things I’ve always loved about Lori’s writing, wit, sarcasm, twisty plots, and characters that make you laugh and cry.  Bring on the witches, Lori! 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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