Title: Something About Witches
Author: Joey W. Hill
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Arcane Shot (Book 1)
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback, 312 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425246132 (Penguin/Berkley)
ISBN-13: 978-0425246139 (Penguin/Berkley)
Reviewed by: Kristie
It’s amazing what a little magic can do…
Ruby Night Divine is a gun shop owner. She’s also a witch who knows magic can fail. She’s experienced it first hand, with full-blown tragic consequences. Smith & Wesson is a whole hell of a lot more reliable, and nothing’s as cathartic as the ability to put a few holes in the things that piss you off. Like Derek Stormwind.
A powerful sorcerer, Derek is determined to get to the bottom of why Ruby pushed him away and ran three years before. He also needs her help. A coven needs training to fight a demon and his minions. While Ruby is willing to do it, she’s sure it’s just a ruse to get back in her heart—and her bed. The thing is, that’s where she wants him. Unfortunately, her bed’s already made, she’s this close to losing her soul, and she fears nothing can save her. Not Derek. Not even Smith & Wesson.
Quick & Dirty: Sensual (almost erotic) novel about the defeating of ones demons imaginary and real.
Opening Sentence: Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Ruby Night Divine was born a witch. She believed that she didn’t have much magic within her so she devoted her time to learning everything she could about magic. Then her latent abilities kicked in and she hid her powers from her friends. A prophecy delivered by her mother told Ruby that her powers would only lead to tragedy. Unfortunately that tragedy hit, Ruby was devastated and blamed everything on Derek, her sorcerer lover and soul mate. She used a dark magic to hide that tragedy from Derek and her two good friends (she didn’t run from her friends, just Derek). She set up a new life for herself at Arcane Shot, selling guns and avoiding her past.
Derek Stormwind is a Guardian of Light, an immortal sorcerer who fights evil. He travels a lot to help those in trouble because of this he wasn’t there for Ruby in her time of need. It has been three years since Ruby dumped him and he wants her to help with a job. Demons are trying to break through a rift in Florida and he needs Ruby to teach the witches how to seal the rift. Ruby agrees even though it means having to deal with Derek in her life again.
Ruby travels to Florida to teach the witches how to protect their land. She loves teaching the woman but she has an ulterior motive for being near the rift. She wants to fight demons, especially one named Asmodeus. Ruby has Darkness growing inside of her and the more she uses it the more she loses her soul. Derek must save Ruby from the Darkness and save her from herself.
The plot is more wrapped up in defeating your past demons than actually fighting an enemy. Although the latter does happen, the story is more about Ruby getting over the actions of her past and how it has shaped her relationship with Derek. The story itself feels dark with some dark issues but the tension and pacing are pretty much broken apart by the sex scenes. The first few sex scenes are not for the faint of heart or mind. There is a lot of roughness and kinkiness (although I realize the kinkiness factor could be raised to a much higher level). I think I was just surprised by it for some stupid reason. The sex does turn towards “lovemaking” about halfway through the book and stays that way.
The one thing that I kind of had a problem with at the beginning of the book is that the characters are quite mean to one another. I know Ruby is trying to push Derek away but when Derek talks to Ruby’s friend Raina, they are pretty harsh to one another. When Raina gets her “revenge” on Ruby even though it is done out of love she handles it badly.
Joey W. Hill does build a magical world with witches, sorcerers, demons, succubi, angels and who knows what else. I felt some of the magic was hard to follow when they were fighting but I did like seeing how the author made it her own style. The types of magic and the reasons they were being used and the fact that Ruby liked her guns, she didn’t make them her first priority in a fight.
Something About Witches is a dark and sensual book. This book is not about the action but about sex and emotion in Ruby and Derek’s relationship, if you have a problem with that then I say steer clear. With that said I did get engrossed in the story and I ultimately did like Derek and Ruby (crudeness aside). Ruby did learn from her actions and hopefully will have a better life because of it. I am really looking forward to In the Company of Witches even though Mikhael really frightens me with his actions in this book.
Derek’s eyes darkened. Ruby wanted to look away, but couldn’t. “You wanted him to hurt you,” he said.
“Yes. I . . . I begged him for it, most times. Derek . . . I’m sorry. I told you, it’s just . . . It’s too late. I can’t go back to being what you want me to be.”
“It’s not about that, Ruby. If you were what you wanted to be, I’d feel, know it, because I know who you are. I know your heart, girl; don’t you realize that? Your soul, too. I know what you like and don’t like, what makes you afraid, what makes you laugh . . .” His lips tightened. “There’s an important chunk of something I don’t know, but what I don’t know are the specifics. I know the important part. You made a choice, and in your heart, you know it was the wrong one, but you couldn’t turn away from it, and now you’re losing a little bit more of yourself to the Darkness every day.
“Whatever that choice was, it was so important that you can’t turn your back on it, so all you can do is try to slow it down, keep the Darkness appeased and from clawing more of the guts out of your soul at an even faster pace. You’re hanging from a cliff edge, Ruby, and you don’t know whether it’s best to let go and have done with it, or keep hanging on.”
He was so accurate, so dead-on right, words stuck in her throat. But he wasn’t finished. His blue gaze held hers, burning her down to her soul.
“The reason I’m here now, why I’m not going anywhere, is because I’m the one kneeling on that ledge. All you have to do is reach up, and I’ll take your hand and help you back up.”
He gave her an admonishing squeeze, let her go so abruptly she swayed from the lack of support. Stepping back, he gave her a hard look. “That’s your friend talking, the man who loves you. But here’s a message from the man who knows you are his bitch. His sharp-tongued, stubborn, amazingly strong and talented, wildly fragile . . .” He shook his head, unable to say it again.
“He’s right about one thing. You do need a guy with a strong hand, one who makes things clear and doesn’t fuck around with being PC or leave it in shades of gray. So here it is, crystal-clear.”
He jerked his head toward the driveway, where Mikhael had disappeared. “You let him come anywhere near you again, I’ll kill him, Ruby. Same goes for any man you let touch what’s mine. As long as I can tell from the look in your eyes, in your response to my touch, that your heart, soul, mind and body are mine, I don’t share.”
The Arcane Shot Series:
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of Something About Witches. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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