Rating: 4.75 stars
Ray Brannigan has always fought against convention. He was the first were to become a police officer and then detective. He worked hard to become one of the best on the force, respected by his peers. Life was pretty good, until he met his mate then his life started unraveling. Now he finds himself unable to sleep or eat, his thoughts constantly on the one being he wants most in life and can’t have, at least on his terms. That would be Cal Parker, half human half fairy, consultant to the Police force and son of his retired Captain. Cal Parker is his mate and Ray can never let Cal know the truth. Because wolves mate for life, and fairies? Well, everyone knows that fairies don’t do long term anything, so what’s a wolf to do?
When bodies start piling up, all the evidence point to a supernatural Being as the killer. Ray’s Captain wants everyone working on the case, including Cal Parker. Working closely with his mate is playing havoc with his senses, all those delicious smells pouring off the fairy and Cal loves to flirt, especially with the grumpy wolf detective. The more time Ray spends with Cal, the harder it is to fight the pull of his mate. Then the killer turns his attention towards Cal, and the race is on to protect Cal and catch the killer.
Some Kind of Magic is some kind of charming. I loved this supernatural tale of romance between a grumpy wolf detective and the flighty half fairy consultant. Ray Brannigan is almost along the lines of those old noir detectives, detached yet protective of his city, honorable yet fighting his own nature. The story is told from Ray’s pov, so the reader assembles the facts of the case and the details of Ray’s relationship with Cal as Ray thinks about it. But right away, we realize that part of Ray is not thinking very clearly, and this is in turn with a being not eating or sleeping well. A wolf has found his mate and is denying them both the deep relationship that comes with the part. A lovely touch by the author is the inclusion of “known facts” from old fairytales about werewolves and fairies versus the “new modern knowledge”.
We realize, even if Ray doesn’t, that his perceptions of fairies is off from the start, and that it is fear that is ruling his decision. So the author gives us a slow build, full of heat mind you, to a sexual explosion between Ray and Cal. Cal is a lovely character, half human and half fairy, who has his own troubles fitting in with the police and constant human prejudices. Descriptions of Cal are always accompanied by mentions of sugary confections and candy, savory aromas and rich smells as fairies are constantly feeding on sweets. The sensual descriptions just add another layer to the reader’s enjoyment of this story as well as makes one want to visit a candy shop.
Humor is not left out of the picture either. At one point, Ray is telling his partner that were natural history was easy to find as the book “I’m Going To Get Fur Where?: A young Were’s guide to their changing body was in every library for Pete’s sake.” I loved the meshing of worlds here and that does sound exactly the sort of book you would find in the library.
The only element I found to be disappointing was the identity of the killer. I had that figured out early in the story. But the real journey is the one that Ray and Cal take towards true romance and that is the one that filled me with joy. Vivid descriptions, wonderful characterizations, and terrific world building, it’s all here. I hope R. Cooper continues to revisit this world she has created so there seems like a city full of stories await us and I want to hear each and every one.
cover by Paul Richmond is just lovely.
Stories in the same universe include A Boy And His Dragon.