Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Of Magic and Scales by Natalina Reis Blog Tour

With a serial killer on the loose, the baffling mystery of Aiden’s past, and their tenuous budding romance, Aiden and Fouchard tread through a world of magic and myth on padded shoes, terrified to stir up something neither can control or defeat.

Aiden Mercer’s life now centers around lounging on the sunny beaches of his adopted country with a beer in one hand and a coffee in the other while admiring the local male population. After a rough life as a respected detective in DC, playing it cool shouldn’t be too hard, right? With the magical community on his case and dead bodies piling up around town, the responsibility of finding their killer seems fated to fall on him and deny him of his easy living.

Then there is Naël.

Cantankerous merman Naël Fouchard's life is focused on bringing up and protecting his little sister. When DNA found at the scene of the murders mark him as the prime suspect, Naël seeks out the help of Aiden, whose reputation as a detective grossly belies his lazy lifestyle and apparent lack of ambition.

The chemistry between the strong, stoic Naël and the easygoing Aiden is undeniable, no matter how many walls Aiden builds.

If this unlikely pair can’t come to terms with their feelings for each other long enough to catch the killer, their emotional turmoil might yet allow the murderer to kill them instead.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

A book set in a Portuguese beach town will always catch my attention and the addition of murder and magic made this story a must read. The unexpected setting is truly fabulous, and the blend of high fantasy and urban fantasy is great.

Some of the tropes are a little predictable. Like all fantasy heroes, Aiden is an unlikely hero (he’s an ineffective cafe owner/beach bum) and he’s full of attitude in a way that will be a little too familiar to fans of characters like Charley Davidson or Mercy Thompson. I feel like there are more than a few nods to Patricia Briggs in this story and not much of the world building feels terribly fresh. It’s a fun and exciting read but I found it difficult not to draw comparisons between this story and other well-known series.

Part supernatural murder mystery and part romance, I enjoyed Aiden’s investigation more than the romance. The pacing is a little slow at times, but the mystery is exciting and the supernatural characters are well drawn. The romance feels a little clumsy at times. There isn’t much sexual tension between Aiden and Naël and the low heat insta-love didn’t quite work for me. I think there is actually supposed to be a little more heat, but I just didn’t find some of Aiden and Naël’s intimacy very sexy. Kids in romance are difficult and Naël’s sister brings a family feel to the story. She also kills some of the passion between the two men.

While I enjoyed the story overall, I really did not get on with the writing. The writing feels a bit clunky with some moments over described, others under described and too many moments that are told when they needed to be shown. Aiden’s first-person narrative voice doesn’t always feel consistent and I found it difficult to feel like I knew or understood him as a person.

Natalina wrote her first romance at the age of 13 in collaboration with her best friend. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes. She’s the author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, Loved You Always, and Lavender Fields.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she’s taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

Connect with Natalina

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Of Magic and Scales (Of Magic and Scales #1) by Natalina Reis to read and review for this tour.

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