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Review: Black Magic by Cherry Adair

Submitted by on May 12, 2011 – 5:00 am2 Comments

Post Written by Doll Mona Leigh

Author: Cherry Adair
Book: Black Magic
Release: July 20, 2010
Series: Novel
Source: Simon and Schuster
Purchase: – Book Depository

Ever since the death of her parents, Sara Temple has rejected her magical gifts. Then, in a moment of extreme danger, she unknowingly sends out a telepathic cry for help—to the one man she is convinced she never wants to see again.

Jackson Slater thought he was done forever with his ex-fiancée, but when he hears her desperate plea, he teleports halfway around the world to aid her in a situation where magic has gone suddenly, brutally wrong.

But while Sara and Jack remain convinced they are completely mismatched, the Wizard Council feels otherwise. A dark force is killing some of the world’s most influential wizards, and the ex-lovers have just proved their abilities are mysteriously amplified when they work together. But with the fate of the world at stake, will the violent emotions still simmering between them drive them farther apart . . . or bring them back into each other’s arms?

Though I hate to admit it, Black Magic is the first book I’ve read by Cherry Adair. It was published in July 2010, and I received it at RT in April. While at RT, I attended one of her workshops on romantic suspense and knew right then I would read anything she wrote. She was outrageously funny, brazen, and fresh, and she kept us all laughing with her sly commentary and colorful language.

The Black Magic cover blurb hooked me and the first page reeled me in. I fell in love with wizard Jackson Slater. Cherry painted him with broad, bold strokes keeping him in the forefront of my mind at all times. His love interest, Sara Temple, was not a whiney, helpless woman waiting for a man to make her world all better. She was, however, a manipulated, brainwashed young woman who’d had everything important stolen from her by someone she considered family.

The story begins on Jack’s sixteenth birthday—the day the Aequitas Book of Answers proclaimed Jack as its owner. For thousands of years the book passed from father to son, and after the Book’s declaration, Jack Sr., a nasty tempered wizard prone to violence, was forced to relinquish it. He managed to break Jack’s thumb during the transfer of power, but quickly learned Jack didn’t have to tolerate abuse any longer. At sixteen, Jackson Slater, Jr. became more powerful than his brute of a father.

Skipping ahead several years, we find Jack has become a geologist and is in Australia nursing a broken heart and exploring a ley line—better known to humans as a fault line—for the Wizard Council. His goal is to explore and map all the ley lines of the world. While he’s underground, he hears his former fiancé’s voice inside his head calling his name. Thinking it’s his imagination, he continues to work until the urgency of the voice grabs his attention and he teleports to the house in South America where she lives. Dead wizards and blood everywhere lead him to fear the worst. Luckily, he finds her alive, cornered by a crazed wizard with a meat cleaver. And thus begins a chain of events that could kill them or bind them together forever.

Cherry keeps the tension ratcheted up as Jack and Sara rediscover their love for one another while trying to figure out what’s killing off the wizarding community. I’m not going to discuss the antagonist here, because I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone and I know I wouldn’t be able to stop with a summation of his evil. So suffice it to say, he’s one bad dude. He’s the kind of man you don’t want to meet in the daylight much less in the dark, and his evil permeates everything around him. I was fascinated and horrified by him, and several times just plain creeped out.

In the past two years, I’ve read a ton of urban fantasies and paranormal romances and tried to draw a comparison between them and Black Magic. I can’t think of any series or stand-alone quite like this. It’s not a light and fluffy book to kill a few hours, nor is it morose and dark. It is a tightly written, throat closing, stomach-clenching tale laced with emotional baggage—the kind that comes with loving someone who has broken your heart. I loved it. And with one book, Cherry Adair has moved to the top of my TBR list.

Also Reviewed By: – The Good, The Bad and The UnreadA Journey of Books

Mona's first grade teacher, Mrs. Stanford, gifted her with the love of reading. For that, she'll always live in her heart. But reading took over Mona's life, eclipsing everything but playing sports, and has continued to be a huge part of her life. Although she has always written poetry and stories for her self, last year she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. She is currently editing her first urban fantasy and hopes to have it ready for the agent by summer's end. Besides reading, Mona loves speed in the form of fast cars. The faster, the better! In her next life, she plans to drive race cars (or whatever happens to be their replacement in the future) all while reading and writing. She has also taken up rune reading, and find it to be disturbingly accurate and exciting.
Doll Mona Leigh