"Wow! What a beginning to a new paranormal romance series!"
Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko
Posted January 2, 2024
Romance Fantasy | Paranormal
Magic came into Peri Sanguis’s life when she turned sixteen and that was almost the day she died. Running from her mother’s evil coven, Peri ended up being tutored by mages who run a bookstore/café, The Witches Brew. The peace of her life would soon come to a screeching halt with the death of her mother’s whole coven and the introduction of Valen – the vampire who had stolen many a heart but soon finds that the only heart he wants is Peri’s.
Working together to solve the mystery of the coven’s destruction and figuring out just what they are to each other might make magic go crazy or give them exactly what they both need.
WILD MAGIC is the beginning of a new series called Magic for Hire by Alexandra Ivy and it is an absolutely amazing read, set in a world where magic, witches, mages, vampires, and various paranormal beings live side by side. The Vampire Cabal rules this world and Valen is the head of New York. He is very intrigued by Peri--something his not-beating heart cannot quite understand.
There are many intriguing characters involved in this offering aside from Peri and Valen, including Ashton Wellman (the manager of a number of nightclubs that belong to Valen – and would make a very interesting story), Maya and Skye (the mages who became Peri’s family), Gabriel (another vampire who has his own territory), Tia (a mage who is just a bit evil), and the mysterious, crabby, velour-tracksuit-wearing Joe. This fascinating group adds humor, action, danger, and tension, keeping readers turning pages as fast as they can to find out who, what, where, and how.
An intriguing romance that takes a while to grow to the point of no return, gives Peri the final weapon that does the job on the villain. Who knew love could be a weapon to take down an ancient evil? You have to read WILD MAGIC to find out how this comes about.
WILD MAGIC is fascinating, intriguing, intense, and amazing. After reading this one the anticipation for the release of the next one will be worth the wait!
From a Wyoming ranch to a New Jersey bookstore-café, when old-world demons, modern-day mages, and irresistible attraction collide, desire becomes the most powerful and dangerous weapon of all, in this spellbinding new series from the New York Times bestselling author.
There was a time when demons reigned. That was before they were forced to retreat to the shadows. Today, in hidden corners across the globe their evil blood still pools, and the authority of their new rulers—the Vampire Cabal—must never be challenged. Leave it to a Jersey girl to change ancient
history . . .
At sixteen, when Peri Sanguis’s wild magic first appeared, she was forced to flee her Wyoming ranch—and her suddenly murderous family—to save her own life. On the East Coast, tutored by mages who run the Witch’s Brew bookstore-cafe, Peri’s world seems magically tranquil—until her estranged mother and a coven of witches are slaughtered. Now, to solve the violent mysteries of her past, she must put her trust, body and soul, in a sensual immortal who is every woman’s darkest fantasy . . .
The golden-eyed vampire, Valen, has never wanted more than to claim an untamed female like Peri. Lured into each other’s orbit, and working together against a resurrected evil brings them intimately closer—to danger, blood betrayals, all-consuming passion, and to sacrifices that must be made to save themselves and the world . . .
Elias Mitchell was king of the world—at least in his own mind—as he watched the crowd churn and sway to the music thumping through the air from the shadows of his private balcony.
Neverland Nightclub was currently the place to see and be seen for the movers and shakers in Manhattan. It wasn’t just the beauty of the smoked glass walls that reflected the laser lights bouncing over the dance floor, or the floating spiral staircases, that led to the upper floor that lured the cream of society through the front door. It was the exclusive privilege of being built in the center of a Gyre, which meant it was surrounded by a pool of magic. And it was also one of the few clubs that catered to both humans and demons.
Not that the humans realized they were sharing their space with creatures who possessed the blood of goblins and fairies.
It wasn’t that mortals were stupid. No, wait. That wasn’t true, he wryly acknowledged. They were utter idiots. But that wasn’t why they didn’t realize they were living side by side with demons.
Long ago giants and fairies wandered the earth, but over the centuries they developed the ability to disguise themselves. These days they could easily pass as mortals. It was only demons who could see the auras that surrounded their species. Red for goblin and green for the fey. The darker the aura the stronger the old blood ran in their veins.
And Elias’s aura was dark indeed.
It was a damned shame that they had to hide. But it was the only way to survive in a world being overrun by the rancid tide of humans.
Learn. Adapt. And take advantage whenever possible.
And speaking of taking advantage.
Elias slowly leaned forward, his attention captured by the stunning red haired woman who strolled toward the bar that ran the length of the far wall. The flash from the overhead laser lights danced over her, emphasizing her stark beauty. It was a pity that she was tall. And that beneath the clinging material of her satin gown he could see lean muscles, not the soft curves he preferred.
Still, she was stunning enough to attract his jaded attention and best of all, there was no aura glowing around her.
She was a human.
After his last disastrous affair with a fairy, Elias had sworn off demons. Not only did they have the power to stop him from doing what he wanted with their bodies, but they had a nasty habit of blabbing about their relationship to anyone who would listen. His wife threatened to do unspeakable things to his private parts the next time he cheated. The bitch.
Smiling in anticipation, Elias rose to his feet and headed down the spiral staircase. His wife was a snob. She never mixed with humans. Which meant there was no fear of her or her snooty friends being at this particular bar. And what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her, right?
He forged a path through the customers, lifting a hand to smooth back his dark hair. He wasn’t worried whether or not the woman would accept his invitation to visit his nearby lair. They always accepted. But he took pride in his appearance. He had enough ancient blood pumping through his veins to ensure his features were flawless and his sturdy body without an ounce of fat.
At last reaching the bar, he shoved aside the men who’d gathered around the stranger like bees to honey. He ignored the muttered curses, moving in close to blatantly study the woman’s elegant profile.
“Welcome to Neverland, babe. Your night is about to become unforgettable.”
Peri Sanguis clenched her teeth as the male’s arm pressed against her boob. The urge to teach him a quick and painful lesson in ‘personal space’ was nearly overwhelming. Unfortunately tonight she was working and her prey just scurred into her snare like a rabid rat.
Time to close the deal.
“I’m just here to enjoy the music and have a drink,” she informed him, her smoldering glance promising she was willing to change her plans. With the proper persuasion.
On cue he motioned toward the bartender. “Let me assist you.” His gaze never left her face as the uniformed man obediently appeared in front of them. “The lady will have…”
“Casamigos Blanco,” Peri broke in before he could order her some cheap-ass drink.
Elias flinched as she named the top shelf tequila and Peri hid a smile. Her research had revealed that this male was not only a sleazebag, but he was a stingy sleazebag.
“An expensive lady.” He allowed his gaze to boldly roam down the length of her body. “Are you worth the cost?”
Peri tossed her hair. She’d created a simple glamour spell before arriving at the club, tinting her hair with red highlights and concealing the scar that would have been revealed by the plunging neckline of her gown. She didn’t think the male would recognize her, but she didn’t want to take a chance.
“I’ve never had any complaints,” she assured her companion.
“Good to know. I’m Elias.”
“You can call me Diana.” Peri always used the name of the Goddess of the Hunt when she was working. It felt appropriate.
“Diana.” He murmured her name like a caress, running his finger down the bare skin of her arm.
Peri didn’t pull away. Instead she leaned forward and absorbed the demon essence he leaked with reckless abandon. It bubbled through her like champagne before she reluctantly stored it in the bracelet she wore around one slender wrist. If the male hadn’t been such a self-centered bastard he would have noticed the way the jade glowed in the darkness of the club.
Instead, his gaze was locked on her boobs.
“I haven’t seen you here before,” he drawled.
“I’m passing through town.”
“Passing through, eh?” There was a hint of satisfaction in his voice. If she wasn’t a local then there was obviously less chance of his wife discovering he was with another woman. “Business or pleasure?”
“That has yet to be decided.”
He laughed. A sharp sound that grated against her ears. “I like your style, babe.”
The bartender arrived with her drink and lifting the chilled glass, she offered a toast.
“To absent friends.” She swallowed it in one gulp. Smooth fire slid down her throat. “Yum.” Holding Elias’s gaze, she slowly licked her lips.
The red aura surrounding the male pulsed in anticipation. “I have more of that at my apartment.”
“Whatever you desire.”
She licked the rim of the empty glass. “And what do you assume I desire?”
His breath hissed through his gritted teeth. “Let’s go to my apartment and I’ll teach you.”
Teach her? Gag. Peri set aside the glass. The innuendoes were obvious to anyone, but the contract she’d signed demanded a clear and concise declaration of intention.
“You want to have sex with me?” she asked.
“Oh yeah.” He leaned close enough she could catch the musky scent of goblin beneath his expensive cologne. “In every position possible. And some that haven’t been invented yet.”
Double gag. Disguising her revulsion behind a smile, Peri reached up to brush her fingers down the side of his face. At the same time, she released the curse she’d created that afternoon.
A raw, addictive magic swirled through her, heating her blood, and sending shivers of pleasure down her spine. It was always thrilling to call on her powers, but standing at the epicenter of the Gyre it was…staggering. For a glorious moment she held the magic inside, savoring the epic buzz before releasing it through the tips of her fingers. She smiled as she watched the tendrils of the curse sink into his flesh.
She went on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear. “Maybe we should ask your wife if she cares if you hook up with random women.”
“What?” He jerked back. “Is that supposed to be funny?”
“It’s mildly entertaining. At least to me.” Peri wrinkled her nose. “Stella, however, doesn’t look amused.”
She pointed toward the dark-haired woman sitting at the edge of the bar. Stella Mitchell was short and solid with a square face. Tonight she was wearing a designer dress that cost in the thousands with diamonds flashing on every stubby finger, but it was her deep red aura that revealed her true worth. In the demon hierarchy, she stood above her husband. Which was no doubt why he’d tried to hide his inability to keep his dick in his pants.
“Shit. You…” He whipped back toward Peri, the words dying on his mouth as his gaze caught sight of the jade bracelet that continued to glow.
“Mage,” the word came out as a curse.
“What did you do?”
“A simple curse.”
His aura flared with fury. “What curse?”
“You want the gory details?” She waited for the jerky nod of his head. “Okay. First, you’re going to endure a bout of explosive diarrhea that will last for around an hour. But that’s only a prelude to the main event. At precisely midnight, your balls are going to swell up to the size of cantaloupes.” It was Peri’s turn to run her gaze down his stiff body, her smile mocking. “If you don’t mind a suggestion, you might want to head home before the diarrhea hits. And make sure you have some ice packs ready for your balls. I’m told the pain is intense.”
Elias made a choked sound. Was he was struggling to breathe? Peri hoped so.
“How much?” he at last managed to wheeze.
His face turned an interesting shade of purple. “How much to remove the curse, bitch?”
“Oh. Unfortunately—at least for you—your wife paid a very generous sum to make sure the curse remained in place for at least forty eight hours.” Peri reached into her pushup bra to pull out a gilt-edged business card. “Come into the office on Monday and we can negotiate a new contract.”
The purple drained from Elias’s face to leave it a strange shade of ash. “Why you…”
Peri braced herself as the demon prepared to lunge at her. She wasn’t scared. She was far from helpless, especially with the magic of the Gyre pumping through her. But she preferred to avoid drawing attention. There were worse things that being beaten by an enraged goblin.
Thankfully, there was a blur of motion before a male was suddenly standing between them. He was well over six foot with copper hair that was pulled into a knot on top of his head. He was wearing a black T-shirt with gold lettering that spelled out Neverland and black jeans that fit with heart-stopping perfection. His face was impossibly beautiful and his dark gold eyes usually held a sinful promise of endless pleasure. At the moment, however, they were hard with warning as he glared at Elias.
Aston Wellman was the manager of Neverland and one of the most powerful fey creatures that Peri had ever encountered.
“Don’t make matters worse for yourself, Mitchell.” His voice was soft, but the threat easily carried over the thumping music. “Not unless you want to be banished.”
The demon clenched his teeth, but wisely stepped back. Carefully he inched his way around Aston, but as he stepped past Peri he bent to the side to whisper in her ear.
“I won’t forget this.”
She blew him a kiss, not bothering to watch as he stormed out of the nightclub. Her interest was locked on the fairy who leaned casually against the edge of the bar. His green aura shimmered so bright Peri found it impossible to believe that the gathered humans couldn’t see it.
“Always a pleasure to see you in action, Peri,” Aston murmured.
“Not much action. But the contract paid well.”
Aston folded his arms over his chest, his muscles rippling beneath the tight T-shirt.
“I could pay more.”
Peri’s heart fluttered. Really, a woman would have to be dead not to be bedazzled by this exquisite male.
“I prefer my independence.”
He studied her with a searing intensity. “Are you truly independent?”
She arched her brows. Was he referring to her two partners, Maya and Skye? Or the mysterious benefactor who provided protection for them?
“For the most part.” Her tone warned she wasn’t going to discuss private mage business.
“I could triple whatever you’re getting paid.” A warm pulse of energy swirled around her, seeping into her skin. Her bracelet glowed as it absorbed the fey magic. “I could get you an apartment overlooking the park. And allow you unlimited time in my special playroom.”
He whispered the word playroom as if it was a sexual invitation. It wasn’t. The playroom was a space where a demon or mage could use their magic without it being detected or traced. Most mages had specific talents. Like brewing potions or using magical items that intensified a spell. Just like the bracelet around her wrist. It absorbed and stored the magical essence of demons, allowing her to convert it into magic. Just like a portable battery.
Her talent was quite simply her amazing power. It came in handy when she was working, but unfortunately it was a target that allowed demons and other nasty creatures to pinpoint her location when she was practicing her magic. She preferred to keep her more exotic spells a hidden asset.
She shook her head. “Tempting, but no.”
Aston tilted his head, his expression curious. “Is it me specifically that you don’t want as an employer?”
Peri stiffened. They both knew why she would never consider Aston’s generous offers.
Valen. The local vampire and the ultimate ruler of this particular Gyre.
“I won’t bend my knee. Not to anyone. Not again.” An icy chill raced over Peri. As if the mere thought of Valen was enough to make her shiver. “Gotta fly.”
She was turning away when she felt Aston’s hand brush through her hair, destroying the glamour spell to reveal the rich brown strands.
“Be careful out there, Peri,” he warned.
“Never,” she called over her shoulder.
A wistful smile touched his lips. “No shit.”
Dodging her way through the crowd that had thickened until it was hard to breathe in the elegant nightclub, Peri exited through a side door. She paused, sucking in the night air before she plunged into another mass of people. It was mid-summer and a horde of tourists clogged the streets around Times Square.
She’d managed to forge a path to Penn Station when she felt another chill brush over her. This time she didn’t dismiss it as a product of her imagination. She was being followed.
Resisting the urge to draw the magic she’d stored in her bracelet, Peri picked up her pace as she entered the large building that was congested despite the late hour with hundreds of commuters. She avoided the large, open lobby and instead darted toward the temporary partitions that were erected around the inevitable construction area. When she’d arrived in the city earlier in the evening she’d taken the precaution of creating a circle of protection in case things went sideways.
A habit she’d developed after being chased by a gang of young goblins who’d suspected she was responsible for selling them a bogus dragon scale. It had been bogus, of course. Dragon scales were incredibly rare, but when they were discovered they could be ground up and used by demons as a potent aphrodisiac. It also caused hallucinations and bouts of extreme violence. Which was why they were illegal to sell.
It had been her job to uncover the ringleader who was seeking to find a dragon scale to sell to the local demons. Just one of the many strange tasks she’d been asked to perform for the Benefactor who protected the Witch’s Brew.
Stepping through the wards, Peri was suddenly surrounded by a thick, impenetrable wall of silence. She remained on guard, listening to the people as they rushed past. None of them sensed her presence, not even the demons who were mixed among the mortals.
She was on the point of heaving a sigh of relief when the air temperature abruptly dropped and a dark, silken voice was speaking directly in her ear.
Peri froze. Even her heart stopped as the icy threat pressed against her. It wasn’t exactly fear, she tried to tell herself, just a healthy dose of caution twisting her stomach. Vampires were lethal predators who ruled their territory with an iron fist. Any transgression could lead to instant death. Or banishment from the Gyre. A fate worse than death to most demons.
Sternly reminding herself that she was an independent mage with no ties to Valen or the Vampire Cabal, Peri squared her shoulders and turned to face the male who was standing inches away. She swallowed a low curse as the impact of standing so close to a vampire slammed into her.
No, not just a vampire. Valen, a voice whispered in the back of her mind.
He wasn’t a large male. He was a whisper over six foot with a slender body that was currently attired in a black Armani suit, a crisp black shirt with a silver tie. The stark, sophisticated style perfectly matched the austere beauty of his chiseled features. His blond hair was cut close to his head and smoothed from his narrow face, and even in the harsh lighting of Penn Station it shimmered with threads of the purest gold. His eyes, in contrast, were the exact shade of silver as his tie, although Peri had seen them flash to a steel gray when he was angry. Thankfully, she’d never had that infamous temper directed at her. Probably because she’d done her best over the past nine years to avoid crossing paths with this male.
“What’s up?” She forced the question past her lips that felt weirdly stiff.
He was silent as his unnerving gaze swept down her elegant gown, lingering on the scar just over her heart. Awareness vibrated through her. If Aston oozed sensual appeal, this male blasted it with the impact of a nuclear weapon.
Not that she was stupid enough to give into temptation, she sternly reminded herself. She might dance close to the flame, but she didn’t leap into the fire.
At last his gaze lifted, his expression unreadable. “Are you lost?”
“Just headed home.”
“Can I ask what you’re doing in my territory?”
“You can ask.” The words came out as a taunt. Tension brought out the snark in her. Okay, to be fair, lots of stuff brought out her snark. Mornings. Rain. A bad hair day. However, it was especially high when she was standing inches from Valen. “But that doesn’t mean I have to answer.”
“Yes.” The word was soft, but the silver eyes were suddenly as hard as steel. “Yes, it does.”
She shrugged. “Fine I’d heard all sorts of rumors about your new club. I had to check it out for myself.”
“Really not my scene, but I’m sure it’ll make you oodles of money.”
“You didn’t happen to conduct business while you were here, did you?”
He stared at her, an eerie stillness settling around him. Not the motionless of a human. This was absolute. As if he was carved from marble. Most of the time vampires made an effort to appear human. They breathed, they blinked, and she’d heard that they occasionally smiled—although Peri was convinced that was an urban myth— but there was nothing human about them.
She cleared a sudden lump from her throat. She doubted Valen would kill her for being snarky, but business was a different matter altogether. She was in his territory and that meant she had no right to earn money without his approval.
He was perfectly within his right to punish her.
She chose her words with care. “Technically the business was conducted at the Witch’s Brew,” she said, referring to the New Jersey coffeeshop/bookstore/mage-for-hire business she managed along with her friends. “The details were negotiated, the contract was signed and the money delivered outside your territory. I just executed the contract here.” She did her best to look innocent. It was a stretch. “There’s no law against magic, is there?”
“If it’s meant to harm a demon.” He deliberately paused. “Or me.”
“There’s no lasting harm,” she insisted, blocking out the image of Elias’s current situation. Now didn’t seem the appropriate moment to laugh at the knowledge his balls would soon be expanding to the size of balloons. “Just a couple days of extreme discomfort.”
He bent his head, allowing her an up close view of his painful beauty. The narrow length of his nose. The sculpted cheekbones and surprisingly full lips. The smooth perfection of his pale skin. And the hypnotic power smoldering in his silver eyes.
“You play a dangerous game,” he whispered.
A warning tingled through her as she began to sway forward. Vampires had the ability to manipulate the minds of both humans and demons. Only mages possessed the ability to resist.
The ability, she reminded herself, but not always the will…
With a jerky motion she stepped back, breaking the spell he was weaving around her.
“Dangerous games are the only games worth playing.” She tilted her chin. “It’s late and I’m tired. Is there anything else you wanted?”
Peri could have bitten off her tongue as his lips parted, revealing the tips of his lethal fangs.
“I’m currently considering the various possibilities.”
The cool words slid over with a silken promise. Or maybe it was a threat. Hard to tell. Both possibilities sent a tingle of excitement through the pit of her stomach.
Time to make a strategic retreat.
“I’ll let you consider them while I head home.” She inched away, feeling the protective wards press against her back.
“Run little, witch.” The silver eyes darkened to smoke. “You can’t hide.”
“Annoying bastard,” she muttered even as she turned and did exactly as he commanded.
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