Review: Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake

Review: Veiled Menace by Deborah BlakeVeiled Menace by Deborah Blake

Series: #2 Veiled Magic
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Intermix on April 18, 2017
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
  add to goodreads
three-half-stars      four-flames

Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world...

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

The Delight

A new status for the once largely ignored witch-cop, grisly murders, a cry for help, a former lover, a new love interest, and that cursed painting all turn up in a new adventure for Donata Santori in the Veiled Magic Series.

Review

Veiled Menace is the second book following the events of Veiled Magic so needs to be read in order for certain ongoing series plot points and characters to make sense.

About six months after the events of Veiled Magic, Donata is trying to find her new normal.  She hasn’t heard from either Magnus or Peter so had moved on with Anton Eastman.  Oh boy, this gal sure can pick them was my first thought.  And that crazy cursed painting shows up again and trouble follows.  I was all set to see if the clues dropped in the last book about bigger problems coming at everybody would put us at apocalyptic excitement.

As things progressed, I realized that this second book was just not nearly as engaging as book one.  Oh, yes, it continued with those threads that left me eager for more, but they were subdued and upstaged by Donata’s personal issues, her daily activities, and her need to scratch her itch.  The first book was edgy and suspenseful throughout while this one’s forward progress offered little in the way of tension even when new things like murder and mounting trouble brought by that hidden race were introduced.  Donata’s life was more drama-ed up than exciting for me.

I’m going to admit that the multiple love interests angle was not my cuppa.  I knew it would be there going in because both Peter and Magnus were vying for her attention in book one.  However, now we have Magnus off page, and now Anton in the picture with Peter.  Peter and Donata take turns losing their tempers and storming off between long bouts of sex.  No emotional connections made and yeah, I could care less about her love life at this point.

The most exciting and intriguing parts were Donata’s spell practice sessions with her great aunt and that Santori family dinner that was full of tension and crackle.  The three Santori sisters get together and the witch claws come out.  Donata is still coming into her own and figuring out she’s not exactly the ugly duckling anymore, but she struggles to believe she’s a swan at the same time.

The inclusion of the lost sixth race was pretty cool though I wish there was more done with that.

There was a quick big action scene at the end that was pretty great and oh my, the last sentence dangling a lot of promise with a surprise on Donata’s doorstep.

I was glad to get some answers and some forward progress, but was also a bit disappointed with the lack of edge and tension that was peppered throughout book one.  I am going to keep going to see if things go better for me with book three.  I do really hope Donata figures out her love life and also grows a bit of maturity with her temper so she’ll pause, listen, and think when someone’s trying to tell her something.  It’s hard to respect her as a cop and mature witch when she leads with her temper and emotions instead of her brains, but I can see she is growing and recognizing this, too.

This series offers a strong paranormal world and I love the carefully crafted witch culture in particular.  I enjoy that Donata is a witch-cop and works the murder cases for a human boss.  While this one wasn’t a favorite, I love the author’s work and can easily recommend this Urban Fantasy series particularly if you love witches and spell-casting with a paranormal adventure.

My thanks to Penguin Group in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #93 UF
Literary Pickers #86  Marriage of Convenience
New Release #49

May we suggest some other books you might like to read?

The Cat's Meow by Stacey Kennedy Review South of Surrender by Laura Kaye Review Up From The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • What an interesting book! I do not read this genre but I always say that I am going to start. Thanks for sharing.

    • I say that type of thing a lot, too, Cindy. So many reading opportunities, sigh… 😉

  • This is yet another “big” UF author whose books I’ve not read! I don’t think I’ll start with this one because I really hate love triangles (or anything more than one love interest). Though it sounds like the world-building is well-written. I’m glad you enjoyed the book overall!

    Have a great week, Sophia. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Oh, you must read her Baba Yaga series. Love it, Alyssa!

  • Oh yeah, I would struggle with the multiple love interests too. In fact that is part of the reason I stopped reading the Stephanie Plum books. But I’m a romantic.

    • I just don’t get into the hemming and hawing and especially when it seems more about wanting sex with any male who shows an interest than actual all-around attraction. I do hope it’s sorted out by the next book. Her other series aren’t like this.

  • Oh gosh, I love witches stories! That’s the reason why I got addiction to TV series like the vampire diaries and the originals lol. I’ll definitely checking out this series soon! Great review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • Her witches are delicious, Vanessa. 🙂 Hope you get the chance. Start with Baba Yaga series.

  • Ugh, the multiple love interests aspect drives me up the wall but this series looks amazing. I picked up book one (still haven’t read it. lol) and didn’t realize this one was coming out. Of to Amazon I go!

    • Yeah, I am not a fan of her flipping back and forth, but at least in book one all the other excitement takes priority. Hope you enjoy it, Angela. 🙂

  • So I guess this suffered a bit from that stupid sophomore slump? Or maybe Blake intended that we get to know D better unfortunately she’s too… interesting lol

    • Yes, a little of the slump I think since the big bad situation was sort of damp compared to the intensity of book one. And the love interests in this one weren’t as interesting either. I’ve loved her other series so I’m going to give it some more time. 🙂

  • Yeah, that’s an iffy element for me, too, Geybie. If it had kept up being exciting and intense with the other part of the story, I probably wouldn’t have minded so much.

  • Too bad this book wasn’t quite a good as the first. I do love this kind of story so I am a bit interested in the series. Great review!

    • This is generally my kind of story, too, Carole. I am definitely going on with book three. Hopefully, that one will be better for me.

      Thanks!

  • I’m sorry you didn’t like this one as well as the first. The love triangle plus one or whatever it is is not my cuppa, either. Makes me glad I gave the series a pass.

    Great review!

    • Yeah, sounds like we have the same preferences in that area so it was probably a good idea to pass on these since it showed up in both books so far.

      Thanks, Angie!

  • yikes, sorry this one wasn’t better than book one, thats unfortunately. I’d have expected a bit more suspense as well

    • I was hoping to get more of the same. It wasn’t absent, but it was less. Oh well. I’ll try again with book three.

  • RO

    Girl, a “Ghost Yanker” just sounds too fun! (lol) Despite that, you already know I can’t into all that mucho love, and would have to take a hard pass on this one. Hugs…

    • Yes, the paranormal elements and the mystery is the best part, but yes, the piles of bed partners was not my thing, either. Thanks, Ro!

  • I had this one and really wanted to read it but I didn’t have book 1 and as you’re saying, not a good idea to start with this one so I gave up but I would love to try the first one

    • Oh good! I actually preferred book one so I hope you enjoy it.

  • Yeah the multiple love interests is not going to be for me….just not my normal cup of tea. Although everything else sounds interesting.

    • I keep waiting for her to land on a choice and then there’s another one. LOL

      But yes, the paranormal world and mystery is a really nice draw to the book and series.

  • It’s been a while since I’ve read witches! This sounds like a great series. Glad to see this was still enjoyable even though it didn’t become your new favourite 😉 Awesome review, Sophia Rose!

    • Deborah Blake’s witches are the best. I was captivated by her Baba Yaga series. This one is shaping up pretty good too even if the romance side isn’t quite my thing. Thanks, Cyn!

  • Ahh I have book one on my blogger shame list. lol I’m really glad to hear it’s awesome. Darn on this one not quite pulling that level off. The love triangle. Meh. Yes, not my favorite thing either. I’m okay with very light ones like was done in the Patricia Briggs early early on before anything was really happening but that’s about it. Hopefully things will settle in the next book 🙂

    • Ha! You get on that one, missy. Okay, the reprimand would be a little more convincing if I didn’t have a little stack of my own Blogger Shames to attend to.
      Oh man, I am just not the one for the love triangles either. I’m a firm believer in tinkle or get off the potty. Yes, the Mercy Thompson series is probably one of the rare few I actually liked the triangle element and how it was handled.
      We’ll see with this one. I’ll give the next book a go to see if I can get back to loving it like I did book one which actually didn’t bother me with the triangle the way she was writing it with the other elements.