Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Series: Moonshadow Bay, #1
Release Date: December 7, 2020
Review Copy: ARC from the author
Moonshadow Bay…where magic lurks in the moonlight, and danger hides in the shadows.
One month before January Jaxson turns 41, her husband ditches her for a trophy wife. Adding insult to injury, he steals the business she helped build, and kicks her out during the holidays. So when her best friend Ari suggests she move back to Moonshadow Bay—a quirky, magical town near Bellingham WA—January decides to take the plunge.
Born into a family of witches, January accepts a job at Conjure Ink, a paranormal investigations website. The job’s right up her alley but she doubts that everything reported to Conjure Ink really exists. That is, until she’s sent out on her first case.
An abandoned asylum once housed a murderer, who killed an entire family one Yuletide Eve. It’s rumored that every December he returns to haunt the woodland around the asylum, seeking to add new members to his supernatural family. January’s sure it’s an urban legend, but when new victims show up with no logical explanation for their deaths, Conjure Ink sends her in to investigate. Suddenly January finds herself in over her head, staring directly into the shadowed world of the Veil.
Now, January must not only navigate the new life she’s trying to build, but the paranormal beasties she’s sent out to explore, as well as a hot new neighbor, who seems to be hiding a shadowed past of his own.
As a longtime fan of Yasmine’s writing, I had every expectation that I would love this book. I was really excited to see the creation of a new series, new characters, and new adventures. The promo for the book/series made a point to mention both “women’s fiction” and “40+ main character”. Both of which I’m interested in, and I was curious to see how those things would fit into the more urban fantasy/paranormal romance writing style I know and love from her.
What I Loved:
I really enjoyed everything about how this story was told. I thought the crew at Conjure Ink was fantastic — and a really good place for January to find herself. I LOVED that a lot of the comments made during situations they found themselves in were things that I’ve thought, as a reader during other stories, and *wished* the characters would say. Little things that we think as we read, the characters actually acknowledged and responded to. It was SO nice to see play out on the page.
The interactions between January and each of her new co-workers was fun… and were good ways to get to know a little about everyone without any info-dumps. I’m looking forward to getting to know each of them as the series goes on. I feel like they’ve all got some really good stories to tell! Their work was crazy cool, too! I’m not a fan of ghosts, in general, as protagonists — they really creep me out. Yasmine always manages to bring us “bad guys” that are a little different, and really make your skin crawl. Luckily, she was able to write the story in such a way that the creepy crawlies were ABSOLUTELY creepy, but I was still so into the story that I didn’t even consider putting it down.
And I loved the start of January’s relationship with Killian. I loved the snarky banter, I loved that they didn’t hide things or dance around the attraction between them. It was all very refreshing and really sweet. And honestly, as much as I’m a fan of a well placed sex scene, I was 100% cool with how their interactions were shown on the page. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything between them, just because we didn’t see into their bedroom. I really can’t wait to learn more about Killian, and see how things progress between these two. ❤
What I Didn’t Love:
It was made clear at the start of the book that January’s ex was a massive ass, who was emotionally (not physically) abusive during their relationship. He absolutely deserved to be left in her dust. However, I wasn’t a fan of how often he was mentioned during the rest of the story. Yes, there were things about January that were direct results of her time with him, and I could understand if her thoughts referred to him as a reason for certain feelings. But it felt like his name was brought up in conversation a little too often.
Yasmine totally pulled it off! I was SO impressed with this story!! I’m totally invested in these characters, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!! Thankfully, we’ve only got to wait until February for MIDNIGHT WEB!!