Title: A Bewitching Christmas
Series: Under Realm Assassins #1
Author: Amanda J. Greene
Format: eBook, 86pgs
Published: Dec. 13, 2013 by Amanda J. Greene
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
It has been seven years since Analette Dyson stopped practicing magic and headed to New York, where she created a new life, complete with a fabulous job, an apartment in Central Park West, and a sexy werewolf fiancé. She never planned on returning to her small home town in Maine, but when she learns her grandmother is ill, she decides to pop over for a visit and what better time than Christmas? Excited for her fiancé to meet her family, they head up a day early.
Worst idea ever!
After doing some last minute Christmas shopping, Analette returns to their hotel to find her fiancé in bed with another woman. Cursing the universe for her never ending bad luck with men and dreading telling her family about her cheating fiancé, she heads to the bar to self medicate.
Not one to celebrate the holidays, vampire and assassin, Cole McRae, has followed a lead to a rustic town in witch territory. But after a few days of research and waiting for his target to show, he begins to suspect he has wasted his time. That is, until he meets a curvaceous blonde with bewitching green eyes at the local bar. One night with the enchanting Analette could make this useless trip well worth his time.
Their passion is undeniable and unbeknownst to them, their fates are intertwined. Magic and romance will strike on Christmas, changing their lives forever.
Analette has just caught her fiancé in bed with another woman, so naturally she heads to the bar to drown her sorrows. This turns out to be a great decision as she catches the eye of a sexy stranger at the bar. Cole has tracked his target to this small town and as an Assassin for the Under Realm, he has no problem drawing blood on Christmas Eve. However, when the tall blonde walks in, his attention is suddenly on something completely different. In a world full of fae, werewolves, witches, and vampires, Analette and Cole are about to make their own magic.
At a little under one hundred pages, this novella starts off the Under Realm Assassins series. Readers are introduced to a world where supernatural beings are all aware of one another but still exist undercover. Cole is a vampire and an Under Realm Assassin, a group even whispered about by the other supernatural and Analette is a witch from one of the most powerful families. Even before the story starts, the author provided a glossary of terms and labels for the world she has created and that was greatly appreciated, it's a quick way to give the reader some familiarity so they're not left feeling lost for a lot of a shorter story.
This started off really interesting with dangerous and mysterious Cole on the hunt and Analette breezing in shaking up his world. Their attraction happens pretty quickly but in a novella, that is unavoidable. The tide turns then from the story having a contemporary supernatural bent to sexy bedroom scene times; about 40% of the story is our couple getting down and dirty. These scenes are well done, so while they may be missing some deeper emotional content, they're still pretty fun to read about. It was the second half of the story, after our sexy times, that I thought the story became a bit muddled. The suspense side of who Cole is hunting, how it connects with Analette and her family, and Analette's grandmother's role was stretched a bit thin. The grandmother's behind the scenes machinations and their revealing felt rushed and smashed into the story; I was left feeling a bit baffled by it all.
Cole had a sexy vibe about him that made me want to know more and while we get his backstory about his life and turning into a vampire, I wanted more about his role in the Assassins. Analette was fully sketched out but she didn't really draw me in, she's a witch who didn't want to practice her craft until suddenly she sees its benefits. Again, this is a shorter novella so lack of page count was definitely a contributing factor to my complaints. I did like our two characters together, though. Their first encounter had good back and forth, their bedroom scenes had some heat, and overall, there was a certain magnetism to them.
As the first in the series, it laid out an interesting world of supernaturals and the Under Realm Assassins that lurk below the surface. If looking for a quick story with a hint of holiday flavor, sexy scenes, and supernatural flare, this is an intriguing start to a series.