Magic Bites Read-Along Discussion

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Welcome to our first read-along of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. Do we really need to introduce the infamous, Kate Daniels? In case some of you haven’t met her yet, I’ll write a short summary so you’ll get the gist of the series.

 Heroine fights and kills monsters and bad, evil people. She meets up with a sexy were-shifter cat with awesome blonde, tousled hair. They bicker and fight and make frowns at one another. They join forces to kick the evil monster’s butt. The end.


In case that wonderful summary went into too much detail, here’s the ‘official’ blurb for the first book in the series, Magic Bites.


“When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…”


Our first impressions of Magic Bites:


Has: I didn’t think I would be blown away when I first read Magic Bites but within the first chapters I came to adore world that Ilona Andrews created. And I think I fell in love with Kate and Curran and the rest of the cast of characters almost immediately. The world-building was amazing and while it took awhile to get use to it – it was different and unique and I loved how the magical and technological waves brought upon so many crazy events and happenings. I think the moment I closed the book, this series was a real keeper.

Lou: When I first read Magic Bites, I knew instantly that this was a series that would become something that would stick with me for life. I could talk about the world-building for hours and hours because there’s not another world like Kate Daniels in the UF genre. World-building that doesn’t make your eyes glaze over is a plus for me. A heroine that not only is self-sufficient and commands her own agency gets a plus for me. Secondary characters that don’t bog down the story but make it even more exciting is a plus for me. A potential hero that is unique and all RAWR is a super plus for me.

MinnChica: I had Magic Bites recommended to me through Amazon for months before I finally picked up the first book at my local library. Within the first chapter I was so hooked on Kate Daniels that I knew right then and there she would become one of my favorite book heroines of all time. I gobbled up the series, stalked Ilona and Gordon on Twitter and Facebook and joined the forum, all so I could get any tidbit on Kate Daniels possible. The world was new and exciting and different from anything I’d read. The cast of characters were all snarky and fun and so incredible that when the book ended, I was devastated. I will admit though, the romance reader in me was a little bummed that things with Curran didn’t progress past one kiss and the obvious attraction.

E: Hi, My name is E and I am addicted to Ilona Andrews’ writing. So I found Magic Bites when I was browsing in the book story. Everything about the blurb just screamed “read me” so I decided to take the subtle hint and I picked it up.  After I finished reading it, I had to find their website because I wanted MOAR.  While the writing style in Magic Bites isn’t as polished as later books in the series it delivered a very satisfying punch.  Kate was smart, spunky, skilled, but not perfect or a know-it-all.  Curran was strong, driven, arrogant, sometimes needing to be taken down a notch or two but extremely loyal.  And the cast of other characters each had their own attraction.  At the time, this was the only book they had out so I waited, and checked the website weekly looking for updates. I will have to continue this story when we talk about Magic Burns (Book 2) next week.

Lou and Has’ favourite scene:

‘Where was he? I scanned the building, peering into the gloom. Moonlight filtered through the gaps in the walls, creating a mirage of twilight and complete darkness. I knew he was watching me. Enjoying himself.

Diplomacy was never my strong suit and my patience had run dry. I crouched and called out, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”

Two golden eyes ignited at the opposite wall. A shape stirred within the darkness and rose, carrying the eyes up and up and up until they towered above me. A single enormous paw moved into the moonlight, disturbing the dust on the filthy floor. Wicked claws shot forth and withdrew. A massive shoulder followed, its gray fur marked by faint smoky stripes. The huge body shifted forward, coming at me, and I lost my balance and fell on my ass into the dirt. Dear God, this wasn’t just a lion. This thing had to be at least five feet at the shoulder. And why was it striped?

The colossal cat circled me, half in the light, half in the shadow, the dark mane trembling as he moved. I scrambled to my feet and almost bumped into the gray muzzle. We looked at each other, the lion and I, our gazes level. Then I twisted around and began dusting off my jeans in a most undignified manner.’

MinnChica’s favorite scene:

While the last one is pretty hilarious – this was the first moment I fell in love with Kate:

The vampire raised its left hand. The dagger talons sliced the empty air, back and forth, like curved knitting needles. The vamp turned its head doglike and studied me with eyes luminescent with a particular kind of madness, born of bestial blood thirst and free of any thought or restraint.

In a single motion I whipped around and hurled the dagger. The black blade sliced cleanly into the creature’s throat.

The vampire froze. Its yellow claws stopped moving.

Thick, purplish blood swelled around the blade and slowly slid down the naked flesh of the vampire’s neck, staining its chest and dripping on the floor. The vampire’s features twisted, trying to morph into a different face. It opened its maw, displaying twin fangs, curved like miniature ivory sickles.

“That was extremely inconsiderate, Kate.” Ghastek’s voice said from the vampire’s throat. “Now I have to feed him.

“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.”


E’s favorite scene:

I will agree that the scenes the other three ladies picked were quite entertaining my vote is for the saucer of milk.

“I motioned to the waiter and he glided over. ‘Yes, ma’am?’

I nodded toward Curran. ‘See that man over there with the very short hair? Next to a beautiful woman?’

‘Yes, ma’am.’

‘Would you please deliver a saucer of milk to him with my compliments?’

The water didn’t even blink, a testament to Fernando’s excellent service, ‘Yes, ma’am.”

Crest looked at me, obviously itching to ask for an explanation.

The waiter delivered the milk, murmuring to Curran.  Curran’s smile turned predatory.  He took the saucer and raised it in a kind of salute.  His eyes flashed gold. The gleam flared and vanished so quickly that if I hadn’t been looking straight at him, I would’ve missed it.  He brought the saucer to his mouth and drank from the edge.”

Discussion Questions:

– What was the first thing about this book that set it apart from other UF series you’ve read?

– What is your favorite scene/Kate Quote from Magic Bites?

– What aspect of the unique worldbuilding is your favorite?

– What about this book caught your attention and made you decide to give it a try?


35 thoughts on “Magic Bites Read-Along Discussion”

  1. I started an audio reread about two weeks ago. I forgot how much I love the “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty” scene. And just how funny Kate really is.

    TBH, I didn’t care for this book the first time I read it. I was so confused. It wasn’t until my second reread that I began to appreciate the greatness that is KD and Ilona Andrews.

  2. I also felt the first quarter of the book confusing because of the complex world-building but Kate’s character was so engaging and fun that it didn’t matter as much. Also I loved the idea of the opposing forces of magic vs tech. But the moment the Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty scene happened – I think I was in love and I was like Curran and Kate MUST get together 😀

  3. @Jen – There were a few places I was confused while reading this book, but I thought Kate was so snarky and fun that I loved her anyway. But I was lucky enough to have the 2nd and 3rd books out wen I picked up this series, so I was able to dig in and see just how amazing the series kept getting!

  4. Pingback: New Reviewer & Kate Daniels read-along | The Book Pushers | Book Reviews | Book Chatter

  5. My favorite scene is also the “Here kitty” one. I laughed out loud thinking she is so snarky and brave and foolish! I loved the different worldbuilding in this book and the idea vampires were diseased and not sexy.

  6. @Has and @MinnChica I started the series late too. Like around when book 3 came out? Once the here kitty, kitty scene happened it was all I could do to not skip to the blurb for book 4 to see how their relationship turned out. At what point do you think Curran settled on Kate? Magic Burns is where it becomes obvious but I think there are hints in Magic Bites, like when he is fixing her roof. But then 4 months goes by…

    Another part that confused me was Kate’s thoughts about her being responsible for so many deaths. What deaths? She thinks about it when she is sitting there drinking and waiting for the upir.

    I really, really love these books.

  7. Lisa/BookWorm33333

    I learned of this series on Amazon shortly after the 3rd book was released. I had just finished another UF series & needed to sink my teeth into another. I kept seeing Ilona Andrews books on my Amazon recommendations (based on books by other favorite authors). So I purchased all 3 books.

    I didn’t immediately love it. It was similar to the previous series, but not enough. I knew that series books needed to be considered differently as they progress slowly compared to a stand-alone book and was still missing the other series. So I decided not to cling to my first impressions.

    I thought the series was different from other UF’s because it wasn’t as focused on romance as some others and the heroine wasn’t immediately remarkable. She was intriguing, mysterious and presumably a diamond-in-the-rough.

    I appreciated the interesting magic/tech issues. It made me wonder what it would be like to live that way:). I loved the small details like the names of Kate’s “rides”.

    My favorite quote was the “Here Kitty, Kitty” scene and the scene with Saimon altering his appearance to tempt Kate. Those parts especially peaked my interest:)

    Two quotes that made me better appreciate the character and her world:

    “You know anything about investigative work?”
    “Sure. Annoy the people involved until the guilt party tries to make you go away.”

    “It took a qualified wizard to detect a summoning in progress. It required only a half-literate idiot with a twitch of power and a dim idea of how to use it to attempt one. Before you knew it, a three-headed Slavonic god was wreaking havoc in downtown Atlanta, the skies were raining winged snakes, and SWAT was screaming for more ammo.”

    By the end of the book, I was very glad that I had the next two available:)

  8. I was immediately caught by the fact that heroine wasn’t perfect, got beat up, made mistakes, and admitted it. I recall being in my 20s and I was a hot mess. No matter what you’ve been through taking on adult responsibilities at that age is rough. So characters SHOULD make mistakes and other characters SHOULD take them to task for it. (Kate and Curran about her screw up with Derek)

    I’d have to say that my favorite scene from this one is still meeting Saiman for the first time. The whole thing with Kate getting into the apartment with the pass code and then watching him come in through binoculars. The attempt at seduction and the m-scan interest. It made for such an interesting premise that it was one of my favorites of this book.

    I loved the whole concept of magic rushing in and then going away again. How people had to live in a world of horrors and yet still managed to eek out some kind of normality. That scene where Kate worries about the little boy in the car next to her seeing the werewolf is hysterical and yet… poignant too. It also sets up, from the very start, how Kate thought about children first and would go to any lengths to save them/keep them innocent.

    I don’t recall when I picked it up. I believe I was browsing a bookstore and just snagged it while eyeballing the Jim Butcher selection. I was wary of a female protagonist in UF because I’d been bitten by the Anita Blake/LKH scenario and had lost my taste for that. So I was pleasantly surprised and have since been in awe of their characterizations and world building.

  9. @AmyBRbkwrm: I love that the vampires are so different, it just adds to the awesome world that Andrews created!

    @Jen – I think Curran started being interested in Kate pretty early on. I think the fact that she stood up to him, argued with him, and called him on his shit was something he never had before, and was intrigued by. In my re-read, when Kate helps Nick escape from the Keep, and Curran blew a gasket, I saw that as him reacting to the fact she was out of his reach. She was alone, with a psycho after her, and he didn’t know where she went so he could protect her. To me, that spoke volumes!!!

    As far as Kate being so concerned about the deaths, I just see that as her coming to realize that her past was finally catching up on her. I think she realized that her power might have attracted the Upir, and that people died because of it. Kate, to me at least, is super soft-hearted. She takes a lot of herself and tries to shoulder the world. It part of what makes me love her so much!

  10. @Lisa/BookWorm33333: Those are some quotes that made me smile the first time as well! I was so bummed when I finished the first book, and had to wait for the second to come back to the library. Instead of waiting for the third, I went out and bought it right away! 🙂

    @Sarah: I love that Kate is not perfect, that she gets beat up and knocked down and yet still gets back up again at the end of the day. I think that is what makes her so special compared to other UF heroines. 😀

  11. I agree with the favorite quotes that have already been named. I always felt this book was sad. Kate was a pretty sad character. She could have turned into a bitter sad old lady without some of the changes in her life. My favorite is the humor that pops up in the strangest and saddest places. Without the humor these books would be very dark. I have reread all the books many times and this is the hardest for me to read.

  12. @Barbie Doll I really like that Kate is so self deprecating and has a sense of humour. I think it really helps to ground her and keep things in perspective as well. This was also another aspect of the series that I love because she uses humour in so many ways and I love how people react to it.

  13. @barbie doll: This books is somewhat dark and sad. But, I think that without it, the series wouldn’t be as powerful. Kate has SO MUCH growth potential, and she really goes from a shell of a person to someone who has a full and rewarding life. That makes the series so awesome, IMO>

  14. @Jen and @MinnChica, I think she was wishing she had figured out the answer sooner and that would have saved some of the lives, survivor guilt maybe?

    @Barbie doll I think the fact that Kate was so alone at the beginning really set her up for character growth as the series progressed. To me this was one of the great things that set this series aside is the main character gains friends/family instead of losing them because of her role.

  15. What was the first thing about this book that set it apart from other UF series you’ve read?
    I liked Kate’s attitude. A lot of writers try to make their kick ass hero/ine snarky or sarcastic, but it’s really easy to fall flat, or overuse it. Ilona and Gordon got the mixture just right. It’s a dark world, but the humor is expertly placed so you don’t get dragged down. And it’s believable so you can almost see playing out as a movie as you read….at least I can…

    – What is your favorite scene/Kate Quote from Magic Bites?
    While I love all the scenes posted, my favorite has to be when she goes to the Keep for the first time. I love Derek, and that really had to be one of the coolest ways to be introduced to a faction-the pack- of any book I’ve ever read

    – What aspect of the unique worldbuilding is your favorite?
    I love the mythology that gets tied in. Every book has a different mythos driving it. That it’s not just magic vs non magic. I also love how you can see that as the series progresses, especially in the first book, that Kate will come into her own and the books are really just stepping stones to the finished product.

    – What about this book caught your attention and made you decide to give it a try?
    I’m big into Patricia Briggs, so this was recommended to me by Amazon. I had just had wrist surgery so I couldn’t do much other than read my Kindle-by this point the first 3 books were out- so I tried “Bites” and was immediately hooked. I read all three books in about 2 days time each, then reread them almost immediately. Now I reread the series right before a new book is released. It’s like visiting old friends each time.

  16. I love this series. I am actually a great fan of Science Fiction and I really only tried this book because our library has so few books that look anywhere near interesting and you learn to grab any book that looks even slightly like a good read because you may not see it again for months. I admit it means I grab a lot of very useless books to read.
    I thought the world building was fascinating and so very different and I liked the fact that Kate and Curran did not leap into bed at the first chance they had. There was a maturity in the writing and in the plot that I really enjoyed.

  17. This was one of the first books I read transitioning from the teen urban fantasy to the “grown up section” and wow it was a step up and totally set the bar for the rest of my urban fantasy reading as an adult. And I’m with E on the saucer of milk scene, in my opinion that part really exemplifies Kate and Curran’s relationship. It helps that it was really funny. I was reading at the dinner table during this scene and almost spit had orange juice come out my nose laughing. My favorite part of this world is that a) Kate has Obi one kanobi fighting skills because she has been training since child with her Sith lord/Yoda of a dad and b) the waves of magic and tech give equal opportunity for awesomeness in the characters using all the historically accurate tidbits from actual mythology and such. Sadly I cannot actually remember what about this book caught my eye.

  18. Magic Bites has all the ingredients I love in a book:
    1) Strong, intelligent, confident and witty female character that is convincing. Kate is not perfect but neither is she damaged. She has “acceptable” baggage and maturity. I can connect with her actions, thoughts and decisions.
    2) Hot chemistry with Curran: He is intriguing, intelligent, frighteningly dangerous yet protective. I enjoy how Kate pricks his temper and he brings it under control. Their relationship is vastly entertaining.
    3) Fast pace, good writing. It’s a lot of story packed into a standard size novel. A good balance between narrative from Kate and leaving some things to the reader’s imagination.

    My two favorite scenes: 1) when Kate visited the keep for the first time and 2) the sequence at the Keep leading up to the fight with Bono.

    “He referred to you as his little snack.”
    “He’s a sweetie.”
    “He’s also all about crewing you.”
    I raised my head enough to look at him. “Look, Curran, what do you want from me?”
    “Why does he want to mate with you?”
    “I’m a good lay. Go away, please.”

    Kate’s world is unique from any others I’ve read. I enjoy the post shift Atlanta with the new services such as The Order, the People and Mercenary Guild. I am intrigued by Unicorn Lane and the lively activities that take place.

    I came upon this book because I was looking for highly rated audio books that can keep me entertained during my long drive to and from work. Renee Raudman did a wonderful job with the narration, but then again, she had excellent writing to work with. I loved the series so much that I bought the books so I can read them over and over again.

  19. I read the first Edge book before starting the Kate Daniels series. I love them both. I like that the Kate Daniels books are UF and not PNR. I read more fantasy than UF, however, so I don’t know how the KD books differ from other UF out there. To my uninformed mind, UF is more real world with fantasy elements rather than KD which is more alternate Earth.

  20. This is a re-read for me, and so some of my answers will reflect my initial read of the series.

    I picked up this book when it first came out, and it sat on my to be read stack for some time. Primarily because I had burned out on UF series. When I finally opened it because I was bored and figured, “give it a shot, worse thing is I can roll my eyes and be bored.” Then I read the initial scene. What a series that did not put vampires into some sexier than you place, that actually made them monsters. Then there was the plot. It was a real mystery, one that slowly built, and the heroine got hurt. OMG, she is not sexier than thou or so powerful that nothing sticks to her…and she did not use the power of her sexuality to conquer everyone. I was hooked.

    Favorite scene: This changed through out the series, with the initial read I really was angry at Kate when the pack decided the her new bf was the bad guy then pointed at her saying she was the cause. I was angry because she sputtered and never said Then I read the whole series and that is part of the charm of the series, its a series where misunderstanding, and wrong words are common. Just like real life. After many rereads, the initial meeting is still one of my favorites, that first sizing up.

    I love being Shown not TOLD. And that is what is so powerful about this series, occasionally you are told, but that is because the Characters are being told. I love being plunged into the world.

    As I said I read the first book years ago, but why did I? Because several reviewers who I trusted all had said “READ THIS BOOK”

  21. Lisa/BookWorm33333

    Did anyone else feel that Kate was unjustly blamed for Dr Crest being favored for lead suspect? I wanted to kick Jim & Curran…

  22. 1. World building felt really unique
    2. The Tank scene “i know exactly what Im missing”
    3. The different types of magic
    4. It was highly recomended in UF lists and by readers
    It took me a while to get past the first chapter, I started it at least twice and just couldnt connect. Then I incorrectly read the beginnning of book 5 and found the first couple of pages so entertaining that I finally went back and read #1. And by the third chapter I was in LOVE.

  23. @ Lisa/BookWorm33333

    That scene was one thing that really confused me about the first book. I’ve reread it a number of times and that particular part still doesn’t sit right with me. It’s like a piece of the story was accidentally left out and the characters aren’t acting in an understandable way. I would chalk it up to shapeshifter weirdness, except Kate seems to think it’s justified, too.

    Except for that though, this is one of my favorite series. I re-read it at least once a year, if not more.

    My favorite scene actually comes at the end of the book, when Kate puts down the phone to yell at Curran while he is fixing her roof. I think it has just the right lighthearted touch to end the story, without being overly mushy.

  24. @Jess – The introduction to Derek didn’t make as much of an impact on me the first time I read it, but on this re-read, it really stuck out to me too!

    @Bea – I liked that Kate & Curran took their relationship slow as well. Although, I have to admit the romance reader in me wanted more, but I also thought it was worth the wait. The sexual tension between these two is *WOW*

    @Becka – I love the magic and tech waves, I think it just adds soooo much to the worldbuilding, and really gives Ilona and Gordon a chance to play with anything and everything. <3

    @Grace - That is a great quote too! I love that Kate & Curran are so snarky and sarcastic with each other, and yet at the same time they have each other's backs, 100%. I love them so much. They are probably my favorite hero and heroine of all time. 🙂

    @aravis - I've found that most of Ilona and Gordon's books don't fit perfectly into any sub-genre. But who cares when all their books are so awesome?!

    @Lyssa - One of my favorite things about this series is that Kate DOES get hurt. She is damned good with her sword, but at the same time she is also human (mostly). She isn't perfect and because of it she gets knocked around, and I think it speaks so much to her character that she keeps getting right back up and fighting more and more!

    @Lisa/BookWorm33333 - I remember this coming up on the Forum, and I *think* Ilona said somewhere that that particular scene and sequence of events changed so much from edit to edit that it got a little confusing in the final book. I think that was the biggest problem for me with this book, that whole part of the sub-plot didn't make a lick of sense, any of the times I've read it. 🙂

    @Stephanie C - I think you might be the first person I've met who didn't love the book instantly. But I'm glad you stuck with it and ended up falling in love. 🙂

    @JenniLyne - That is a great scene as well. I love how domesticated the two of them seem, even though their relationship is still in the very early stages.

  25. Lisa/BookWorm33333

    @ JenniLyne @ MinnChica
    Thanks. Glad to know it wasn’t just me:-)

    I loved the part with Curran & Derrick on Kate’s roof too. I was so glad to have BK 2 readily available.

  26. 1) What I believe sets it apart is that IA allows the world to unfold to the reader without pages upon pages of exposition. Too many books spend the early books in a series building the world at the expense of telling a story. IA gives the reader the information as it’s needed and in wonderfully economical terms. That way, lots of story AND incredible world building can still be squeezed into 360 pages.
    Ultimately, though, the books are character driven. Kate is strong and tough and flawed. She is very often wrong but always willing to admit it. Mostly, she’s human but always trying to do better. And best of all, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. And that is what separates this series from some others. I don’t know about anyone else, but I need at least a sense of humor in my characters, even in UF. Snark helps to break up the tension and establish a voice. Authors like Jim Butcher, Nicole Peeler, and Simon Green certainly make use of the device. Makes the read a lot my enjoyable for me.
    2) I think one of my favorite scenes was when Curran came to Greg’s apartment after the fight with the old Vampire and Kate shared the left over Chinese food with him. I think I just liked learning that Curran doesn’t like peas!
    3) I love the fact that vampires aren’t a sparkly romantic ideal in post shift Atlanta. Also like that various pantheons / mythologies get airtime.
    4) I first tried reading Magic Bites in 2009 when I first started reading speculative fiction. In the early chapters I felt like I had opened the book in the middle somehow and wanted to keep paging back to see if I could figure out what I missed. Except there was nothing to page back to. At the time, I apparently didn’t have it in me to stick with it and abandoned the proposition.
    Since I’m still hooked on the genre, I would have to be under a rock to be ignorant to the fact that the entire UF / PNF world raves about this series, so I knew I had to go back and give it another try. Armed with a little more information regarding the authors’ style, I waded in and got hooked. So, the series’ well-deserved reputation as being among the best the genre has to offer is what led me to try the book again.

  27. I started this series when the first book was released, and every time a new one comes out I reread the whole series. i love this series, and the first book is so fresh and different from a lot of the UF out there.

    There’s such a great introduction to the weirdness that is this world, and Kate is such a great character with enough mystery about her to keep the interest strong.

    @Lisa/BookWorm33333, I also thought that scene didn’t fit at all. Even over the rest of the series it stands out as being out of character for everyone in it.

    I recall reading somewhere that Ilona Andrews don’t really like this book…Anyone else heard that before?

  28. How many of you have been/will be also re-reading the free Curran POV scenes that fit into the relevant book[s]? They’re fun, and definitely add to the experience. When I finally decided to try this long-recommended series, I quickly liked Kate, IA’s writing style, the interesting range of mythology, and the absolutely original take on vampires — but I wasn’t sure about Curran at first. I was afraid he’d be too Alpha to be likable, but such is not the case! Their relationship is great — and real! Ilona Andrews now occupies one of the top slots of my “must read” list.

  29. @Lisa/BookWorm33333 I also agree about that whole thing. Kate threw Crest out there as a possibility that the Council jumped on with both feet. Then when it didn’t pan out, Jim and Curran turned on Kate like it was all her hair brained idea. Maybe it was just an expedient plot device to get Crest out of the picture and give Kate a reason to slink back to Savannah (and away from Pack protection) so that the real upir could finally make himself known.

    It’s funny, as much as I ADORE Curran now (after 5 books et al) I really disliked him in this book. After the dinner at Fernando’s when Kate told him that she didn’t think that killing Olathe solved the problem and he told her that she just had a “bad case of spotlight deprivation”. He said that she was a “no name merc and all of a sudden everyone wants to talk to you. The power brokers of the city know your phone number. Makes you feel important. And now the dance is done. I sympathize.” This about someone who had obvious laid low her whole career and sought anonymity. It was just another in a line of off-base insults that he threw at her and she seemed to accept.

    I can also admit that in this book (and even occasionally in later books) Kate is a little too quick to throw herself on the proverbial sword (HAHA). She’s always quick to blame herself for everything and everyone is pretty quick to agree. And everybody (even her so called BFF Andrea) talks to her like she’s a moron. At some point I’m hoping she just grabs one of them and asks them who they think they’re talking to (with that voice your mom used with you when you got a little too full of yourself).

  30. @Sue S – I loved the fried rice scene too. Especially when Curran growls at Derek like he’s a little kid who is playing with his food. 🙂

    @Gewurz – I think Ilona said either that she didn’t like this book, or that she didn’t think it was the best possible book she could have written. I don’t know if she really hated it, or was just disappointed that she didn’t put out what she thought was the best possible thing. I vaguely remember reading it on the blog somewhere.

    @Diane_D – I will sometimes re-read the Curran POVs just for fun. I love getting a glimpse inside his head, especially since he is so Alpha and male. I’ll probably re-read most of the novellas to this series as well before the next release.

    @Sue S – Call me crazy, but I have a soft spot for the “Alpha-hole” so although Curran does come across as kinda an ass sometimes, I fell for him hard and fast. 🙂

  31. @MinnChica – “Alpha-hole”! I love that and fully intend to steal it and use it often as it absolutely captures the big lug. I, too, adore him but he can really work on my nerves. Kate’s just a much better person than me. She seems to instinctively recognize that most of the crap he shovels comes from that “broken” spot that Aunt B tells her about later. Any strong emotion seems to manifest as anger for him, at least early on. It’s amazing how mature Kate is in handling him considering she doesn’t have a lot of experience with positive m/f relationships.

  32. @Sue S – I think one of the big reasons that Kate puts up with Curran’s crap is because she knows that she comes with a lot of baggage as well. She takes every tiny responsibility to heart, and feels for everyone she meets deeply. She runs headfirst into trouble, day in and day out, and refuses to apologize for it. Add in her less-than-trusting nature and snarky attitude, and I think that Kate doesn’t always see herself as a “Catch.” But, I think it just goes to show how perfect these two are for each other!

  33. @Gewurz and @MinnChica – I met Ilona and Gordan at the RT Convention last year and brought my old copy of Magic Bites to be signed. Ilona said she doesn’t even like signing it. She wishes she could just throw it out and start all over. Of course they both signed it and were very nice, but she definitely had an opinion about it.

  34. I’m a week late with my comment, but here it is.

    I hadn’t readthis series at all until this readalong. So I’m a fresh new reader.

    So far the thing that sets this book apart from other urban fantasy books I’ve read is how much Kate appears to care. I love that her actions have consequences and she doesn’t go strutting around for the whole book like she’s the most awesome thing ever. I also kept reading expecting a love triangle, and was pleasantly surprised that there were love triangle red herrings, but at the end, Kate remained unattached.

    As for Curran, I was a little afraid he would turn out to be a bit like Rourke from the In Death books, who it took me four books to warm up to. I’m pleased to report that I liked him a lot better. He is definitely sexy and alpha without quite reaching knuckle-dragging Neanderthal depths.

    I wasn’t really blown away by this book, to be honest, but I did go on to read the next one, and I was much more impressed by Magic Burns, so I’m eager to keep reading.

  35. fawkes tigerlily

    a random book i received from a friend had the story ” a questionable client” i fell in love with Saiman, i looked around to see if their were other books to it and was pleased their were other books, though it took me a while to get used to kate.
    -fav part- magic burns book 2
    She looked at Derek with huge eyes and purred. “A puppy. Play with me!”
    Derek’s eyes had gone completely yellow.
    I swiped a chunk of crusty snow, clamped it into a ball, and hurled it at the blonde. The snowball hit her upside the head, bursting into powder. “Saiman! Step away from him!” The blonde whipped her head around. “Kate…” Her body twisted with preternatural fluidity. Female flesh melted like wax and re-formed into a muscle-corded frame. She swept toward me through the snow, growing, twisting, molding, hardening, too fast to follow and then a man wrapped his arm around my waist pulling me to him. He was tall, perfectly proportioned, and muscled like a Roman statue. The same golden radiance that had illuminated the blonde lit his skin from within. His hair, a deep red streaked with gold, fell to his waist without a trace of a curl. His face was angular, yet masculine, and his grin had a mordant edge sharp enough to draw blood. He leaned toward me and I got a good look at his eyes. They were orange. Radiant, brilliant orange, streaked with pale green that almost looked like the crystals of ice growing on a window during a freeze.

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