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Magic Bleeds Read-along

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Welcome all! This week’s book in our Kate Daniels Read-along is the 4th book in the series – Magic Bleeds. This is a pivotal book as well as a game-changer in the series where Kate faces her past and confronts her past in so many ways. There is also some major changes in her personal and working life.

Magic Bleeds

Blurb:

Kate Daniels keeps the peace in Atlanta for the Order, humans caught between the vampire controlling People led by her biological father and best kept secret, Roland, and the shape-shifter Pack, led by her mate-to-be Curran, the Lord of the Beasts. But her look-alike aunt Erra, Babylon’s god of chaos and terror, has come to town controlling seven naked warriors: Deluge (flood water), Tremor (earth quake), Gale (hurricane wind), Torch (fire inferno), Venom (disease poison), Beast (animal monster), and Darkness (overpowering dread).

Our Impressions:

E – Following the fiasco of the Midnight Games, you would think things would calm down for Kate and the Pack and they did for a little while.  Until Kate’s family decided to pay a little visit… This story marked another significant turning point because both Kate and Curran had to make some choices.  Kate has to make some decisions about who has her loyalty, and what does that really entail?  Curran also has to decide what he and The Pack are going to do regarding a threat that has a significant impact on shape-shifters themselves.  I really enjoyed reading Magic Bleeds not just because of the glimpse into Kate’s heritage, the introduction of a new character who I hope will reappear because I have questions, and some interesting Pack developments.  Once again I loved Kate’s interaction with the variety of side characters as well as their internal interaction.  While Andrews resolved some of the issues that have existed since the start of the series because of the choices made by the several characters some other situations have arisen which provide a great launching point for a shift in direction.

 

Has – I totally agree this is the book that changes so many things, as well as other elements come to a head for Kate who comes face to face with a member of her family. I also loved the introduction of Grendel, Kate’s trusted attack poodle, who not only provides comic relief but at the same time is one fierce dog you don’t want to mess with. But overall this is the book which makes every shipping heart on cloud nine for Curran and Kate which started off on a  promised date that was thwarted. Yet when they finally got together it was so fun and exciting to see them succumbing to their feelings. I literally squeeed out loud they acknowledged their feelings and I loved that Kate took that brave step in opening up. It made her vulnerable but at the same time she realised she had a family and friends of her own making and despite her past cropping up to haunt her, she refused to back down and run away. It showed how much she has developed from that loner in the beginning of the series and I think this makes her stronger in a lot of ways.

 

MinnChica: This is the book where Kate and Curran finally get naked together, and I was so excited! With the mini-cliffhanger of Curran ordering his naked dinner, I couldn’t wait to see what would unravel relationship wise for these two. Although things didn’t work out as planned, once they finally get down and dirty, it was hot and well worth the wait. For me, the development with Kate’s family took a bit of a backseat to the romance, and I was totally okay with that. However, it didn’t change the fact that I still loved and adored learning more about Kate’s background and all that she has to look forward to with her father.

 

Favourite scenes:

E – Once again there were several great scenes to choose from.  With the help of my family we decided to go with a humorous instead of bloody scene.  Enjoy!

The phone rang.  It was probably Christy.  I picked it up.  “Kate Daniels.”

“I’m in lockup in Milton County Jail,” Andrea said.  “Come get me.”

[…]

“…Miss Nash got up to go to the bathroom and get some drinks.  When Miss Nash came back, she found a young female talking to her significant other.”  His eyes sparkled a little.  He pretended to check his report.  “Apparently, the inter-loping female was scantily clad.”

He must’ve waiting years to use that in a report.  “Go on..”

“According to the hotel staff, the poor man did try to discourage the femme fatale the best he could, but she was either dense or really hoped to take him for a ride.  Having met her, I’d say both.”

I sighed.  I knew where this was going.

“When Miss Nash approached, her fella informed the scantily clad female that Miss Nash and he were together.  He said the female appraised Miss Nash as ‘cute.’ ”

I put my head down and pumped it on the table a couple of time.

The two furry caterpillars Beau used as his eyebrows crept up.  “Do you need a minute?”

“No, I’ll be alright.  Sorry”

“It seems that the young woman made some indelicate suggestion of a threesome.  Nobody is quite sure what happened next, but everybody agrees it was damn fast.  When I got there, Miss Nash was standing by the hot tub in a small bikini, pointing the business end of a SIG-Sauer P-226 at her fella and concerned members of the hotel staff, while dunking the scantily clad female’s head under the water and asking, ‘Who’s diving for clams now, bitch?’ “

My pain must’ve reflected on my face because Beau reached into his desk drawer and handed me a small bottle of aspirin.  I popped two tablets into my mouth and swallowed, grimacing against the bitterness.  “Then what?”

“Well, Miss Nash and I had a conversation.  I bet that she wouldn’t shoot a badge and I won that bet.  She had no ID on her – it was a very small bikini – so we invited her, her fella, and the aggrieved party to be our guests in this lovely jailhouse.  Spending the night with us calmed her down.”

Oh, boy. “She had no ID, but she had a gun?”

“Brought it in a towel, from what I understand.”

Why wasn’t I surprised? “She’s a knight.”

 

Has – Like E there are so many fun and great scenes in this book that I had trouble finding just one, although while I think the tea scene with Kate’s family member is one of my all time favourite scenes in the series. I think I am going for the scene that leads up to the huge chapter between Curran and Kate when they finally face off with their feelings – and Saiman is a total idiot but the lead up was truly memorable.

‘THIRTY MINUTES LATER WE SCREECHED TO A halt before my apartment building. I jumped out into the snow, Slayer in hand. Saiman lunged into the driver’s seat. The wheels spun, spraying snowflakes. I jumped back. The car reversed, rolling over the spot where my feet were half a second earlier, and sped into the night.

He almost ran me over. Coward. Let’s have a partnership, Kate. I offer honesty, Kate. I don’t have to outrun the Beast Lord I just pissed off, Kate. I only have to outrun you and hit you with my car as I hightail it out of here.

The dogs down the street exploded with frantic barking. Speak of the devil . . .

I needed to attract His Majesty’s attention and take this off the street. In the open, he could take a running start and bulldoze over me. In my apartment, he’d have a harder time maneuvering and I’d have the home turf advantage.

I hiked up my dress and ran into the building, taking the stairs two at a time. It took me three precious seconds to get the door open. I burst inside, dropped the sword, ran to the living room window, and slid it open. A thick grate of steel and silver bars guarded my window. I grabbed the two handles and twisted. The lock snapped open. The grate swung to the left and I saw him, a nightmarish beast charging up the roofs across the street, like a demon caught between the black sky and the white snow.

Dear God.

He saw me and changed direction in midleap. That’s right. Come let me kiss you with my fist, baby.

I backed away from the window. Shoes. I had spiked heels on. I pulled them off and tossed them into the hallway. If I had to kick him, the heel would go right into the body like a knife. It would hurt, but not enough to stop him, and I’d have a hell of a time getting free.

Curran dropped off the roof and dashed across the street to my building. I backed away, giving myself room to kick. My heart hammered. My mouth went completely dry.

A second passed.

Come on. Come on.

A clawed half-paw gouged the windowsill. Curran lunged through the window.

He was huge, neither a man, nor a lion. Curran’s usual warrior form stood upright. This creature moved on all fours. Enormous, bulging with muscle under a gray pelt striped with whip marks of darker gray, six hundred pounds at least. His head was lion, his eyes were human, and his fangs were monster.

So that’s what the Beast Lord with no brakes looked like.’

 

MinnChica: Ok, well since Has left you all hanging, I might just have to finish off that scene, at the good bits….

He leaned his head to me, his neck so close to my lips, I felt the heat coming off his skin. His breath was warm against my ear. His voice was a ragged snarl. “I miss you.”

This wasn’t happening.

“I worry about you.” He dipped his head and looked into my eyes. “I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.”

No, no, no, no….

We started at each other. The tiny space between us felt too hot. Muscles bulged on his naked frame. He looked feral.

Mad gold eyes stared into mine. “Do you miss me, Kate?”

I closed my eyes, trying to shut him out. I could lie and then we’d be back to square one. Nothing would be resoled. I’d still be alone, hating him and wanting him.

He grabbed my shoulders and shook me once. “Do you miss me?”

I took the plunge. “Yes.”

He kissed me. The taste of him was like an explosion of color in a gray room. It was a fierce, possessive kiss and I melted into it. His tongue brushed mine, eager and hot. I licked at it, tasting him again. My arms slid around his beck.

He growled, pulling me to him, and kissed my lips, my cheeks, my neck…. “Don’t make me leave.”

Not a chance. I gulped to catch my breath. “If you leave, how will I strangle you?”

PS: Hot wall sex ensues….

 

Questions:

– Magic Bleeds heralds new changes and a different direction for Kate and other characters.  What do you think about the new direction especially for Andrea and Kate who both faced consequences in their choices in the book?

– What do you think of Ted’s real agenda – do you think he is hiding something and what are the Knights of the Order are up to?

– Kate and Curran got busy, were you satisfied with the sexy parts after the build up to it?

– What did you think of Erra and the things she told Kate about her father?

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

16 replies on “Magic Bleeds Read-along”

-Andrea & Kate have such screwed up childhoods. Thinking about this book makes me very happy we have Gunmetal magic. This is such a huge leap for Kate, and I love LOVE that it took us 4 books to get here. The pacing felt right. I think Kate is ready to deal, but obviously, Andrea still has a lot she needs to reconcile.

-I don’t know if the Knights are really just trying to prepare for a Roland showdown, if Ted is somehow connected to that, or is just an a-hole. He could just be a bigoted jerk who is unfortunately in a place of power. I want to know what Nick is doing…

-Yes, I thought that there was the right amount of steam for this series.

-The tea scene is epic. I love that she casts doubts about what Kate was brought up to believe about her father. Also, although they both have power, Kate is not Erra.

@Kindle-aholic I think Ted is definitely planning a showdown with Roland – he has agents placed close to his people but I bet that will implode because Ted is such a bigot about the shifters and I suspect other types too.

I definitely agree the tea scene was epic. For me that scene is so pivotal about Kate on her past and choices about her future paths and although they are both similar – Kate is definitely not like Erra her choices in this book I think will help to ground her and she needs that. Love it!

The Order was everything to Andrea. It was a family to her and it was how she defined herself. Even though Ted wasn’t allowing her to do anything she still couldn’t imagine leaving the Order. It was never the same for Kate when she left after Brenna’s call she was only really giving up what Greg wanted for her.

I never thought Ted was the most likable of characters but in this book it became clear that he had a bias against non-human individuals and he is willing to abuse the power of his position. This can only lead to badness.

It was worth the wait. I loved the sexy parts and the scenes leading up to them finally getting it done were some of my favorite- Curran’s jealousy over Saiman and her comments about his equipment. Just fantastic.

Kate knew she came from a messed up family but knowing it and coming face-to-face with it is something altogether different. Interacting with Erra made Kate really have to acknowledge who she comes from and who she could be in the future.

All in all this is probably my favorite Kate Daniels book and not just because the hot sex. Though that was a plus.

I know it wasn’t a question this time, but my favorite scenes in these books are always the funny ones, and in this one I loved the part of the Kate-Curran courtship where she welds his weights and the door to the bimbo room, and his reaction to it. With this couple, you really can’t have any worries that they’ll get boring once they get together.

I love the worldbuilding in this series, so I really enjoyed all the new backstory on Kate and her various relatives, particularly the Erra stuff. Having Roland’s little sister be so badass makes him even more terrifying.

@kindle-aholic – Part of me thinks that Ted is just a douche with some power. I really don’t think that he is going to have anything to do with Roland. I think Nick being so close to Hugh is Nick’s own crusade… I think he’s just a prejudice asshole. 🙂

@Amanda – I thought Andrea got the short end of the stick from Raphael. First of all, Brenna didn’t call Andrea, and Kate probably wouldn’t have even let Andrea close to the scene (like she did with Dali), so Raphael getting his panties in a bunch over it is a real jerk thing to do. Then, when he walked out of her I wanted to beat his pretty little ass.

@SarahZ – I love that she calls it the “bimbo room” and “slut hut.” I LOLed so hard during those scenes!!!

MinnChica agreed, Raphael’s reaction was over the top and unfair to Andrea. Curran has made comments about how spoiled Aunt Bee’s son is (or something like that) and while I don’t think he is always that bad this was one time when that description fit perfectly. Andrea did not behave as he wanted him to behave and he refused to see beyond that. Ass kicking was truly warranted.

I really hate Ted! I want him gone! I think that he is just another bigot with an agenda and has no involvement with Nick’s undercover work. I’m sure Nick knows who Kate is and I think he is part of a shadow group of (unknown) allies that will come to light when Roland comes to town.

Kate and Andrea are two sides of the same coin. Both were abused by persons of authority and left to cope on their own. They have isolated themselves for fear of being found out and destroyed. They’ve been hiding in plain sight and now it’s all about to change, I think for Andrea the journey of revelation is harder than for Kate. Kate will do what she has do in order to protect those she loves and defeat Roland. Andrea is so shame based and fearful it’s harder for her to come forward with her true self. Kate has Curran who is by far a better man than Raphael. I think that has made a HUGE impact on Kate’s becoming emotionally available. Andrea and Raphael are so emotionally immature that it’s impossible for them to support each other in times of crisis.

Kate’s conversations with Erra were interesting. I think Roland knows about Kate. I think that he is testing her to see how strong she is……Kate has dispatched potential enemies of Roland’s and at the same time has allied with the pack. I keep wondering who The Order, Ghastek, Saimon and The Guild will back when Roland comes to do battle. Hugh seems to be the “wild card” in all this…..I find myself wondering about his loyality, like Voron he’s blood bound to Roland, but Voron managed to defy Roland’s hold on him. It’s a mystery to be sure.

I have loved the build up of Kate’s romance with Curran. The sexy parts are the least interesting to me…..I love how they interact, the way they communicate is hilarious and the loyality in their affection is honest if not quite commited. It’s a “Grand Romance”.

Magic Bleeds is a fantastic book with so many wonderful scenes. The beginning broke my heart, I still want revenge on the person who answered Kate’s call to Curran at the keep when he didn’t show up for dinner. I loved the part at The Steel Horse and finding Grendel, but Curran glueing Kate’s ass to the the chair is very funny, I loved it when he called her to ask “if she was sitting down”. Great book, thanks for doing this read along.

@Amanda – Yeah, I remember Curran frequently making note that Raphael was a spoiled little baby. And I know he was a little mating crazy, but he was still a huge douche. I was not a big fan of him after that scene. He had some serious groveling to do in Gunmetal Magic, IMO.

@mel burns – Thanks for joining us on the Read-Along. I agree that I don’t think Ted has anything to do with Nick’s undercover work. That’s an interesting theory that there is a group of people who will come together to help Kate kick Roland’s ass in the end. I kinda like that idea. 😀

I remember being really ticked at Curran at the beginning for standing Kate up and hurting her so badly. I really felt her heart breaking all through those early chapters. I love the leap she took to meet him on “shapeshifter” terms and sneak into his rooms at the Keep and seal the Slut Hut, etc. I never felt right, though, about Curran’s response when Kate told him about what she was told when she called the Keep looking for him the night of “the dinner”. I would have thought that it would have have gotten ugly when he got to the bottom of that. What does everyone else think? Am I obsessing about minutiae again?

@Sue S – Didn’t one of the Curran POV’s address this? Or was I just dreaming?? I shall now run off and check Ilona’s blog and report back…

One of the things I find most interesting is Kate dealing with/killing so many so that she can stay with Curran. When she says that she is tired of killing I remember when she said at some point that she enjoyed killing and missed it when she didn’t. OK maybe not enjoyed but was not bothered by it. She has come a long way from the person she was in the first book. The way she interacts with Julie is nice. Her commitment to the shifters is becoming strong. I too wonder about Hugh and his plans. I also wonder about Roland and just what he knows. Even though I shouldn’t mention it I am not sure just how he will treat Kate when they come face to face. But that is in another book. Is it in this book or later that Kate says she couldn’t become Roland but she could become Erra? And that is what Voron wanted her to be. Makes Voron look pretty shaky.

@barbie doll – I wonder what exactly Roland knows too. Didn’t Erra say something about Roland knowing about her. Or at least hint at it?

I really loved this book. It had so many great scenes:

*While it was generous of the authors to start the book off at the scene of the naked dinner, I do admit to scolding them thoroughly for teasing us…

*Kate’s intro to Grendel and all of his subsequent unlovely behaviors.

*Rescue of Andrea & Raphael from jail – so funny! Plus, you gotta love a person that trades a highly valuable & sentimental sword for the sake of a friend.

*The scene at Bernards. It was both funny and maddening. I wanted to kick Saimon’s butt!

*I loved Kate & Curran’s first night together

*The story to the Golem of the first Vampire. (This was the first book I’ve read that offered that)

*The tea scene with Erra was fascinating!

*The post-fight scene with Aunt B. Her talk was highly educating (and daunting).

*Kate at the pack house with Dali where she gave her first orders to a member of the Pack. My heart ached for Kate when she had to kill Brenna, the little girl and then the Dingo.

*I loved Kate’s entrance as a member of the Pack – one painful step at a time…

*The hot tub scene when Kate & Curran share their stories.

*The whole section after the final fight with Erra blew me away.

*Loved how Curran gave Kate a new start with her own business. I thought it was smart of him because Kate was used to being on her own. She needed a way to keep her individuality.

New direction for Kate & Andrea: Kate and Andrea both had life-changing consequences: Kate gave up position with the order to rescue pack-members who were being attached by Erra. She lost her Atlanta home where she & Julie stayed as well as Greg’s belongings, which had sentimental value to Kate. She also gained a new home inside the Pack Keep, with Curran. She and Curran killed Erra, which would definitely draw Roland’s attention. Andrea lost Raphael’s respect for not quitting the Order and helping the Pack-members along with Kate. (I wanted to kick Raphael for not listening to Andrea!)

Ted’s agenda and his possible plans: I thought that it was ridiculous and completely irresponsible for the Knight Protector to put someone with Kate’s lack of experience in charge of the Steel Mary case. Ted’s POV of Kate is that she powerful but not a trained investigator. I figured part of his reason was to insult Andrea by having a non-Knight do a Knight’s work while Andrea rotted away in the Armory. But still, Kate received no help from anyone in the Order until it was very late,and the jerk blamed her for not making enough progress! I wondered if he wanted her to get killed on the job. His hatred of shape-shifters and other partial or non-humans was chilling. I have no idea what the Order is up to, but it is obviously not good.

@ MinnChica: I agree with you about Nick following Hugh as part of his own crusade. I have soooo many questions about Nick.

Kate & Curran: I cheered when they finally got together! I was going to personally jump into the book and kick Saimon’s butt when I thought he’d ruined things for them. I also mad at Curran for walking out on Kate because she wouldn’t immediately move into the Keep with him. I did forgive him after he shared his reason & story with Kate. I was happy that she finally shared her secret with Curran because she really needed someone to share her fears with.

Erra: It was thrilling to have Kate meet with Roland’s sister, Erra and learn about their heritage. Erra said that Roland/Ishum was sentimental about his child. It made me wish that Roland could forget the curse and his Tower-building, shapeshifter destroying plans so that Kate could have a relationship with him and not have to worry about him harming the society she is familiar with (sigh). I was fascinated with Erra’s reasons for wanting the Pack gone and her instructions about how to take over armies and cities. It did make me worry about Kate’s distant future. If she lives through multiple generations, how hard will it be to lose loved ones time & time again…

@MinnChica There is supposed to be a Part 2 to that installment that would hopefully address the specifics of the bear encounter, etc. As a matter of fact, that was one of the “enducements” (read as “bribes”) during the hotly contested Alpha Showdown voting this year. Even though Curran didn’t win, IA’s blog said that Gordon was “working on it” and that it had grown into a short story. My fingers are firmly crossed.

@Lisa/BookWorm33333 – The hot tub scene kills me every time. These two have some crazy intense moments in hot tubs….

@Sue S – If Ilona says Gordon is working on it, I’m sure he is. 🙂 Whenever it’s done, I’m sure it’ll be amazing.

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