Saturday, November 18, 2017

Trace of Magic (Diamond City Magic, #1) by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Title: Trace of Magic
Series: Diamond City Magic
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback; 252 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (August 29, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1611945143
ISBN-13: 978-1611945140
Author's Website:
Notes: I borrowed a copy from my library.

'Everybody leaves a magical trail of sorts, like an indelible ribbon unrolling behind them. It isn’t actually on this plane, but in a sort of other dimension that only tracers like me can see. It fades pretty quick for most tracers, disappearing in a matter of hours or maybe a week or two if they are really strong. It never fades for me. I can even see dead trace. It can be tricky to follow, and doing it can leave you vulnerable to the spirit world. I try not to follow dead trace if I can help it. Altogether, those talents make me a unicorn, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Loch Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake.'

'Here’s my one rule: I try very hard not to be stupid. I don’t take the same path home every night, I sleep with a gun under my pillow, I reinforce my nulls every day, I stay out of the spotlight, and I avoid the cops and the Tyet whenever humanly possible. '

'I wasn’t interested in becoming anybody’s puppet, and as long as I was a relative nobody on the Tyet food chain, I had free rein to find out who’d killed my mother and what had happened to my father. Not that I was making any headway. I had zero clues.'

'In the last decade or so, Diamond City had reverted to something of an Old West/mafia war zone. Way back when diamonds were first discovered here, there’d been a huge rush followed by massive territory wars. Eventually the Tyet had emerged—basically a united consortium of very bad people who ran the diamond trade and the town. Our most lauded town hero, Zachary Kensington, had brokered that pact somehow, bringing order from chaos. But then something happened about ten years ago and all hell broke loose. A lot of it had to do with a changing idea of what the Tyet could or should do and various factions wanting more money, more power, more, more, more. A drug trade had entered the scene as well—Sparkle Dust, or SD.'

This is Riley Hollis' story and her life is about to change irrevocably...
This was a fast paced thrill ride of a read with a lot going on. Riley Hollis is a smart, kind hearted, and loyal person. She also has a magical talent that if word got out about would be highly sought after and her life would no longer be her own. No one can do what she can do. With very few exceptions, she could potentially follow a person's trace from the day they died back to the day they were born and vice versa. The only person's trace she hasn't been able to follow is her father's who went missing several years back.

They say no good deed goes unpunished and Riley's latest case of finding a missing teen puts her on the radar of Clay Price, a cop with known ties to Gregg Touray who is one of the leading crime bosses of the Tyet. What first seems like a problem quickly turns into a blessing when she needs his help finding her sister's ex-fiance, Josh. Josh's apartment shows signs of a struggle and blood. Lots of it. When the FBI starts nosing around and implicating him in all sorts of crimes, Riley knows she's in over her head. She'll need someone with more influence and connections than she has to solve this one and get him out alive.

Riley doesn't know what to make of Clay. He actually seems like a fairly decent cop despite his involvement with Touray, but she doesn't trust him one little bit. To complicate matters, Riley finds herself seriously attracted to the man and the feeling is mutual. The more she's with him the more the attraction seems to grow.

I absolutely loved this one and couldn't help but give it 5 out of 5 roses. It's a wonderful story that grabbed my attention from the get-go and kept it straight through till the end. Riley's talent is reminiscent of that found in the Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder series. The world Ms. Francis created reminded me a little of Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series where crime bosses tend to have their hands in everything and magic is common place. The drama in this one runs high as does the action. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. This was a well written and highly entertaining read. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Order of the Diamond City Magic series:

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