Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked.
It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.
Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother.
Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected.
Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission.
With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.
Kindle Edition, 331 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by 47North
Three and a half stars: An intriguing story with unforgettable characters and a unique premise, but it suffers a bit with a complicated romance.
For Mattie Carver, life is perfect. Tonight is her engagement party, and she is lucky to be marrying a wonderful man. Unfortunately, her dream is shattered the next morning when her fiancé is kidnapped without a trace. When the local law enforcement fails to turn up any viable leads, Mattie takes matters into her own hands. Mattie soon stumbles upon a dark, seductive and unexpected world, involving magic. Mattie learns some hard truths about the man she loves, and her only ally is Asa, Ben's estranged brother. Mattie quickly finds herself immersed in this strange world, and it is all she can do to survive. The deeper she goes, the worse things get, until she is running for her life. Will Mattie recover Ben?
What I Liked:
- I am huge fan of Sarah Fine, and I am never disappointed with her thrilling story telling, imaginative world building and creativity. Reliquary delivers a dark, exciting world with four types of magic that involve pleasure, manipulation, pain and manipulation. I loved immersing into this strange world. If you love originality and excellent world building, give this a try.
- Mattie Carver is a character that takes a bit of time to warm up to. In the beginning she comes across as a pretty girl, who is a bit shallow, focused on her dream life, but when her world unravels at the seams, she must dig deep, and in doing so, she learns things about herself that she never thought possible. I loved her metamorphosis. By the end, she was a completely different character, she becomes a girl who is tough as nails, and one who is willing to take extreme risks to save the one she loves. She requires time and patience, but she is worth the wait.
- Asa, Mattie's partner in crime, is also a slow burning character. He comes across as the dark, brooding, bad boy, but there are so many layers to him. He takes a lot of time to warm up to, but he is never boring. He is always fascinating, and the further I dug, the more I loved him. By the end, I was sold on him, hook, line and sinker.
- Once the story takes hold, it doesn't let up. There is action, danger, and excitement. I was flipping the pages as fast as I could, because I just had to know more. I loved that this book grabbed a hold and didn't let go until the end.
- The book ends without a cliffhanger, which was a relief, but there was much left unfinished. I was left eager for more, and lucky for me, the next books will be released by the end of the year.
And The Not So Much:
- The romance was a big niggle for me. I usually adore Ms. Fine's romances, but this time, I struggled. First, there is a love triangle if you will, but not really.... How to explain? When the book opens, Mattie is set to marry Ben, but as the story progresses, she learns more and more about him, and many of the things are unsettling. Asa helps her through hell and back, and along the way, they bond. The book ends with Mattie seemingly making her choice, but there is conflict and doubt in her. I have a feeling I know where the next book is going, so I am going to be patient, because I think it will work out. I think the other reason I had issues was that I am used to swoon worthy male leads, and Ben isn't that, and it takes a long time to warm up to Asa. Patience is required for the romance.
- There was a scene at the end that featured sadistic sexual behavior, which wasn't my favorite. It was nothing graphic or over the top, but it was just not my thing.
- I was disappointed that more time wasn't spent with Mattie's grandpa. He was a fascinating character with a lot of stories to tell, and I wanted to know his secrets.
Reliquary is a promising beginning to a new series from Sarah Fine. She delivers with excellent world building and creative story telling, but this one faltered a bit with a complicated romance that had a bit of a love triangle. I am eager to see where the story will go, and I have faith that Ms. Fine will deliver.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.