Cath Monroe is the always sassy, sometimes emotionally distant, definitely enjoys a casual sexual partner, English teacher. Rica Diamandis is the British, sexy as hell, definitely keeping a secret, new art teacher.
The chemistry between the two is immediate, but their relationship is complicated by Rica’s secrets, Cath’s inability to be vulnerable, the sudden onset of a potentially deadly illness in her father, and rumors flying around the school about their inappropriate relationship.
Art of Magic has the conversational and sassy tone of a romantic comedy, but it jumps into some deep topics as both Cath and Rica explore what it means to open oneself up to someone else.
I loved both Rica and Cath. Because this is a single POV novel following Cath’s point of view, the secrets Rica is holding onto can only be guessed at, making her all the more mysterious.
Cath is confident and sassy but still closed off from her emotions in a way that is very human. She has a strong voice that comes through in both her narration and her dialogue. As a fellow Australian, Cath’s voice is immediately familiar and comforting, even if she’s a little rough around the edges sometimes.
The Writing Style
KJ’s style is so unique. She switches with ease from profane dialogue (which I always love), to these fantastic one liners that are so deep I want to quote them to everyone. From the tone of a contemporary romance to philosophical questions, and artistically rich descriptions, she had my attention from page one.
My Favourite Parts
The first time Cath visits Rica’s loft is my favorite scene in the entire novel. I don’t want to spoil this one for readers, but it is fantastic.
There were only a couple of things I didn’t like about this novel. The first is that there was a surprise addition of magic around the halfway point in the novel. This wasn’t something that was clear to me from the blurb, though it is hinted at in the title. Until that moment, it appeared that there were no magical aspects to the story. That being said, the actual content of this revelation and what it adds to the story were well worth it to me, though I would have liked to have a little forewarning.
Second, the editing needs a little polish. There are a few misplaced and missing commas, along with a few other minor issues. Again, not enough to detract from my reading experience.
I’m always keen to see well written indie authors (especially fellow Aussies) be read and enjoyed, so it would be easy for me to say you should definitely read this book. I’m going to do that, but not for the reasons I just listed. It’s for all the reasons above, realistic dialogue, beautiful descriptions, and just a touch of magic.
Excerpt from Art of Magic by KJ
“What are you drinking?”
She settled onto the stool and I nodded at my glass. “Oh, this? This…is a questionable decision,” I replied and frowned.
Rica paused. “Ah. That sounds—what’s in it?”
I looked up from the drink. “Bourbon, spare time, and a business shirt that suggested potential.”
She laughed, even if my response had been puzzling. The sound sent another quick shiver through my skin, and the unexpected and very lovely flicker of desire forced my eyebrows to lift involuntarily. Rather gorgeous Rica sparked interest in quite specific places.
“Would you like another when you finish that…decision?”
I held eye contact. “No. But thank you. I think I’ll just have one of these. For tonight at least.” I cast my hand in the general direction of the bottles of alcohol across the bar. “I’d like to buy you a drink, though. What would you—?”
A glass, perched on a small square white napkin appeared in front of Rica before I could finish. The ice cracked softly in the amber liquid, and again my eyebrows went for a quiet drive north. “Wow. You must be somebody. That’s service.”
She slightly tipped her glass at me, then sipped. “Not at all. I asked the bartender to bring my drink over if I was invited to sit with you.” She bit her lip, and blinked innocently. I threw my head back with laughter.
I kept the grin when I brought my gaze back. “Oh, you are confident. I like it.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9798669006822
- Publisher: Indie author
- KJ Online
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