Infernal Embrace (Crescent City Arcana #1)


Bethany Hayes’ first exposure to magic resulted in a car accident and the killing of a powerful witch who wanted her dead. Needless to say, she has been wary of her abilities ever since. However, Lucius, the former gladiator she freed from the witch’s clutches, is determined that his savior will learn to use her powers to protect herself. When a friend is cursed, freeing her from the spell means utilizing Beth’s powers, which could have unexpected results and lead to uncovering allies, enemies, and secrets Lucius is not ready to admit.  Does Beth have what it takes to embrace a whole new life?

An urban fantasy tale set in New Orleans, “Infernal Embrace” is the first book in the Crescent City Arcana series and picks up shortly after the events in the prequel, which should definitely be read first. With a mysterious enemy threatening New Orleans, this book starts to build up the uncertain relationship between Beth and Lucius, while setting the stage for a bigger adversary in the future. The pace is steady, and the conflict is well done. However, the main characters' romance feels a bit forced and story lacks the sparks necessary to entrance the reader. Still, the premise is good, and the story sets up the plot for the next book nicely. Fans of urban fantasy will get a kick out of this New Orleans adventure!

Sarah E Bradley