Cursed Moon (Prospero’s War, #2) by Jaye Wells 4 Stars

As a fan of the Sabina Kane series, I was really excited about this new series by Jaye Wells, and I devoured the first book, however I had a hard time getting into this book at the beginning. It moved way too slowly for me in the beginning and I didn’t have the urge to pick it up as often as I would have liked. However, things changed about half-way through the book, and then I had a hard time putting it down.

Kate Prospero is a Detective for the MEA, the City of Babylon’s Magical Enforcement Agency. She’s also an Adept, which means she can use magic. But not just use it, she can cook up potions. Dirty potions to be exact.

She grew up with the idea that she was going to be the leader of her Coven and her Uncle Abe (who’s in prison now) was grooming her for the role. Right up until the time when Kate cooks a potion that accidentally kills her mother. Devastated by the death, and through years of shame and guilt, she worked hard to get her life back, by swearing off magic forever.

But in book 1 of the series, Kate falls off the wagon when it comes to “cooking magic” to save her brother’s life, and she has lied about that night ever since it happened. Even going so far as to accept a medal from her Arcane Anonymous group for 10 years of sobriety, just to keep her secret.

Instead she spends almost the entire book feeling guilty about her use of magic, and instead of telling the truth, she lets everyone believe that someone from her magical past, cooked up the potion. Now her younger brother resents her. He feels that Kate wouldn’t have saved him, if it had been up to her to do it, because it meant compromising her morals about the use of magic. He now hero worships one man that Kate despises by believing that this man is the one that saved his life.

At the same time, things have been heating up in the Cauldron due to the coming of a rare Blue Moon, where magic and potions are at their highest potency. It is also affecting people’s attitudes and tempers making them all a bit more aggressive and angry. Now there is a predator that has plans to wipe out the city the night of the Blue Moon and is leading up to it by stealing a local coven’s potion that causes sexual aggression. Essentially a rape potion. Kate will stop at nothing to find this man and stop him, even if it means sacrificing everything she believes in.

In the beginning it was hard to root for Kate because she just seems bitchy and is always feeling sorry for herself. She has taken on a lot of responsibility including the care of her younger brother, after their mom died. She works more than 40 hours a week, and then comes home to a whiny teenager. Welcome to parenthood. So it gets old when Kate gets mad at others to cover up her own guilt for working overtime and not spending enough time with her best friend Pen, and her brother Danny. But she does do some growing up by the end of the book as she slowly repairs the relationships she’s been neglecting, because of her guilt.

I do like the relationship between Kate and her partner, Special Agent Drew Morales. There is a lot of cutesy, funny banter between them, and you know they will hook up eventually. But despite that, they really seem to have each other’s back, even though Kate is new to the team.

There is a lot of action, as the team runs around the city trying to stop this magical menace, and some obvious and some not so obvious clues are found, but finding him is the easy part, stopping him is something entirely different.

I did really get into this book after I got through the first half. The action is pretty much non-stop as you hit the 2nd half of the book. So if you liked the first book, you’ll want to stick with this one until the action heats up. I do plan to read the third book in the series that comes out in February.

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