Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade Book 1
Publication: Kensington (April 28, 2015)
Description: There Be Monsters Here. . .
It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.
I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.
But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .
My Thoughts: Lila lives in "the most magical place in America." Cloudburst Falls has all sorts of magical people and monsters which makes it a real draw for tourists. However, it also has magical Families that make up its own version of the Mafia. Lila has been making a living as a thief and living secretly in the basement of the Public Library since her mother was killed. She has a magical ability of her own called Sight which lets her see in very little light and lets her read another's character when she looks into their eyes.
Her plan to stay under the radar of the Families fails when she is in her friend Mo's pawn shop and she foils a kidnapping attempt on the son of the head of the Sinclair family. Devon is just a couple years older than she is. She blames him and his mother for her mother's death because she was killed after preventing an earlier kidnapping attempt. But now, Lila is blackmailed into acting as Devon's new bodyguard.
Because she spends so much time with him, she learns that he is not a bad person and finally lets go of the anger she feels at his part in her mother's death. However, Devon has enough guilt for both of them. He hates that so many people he knows have died defending him.
Since the attacks on him aren't stopping, Lila is determined to discover who wants Devon dead. She has lots of suspects especially the members of the Draconis Family who are the Sinclair's biggest rivals.
I enjoyed this story and like that even though Lila and Devon are attracted to each other, they did not start a romance. I liked the world building and thought the monsters who shared the town with the people were fascinating. I liked the drunk, Redneck pixie who was supposed to be taking care of Lila and her room.
I look forward to reading more in this series.
I didn't tell them how I'd seen that mix of cold sorrow, hard strength, and warm goodness inside Devon's head. How I'd been so drawn to him, despite myself. And I especially didn't tell them how I thought it would have been a shame for that little spark of light buried so deeply inside him to be snuffed out so brutally. Nobody needed to know that, not even Mo. He'd think I was going soft, and he would be right.I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here.