Title: Motor City Mage
Imprint: Carina Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2012
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: Urban Arcana Book 4
As a cop who keeps paranormals in line, Des has a hard time trusting them. So why does he want the beautiful werewolf Lana more than his next breath? She's mouthy, flamboyant and distractingly sexy-not the type of woman for a reserved mage like him. Lana admires Des, but she can't be with someone who won't take her seriously, no matter how much she'd love to rip off his dress shirt.
When a dangerous new drug shows up in Detroit, Des must locate the source, and Lana is determined to help. But their plan goes awry, trapping them in a demon dimension. To return home, Lana and Des must flee through a series of unpredictable alternate realities, fighting enemies while trying to shut down the drug trade. But if they're going to survive, they'll have to rely on each other, even though getting closer will add fuel to a fire that's already burning out of control...
Lana and Des clearly have some history, that starting the series with book four, I missed out on, but it's okay I was able to follow along quite nicely. Des is a Wyndewin (a mage) that works for The Legion a secret government type organization that helps regulate the different species of populace in the world. Lana is a werewolf who is also friends/bicker partner to Des, their friends are friends/husbands/brothers etc and their little group is a mismatch of all different types of species. Fae, Werewolf, Mage, etc. The Legion isn't happy about because it's old fashioned in it's thinking that the different species shouldn't associate with one another so Des' work is constantly on his ass about his relations with the other species.
Lana and Des get together to try and stop the making and distribution of a new drug called Demon's Dust and in the process come in contact with a Demon that let's Des know that his boss at The Legion is involved with Malen, an evil demon in the processing and distribution of this new drug. The three of them team up to take out Malen, but the plan backfires and all three are shoved through a portal that takes them to Malen's demon world where they are thrown in a dungeon.
Then ensues the escape attempt and then following that their attempt to get back to their own world using a combination of portals that will hop them to different worlds in the process. It's the getting to these portals that most of the story takes place and then of course there's the big show down once they return home because Des discovered that his boss is telling The Legion that it's Des that's involved with the Demons, after all what's to stop him from dealing with them when he already deals with many other species. The whole family, blood and not, set out to destroy Des' boss and Malen in hopes of getting proof of Des' innocence.
As a new reader coming into the series in book four, I didn't have a hard time following along with the story because the author tries to fill you in. My problem with it was that at times the author gave so much information regarding all the past characters that I really thought I was missing something and found myself having a hard time following who was who with it, which I'm sure, is the opposite of the author's intent. I think it would have been easier to follow if I was given tiny tidbits to get me through. That being said, I was still able to read the story fine.
I felt as though the relationship between Lana and Des progressed waaaay too fast. Now this may be in part (I'm thinking it's probably so, but am not sure) due to the fact that the tension in their relationship probably started in earlier books in the series so me, coming into this series in book four, missed out on all the "foreplay" so to speak. Which the sexual tension leading up to the first sexual encounter between hero and heroine, is one of my favorite parts to read in a romance novel, so I found it to be a bit disappointing. It just felt like one minute they're bickering and the next they're going at it on her couch. Speaking of foreplay...all of the love scenes severely lacked it and as such, for me, the love scenes fell kind of flat. His manly parts are out and inside her before he even puts his mouth to her breasts half the time and that's really the extent of the love scenes. They're too short and lacking in heat for my taste. I'm all for reading a quickie in a story, but not every time they have sex. It needs to be mixed up etc.
The characters both Lana, Des, and their whole slew of friends and family, are very fun and I'm intrigued enough to pick up the first three books to see the other's relationships unfold, just so I can revisit these characters.
The one thing that bothered me character wise was Lana's attempts at movie humor. I just felt like her jokes fell flat to me and taking those bits out wouldn't have changed the way I see Lana one way or the other. It's like they were added in as an afterthought.
I love that both Lana and Des complement each other in their roles, taking turns being alpha/submissive to satisfy both their needs for control and I love Des' anger every time Lana tries to take things into her own hands to protect him. It shows just how much he cares for her and doesn't want her to get hurt.
I'd like to take a moment and applaud the author on her world building. The worlds are so detail oriented without info dumping, she weaves the descriptions into the story effortlessly and makes me wish their was such a world like this and at the very least, makes me want to revisit this world she created over and over again.
Finally, I absolutely LOVED the ending. Even though I hadn't read the earlier books, it was really awesome to be able to see both Des and Lana, as well as their loved ones from previous books, finally get their happily ever after in full. It was cute, sweet, and touching.
I very much look forward to reading more of Ms. Pape's work.
All My Best,