Review: Mystical Warrior by Janet Chapman

2 Jul

Mystical Warrior by Janet Chapman
Pocket Star Books  (June 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; e-book: $7.99
ISBN: 9781439159903

Favorite Lines: “You will all shut the fuck up, or I swear, I’ll find my gun and shoot every damned last one of you.” (p. 137)

Trace Huntsman’s peaceful life has headed to hell in a hand-basket ever since stunningly beautiful Fiona Gregor moved into the vacant apartment above his house. Kidnapped centuries earlier and transformed into a red-tail hawk, Fiona is human once more and must learn how to be a modern woman. But damned if Trace is going to be the one to teach her. Not when her mere presence ignites a fiery passion deep within his cautious heart.

Fiona longs to overcome the painful memories of her tragic past—to let down her guard and become a mother again. But so far her handsome landlord is not exactly thrilled with the stray animals—and suitors—that keep following her home. When the wizard Maximilian Oceanus shows up, Trace reaches the end of his rope. Weird things happen when Mac is around—raging storms, snarling demons—but this time, Midnight Bay is at the center of a fierce battle, and Fiona is the primary target. Only Trace can save her, but first, the lovers must set aside their fears . . . and open up their hearts.

Mystical Warrior is book three in Janet Chapman’s Midnight Bay series about time travelers finding love in the 21st century. It builds upon the stories told in books one and two, Moonlight Warrior and Dragon Warrior, but could possibly be read as a stand alone. I don’t recommend it, but it can be done.

In the first book of the series we learned that Kenzie Gregor’s little sister Fiona had been raped and died after giving birth to a child. The second book told us that Kenzie’s little sister had been reincarnated as a Guardian in the form of a hawk. SPOILER At the end of book two, Fiona was transformed into a woman to live out the natural remaining days of her life. END SPOILER Book three begins with Fiona being placed into her own apartment to learn how to live as a member of society. I’m not sure how much time has passed, but Fiona has already lived with and been put out of both of her brothers’ homes.

Fiona is a motherly woman who is adept at taking care of a household. She also still has the mentality of an 11th century woman. Fiona enters the story as a timid woman trying to learn how to be strong. She wants to be a mother more than anything, but realizes the importance of becoming whole first. Her interactions with men show her terror, but her need to please her landlord Trace becomes obvious rather quickly.

Trace, however, wants no part of anything which might bind him to his tenant. He is a protective natured man, but his upbringing and a bad experience in Afghanistan scarred him. He has no plans to marry, be a parent or take care of a friend’s damaged sister. He is stubborn, but noble.

As a couple, Trace and Fiona work. They both have issues and together they are able to find their own version of happily ever after, or the possibility of happily ever after. They don’t jump into bed together, as a matter of fact it isn’t until the end of the book that they knock boots. Don’t get me wrong, they are attracted to each other and kiss, but Chapman remains true to Fiona’s traumatic sexual history by not writing early sex scenes.

The action in Mystical Warrior is pretty laid back. It did nothing to energize me or the story.The book focuses on character growth. Not just with Fiona and Trace, but with several other characters previously introduced in the story. One of those characters is the mysterious wizard Maximilian aka Mac. His story is set up at the end of the book and unless I’m mistaken will be the first book of Chapman’s Spellbound Falls series which will be released in February 2012.

I do want to point out that the book’s blurb is somewhat misleading. There is only a tiny portion of the book in which any amount of danger is directed at Fiona. For the most part, Fiona is meant to be collateral damage. Also, we aren’t told who or what is chasing Mac or why. As a matter of fact, besides the initial introduction of Mac being chased by demons, there is very little of the fierce battle the blurb mentions. What  does happen, occurs at the end of the book and is quickly laid to rest. There is no grand battle and the snarling demons are minimal.

Read it or Skip it? If you want a traditional romance pick it up. It is a neatly wrapped love story about two people overcoming personal battles to better themselves and finding love in the process. If anything, the would-be-lover is the person who eggs the other forward into embracing change.

Warning:  If you are reading this book for action you will be disappointed.

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