Book 2, The Witches of Canyon Road
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
A love lost in dark magic. A path to redemption obscured by evil…
Cruelly dumped at the altar by the man she loves, Miranda McAllister turns her back on Santa Fe and takes off with Simon Gutierrez, who promises to help her develop her newly awakened magical powers…even though her logical self warns against acting on impulse so soon after her humiliation at Rafe Castillo’s hands.
Under Simon’s patient guidance, Miranda discovers the astounding depth and breadth of her gifts. Yet too many unanswered questions leave her uneasy, especially when Simon indicates he’d like to move them out of the friend zone.
Rafe Castillo still can't figure out what the hell happened the day of his wedding. A powerful spell forced him to spew those spiteful words at Miranda…and whoever cast that spell has covered their tracks so thoroughly, no trace remains — to Rafe's human form, at least. His coyote alter ego can track fainter wisps of magic, magic as dark and hateful as the things he said that fateful day at the church.
Intent on finding Miranda no matter what, Rafe relentlessly follows a twisting, turning, increasingly deadly trail. But by the time he learns the truth, the race to save her from an unspeakable evil may already be lost….
The evil is growing and Miranda and Rafe may not be able to survive it.
Loving this series. You “might” be able to read this book alone but it’ll be so much better after the previous book as this is a continuation of the story of Miranda and Rafe. Their “arranged” marriage results in Miranda getting brutally dumped at the altar by Rafe. She takes off with Simon to learn more about her newly manifested powers. But there is evil about and Simon is an excellent villain. Rafe must solve this mystery if he is to get Miranda back before she is taken over by evil.
Lots of backstory and history comes back to bite them. Great continuation and looking forward to the next installment. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC).
So good, it was hard to put down!
Darker Paths by Christine Pope is the second book in the Witches of Canyon Road. You really need to read the first book in the series, Hidden Gifts, but you don’t need to read her other witch books first.
Miranda has been promised to Rafe since before she was born. Drawn together 21 years ago to fight the dark mage Joaquin Escobar, the Castillo clan (Rafe) and the McAllister clan (Miranda) agree to the match shortly before Rafe’s grandmother dies. But things don’t always work out the way they are supposed to!
At the end of the last book, Rafe was under some influence to say terrible things to Miranda in front of the entire church right before they were to be married. Miranda teleported out of there and hasn’t been seen since and Rafe can remember nothing that happened. Not what he said or who Miranda might be with. Luckily one of his sisters can see the black magic around him, so everyone understands it wasn’t his fault, but where is Miranda?
Meanwhile, Miranda is with Simon. He has always been nice to her and never asked anything of her. And now he says he can teach her how to use her magic! She certainly can’t go back to the Castillo household and her emotions are too raw for her to go home to her parents. If she goes with Simon, she can learn how to learn her magic and take something of value back to her parents. She is 21 after all! So Simon let’s her use his phone to call them. She has to leave a voice message, but that’s not too strange, right? They go off together to an estate in the middle of nowhere so they can be alone as Miranda learns magic. Miranda isn’t positive she’s doing the right thing, but she’s since talked to her parents and they know she’s safe. And she is learning! She is strong in magic, stronger than she ever dreamed.
Rafe meanwhile is trying to find Miranda and slowly going crazy. He has finalized realized that he is in love with her and will do anything to find her. And he has this nagging feeling that his is forgetting something important. Something to do with a wine tasting room downtown. But when he goes there, instead of remembering anything, all he feels is black magic.
Will Rafe find Miranda in time? Will Miranda figure out that Simon isn’t the good guy he pretends to be? What about the rest of the clans? Who else gets drawn into the web of deceit and black magic? And who will pay the ultimate price?
This was a great book! The author told it as two stories with one chapter devoted to Miranda and the next to Rafe. There were a couple of times I wanted to skip a chapter just so I could keep going on one storyline! The characters are well thought out and the plot is fast pasted and full of action. What a great ride! I can hardly wait for the next installment to come out!