Courting Darkness

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Pub Date 23 Aug 2019 | Archive Date 11 May 2021

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Description

The Magicsmith, Book 2

Deeper into the shadows. . . 

The paranatural community isn’t done with Alex. She’s been summoned to the fae court, and she's got her hands full trying to prepare. But her date with the fae will have to wait. There’s been a death at the gallery, and the man she hoped would be a part of her future is the prime suspect.

Bitter enemies pull her into the middle of a paranatural war for territory that has her dodging police, swords, teeth, and claws—not to mention the truth. The deeper she digs, the more secrets she uncovers, and the less certain she is about the innocence of the one man she wanted to trust.

She thought she was done with murder and monsters, but she’ll have to enter the belly of the beast if she hopes to save her friend.

A Drop of Magic is a damned fun and original read, with sass, action, hot men, and a whole lot of magic.” —Diana Pharaoh Francis, author of theDiamond City Magic, Magicfall, and Horngate Witches series

“A great story of murder, mystery . . . and well-developed characters.”—Margie Hager, Netgalley Reviewer on A Drop of Magic

Author Bio: Born and raised in Colorado, L. R. BRADEN makes her home in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her wonderful husband, precocious daughter, and psychotic cat. With degrees in both English literature and metalsmithing, she splits her time between writing and art.

The Magicsmith, Book 2

Deeper into the shadows. . . 

The paranatural community isn’t done with Alex. She’s been summoned to the fae court, and she's got her hands full trying to prepare. But her...


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ISBN 9781611949636
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Average rating from 52 members


Featured Reviews

**I was provided with an electronic ARC by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.** Vampires and werewolves and fae folk- oh my! The second book in the Magicsmith series did not at all disappoint. This was another one day read, and had all of the features I enjoyed so much about the first book. In the interest of not having spoilers in this review, suffice it to say that our protagonist Alex can't catch a break this entire novel. Every time she thinks she's making progress, there comes another obstacle. The pacing is good throughout, the solutions to the problems are feasible and logical, and I really haven't got complaints. Is Alex loyal to the point of stupidity, absolutely, but that's just the way she rolls. I enjoyed learning more about old characters and getting to know new characters. Hortense is a particularly charming addition, and I enjoyed being able to get to know Chase (and Jynx). I still want to explore these characters, and this universe. I'm definitely eager to read the third installment in this series and whatever LR Braden writes in this vein in the future.

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This novel was a great sequel to the firs novel in the series! More action, more secrets revealed, more trouble, more mystery. Alex Blackwood needs to prepare for her visit with the fae and uncover more of her magical abilities, but it is not going that well and that is the least of her problems. The man she thinks she might love has cancelled dates and now is in trouble, for a dead body was found at the gallery. Her trust in others is waning and she has kept secrets from people she has known for years. New potential allies approach and more enemies arise. Alex is loyal to those she cares about and will risk her life for them. Kai, her fae housemate, has sworn to protect Alex and get her ready for the fae court. But with enemies on all sides, both human and supernatural, Alex will need everything at her disposal to protect herself and her friends. Alex's choices will have repercussions and lead her deeper into the supernatural world. Looking forward to the next novel in the series!

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The second book in this series does not disappoint. Alex is struggling with her fae heritage as the time narrows where she will have to go to court in faerie. When a murder hits close to home, she becomes embroiled in werewolf and evil vampire dealings. Loyalty is everything. Alex can't catch a break in this book. Action packed and bloody gory, new characters and old flesh out this ride. And a ride it is. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book from Netgalley

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I received a free copy of COURTING DARKNESS (The Magicsmith Book 2) by L.R. Braden in exchange for an honest review. Alex’s debut into the paranatural community caused quite a splash and brought her some notoriety. As a result, her grandfather has summoned her to the fae court and has set the date for her presentation; it’s soon, too soon. Burdened with tutors force-feeding her libraries of information needing to be digested in a few short weeks, Alex is, of course, pushed into devoting most of her time to resolving vampire political disputes. Vampire shenanigans make Alex’s boyfriend a prime suspect in a murder investigation. Apparently ignorant of or immune to the threat of fae retaliation, those same vampires repeatedly attempt to kill or capture Alex because of her relationship with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, no one in the supernatural community wants to help Alex or her boyfriend because it’s not their business or their problem. Alex is determined to remove this distraction from her studies even if she has to do it all by herself. I liked both this book and the first in the series. I rejoice in the return to urban fantasy without having to wade through all of the harem/reverse harem/polyamory/other kinkiness erotica garbage. I recommend this book and this series to all fans of good urban fantasy.

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I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review. Overall, I think this was a good second installment in what hopefully, will be a longer series. This book covers mostly the relationships she was, as well as gives Alex a little breather after the stress of the last book, for a few chapters at least. I liked that this was not centered entirely on the Fae, and that the vampire mythology is handled in a totally new and different way than any others I’ve ever read. Although I’m starting to get irritated that she hasn’t fessed up to her best friend/ boss, I understand the reticence she displays. I look forward to the third book as it looks to resolve the unresolved conflicts from this, and bring the werewolves more into the mix. I liked that we saw Sophie, and hope to see her progress. What I really like was that the ending includes a completely emotionally adult and honest conclusion about her romantic stance. Though I hope she finds someone, I don’t know if we have seen them yet in the series.

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I didn’t take long to become totally engrossed in the second book in this riveting series. Ms. Braden is an exceptional writer in her characters, her plot, and her interesting world building. In fact, I really loathe one of her characters, and I really want to yell at him so very much, a mark of a great writer to get the reader so invested. One thing though is that this book took a darker turn than the previous one which I didn’t mind at all. Anyway, this is a great urban fantasy with a myriad of characters to keep the reader entertained. I stayed up past my bedtime to finish, something I don’t do very often. I can’t wait for the next book; maybe we’ll go see her grandfather! Give this author and this series a try; you’ll love them! Highly recommend and I received a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.

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First let me state that I received an Advance Reader Copy, (ARC), but this in no way influences my review. I always leave an honest review. Holy shiznet!!! This is the second book in this series and it's just as good, if not better than the first. Alex is getting stronger in her magic, but her life is becoming more messed up. This story had me fearing for her life a few times. I can't wait to read the next story. I recommend this read. 5 Thumbs up

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This book offers a world of action, magic and pain. Alex faces all of them. Always managing to come out alive if battered. What an amazing and often brutal world this author has created. I often got chilled reading the descriptions of events. The initial meeting with Merak and his "throne of bones" will most likely feature in my dreams . Well written, intense and twisted this is a book you will remember.

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Courting Darkness is the second installment in author L.R. Braden's The Magicsmith series. The story picks up where A Drop of Magic left off. Protagonist Alex Blackwood is a metalsmith whose works are often inspired by the mood that she is in thanks to her magic. Oh, yes, she's also part fae, but without all the worry about metals burning her like full blooded Fae. Alex's Grandfather gave her a magical boost to her powers, but it also marked her as kin. To make matters worse, she's been summoned to the Court of Enchantment which meets in only a few short weeks! That means it's time for Alex's life to be turned upside down by Faerie protocol lessons, as well as unwanted guests like Hortense who don't believe Alex has any hope of surviving her visit. Thanks to her roommate and protector Kai, Alex is getting the hang of Fae politics, but she is no where near ready for having everyone in Faerie test her. But, before we get there, Alex first has to deal with her supposed beau, James, and his issues which include being accused of murder and an arrival of a lunatic Vampire Master who intends to bring upheaval to Colorado. Alex learns that James nemesis, Merak, is in town making his life a living hell. To make matters worse, this antagonist knows that James has feelings for Alex, and he will use her to take down James as well as making Alex's life a living hell. Alex has other worries as well. The ever present Paranatural Task Force, especially Agent O'Connell, is keeping a close eye on Alex as well as Kai. He doesn't trust her...at all. She knows that if it is exposed that she's a hybrid, she will be sent to the Fae reservation. To matters even more twisted, there's a new governor of Colorado who belongs to a racist group known as Purity. Purity preaches the wholesale eradication of magical beings like Alex and her friends James, Kai, Marc, Kayla, Sarah, Jynx, and Chase. Alex needs to be very careful drawing the wrong kind of attention to her or she won't have to worry about getting read to visit Faerie. My worry is that someone close to Alex, maybe a co-worker, will be the one to spill the beans. But, we shall see! I also worry that this series will drag on past the third installment before Alex ends up in Faerie, but again, we shall see!

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Having recently discovered she is half fae, a whole new world has opened up to Alex. Her grandfather is requesting her presence at the fae court, which she wants no part of. Unfortunately, Alex has no choice but to attend so now she is basically being tutored on all things fae. As if she doesn't have enough on her plate, Alex is having boyfriend troubles. When Alex's boyfriend, James', enemy, Marek, kidnaps her to get back at him, Alex finds herself in a world of hurt. James comes to the rescue, but soon finds himself switching places with Alex as Marek's hostage. Although things are uncertain between Alex and James, she is not about to leave him behind. COURTING DARKNESS is the second installment in author L.R. Braden's MAGICSMITH series. It didn't take long for me to lose myself in it's compelling storyline. Taking up pretty much where book one, A DROP OF MAGIC, left off, COURTING DARKNESS takes the reader on an exciting adventure. Alex is having fae info hurriedly crammed down her throat for her upcoming presentation at court. On top of that, she's dealing with her new relationship with James and discovering that he's a vampire. Forget James, LOL, I cannot wait to see more of Galen. New characters are introduced that are integral to the plot. Urban fantasy fans are sure to enjoy Alex and her motley crew's escapades.

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The paranatural community isn’t done with Alex. She’s been summoned to the fae court, and she's got her hands full trying to prepare. But her date with the fae will have to wait. There’s been a death at the gallery, and the man she hoped would be a part of her future is the prime suspect. Bitter enemies pull her into the middle of a paranatural war for territory that has her dodging police, swords, teeth, and claws—not to mention the truth. The deeper she digs, the more secrets she uncovers, and the less certain she is about the innocence of the one man she wanted to trust. She thought she was done with murder and monsters, but she’ll have to enter the belly of the beast if she hopes to save her friend. This was a pretty good read. I didn’t realize this was a sequel to another book, but it didn’t really deter from the story. I enjoyed the fresh new world this author created as I followed Alex through her own newly discovered life. I recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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I really liked this book. It's well written, engrossing and entertaining. I liked the plot, well crafted and sometimes creepy, the interesting world building and the fleshed out cast of characters. I look forward to reading other books in this series. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

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Alex is learning about her mixed heritage and the powers that her fae blood bring. There’s also plenty of danger. Alex risks all to save a friend who rescued her. Then she has to save another. Like I said, there’s plenty of danger and she seems to be in the mix of it all. I enjoyed meeting the various supernatural beings and look forward to joining Alex in her world again soon. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I really liked this book. It was a good sequel to A Drop of Magic. It has lots of action and the characters all work together well to beat the bad guy. It is one of those urban fantasy books that has the epic battles but also quality relationships between characters. Recommend it.

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Courting Darkness is the second book in the Magicsmith Series. I really enjoyed the first book so I was excited to read this one and it didn’t disappoint. After finding out she is half-fae and a descendant of fae royalty, Alex must now make an appearance at court. Kai is trying to prepare her but she is not a good student. James has not been the best boyfriend and has missed a lot of dates. A woman is found dead in his apartment and he has been accused of murder and drug dealing. Alex doesn’t have time to process all that because she is inundated with fae visitors and her upcoming fae court date is a lot of pressure. Her newly turned werewolf friend talks her into a night on the town and Alex falls prey to the cities demons while the PTF (preternatural task force) has her under surveillance. She has to prepare for court but also stay under the radar of the PTF and help her friends get out of some sticky situations. Alex is growing stronger with each day, thank goodness for fast fae healing or she’d be in trouble. She could stand to be less rude to the ones who are trying to help her. She also makes some really stupid mistakes and drags her friends into some pretty dangerous situations but I still liked the story.. I really liked this and am looking forward to the next book in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The paranatural community isn’t done with Alex, she’s been summoned to the fae court so she has hands full trying to prepare. But her date with the fae will have to wait. There’s a death at the gallery and James is the prime suspect and bitter enemies pull into a paranatural war for territory that has her dodging police, swords, teeth and claws – not to mention the truth. Alex is once again caught up in things that she had no clue about in this riveting and exhilarating read. The fascinating alter earth world continues with non-stop thrills, adrenaline pumping action and breath stealing suspense that keeps readers on the edge throughout. With surprising twists, magical battles, plenty of opposition and a spirited and determined Alex whose loyalty can’t be questioned this story has it all including all the turbulent emotions that come with all the excitement that seems determined to turn her life upside down. The fast paced plots has Alex training and learning how to navigate the fae courts with help from Kai but also from a new fae player that causes a bit of frustration and angst. Then the PTF is gung ho to catch Alex and her fae friends, and Alex learns the big secret that her would be boyfriend has been keeping has put her right smack in a deadly and dangerous grab for territory and a game changing magical artifact. Once this book is begun, readers can’t tear their eyes away as they become one hundred percent immersed in all the excitement of Alex’s life.

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Courting Darkness by L.R. Braden a sequel to A Drop of Magic. This book immediately picks up where the previous one ends and the writing is still great! Alex is Dating James but is James all that he seems? Questions and Secrets come out of the shadows and I still love this series.

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More secrets revealed and more to go! I’m greatly enjoying this series and trying to figure it all out. Highly recommend!

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With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC. In merely a month Alex’s quiet, solitary lifestyle has been completely eclipsed by the Fae who now share her home; the revelation that she is one of them courtesy of her blood heritage and oh, yes, werewolves are real! Meanwhile, James her friend/boyfriend has started canceling dates and Alex begins to realise how little she actually knows about his life when she discovers that he canceled their last date because he was being questioned for murder... Add in the return of some nasty ‘business rivals’ of James’ and Alex’s upcoming visit to her ‘Grandfather’ and her ongoing wellbeing becomes uncertain. A fast paced story that builds on the first title in the series, with some secrets revealed, this thrilling read required me to start and finish it in one sitting.

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This is a great sequel to A Drop of Magic, book on in the Magicsmith series. Alex is dealing with more questions as she learns more about her fae heritage and has to deal with a murder where someone close to her is the main suspect. I really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to more of Alex's adventures. #CourtingDarkness #NetGalley *I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley*

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Courting Darkness is the second book in the Magesmith series by L.R. Braden. I do recommend reading this series in order to best understand the character and world building. The paranatural community isn’t done with Alex. She’s been summoned to the fae court, and she's got her hands full trying to prepare. But her date with the fae will have to wait. There’s been a death at the gallery, and the man she hoped would be a part of her future is the prime suspect. Bitter enemies pull her into the middle of a paranatural war for territory that has her dodging police, swords, teeth, and claws—not to mention the truth. The deeper she digs, the more secrets she uncovers, and the less certain she is about the innocence of the one man she wanted to trust. She thought she was done with murder and monsters, but she’ll have to enter the belly of the beast if she hopes to save her friend. Courting Darkness is a good continuation of the series. It did take me a little while to settle back into Alex's world and remember where we left off, but that is normal in urban fantasy for me. I enjoyed the continued character development for Alex and those closest to her. I thought the newly introduced characters were very well done and helped the story move along and set up plot points for the future rather than feeling like extras tossed in. I thought Alex's struggles to balance wants, needs, safety, and friendship was on point and well handled. The danger was high, but the emotional stakes felt just as high and the physical. I will say that I thought this book would deal more with the fae court than it did, but I enjoyed being surprised a bit with this detour. However, that also made the story feel almost like a side quest. I am eager to read the story arch that I was more expecting- as this book does add some interesting possibilities for complications in the upcoming books. I will definately be continuing this series because I cannot wait to see what happens next. Courting Darkness is a thoughtful continuation to the series. I think fans of the first book and the genre will really enjoy it.

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The second volume of this series is as convincing as the first with a captivating story that is transmitted through a pleasant writing style. Once in your hand, do not put the book aside until you have finished reading it.

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Book 2 of 3, picks up a little after the first ends. We meet more fae as Alex takes on her feelings for a friend and fights against the PFT as she prepares to meet her grandfather. You will want more and thankfully there is another book for you to enjoy. Just remember not everyone is who they seem to be.

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this sequel in the magicsmith series does not disappoint!! I couldnt put it down, the story was riveting and kept my attention! Cant wait til the next one.

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Did not realize that this was the second in a series. Want to go back and first one first, but from what I did read of this it looks promising.

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This is book 2 in the Magicsmith series. I would recommend reading book 1, A drop of Magic before starting this story. Alex is studying for her appearance in FAE court and the vampires and wolves seems to be working against her. Alex is only part Fae and has been learning about her powers. Now she is drawn into the war of the paranormal community with a body being found in the gallery run by her sometimes boyfriend James. Good story with a big mix of creatures helping or hindering, depending on your point of view. Books 3 should provide some answers soon about Alex's visit to the Fae court and her grandfather. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review

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Good written, actionpacked and a little more brutal second Book. I liked how the Charakteres and the story developed and I wonder what comes next.

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This book was a fantastic second installment to the Magicsmith series. I really enjoyed reading this book it keeps the action going while weaving in plenty of new secrets and mysteries. Alex remains loyal to a fault even if it doesn't always make senses but I still love her and most of her solutions are logical and work with the overall story-line. This fascinating world is violent and cruel and the descriptions make it vividly real. I shuddered as Merak's throne of bones was described... That is truly the stuff of nightmares. Truly brilliant writing! Our MC Alex is running out of time before she will have to go before the court in faerie but becomes entangled in werewolf and vampire politics after a grisly murder. As Alex is pulled in every direction she manages to still put loyalty first. Alex has to make some tough choices in this book that will have ramifications for the future and I am excited to see how this all plays out in the next book of the series. Overall a fantastic read and I highly recommend the series. this is not a stand alone so be sure to read the first book before starting this one. I received this book from NetGalley and Moose Island Books for an Honest review. #CourtingDarkness #NetGalley

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COURTING DARKNESS by L.R. Braden is the second book in The Magicsmith supernatural suspense / urban fantasy series. The female protagonist, Alex Blackwood is a metalsmith creating works of art in Colorado after a fragile peace between the Fae and humans. She’s been summoned to the fae court and needs to learn a lot about proper etiquette and the fae world as a whole. When a dead body is found above an art gallery and a friend is implicated, her life gets even more complicated and her studies suffer for it. Along the way, she learns a lot about herself, her friends, secrets, enemies, relationships and the Fae. Alex is a likeable main character who is loyal to her friends and is definitely someone you want to succeed. Her goals were clear and her motivations were believable. However, I wanted Alex to be a stronger protagonist. The main secondary characters are getting more developed, but new characters were introduced as well. They did enhance the story and they added to the story rather than detracting from it. Hopefully, Alex will become an even stronger protagonist and the secondary characters will show even more growth and depth as the series develops. The prose was well-written, engaging, and entertaining. The plot was engrossing, fascinating and action-filled. The world-building was good, but I wanted a bit more. Overall, the book was suspenseful, entertaining and fast-paced. I am looking forward to reading more in this fantasy series. If you enjoy urban fantasies with a lot of action, then this book is one you may enjoy as much as I did. Many thanks to Bell Bridge Books, Inc. and L.R. Braden for a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

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This is the second book in the Author's 'Magesmith' series and whilst it can be read as a standalone i recommend reading the first book to fully appreciate the worldbuilding and characters . Alex is under pressure , she needs to prepare for her visit to the Fae and to uncover more about her 'magical' abilities . That being said her private life is not going too well either , the man she loves keeps cancelling their dates and now to cap it all he might be in trouble with the law ............... a dead body has been found in his Gallery . Just who can she trust? - potential allies appear and more enemies arise , who is friend who is foe ? Kai, her Fae housemate, has sworn to protect Alex and get her ready for the Fae Court BUT with enemies on all sides, both human and supernatural, Alex will need everything at her disposal to protect herself and her friends. Her choices will have repercussions and lead her deeper into the supernatural world . This is an enjoyable fast paced , quirky , character driven paranormal romance with many twists and turns with one central force - TRUST and LOYALTY I was given an arc of this book by the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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It was a breathless thrill ride being back in this world. Holy cow, this part was intense. Things really took a turn with James, and then another turn, and then another. The twists were delicious. The action parts were so thrilling. I mean edge of your seat fights that were so bada$%. Alex is awesome. She's not only able to hold her own but she doesn't have the usual emotional drama female leads are depicted with. Yes, there are complicated relationships but they don't cripple her, heck when push comes to shove they don't slow down at all. I want to be her when/if I grow up. Some threads had to take a back seat because of the off the rails war that burst to life and that's perfectly fine by me. However... I must must read the next part starting umm right now because I am dying to see more of Chase, who didn't play a huge role in this part, the new teacher, who made a move that endeared her to me, and I just can't get enough of Kai. Start this series at part one because there are a lot of moving parts, but do start this series. It's well-written, with characters you will love and plots that are fast moving and complex.

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L. R Braden has done it again with Courting Darkness- the second installment of the Blacksmith series. As soon as I opened the pages, I felt like I was returning home. Our MC Alex Blacksmith really shows growth in her character both emotionally and physically. Courting Darkness allowed Alex to gradually accept her fae side while opening herself to the possibility of love. I thoroughly enjoyed the honesty of Alex's emotions and the way L. R. Braden has penned her as a fighter and a believer makes for an interesting, entertaining and dynamic read that really stands out among the paranormal/urban fantasy genre. Always at the thick of things, Alex is unwavering in her loyalty and support for those she cares for which was a far cry from where we first met her in a drop of magic with her "Don't care about anyone" approach. I love that she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and that when it comes down to it she is willing to do anything to protect those she loves. Alex has always felt more realistic to me than most paranormal characters. She isn't the strongest, fastest, prettiest or smartest nor does she possess any insanely kickass supernatural powers. Instead, she has a quiet strength, with an unwavering resilience that helps her utilize the resources she has, combined with her sharp intellect to maneuver the curveballs that are constantly thrown her way. Alex is not infallible, she bruises, she bleeds and she hurts just like everyone else and I think it makes her more real and approachable as an MC. L. R Braden definitely stepped up in her game in Courting Darkness as there was no shortage of action, action, action. There were tons of fight scenes, drama, mystery, zealous magic haters, suspense, and murder scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. Once again, Braden has woven an intricate story that focuses on our MC but also allows room for our favorite supporting characters to grow and even included some new additions that only served to enhance the overall story. I was very intrigued to see the gradual incorporation of the faerie world and the introduction of rules, customs, etc which masterfully set the stage for upcoming events. Courting Darkness was beautifully written, keeping in theme with Braden's style which I highly appreciated. Even in the darkest scenes, Braden made the whispers of death sound poetic and eloquent. I don't want to drop any spoilers but I sense a love triangle of epic proportions for the next installment of the Blacksmith series. I look forward to reading more Alex and Braden's strangely quirky dental hygiene descriptions. Thank you to L. R Braden, Bell Bridge Books and NetGalley for providing me with an arc of this amazing book. All views and opinions expressed above are my own.

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I was very excited to have the opportunity thanks to the publisher and NetGalley to read the second book in the Magicsmith Series by L.R.Braden. I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction in 'A Drop of Magic' to Alex Blackwood, an artisan who can do remarkable things with metal in particular iron, despite her half fae heritage. This book intensifies the changes occurring in her life partly as the result of discovering who she is related to in the fae world as well as dealing with problems that her love interest, James, is facing in his life. All-round this is an intriguing series that has a number of very interesting characters who are part of Alex's world - I really found myself holding my breath at times as misunderstandings happen and violence ensues. I found I was very invested in Alex finding her way through safely and hopefully bringing her friends with her. Absolutely a series worth engaging with - just do start with book one as it builds Alex's world and those significant to her.

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Courting Darkness by L.R. Braden is a great read. There is lots of danger, excitement and surprise. Love the characters especially Alex. She is spunky and real, even caring. A true hero that is Fallible and yet endearing.

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