Magic is necessary to all things, but like any other source of power, it can be abused. The king of gods has created a Special Collections Team to deal with illegal magic users, those who break the law set forth by the Council of Five. Being part of the team is not an honor however, but a punishment for the crimes the teammates have committed themselves.
Zahra is a magic-addicted djinn charged with the capital crime of consorting with humans. Niccolo is a vampire who betrayed his goddess. Beryl is a fairy assassin demoted for her transgressions against a queen. Wade is the only human on the team, and though his inclusion is supposed to be a compliment, it’s clear there’s a larger plan in play.
From tragic romance to zealous belief, the Special Collections Team is in over their heads, but still must find a way to be successful in their investigations, pay their penance and learn to work as a team.
In Santeria & Sorcery, their first case finds them in Miami, where trouble has come to the attention of the Council of Five. A sorcerer is stealing magic to set himself up as a god, but the team is new and each are unused to working well with others. Their personal issues also hinder their investigation—dealing with bloodthirsty boyfriends, jealous fairy kings and a dangerous fallen angel on top of their own emotional deficiencies take a toll.
The Tithe Collector is an erotic series and does include graphic scenes: M/M, M/F and multiple partners.
“I think this team has been assembled as more than punishment. I know Niccolo is well placed in vampire society, for all he believes he is not. From what he’s said, I think Zahra also has some importance she is not telling. Beryl has served her goddess for a thousand years, and people say simply speaking the assassin’s name is enough to make Lucifer’s Fallen cower in fear.”
The bouda shook his head. “And you are Blessed. I think the team is being used for a bigger purpose than what we’ve been led to believe.”
“Sure, Chimbwe, that’s possible.” But that’s all I was prepared to say on the matter, at that moment with his words of war mocking my memories. I was half-believing, and half-resistant to the idea. On one hand, it was excellent strategy to take the wind from the enemies’ sails, on the other, it was hard to imagine God being so manipulative.
“I don’t know what is going on yet,” Chimbwe whispered. “But the team needs to learn to trust each other. I am afraid of what may happen in the future, and I do not want Niccolo caught in something that may lead to his death.”
I waved my mug because it seemed a better option than putting it down to cross my arms over my chest. “So you and I need to be all buddy-buddy to get the job done. Is that it?”
Chimbwe grimaced. “Even if my suspicions are not correct, this team must meet the expectations of the Council in order to be released from their punishments. I want Niccolo to be free, so you four will need to work as one.”
I weighed his words carefully. I was used to being a part of a team that shared the same training, values and goals. This team, though, was all over the map. They only spoke to each other when they had to, came from different Nations, definitely had different training because I couldn’t imagine Zahra or Niccolo handling a weapon like Beryl, and they all reported in to different leaders.
Hell of a team. Four of us were moving in four different directions, and it seemed Chimbwe wanted to be our wise guide, leading us all into a cohesive whole. A wise guide might be just what we all needed.
That realization had me sitting back down at the table. “I would like this team to work together,” I told him. “Considering the monsters we might run up against, our lives might depend on it.”
Lola White writes what she writes, which is erotic fiction. Sometimes horror, sometimes paranormal, sometimes romance. It’s all sexy, but never predictable because she likes to twist reality at its edges in her stories. She likes delving into the emotions of her characters, finding their strengths and weaknesses, and seeing (and showing) how they get themselves out of whatever trouble has found them—if they can.
Most of the books about witches I read are not erotic. Vampries and werewolves? Definitely. But I usually like my magic dark and creepy. But I decided to give this book a read, because the synopsis was intriguing. And that is exactly what the book was: intriguing. The story and the characters were vivid, beautiful, sexy and were not lacking in the paranormal department. Unfortunately, with erotic books, the paranormal elements usually get lost in favor of sex, but Ms. White did a great job in making sure we got what we were paying for. The book was long, but it didn't seem long at all.
The only issue I had was, as developed as these characters were, I didn't find enough of a background there. I wanted more from them, historically, and I wanted to know how they became the way that they are in the book. I think this was very well written, and I am hoping for more with these characters so I can learn more about them.
4/5--a very good story!