When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby, an enchantress, is determined to discover who is behind the odd deaths. But being a witch gifted by the Goddess won’t protect her from the talented warlock the Coven sends to assist her. Kale weaves a spell more powerful than any she’s ever seen–and he’s sexy as sin. But why he’s even needed for such a simple mission is beyond her.
While having some muscle around can’t hurt her investigation, fighting her growing attraction for Kale is worse than a hex, especially considering she knows he—and their Coven—are hiding something from her. When she turns up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, though, the elusive warlock isn’t the her only concern. She now has a political rebellion on her hands, too. And when the truth about who she really is begins to surface, the only person Libby can trust is herself.
The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy
This review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.
In Charleston there have been several magical cat murders and it’s time for the
Pet Detective local Enchantress to step in and put a stop to it.
In the “About the Author” section it says:
Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments, and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed.
Having read The Cat’s Meow I can vouch for the lighthearted fantasy part with a good chuckle or three. The heart-squeezing element relied heavily on my overactive imagination as Kale Griffin was kept as a mystery for far too long and his personality was mostly built on a handful of action descriptions and guesswork. This would apply to the thigh-clenching part too, because once Kale was allowed a moment of honesty and openness the book rushed to its inescapable conclusion.
The fast-action and life-threatening moments make this book a compulsively readable and fun as long as the reader has firmly switched off their brain and any sign of logical thought. The big bad villain was unfortunately of the cardboard sort—easily sketched and depthless—and burned down just as easily as any paper doll would. It’s fun and entertaining as long as you’re not expecting the story to be anything more than a simple romp.
Libby as a character has her good moments. She’s a witch responsible for tracking down and stopping anyone who practices dark magic or threatens to expose the magical community to humans. She mostly stands up for herself against the Alchemy, her mother, and the occasional free-range warlock. She has clear motives for protecting herself and her friends from harm, she’s smart enough to figure out Kale’s secret mostly on her own, and she doesn’t let her sex-addled brain dictate her actions. Until she does. This again is my complaint about the ending—the speed. I’d have much preferred had Libby’s and Kale’s relationship taken several books to develop to the point it reached here.
So all in all, it’s a quick and fun read for the fans of paranormal romance.
Unless you’re one of those people who actually care about accurate portrayal of Wicca and respect for other religions. I admit Kennedy never uses the word Wicca or its equivalents and that I’m not an expert on the subject, but I know enough to be miffed. Very much so. I would have gladly let Kennedy get away with murder in her portrayal of modern magic, had she not dragged in the Goddess and made the deity an integral part of Libby’s characterisation. None of the witches or warlocks show appropriate respect towards their Goddess while practicing magic. Would this be a Christian praying, I have no doubt the handling would be very different.
I also didn’t particularly care about the patriarchy bleed into this system of magic or the general attitude shown by men—even the hero—towards women. Men are the strong ones in power and women, no matter how special, are weak and to be protected.
If you want to read a light witch version of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, this might be the book for you. If you expect anything thought provoking or progressively feminist, you’d be better off skipping The Cat’s Meow.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.