by Lissa Michaels

June 2002
ISBN: 1-58200-568-0
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After reading Captive Hearts it had become obvious to me that a story written by Lissa Michaels is definitely a story worth reading. Real Magic, the sequel to Captive Hearts, only reinforces that opinion. Real Magic like Captive Hearts is filled with intrigue and magic. Otherworldly characters that spark your interest and keep you tuned into what's happening.

Let me say now that if you haven't yet read Captive Hearts you should read it before you read Real Magic and that what's in this review may give away a bit more than you want to know about Captive Hearts before reading it.

Drake Durand has had a hard life, and he's come to expect nothing different. But being the intelligent, resourceful man he is, he's managed to take the dregs that life has given him and build an organization, and a reputation, that's known throughout all the planets of the newly restored Federation.

Drake is a man feared and he's on a mission. To find and serve justice on the last man still left that was responsible for the torture and enslavement of his best friend, Morgan. With his mission uppermost in his mind the last thing Drake wants or needs in his life is a sprite of a woman who claims to be his Guardian, the magical kind, especially when it's clear that she harbors no good will towards him.

Jelena didn't particularly want the mission she was sent on. To protect, the mysterious assassin, Drake Durand. But she'd do her best to keep him safe, despite how she feels about what he's done in his life. As Drake and Jelena grow closer they're both forced to face the truth about themselves and the lives they've led.

Real Magic is very much a character driven book. The most interesting aspects of the tale come from knowing how the characters are feeling and what they're thinking. However in the characters is where I found the one thing that keeps this book from a higher rating. Michaels tends to allow her male characters to dominate the story. Most of what happens revolves around the hero and while the potential for the heroine to be a truly awesome character is there, it's not tapped. Drake is such a great character. He's strong, intelligent, well built, loyal, trustworthy and a has a bunch of other characteristics that make him a top notch hero and his leading lady just isn't on his level. Jelena is a great character but Drake definitely outshines her.

All in all I enjoyed Real Magic and if there's a sequel in the works I'd be delighted to read it.

Reviewed in April 2003 by JaToya.

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