Those who have gone the dating app and dating sites road, or who know someone who did, will understand exactly what happens to Jessie in Magical Midlife Dating, the second of K.F. Breene’s Paranormal Women’s Fiction books. And they will laugh like loons. I know I did.
Warning: The review contains language that may offend the sensitive ones, but those expressions are chosen consciously because it is what it is.
The story picks up shortly after the end of the first book, when Jessie is starting to get used to the magic she has inherited when she decided to really take possession of Ivy House, an ancient manor that used to belong to her best friend’s aunt. After a first failed attempt at flying, since her magic is gargoyle magic, her geriatric team finds out that she went into a dating app to try and get back in the pairing business, so to speak. But someone is still after her, and she (and the house) summons help to get her to release her magic, help which comes in the form of very many gargoyles, including a young and hot Alpha male, Damarion. However, two alphas can’t be in the same town, and the clash with Austin Steele is inevitable. So how will Jessie deal with it?
Dating woes and teenage mind
How? Poorly, if you ask me. Jessie might be older and wiser in most things, but when it comes to interpersonal relationships, she is like a teenager, eager to get back in the saddle with the first hottie she’ll meet.
That is, after learning that “Netflix and chill” is not something literal, receiving her load of dick pics (like most of us women receive on way too many social media platforms, especially those who do get into dating sites), and realising that two members of her geriatric crew (namely Niamh and Mr. Tom) know much more than her about the what’s what of current dating (and sex) despite their age.
He’s hot, he’s an alpha, and he sets her blood on fire since she had not had any kind of sex since her ex-husband, which makes her act like a total teenager, looking at the package rather than acting like the mature woman that she is and looking inside. Because despite his strength and abilities, Damarion is visibly what we can call a douchebag. An alpha, yes, but a douche canoe just the same.
Yes, it does make for a lot of funny moments, but at the same time, it angered me to no end because the Jessie I’ve come to know and love is one who is not getting rattled by the first pretty face/hot bod combo in view. Plus, let’s face it, it felt wrong in so many ways to see her dating someone who is not Austin (whom she still places in the infamous “friend zone” despite her visible attraction to the bear shifter – and not just to his pretty face/hot bod, but to his mind and big heart, too)!
Credit to K.F. Breene for pulling it off the way she did: brilliantly. Not many authors would succeed in making the female lead going for anyone but the main man. In fact, she is an exception, because I would normally not even give the book a read (because it is mentioned in the blurb) or finish it if I caved. Yet here I am, talking about a book I’m giving full marks for, because it was seriously brilliantly done.
New characters and familiar faces
Jessie (and Ivy House) summoning help in getting her to fly led us to meet many more people than just Damarion.
My favourite? A pink gargoyle named Ulric, who made me laugh almost every time he was taking part in the action (and he is not subtle in the least in what he wants), but who has a rather tragic past and such a great personality that I do hope he becomes a fixture in all the upcoming books.
We also meet Cedric, Alek, Jasper, and many more gargoyles, a flower loving basajaun, a couple of dates, and a few bad guys.
And we get to have much more of Mr. Tom, Niamh, Edgar and, of course, Austin Steele! The constant bickering between the first two is, as always, completely hilarious, the third is as weird as ever (if not more so), and the last is the rock we all want to lean on.
Then there is a recurring character who, I think, might have a more important part coming for him: Sasquatch, the grumpy man who basically lives in Austin’s bar (not really, but he’s always there) and constantly antagonises Jessie. I seriously do have a feeling that he will have a bigger part to play in the upcoming books.
Then there were feelings…
If you’re familiar with the series, you know that it is obvious that Austin is as attracted to Jessie as she is to him, perhaps even more so. In the first book, Mr. Tom feels that he treats Jessie like he would his mate (reminder: shifters have mates, one significant one that they keep for the rest of their lives).
Yet he is confined to the “friend zone” by Jessie, something he does not deny but does not readily and spontaneously says, either. He is visibly jealous of the men she goes to date, but respects her decision and does everything he can to protect her.
Will something finally happen between those two? Only Queen Breen knows and us readers can only hope!
… and lots and lots of laughter!
When I read Magical Midlife Madness, I laughed. A lot. With Magical Midlife Dating? Even more!
The constant banter between Niamh and Mr. Tom, Ulrich, Ivy House, you name it! Sometimes I was laughing so hard that I came really close to wee myself!
There is also a house, a creepy house
I mentioned it when I reviewed the first book: I don’t like dolls! And Ivy House is full of them! And that’s not all: she also has… zombie-like skeletons!
In fact, I found the perfect name for Ivy House: 2020! Because she’s nightmarish to a fault. (But also hilarious, so maybe not so 2020.)
My verdict: brilliant
As I mentioned, only K.F. Breene and not even a handful of others can pull out having a sequel mentioning the heroine dating a man who will not be the main male character, have the heroine actually being physically attracted to a man who is not the main man, and still pull it off with great success.
Plus, she enjoys writing those books and, believe me, it shows! Because I also had a great deal of fun reading it. Now, all I need is for October and Magical Midlife Invasion to arrive!
A brilliant five stars! ✰✰✰✰✰