Bittersweet Magic

Bittersweet Magic

4.5 20
by Nina Croft
     
 

Roz has been indebted to the demon Asmodai for five hundred years, and her freedom is just around the corner. All she has to do is complete one last task for him—obtain a key that had been hidden in a church centuries ago.

Piers, the Head of the Order and an ancient vampire, is intrigued by the woman who comes to him for help. She’s beautiful and

Overview

Roz has been indebted to the demon Asmodai for five hundred years, and her freedom is just around the corner. All she has to do is complete one last task for him—obtain a key that had been hidden in a church centuries ago.

Piers, the Head of the Order and an ancient vampire, is intrigued by the woman who comes to him for help. She’s beautiful and seemingly kind, but she’s hiding something. And he’ll find out who she is and what she really wants once he uses his power to get inside her head. But Piers has no idea that Roz is immune to his mind-control...or that he is simply a pawn in her dangerous mission for freedom.

The Order series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Bittersweet Blood
Book #2 Bittersweet Magic
Book #3 Bittersweet Darkness

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622661053
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
11/11/2013
Series:
Order , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
300
Sales rank:
280,898
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Bittersweet Magic

A Novel of the Order


By Nina Croft, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Nina Croft
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-105-3


CHAPTER 1

Roz had been right; she made a crap nun. But a deal was a deal.

Or way more appropriate in her present circumstances — she'd made her bed, and now she had to lie on the bloody uncomfortable thing.

She shifted on the thin mattress. What the fuck was in it? Straw, she was guessing. What was it about these people that had made them decide suffering was good for you?

She'd researched the place before she'd set up the job: the sisters lived by a creed she would never understand, devoting themselves to a life that was poor, chaste, obedient, and wholly dedicated to prayer.

Well, good for them. But not good for her.

This place was seriously doing her head in. She hadn't had a cell phone signal since she arrived, she'd drunk the last of her stash of scotch last night, and now she'd even run out of batteries for her vibrator. And to top it all, the effort of pretending to be nice was rapidly eroding her will to live.

She'd better find this Key thing tonight, or she'd go completely insane. There was only one more area left to search — deep under the church in the catacombs.

Excitement rose inside her. The ten o'clock bell had chimed a while back. The sisters would all be in their cells, settling for the night. No doubt they'd be down on their knees, praying to a god who couldn't be bothered to answer.

Roz glanced around her own cell. Ten feet by ten feet, bare stone walls, a flagged floor, and a small window, too high up to look through, with no glass, just bars. Now, in the height of the summer, it let in warm, lavender scented air. She couldn't begin to imagine what it would be like in the winter. A shiver ran through her just thinking about it.

Staring up at the ceiling, she forced herself to wait another hour, going over in her mind what she would do when she was free. In more than five hundred years, she'd seen Asmodai maybe a hundred times, but still he controlled her life totally. Told her what to do, where to go, when to disappear and give up her old life. In his own way, he'd kept her safe, taught her how to hide in plain sight, and warned her of the potential dangers.

Apparently, it wasn't only humans who would hunt her down, but also other things. He hadn't gone into details, just told her that under the Shadow Accords, the laws that bound the supernatural races, she was considered an abomination that could — and would — be killed.

Abomination.

Yeah, that was her.

Fuck them all.

She'd do this last task and she'd vanish, make a life for herself somewhere warm and sunny, away from the darkness.

When she was sure everyone was sleeping, she rose to her feet, brushing down the heavy habit and adjusting the headdress. She would be so happy when she could toss it in the bin. The sun had gone down, and she lit a candle — she'd pinched the batteries from the flashlight the first time her vibrator had run out — and quietly opened the door. The light flickered off the walls of the corridor, throwing strange shadows, never quite lighting the dark corners.

She understood better than anyone what lived in the dark places, but surely, this hallowed ground would keep the night creatures at bay.

After making her way through the convent, she headed toward the church, hesitating before the huge double doors. Placing her palm on the wood, she pushed. The door eased open a mere sliver, and she slipped through. For a minute, she stood just inside, breathing in the scent of beeswax and gazing around her. Candles were always kept alight in the church, and she could see clearly. The steps to the catacombs were at the far side of the nave, past the altar, but again she hesitated.

Something wasn't right. There was a chill to the summer air. This was her tenth night here, and the atmosphere felt different. She told herself she hated this place, but in fact, the calm ambiance soothed her. Usually. But not tonight.

Swallowing down her unease, she hurried along the aisle between the wooden pews. At the far end, a locked oak door led down into the catacombs — she'd stolen the key from the Mother Superior's office earlier that evening. The wood creaked as she pushed it open. Raising the candle, she breathed in deeply, filling her nostrils with stale, musty air. At the same time, a sense of excitement gripped her, because far below her, she could sense the presence of the Key. The stairs seemed to go on forever; she'd counted to fifty when a shrill scream cut the silence. Roz tripped and dropped the candle. It rolled down a few steps and sputtered out, leaving her in complete darkness.

Then the night filled with screams, transporting Roz back to that long ago time. Once again, she was in that stinking cell, the stench of smoke and charred flesh heavy in the air. Grief, fear, and rage all mingling in her mind.

She whirled around and ran up the stone steps, hands held out in front of her. Almost falling through the door, she stood for a moment. The screams were louder here, and coming from the living quarters of the convent. What the hell was going on?

She was halfway down the aisle, headed for the double doors, when the sound was cut off. Skidding to a halt, she raised her head, listening. She was about to move when the door swung open from outside. Some instinct made her dive for cover behind one of the broad stone pillars.

The faint stench of rotten eggs wafted in through the open doors. Roz peered around the edge of the pillar as a mass of hunched shapes surged into the church. They lumbered down the aisle, some upright, some shuffling on all fours. Half-hound, half-human, with crimson eyes glowing in the dim light. There must have been ten or fifteen of the beasts, and at their center strode a tall man. The creatures flowed around him like water.

Roz drew back. Hugging the cool stone, she breathed in the hot sulfur smell. A smell she recognized so well.

Demons.

She held herself very still as she waited for them to pass her hiding place, then edged around the pillar so she could watch. As the seething mass parted for a second, Roz caught a glimpse of one of the sisters clasped in a crooked, claw-like grip — Sister Maria, the youngest of the nuns. She was dressed in her habit, but the headdress was missing so her short hair stuck up in angry spikes. Her pretty face was blank, unseeing, as though she had zoned out of the horror going on all around her.

The group came to a halt at the front of the church by the altar, but then split up, most of them heading toward the catacombs.

Shit. Shit. Double shit.

It looked like they were after the same thing she was. And unfortunately, it also appeared like they had a hell of a better idea of where it was than she did.

Just three figures remained in view, plus Sister Maria, who was hanging almost unconscious from the arms of two demons. The man — at least he looked like a man — had dark hair, pale skin, and full lips. His eyes, green as emeralds, glittered as he paced the aisle.

Should she try to rescue the sister? But if she did, they would both die — Roz had no doubts about that. They had kept Maria alive for a reason. Roz could only hope it wasn't to provide entertainment later.

At that moment, a loud yip of triumph filled the air. The man turned as the demons swarmed around him. One of them handed him a small package. Roz tried to make out what he held, but they were too far away. Anyway, she could guess — her key.

A slow smile curled the man's lips. He shoved whatever it was in the pocket of his pants and strode toward where Sister Maria still hung between the demons. He tore her habit down the front, baring her to the waist. "Pretty," he murmured, stroking his finger down over one small breast. "Unfortunately, I have no time tonight. Maybe if we meet again." He spun her around, and at the same time drew a knife. Did he mean to kill the sister after all? Instead, he used the blade to cut a pattern in the skin of her back. Luckily, Sister Maria fainted at the first touch of the knife and hung lifeless.

When he'd finished, the demons released their grip, and she dropped to the floor. The man crouched beside her and slapped her face until she groaned and her lashes flickered open. "That's a message. For Piers Lamont. And here's the address. Make sure he gets it or I'll be back to finish our business." He dropped a piece of paper in front of her, and it fluttered to the stone floor.

"Is the place clean?" he asked his minions. The response must have been positive because he nodded. "Good."

He waved a hand in the air and a portal opened in front of him. The demons swarmed through, vanishing from sight. He paused. "Oh, and tell Piers that Jack said hello. Tell him I'll be in touch."

Then he was gone.

Roz waited long minutes after the portal had vanished, before edging toward the fallen nun. Small whimpering sounds were coming from the woman — so she was alive, at least.

"They killed them all." Sister Maria's low voice was laced with despair. "They didn't ask for anything, just killed them." Pushing herself up, Maria winced in pain.

A flicker of regret washed through Roz at the thought of the nuns. But they were dead and beyond help. It was the living who mattered. "Lay still for a minute," she said. "I'll go check and see if everything's quiet."

"Sister Rosa? Please don't leave me."

Roz hesitated. It was dawning on her that she had failed. That someone else had snatched her prize from right beneath her nose. How many more years of servitude would she have to endure?

No. Goddamn it. She wouldn't give up when she was so close.

Asmodai didn't need to know she had failed — yet. Maybe this man, Piers Lamont, could lead her to the Key. Who could he be? What was his involvement in this world? At the least, she could snoop around. See if there was any way she could redeem this mess. She would go and deliver the message to Piers Lamont, and afterwards, decide where to go from there.

"Please, Sister Rosa." Maria broke into her thoughts, her soft voice laced with pain.

Roz crouched down and examined the sister. The pattern cut into the skin of her back was a circle with a diagonal cross through it. Blood welled up in the cuts, blurring the lines, and she reached out a finger and touched the clammy flesh. Sister Maria flinched.

Roz contemplated the wounds for a few seconds. They were angry, puffy at the edges, and seeping blood. This was going to make traveling difficult.

Could she risk it? Asmodai's warnings echoed in her mind. Don't bring attention to yourself. But this was a necessity and nothing to do with the little mewling sounds of pain oozing from Maria's clenched lips. It was just so that Maria wouldn't be a total liability and could get around unaided.

Roz placed her palm against the bare skin of her back. Maria flinched again but then sagged under the touch as Roz sent the tiniest pulse of magic down through her hand.

"That feels so good," Maria murmured. "What did you do?"

"Nothing. We have to get out of here."

"Where will we go?" Maria asked.

"Can you remember what that man said to you?"

"That I'm to go to a Piers Lamont and give him a message. But shouldn't we contact the Mother Superior, make for the convent in Ambersley?"

"Well, I for one am staying as far away from convents as possible for the foreseeable future. Besides, he said they'd come back for you if you don't deliver the message."

Maria shuddered. "Who were they? What did they want?"

"Maybe this Piers Lamont can tell us."

The piece of paper lay on the floor, and Roz picked it up. It was an address in London, in the business district. "We need to go to London."

"London?" Maria said as though the city was on another planet. Her shoulders slumped, but she gave a small nod. "Maybe this Piers Lamont is a man of God," she murmured. "Maybe he can keep us safe."

"Yeah, maybe he can."

Or maybe he can tell me how to find my goddamn Key.

CHAPTER 2

"I am so fucking bored."

Piers threw the sawed-off shotgun onto the desk and shrugged out of his long leather coat — a little incongruous in July, but necessary to hide the gun and a few other demon-blasting weapons he had concealed about his person.

"I take it you didn't find anything."

Piers glanced over to where Christian sprawled on the crimson sofa. He looked smug, but at least since coming back to the Order he'd lost the business suits and was dressed pretty much the same as Piers — black leather pants and a black T-shirt — just minus the weapons.

"Nothing. No sign. No smell. No dead bodies. The streets of London are clean."

Christian grinned. "Don't sound so disappointed. Anyway, Jonas was convinced something was going down."

"Well, pity he couldn't produce a few more details. What the hell do we pay him for anyway?"

Christian shrugged "I'm heading home. I just wanted to check in."

"Yeah, go home. Piss-off back to your little love nest, and say hi to Tara for me."

"She'll like that."

Piers was quite aware that Tara was not his greatest fan. But hey, he wasn't out to make friends.

The shrill ring of a buzzer dragged him from his thoughts. He flung himself into the chair behind the desk. The light for reception was flashing and he pressed the button on his phone.

"Yeah."

"There are two women wanting to see you," Graham, his assistant, said.

"Good," he replied. "I'm hungry."

"Well, I'm thinking you might be staying that way." Graham's voice was tinged with amusement. Piers raised an eyebrow but reached over and switched on his monitor. He tapped a few keys and studied the reception area.

"Holy shit."

"What is it?" Christian asked, coming to stand behind him.

"There are two nuns in reception."

"They're probably strip-o-grams or something. One of your friends has a sense of humor." Christian leaned closer to study the screen. "Or maybe not."

"Definitely not," Piers added.

Actually, he had never seen anything less like a couple of strippers. The two women were bedraggled. One was positively drooping. They both wore black habits with headdresses framing their faces. The droopy one appeared to be around thirty with a pale, thin face and scared eyes. The other looked younger, though she also seemed to be the one in charge, squaring up to Graham and speaking rapidly.

Slightly below medium height, she looked well filled out, though it was hard to tell whether she was straight up and down or there were curves beneath the shapeless robe. Piers focused in on her face — broad at the cheekbones, pointed at the chin — which had a dimple in the center. She had flawless creamy skin, big brown eyes, and a rosebud mouth held in a tight line.

She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and waved it at Graham. Then she bit her lip and stepped back as Graham replied. Piers got the distinct impression of impatience — a mother superior in the making, no doubt. He'd gone through a nun phase once, but that was back in the Middle Ages. He'd found seducing them a challenge — it had been fun for a while.

Graham still held the phone to his ear. "What do you want me to do with them?" he asked. "They say they have a message for you."

"Well, you'd better bring them down here then."

He closed off the call and turned to Christian, who was now leaning against the wall, arms folded, a small frown playing across his face.

"I thought you were leaving," Piers said.

"I'll stick around."

Piers raised an eyebrow. "You don't think I can handle two nuns?"

"Hell, I know you can handle them."

"But?"

"Maybe you shouldn't be handling nuns."

Piers frowned. "Don't worry. I'll wipe their memories afterwards. They won't remember a thing."

"There are enough willing volunteers about. You don't need unwilling ones. They're nuns, for Christ's sake."

Piers narrowed his eyes on the other man. "Has anyone told you that you're absolutely no fun anymore? Not that you ever were much fun."

"Yeah. You."

Finally, Piers shrugged. "Okay, I'll be good. But I have to admit that I'm a little intrigued as to what brings a couple of nuns here."

"Me too."

"Let's find out then."

There was a light tap on the door and Graham poked his head around. "Your visitors." Stepping to the side, he gestured for the two women to enter. "This is Sister Maria and Sister Rosa from the Little Sisters of Mercy."

As the younger nun came through the door, a faint waft of sweet air followed her into the room.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Bittersweet Magic by Nina Croft, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2013 Nina Croft. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Nina Croft grew up in northern England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina's writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.


Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She's since then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary), and has settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. She is the author of Death Defying.

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Bittersweet Magic (A Novel of The Order) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
BITTERSWEET MAGIC is the second instalment in Nina Croft’s adult, contemporary The Order paranormal/fantasy series.  This is Piers and Roz’s story. Although it is the second in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Piers is one of the oldest living vampires and head of the regulating vampire body, known as The Order of the Shadow Accords, that polices the supernaturals of the world; and Roz is ‘not quite human’. Indebted to the demon Asmodai for the past five hundred years, Roz is tasked to perform one final job before being released from her obligations- to find The Key-a key that will open the portal between the worlds.  Told from third person POV, the storyline follows Roz as she is targeted by several supernatural factions on her adventure in search for The Key. Not only does the Key open the door to other realms but it will free one of the most powerful demons the supernatural world have ever known. Enter Piers-the vampire with whom Roz will fall in love but not before said powerful demon makes him an offer he can’t refuse-Piers will sacrifice himself to save the world. The relationship between Roz and Piers is slow to build. As Roz endeavors to discover the truth about her heritage and the missing Key, Piers will take advantage of Roz’s special blood on more than one occasion. Believing he is mesmerizing Roz, Piers will continue to feed from the woman all the while she is well aware of what is going on. The sex scenes are sensual and seductive; there is a true feeling of love between the vampire and his mate.  But Roz has a secret buried deep within her mind and her heart, and it will take someone from her past to bring that knowledge and power to the present. The secondary characters play a pivotal role including former head of The Order and vampire Christian Roth, and his mate Tara, whom we met in the first storyline Bittersweet Blood. We will be reintroduced to Ryan-a close friend of Roz- a human and police detective, who will become the liaison between the human and supernatural world.  BITTERSWEET MAGIC is an enchanting and fascinating storyline that was slow to build and quick to resolve. The previous storyline characters are colorful, add emotion and history, and brought a sense of continuity to the series.  The reader is pulled into a story about love and understanding; betrayal and sacrifice; power and control.  Nina Croft has the ability to blend present day with the fantasy of the supernatural making you believe that anything is possible.
Basista More than 1 year ago
Check it out. You'll enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book i have purchased by Nina Croft and I just loved it . It is a real page turner didn't want to put it down. Highly recomended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Worth Reading... Total Pages: 240; Story Pages: 228 The Order series, book #2 Piers' & Roz's story. New series by Nina Croft. Vampires, werewolves, demons, angels, witches, Fae, etc. Roz: witch (half angel, half human). Piers: Vampire.
nadzNR More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Order series which can be read as a standalone. However it would be good to read the first book, as it will provide you with background information on some of the characters mentioned in this book. After reading book one (Bittersweet Blood) I knew that this was going to be an exciting series and as such I was glad to receive a complimentary copy of Bittersweet Magic to provide a honest review. In this story we are introduced to Piers Lamont a two thousand year old vampire and Rosamund who is five hundred years old but has no idea who or what she is. Rosamund has been indebted to the demon Asmodai since she was seventeen years old, a debt which required her to carry out tasks for him from time to time. She desperately wanted to be free of Asmodai as such when she was called upon to perform what said to be her final task she was willing to go through any lengths to accomplish this task. It was during her quest to complete this task that she crossed paths with Piers. The meeting between these was fraught with deceit, however this did not stop the passion from flaring between them. It was quite fun to see the the interaction between these two. Ms. Croft has done a great job of combining the right amount of romance, action and suspense to hold her reader's attention. This story pulls you in from the very first page and keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end. When Rosamund eventually found out what she was I was like OMG what a twist.  This was a fun and fantastic read and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
CharleneCF More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this novel.  It was fun to read about all of the interaction between the Fae, vampires, werewolves, witches, humans,  and even nuns!  The romance between the main characters, Roz and Piers was great reading.  It was interesting to read about the   sacrifices they made for each other.  Oh, and we can't forget about the demons!
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
It's official. I'm in love with the awesomeness that is Nina Croft. And, just as a head's up, I'm going to be interviewing her sometime in the near future (she's agreed to the interview, I just have to send her the questions), and there will be a review on another one of her books in a few days. Now, as to the book itself, it's the second in a series (sigh - when will I learn to pay attention to see if there are others ahead of the book I'm reading?), but it didn't matter. I got the hang of the book, and I'm assuming that the first book dealt with Christian/Tara. Roz dealt with some pretty crappy things before she got taken in by Asmodai. She had to watched her mother burned at the stake and was next in line, had Asmodai not pulled her out of there and made a deal with her. She's got special abilities to find things, and her current (and theoretically last) mission for Asmodai is to find a mysterious Key that's hidden at a convent. Unfortunately, someone else is after the Key and slaughters the nuns. She rescues the sole survivor of the massacre (who was left alive to carry a message) and escorts her to the one Sister Maria needs to deliver the message to, hero Piers. Piers. Yum. Wowser. There are too many perfect words for such a lucious man. Alpha, yes. A**hat, no. Sex on a stick is he, and a vampire who wears leather pants to boot. Can I have him, Ms. Croft? The sparks are very apparent from the very first second Roz & Piers meet, even though he thinks she's a nun (yeah right - and she has the pink vibrator to prove she's no innocent miss). There's a lot of squabbling and hiding truths from one another. And of course sex. There's explosive sex when they finally have it, though Ms. Croft draaaagggsssss the sexual tension out for so much of the book, I was about ready to pop when they finally did. Erm, maybe that's too much information. Anyway, fantabulous book, I want more of this Order series, and highly recommend it without any reservations at all. Please, get this book, support Ms. Croft so she never has an excuse not to write! Thank you Entangled, NetGalley, and Ms. Nina Awesome-Sauce Croft! Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
TinaR19 More than 1 year ago
This is the first story that I have read by Nina Croft, and I will definitely be reading more. It is a wonderful adventure with non-stop action, and some heated scenes. I enjoyed the interaction between all the characters, and found myself laughing out-loud quite often. If you like a lot of action between vampires, fae, and demons, then this is a must read. Roz is almost finished paying her debt to the demon Asmodai. Her final task is to find the key that was hidden in a church centuries ago. But when a demon gets his hands on it before her it changes all of her plans and pushes her freedom further out of sight. She has never let herself get close to anyone, but when she meets the rude and obnoxious vampire who may be her only help to gaining possession of the key, she gives some serious thought to changing that rule.  Piers is an ancient vampire who is also the Head of the Order. The secret organization was formed to keep peace between the worlds of the demon and the fae with the first duty being the destruction of the Key. When Roz shows up at his door he knows she’s hiding something from him. There is something about her that has him very intrigued, and he plans to learn what she’s hiding and have her in his bed. Piers decides the only way to get the answers he wants is to mesmerize her, but what he didn’t know was that no one can control her mind. While Roz and Piers try to regain the key to protect the world from destruction they find out things about Roz that she never knew. Memories from her past begin to surface, and what she finds out is not what she expected. Time is running out, and if they cannot destroy the key soon all the worlds will be no more.  I received an e-ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Five hundred years ago Roz had her life saved by a demon called Asmodai. She has been indebted to him ever since. It hasn't been to bad she has done the task he ask of her and now he ask her to do a final task. She must go undercover as a nun and find a key. What should have been an easy task becomes harder when the convent is attacked by demons and the key is taken. Now she has ended up in the one place she was told to stay away from The Order. She was told they would kill her if they knew about her. Still hiding in her disguise as a nun she is finding it hard to keep acting like one. Especially around the vampire Piers. Piers is an ancient vampire who has to find out what she knows. He doesn't know what she is for sure only that she is different. As things heat up between them they both may have to find a way stop an ancient evil from rising up. It may cost them both more than they know. Roz thinks she is a witch. Her mother was one and her father left when she was a child. She is tough, strong and will do anything to save others she cares about. She also has a sense of humor that shows up at different times. Piers is a sexy vampire who you wouldn't mind letting him sink his teeth into you. He has a hard job to do but he will make any sacrifice to save others. He is not sure of Roz and it drives him crazy. Packed full of demons, vampires, werewolves and so much more this was a pleasure to read. It never lagged and kept an amazing pace all the way through the book. There is plenty of action as the search for the key goes and you find it is more than an ordinary key. I loved all the action in this book and it surprised me more than a few times. You never really know for sure what Roz is till the end and she really doesn't know either. That was a nice surprise. The author does a great job keeping you wondering about many things. I love all the sexual tension between Roz and Piers. They both want each other but something keeps coming between them. I liked getting to know both of them. If you love paranormal books this one will sure to please you.
bighoopearrings More than 1 year ago
**Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy** As I’ve been waiting for BITTERSWEET MAGIC since about three minutes after I finished BITTERSWEET BLOOD, the first book in The Order series, I  think we can easily say I was pretty excited to read this book. Luckily, even though I had a few issues with BITTERSWEET MAGIC, it lived up to my expectations for it, and I was completely enthralled by Roz and Piers, and now I can’t wait for the next book in this series! Roz is the exact opposite of a heroine than Tara, from BITTERSWEET BLOOD. Where Tara was naive and sheltered, Roz has nothing of that- she’s quite tough and has no problem lying through her teeth to get what she wants. I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve been around for four or five centuries, though. I admired Roz’s loyalty and fierce protectiveness towards those who got into a sticky situation because of her- if she had been able to just leave them to their own devices, I would have thought less of her as a character. Then we have Piers- bad boy extraordinaire! However, my biggest complaint is related to him. Twice he took blood from Roz without her permission. Now, obviously vampires do this in books all the time- but I think it bothered me because it was our heroine. It just seemed like an unnecessary invasion on Piers’ part, and it rubbed me the wrong way. But otherwise, we find out more about Piers’ history, and while he’s almost as scary as he was in book one, we also see a bit of a softer side to him where Roz is concerned. The two of them together have great chemistry, and there is minimal agonizing over the relationship (oh I want him but he’s so bad, etc etc) which I appreciated. I would have liked to see more world building, since there is so much going on that I’d love to get an idea of what else inhabits the world of The Order series, especially since a fourth dimension- heaven- was just introduced in BITTERSWEET MAGIC, rather casually, without much explanation. We did get more history about the demon and fae wars and why they’re so at odds with each other, which was interesting but just left me wanting more! All in all, BITTERSWEET MAGIC gave me exactly what I expected (and wanted). With Roz and Piers, we get some super sexy moments, plus there’s action and mystery all set in an interesting world. And now, with two spectacular books in The Order series, I’m wondering who’s up next? Caleb, the werewolf head of The Order’s security? Graham, Piers’ assistant? So long as there’s another book, I’ll be happy!
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Roz/Rosamund has one more mission to complete and then she'll be free of Asmodai. Since Roz is a Seeker, she needs to find a key within the Convent of the Little Sisters of Mercy. Roz goes there in disguise. She pretends to be nun. While she is searching, a portal opens and Jack, a deadly villain, and his crimson-eyed minions enter and steal the prize. Sister Maria, the only surviving nun, is told to deliver a message to Piers Lamont. Roz goes with her to London. She is determined to find out who Piers is and why this key is so important. This is the beginning of a action filled, romantic fantasy where good versus evil and everyone has their own agenda. All the characters are strong and powerful. Nina Croft is a remarkable storyteller who keeps you transfixed by the surprising plot twists. Roz and Piers are a exciting pair. They are strong willed and determined to outwit the other. Their attraction is wildly passionate. The ending took me completely by surprise. I didn't see it coming. Bittersweet Magic is a remarkable story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! And great series… at least that’s my impression. Bittersweet Magic is the actually the first book I’ve read in The Order Series and by Nina Croft in general. Now I can honestly say she became one of my favorite authors with just this one book! The world she builds for The Order is modern yet very interesting, new, and fabulous. It reminds me a bit of Larissa Ione’s Demonica and Lords of Deliverance world. And I mean this in a good way! I love Larissa Ione’s books. However Nina Croft’s world is no cheap copy. It has its own charm and a lot of new aspects which make the whole setting of the book extremely interesting and pleasurable. There are so many races… Vampires, Demons, Fae, Werewolves, Witches, of course humans and some I will not tell you about because it would ruin the ending for you ;) The characters are well developed and they instantly caught me in their story and I had to know what happens next all the time. I couldn’t put the book down. Roz is a tough woman… at least that’s what she herself believes. Others around her see her more caring side a lot more than Roz herself. In my opinion this is something that is very hard to express for an author… a character that lies to herself about what she wants or is. Most of the time it’s not really believable and I get the impression the author does it just to make the character more likable to the reader… you know what I mean, try to give the character flaws where there actually are none. However, Nina does this amazingly well! I loved Roz and I really believed she thought about herself that way… okay, I’m rambling here and it’s a bit confusing even for me. I hope you know what I’m trying to say ;) Piers is a very old vampire and acts like one. He is dominant, arrogant, sexy, and always gets what he wants… women. Of course now he wants Roz. The two are great together and alone. I think this is something important in a good book. The H/h have to be great characters on their own in order to make a great couple and therefore a great book. Roz does not depend on Piers but nevertheless they are there for each other. Another big fat plus of this book is that it does not give away too much of the first book. Nina Croft does not re-tell the whole story of the first book in the series (which is also not necessary to get what’s going on). At the end of Bittersweet Magic I still don’t really know what happened to Tara and Christian and I love it. This way I can still read the first book. Otherwise it would just be boring to read it when you already know everything that’s going to happen. I loved the side characters!! Asmodai is awesome! He’s just hot. I hope he gets his own book. Also the other guys working for the order were really cool. That’s the only way to describe them. They are just cool. I want more of the Order! I can only recommend this to paranormal fans!
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
Roz has been in hiding for 500 years and was told if anyone found out about her they would kill her. Roz was on a mission to find a key but she wasn't the only one looking for it. After all hell broke out and to help sister Maria with her wounds and find a safe place. The person who attacked sister Maria has a message for her to give. Roz takes sister Maria to the person. Roz was having a hard time not looking at Piers, wishing she wasn't in her fake nun outfit. Piers is trying to figure out what Roz is but can't. Roz goes back to see Piers but doesn't go the way she thought but found out the Piers is a vampire. They need to find the key because the key is powerful to open a portals and can bring hell on earth. While try to figure out what all is going on Roz and Piers are falling for each other. When Piers made a decision without telling Roz. Roz doesn't sit back and take it, she's going to get him back no matter what.  
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
Roz has been indebted to the demon Asmodai for five hundred years, and her freedom is just around the corner. All she has to do is complete one last task for him—obtain a key that had been hidden in a church centuries ago. Piers, the Head of the Order and an ancient vampire, is intrigued by the woman who comes to him for help. She’s beautiful and seemingly kind, but she’s hiding something. And he’ll find out who she is and what she really wants once he uses his power to get inside her head. But Piers has no idea that Roz is immune to his mind-control...or that he is simply a pawn in her dangerous mission for freedom. Review: All I can say is that people have been keeping some very big secrets from Roz... I loved this book, I loved Roz and her spunk and I loved Piers, that sexy brooding vampire. The premise, the story and the Authors writing style kept me engrossed and not wanting to put the book down. Now, for my OCD friends who have to read books in order, this is the second book; for the rest of us you will not be lost at all by reading this book before the other. The characters from the first book are in the second book and you get information about what happened in the first book. This was a well rounded story with secrets, action, suspense, lots of paranormal beings, drama, romance and some good old fun sex. Roz has been working for a demon, Asmodai for 500 years as a seeker because she asked for him to rescue her when she was about to me burnt at the stake for witchcraft. This is lucky number 13, her last job for Asmodai. Roz must go undercover in a convent to find a key, right before she finds the key a Vampire and demons kill everyone in the convent except Roz and Sister Maria. Roz hopes by taking Maria to Piers Lamont (who they need to give a message to from the Vampire who killed everyone) that she will be able to track the key and obtain her freedom from Asmodai. I am sure what Roz did not count on was Piers and that instant chemistry between them. Come to kind out the key should have been destroyed long ago and now a demon is rising who would use the key to start a war and enslave humans. As everyone is trying to find the key, Roz is trying to piece together who/what she is and falling for Piers. I really loved these two characters together, they don't want to fall but cannot help it and then they both try to sacrifice themselves for each other and others. Now, not wanting to give away some surprises at the end...but there is some great moments for Roz and her father and an exciting scene when she finds out what is locked away inside her and what she is. Was sad for this story to end, I think Roz and Piers going on adventures would be an excellent series... 4 stars
AMANDA_BRAT69 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It started off a little slow for me but more than made up for it in the end. I haven't read the first book in the series but was able to understand without reading it. I will be reading the 1st book and more from this author!
Mennina1 More than 1 year ago
Roz has been living for over 500 years, and has been in debt to a demon for most of that time. She just wants to be free from his debt. She only has to do one more task and she will do almost anything to complete this task. She has been cut off from the world afraid to make friends and not even sure who she is. She can heal people and is a seeker who can find things or people but has to keep these talents hidden.. Then she meets Piers who makes her think that there is more that she can wish for. Maybe there is someone that can help her figure out who she is and what exactly she can do. The only thing is after all this time can she trust him? Great book that kept me intrigued. Steamy chemistry between Piers and Roz.
cattouch More than 1 year ago
Roz is a 'seeker' and more....she just doesn't know it yet. She's been bound to a demon for the last 500 years since he saved her from burning at the stake as her mother did.. In exchange for immediate vengeance and her life she must do 14 different tasks for the demon when ever he asks. She's on the very last job when everything goes wrong. She rescues a nun and and ends up at the office of the organization she was told to stay away from because they would kill her when they realize what she is. She still has to finish this last job but now there are complications in the form of a sexy, bad boy vampire and their attraction is intent an combustible . Roz finds out her demon has lied to her....surprise....she has more powers than she thought, and she meets her long lost father. Now there's more at steak than just her freedom, her friends and the sexy vampire. This book is part of a series but its very much a stand alone book, only now I do want to read the rest of the series. Highly enjoyable.
Sami_Creech More than 1 year ago
This book had me hooked from the beginning I want to be just like Roz when I grow up lol and don’t get me started on Piers wowzer! This book has it all action, suspense, demons, vampires, angels, werewolves, warlocks and even nuns you couldn’t ask for anything more. Nina definitely knows how to entrance her readers I could not put this book down talk about our book hangover especially when you have to work at 5Am but it was TOTALLY worth it!
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
Vamps, Shifters, Demons, Fae, Wtiches & Wizards, Oh My!!!!!! After Roz had watched her Mom die at the stake, she made a deal for her life with the demon, Asmodai, in exchange for twelve tasks. She had just one task left to complete which will require that she masquerade as a nun at a convent. What could go wrong? Piers Lamont is a vampire, turned against his will centuries ago. He now heads the Order, an organization that is tasked with enforcing the accords between the supernaturals. When a nun walks into his office smelling sweet, like Fae, he is mesmerized, but he does not do relationships... I have not read the first book in this series, but I found that this book can be thoroughly enjoyed on it's own. This was such an enjoyable read that I plan to soon read Book one, Bittersweet Blood, featuring Christian and Tara, two characters who also make appearances in this book.  IF you love to read paranormals with vamps, shifters, demons, fae, witches and wizards, this book is for you! Engaging story and characters! 4 Stars!
bookobsessedmomma More than 1 year ago
This book was an addictive paranormal romance/mystery with vampires, fae, demons, angels and more! It captured me from the very beginning until the very end! I loved it!  Roz is enslaved by a Demon she bore herself to in exchange to keep her life. She is on her final task. However this task may be tricky. She needs to dress and act like a Nun, which shouldn't be too hard, right?! haha okay.  Anyways, things arise and she and a nun need to go find Piers Lamont. There is attraction between these two immediately.   Can she get out of this situation, can she get the key, get her freedom or will something else happen instead?  Piers is a vampire and is very interested in Roz the moment she and another nun enter his building. Something is off about this one though. She smells like a Fae to him. He is suspicious, wants to draw her blood.. but can't. He for once in his life would want more than just a simple F***. Can he get close to her, find out her secrets and let her know who he is?  This book is filled with mystery,excitement,loss, pain, love, findings and more! The characters are wonderfully written. You find yourself enchanted with this story and not able to put the book down until you finish it!  I loved all the characters and will most definitely have to read book 1 now. I am eager to read about Christian/Tara's story! If you love mystery, romance, vampires, werewolves, fae, angels, demons /supernatural beings then you will absolutely love this book! Well done and I will definitely be reading more books from this author!  I received a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.