Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

by Jess Haines

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Read the book readers are comparing to Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, and Anne Bishop's Others Series!

A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she's just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she's got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can't afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.
The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.
As an illusionist, she doesn't have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems...

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight.


"It was an interesting mix of Harry Potter meets Lost Girl, meets Dresden – and it worked."
-Amazon Reader ★★★★★

"Magic, dragons, romantic tension. What more could you ask for? I am a sucker for most fantasy but it's been a long time since I found I book I couldn't put down and I could not put this book down!"
-Amazon Reader ★★★★★

"Part of having a successful book or series that deals with magic or fantastical things is creating a believable world, and the author did just that. There are the obvious things like whether magical creatures are out in the open or hidden, and who the different beings are (from vampire to dragons to your average magical human), but the book went beyond those details and dealt with discrimination, slavery, powerful leaders that could misuse their influence, and the taboo-ness of magical and non-magical co-mingling. This was a well developed world and I loved to soak in all the details of it."
-Amazon Reader ★★★★★

"I love the writing style. I love the plot line, I love the surprises. Yeah I just loved this one."
-Amazon Reader ★★★★★

"This was a strong start to a new series. I think that fans of the Other books, Kim Harrison The Hollows series, Kelly Armstrong Otherword series, and Jeanne Stein's Anna Strong Vampire series will enjoy this book."
-Amazon Reader ★★★★★

Buy now to discover a world unlike any other and find out what readers are raving about...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940152987492
Publisher: Jess Haines
Publication date: 04/30/2016
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 220,042
File size: 540 KB

About the Author

Jess Haines, author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, is a displaced New Yorker who writes about vampires, werewolves, and other bitey creatures of the night from her home in the Tampa area in Florida. She's best known for the H&W Investigations series (starting with HUNTED BY THE OTHERS).

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Smoke and Mirrors 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author. I like the character development and the interaction between them. I will probably read more books by this author.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
n a world where mages and other magical and paranormal beings reside, the one thing you do not want to be is a sorceress, especially when you are a teen just trying to get through her last days of school unnoticed. Kimberley has a secret, although a diligent student at Blackhallow Academy for mages, she must hide the fact she is a sorceress or waking up dead one morning would not be out of the question. Although she is far more powerful and creative than her classmates, everything she does could be dangerous as all of the sorcerers were long though killed off in the belief they are evil and practice dark magic. Like every student at the end of the year, there are finals, and Kim is told she will need to find a familiar to bond with, one more powerful than any other, a dragon. It isn’t like she can go to the school supply store and get one, nor can she conjure one, but she has a name, a contact who may just be able to do the impossible and get her a volunteer. Enter Cormac, handsome, brash and a bit of a rogue, he is also her last hope to find a familiar. But Cormac has a secret, a very BIG secret and only when Kimberley is in danger does he give it up. But instead of being her hero, he discovers the wrath of a woman lied to and let’s just say, I fell in love with Kimberley’s character even more! Few have what it takes to stand up to Cormac, but kudos to Kimberley and kudos to Jess Haines for a fabulous tale that made me smirk, get angry and forget that it is all fantasy! To say that Smoke and Mirrors is entertaining, filled with tense, tender and quirkily funny moments would be an understatement! Easy to read, easy to follow and completely engrossing, I loved every minute of the banter between Cormac and Kimberley, not to mention the amazing cast of characters that made them look even better! Guess it goes to show that even the big dog on the street is no match for a determined woman who knows her own mind and heart. I received this copy from Jess Haines in exchange for my honest review.
Misschel More than 1 year ago
Smoke and mirrors was a fantastic story. I was given and ARC for an honest review. Kimberly is a sorceress going to a mage Academy. Her and her mother live together struggling to make ends meet. Kimberly works extremely hard to make a better life. In order to graduate one of the requirements is she needs to summon a familiar but being a sorcerer she is unable to complete that task. Her professor sends her to Corrmac to look for a dragon as her familiar. Kimberly definitely has some adventures navigating the underworld. I'm in love with Corrmac. At first I thought he was quite the jerk. However , being who he is , he's just very cautious. Jess paints a great picture with her words. I truly enjoyed reading their Adventures and look forward to the next one.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Excellent world-building, good pacing, interesting characters; I gobbled this novel! Now I plan to find something else by this author to read. Recommended.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite Smoke and Mirrors by Jess Haines is a breath of fresh air with the perfect blend of humor and magic. Dragons, mages, vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures are publicly known as Others and feared. Kimberly attends Blackhollow Academy with the dream that a coven will accept her, allowing her to move her and her mother out of poverty. She struggles daily to hide her gift of illusion from her human boss that hates all Others and the students at school that hate sorcerers. When her teacher suggests she finds a dragon for a familiar to pass her exams, she thinks the task is insane. She has nothing to offer a dragon, but fear of eviction makes her desperate. Her teacher sends her to the mysterious Cormac Hunter whose promises lead her to danger, love, and secrets. Nothing’s modern about the world Jess Haines has created, but the oddities are part of the story’s charm. This novel is great for people who love urban fantasy and myth. Kimberly is stubborn and independent. She’s an easy protagonist to root for as she struggles to keep her job to pay rent and go to school to better her life. She’s relatable and likable. Haines creates a realistic world of supernatural beings. Her style is light, fast paced, with easily relatable characters. The characters are flawed and genuine. Even the most extravagant characters have human flaws. They’re quick to temper, ignorant, stubborn, proud, greedy, and possessive. Smoke and Mirrors is a wonderful blend of romance…danger…and fantasy. The world Haines crafts makes you want to jump into the pages and be a part of the magic.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Kimberly is a sorcerer in a mages world. Sorcerers have been killed and supposed to not exist and Kimberly is trying her hardest to keep it that way. But she is poor and can’t really go anywhere until she graduates from Blackhollow Academy. For her final she needs to find a familiar. Unfortunately she is unable to summon or create one, she is going to have to find a powerful, supernatural creature and convince them to be bound to her. But who in their right mind would agree to that? Enter Cormac. Kimberly is told to talk with him, he might be able to help her. The thing is Cormac is a dragon and not about to be bound. But the more they go through together, they seem to have a connection. But is that connection going to convince Cormac to be bound? I love Jess Haines H&W Investigations series and when I learned that she wrote a new series I couldn’t be more excited to review Smoke and Mirrors. We are back in the Other world but not the same place. I liked both Kimberly and Cormac. Kimberly is tougher than she gives herself credit for. Cormac is an alpha male without those annoying caveman, possessive traits that are so irritating. I loved the story. I admit that I would have liked a little more information about why sorcerers were killed earlier in the story. Plus I was irritated with Cormac in the last half of the book trying to apologize for not telling Kimberly sooner, but with that information falling into the wrong hands can you blame him? Suck it up man, you were trying to protect yourself. But beyond that I did really enjoy this book. I will definitely be looking for book two in this series. I received Smoke and Mirrors for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Truly magical! Kimberly is a mage, but she has a great deal to prove. I really enjoyed this story because she was not perfect, and she had a lot to prove, not just to others, but to herself. From the beginning, she was accused of cheating. This is the first story by Haines that I've read, and I really liked it. Sometimes we all need something like a "dragon" to help us, especially when there is no Knight around to save us. Besides, who needs saving. I look forward to reading more from Haines. Highly recommended.
Lolyena More than 1 year ago
Jumping at the chance to review an early free copy of Smoke and Mirrors Jess Haines’ new series Blackhollow Academy, I was gladly transported into her world with “Others”-supernatural and magical creatures. The story moves along quickly with good development. There is our heroine, Kimberly, who is strong, independent and funny; Cormac fits nicely into the role of mentor/protector and is way dreamy. There are plenty of new “Others” in this world to delight: dragons, wyverns, nagas, as well as new insights into sorcerer’s and their magic. I did not want to put this book down and am eagerly awaiting the next book in Kimberly’s story!