Titles: Fireworks at Midnight
Author: Tara Quan
Series: A Witch's Night Out #3
Publication Dates: December 12, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Recent college graduate and part-time cat familiar Dulcina “Sweets” Gato is having the worst New Year’s Eve in living memory. End of year expenses trigger serious cash flow problems, and her microwave just went up in smoke. To make matters worse, her best friend’s overprotective big brother is back in town, and his return threatens to put a huge crimper on her nocturnal activities. The only thing she can look forward to is Madame Eve’s 1-Night Stand service. After all, she’s sick and tired of being a 21-year-old virgin.
Enforcement Agent Mikal Knight is a warlock on a mission. Having finally scored a transfer to Washington, D.C., he’s now at liberty to pursue the object of his desires—his baby sister’s best friend. But first, he has a vigilante to track down and a mysterious matchmaking service to investigate. Sent on an undercover operation, he resigns himself to a pointless 1-Night Stand on New Year’s Eve. As luck would have it, his mystery date’s identity might let him kill several birds with one stone.
This is the newest novella in the Witch’s Night Out series. Dulcina Gato is the main character in this novella, which is set on New Year’s Eve. She has played a part in both of the previous stories, as Caterina’s sister from Flirting with Fire, and Mina’s friend in Frosty Relations. I really like how all of these novellas can stand alone, but if you are reading them in order you can easily see the threads connecting them. Now, on with the story: Dulcina calls herself Sweets as a nickname, because she hates every nickname that can be made out of her name. She is a familiar to Shelley, her best friend since kindergarten.
She has a rare gift of her own besides being a shape shifting familiar - she is a precognitive, a fact that she tries to keep under wraps. The Mage Council requires all precogs to register with them, which only makes Sweets think that they want to lock her up in a little room and pick apart her brain. She has enough problems, trying to run a small jewelry making business online with Shelley, and barely has enough change to scrape together to buy a coffee. Coffee is a necessity to her, so it’s a major blow when their microwave blows up one morning.
Before they can handle the problem there is a knock on the door. It’s Mikal Knight, Shelley’s older half brother. (Oh Lord...cue the Knight Rider theme lol….) He’s an Enforcement agent, which is the Mages Council’s version of cops. He’s also a wind mage, and is obviously better attuned to Sweets than Shelley is, because her magic is stronger around him. He came over to tell the girls that he is moving back home to DC after years of living and working in New York. Sweets has had a crush on him since childhood, but she is determined to keep her distance after she gets a very sexy flash of them together. You get the feeling that this isn’t the first time she has gotten a flash like this for him. He knows that she is a precog, and tells her that she going to have to get registered. He reassures her that there are no little rooms, no gravy, (hahah) and no one wanting to kidnap her and use her powers for the government. Sweets is not at all convinced. (By the way, the description of this guy is almost spot on for Tyrese Gibson, just so ya know)
Mikal isn’t just moving home for old times sake - Jackson Frost and Associates, the law firm from the previous two novellas is also a branch of the Mage Council’s Enforcement arm. It’s basically the CIA, the spy section. Mikal is moving to DC from New York to join the firm. He is taking the job of the magical sheriff of DC now and has to cover as a lawyer for a day job. He meets with Jack Sr, who gives him his first assignment. You guessed it - Madame Eve’s One Night Stand service. Leo and Jack Jr, (Sr’s son), the men from the previous two novellas, both work there and have used the service, finding their matches and falling in love. Since then, their production at work has fallen off (because they have lives now duh) and Jack Sr. isn’t too damn thrilled about it. He wants Mikal to find out if it’s a mind control thing, which he can do something about, or just a matchmaker, which he can’t. There’s some mention of a masked, smart assed vigilante running around keeping magical mistakes under wraps and “keeping kids from blowing things up”. The description sounds a lot like Sweets, but Mikal doesn’t catch it.
Back to Sweets, she gets the news that her sister Cat got her a Madame Eve’s One Night Stand as well. After a long day of selling jewelry to the New Year’s Eve revelers, Sweets heads over to the Waterfront, where her invitation told her to meet her date. On the way there she gets a vision of a young girl being attacked. She can’t just let it happen, and rushes to help the girl. She calls Mikal to have him hold off the (human) cops. He does one better and shows up to the scene, right on time to save her ass from a drunken teenager with a gun. He’s livid when he finds out that she’s been doing this for years, that she could have been hurt. His anger hits a new height when he finds out that they are both supposed to be on a one night stand tonight.
This only confirms to him something that he has suspected all of this time - that she has been using her precognition to avoid something developing between them. Sparks fly whenever they have been alone together, ever since she was eighteen. They have been right on the edge of a kiss and more for years now, but every time she sees it coming and avoids it. She says that she doesn’t want to wreck her friendship with Shelley, her friendship with him, but there’s no getting away from him now that he knows the truth. She decides she really doesn’t want to get away from him after all…..
I enjoyed this novella, the only thing that could have made it better was if it was about another hundred or so pages longer!
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, paranormal worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after.