Titles: Frosty Relations
Author: Tara Quan
Series: A Witch's Night Out #2
Publication Dates: November 21, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Attorney Jack Frost never understood why holidays did weird things to people. His secretary went on vacation, his best friend ditched their annual Aspen trip, and the law firm’s stubborn human resources assistant refuses his clerical support request. What’s a warlock to do on Christmas Eve but go on a 1-Night Stand? But when an oddly familiar empath shows up as his date, this ice mage has a hard time denying the magic of the winter solstice.
Faced with an anemic employment market and financial woes, college graduate and former witch Mina Mao lands an HR assistant job at Frost and Sons. Having spent her day saving Christmas from Frost Junior’s Grinch-like behavior, she accepts the gift of Madame Eve’s service and heads over to the Castillo Capital. When her date turns out to be her childhood crush and workplace nemesis, she braces herself for the sexiest icy ride of her life.
** may contain spoilers **
Mina Mao is the HR manager at Jackson Frost Associates. This is the same place from the previous novella just with different characters. It’s Christmas Eve, and she is trying to get out of the office, just like everyone else. She has only recently become the HR manager, the previous one quit unexpectedly. She was hired to be the assistant in HR, so she got a “battlefield promotion”. Her staff gifts her with a certificate for a One Night Stand from Madame Eve’s service. (Sounds like something some of the office staff in some of the places I’ve worked would do, lol) Jackson Frost (Jr) approaches her just as she is trying to leave demanding to know why she let his secretary go early and why isn’t anyone coming in the next day. He comes off as a dick, and at first I really didn’t like him. He is trying to get out the last of his billing for the quarter, so that he can be ahead of everyone else, especially his best friend Leo. (Why do men see absolutely everything as a competition?)
Mina and Jack have a history that most would not suspect - Jack is an elemental warlock, an ice mage. Mina’s family has been familiars for Jack’s family for generations. Mina was meant to be Jack’s familiar, but Jack has renounced his powers, repressing them and refusing to use them. This led Mina to have to seek other employment - she has recently gotten a degree in psychology, but for the meantime has been working at Jackson and Associates for the last three months. Her parents are described as very strict and traditional. She is making plans to get out, move away from the city, and her parents, to do something she wants to do - teach. Back to the present: Jack almost wheedles her into helping him with his billing, but she says no, she’s got a date, and she wants to go get her hair done. He grabs her arm as she passes him by - she’s an empath, and is shocked by the amount of power that he is repressing. She agrees to stay, only to help him bleed off some of that power. That’s what familiar's do in this world - they act as a focus and a kind of battery for their witch or warlock’s magic, bleeding off an elemental’s powers to a usable and less dangerous level.
Now we switch to Jack’s POV. He’s unhappy because Leo beat him on the billing, but more so because Leo now has a girlfriend, and has cancelled their annual skiing trip to Aspen over the holidays. He’s been out of sorts for months (since Mina came to work there) and has also scheduled a one night stand for tonight. He knows that he should be doing something more with his powers, that he shouldn’t just be letting them build up like that because it’s dangerous. After a few hours of having Mina around (in cat form) the worst of his power overload is bled off, and they part ways. While parked outside of Castillo Capital waiting for his date to arrive (he wants to see her enter first) he sees Mina walking towards the building. She is attacked by three Asian gangster type dudes, and thanks to the extra magic she absorbed from Jack earlier is able to get away from them. The three guys are there because of her brother, who we now find out is both a junkie and a thief, and is in deep with these guys. They want to kidnap her, to make her parents pay ransom for her. Her brother is jealous that Mina was born with powers and that he wasn’t and has been in a downward spiral since she started showing magic. He has robbed both his parents and Mina, and when they asked her (the empath) to tell them if he was lying about being involved in drugs she told the truth. That only got her disowned by her parents instead of him, because he’s the firstborn son and therefore a special snowflake. Yes, I am rolling my eyes right now. I told you they were traditional.
Jack comes to her rescue from the last guy. He has heard what was said, puts her in his car and takes her to his place. They figure out from talking that they were meant to be set up together by Madame Eve. You get more of the sense here that they have known each other since childhood - in fact Mina mentions that he thought of her as a little sister (she thinks, hah I bet not) bringing her back souvenirs from trips he and his father took when they were small. We find out that she was the reason that he renounced his powers - their parents made a deal to send her with him to college as a kitten for the price of her brother’s bail. Even at that age he objected to the idea of her being “sold” like that, especially just to benefit her brother, so he told his dad to f*** off. Jack doesn’t seem to mind in the slightest at the confirmation that they were “meant to be together” after all. He wastes no time showing her exactly how much he cares for her. (**fans**, yeah, wow, very good) Later he asks her to stay with him, to move in with him.
All in all very good novella, even better than the first. This one wins prettiest cover as well.
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.