Bruja by Aileen Erin
Series: Alpha Girl #4
Published by Ink Monster
Published on: May 12, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Werewolves
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Claudia De Santos has always looked out for every witch but herself. She fought from the shadows as her coven turned dark, and with a little help from her half witch/half alpha werewolf cousin, Tessa, Claudia is doing everything she can to keep her friends and family in the light.
Now the coven has splintered into two factions: Luciana’s army of witches wielding dark magic, and Claudia’s few stragglers who fight with the wolves. War is coming, and it won’t be much of a battle if Claudia can’t find the spells to counteract Luciana’s demonic power.
The answers lie in ancient magic, and Claudia must journey to Peru to rediscover what the Inca mages knew. Fighting evil will require a pure spirit, but her quest is full of temptations, including a handsome Peruvian guide with secrets of his own.
As she struggles to gain the knowledge her friends will need in the coming battle, conflict rages in Claudia’s heart. Following through with her arranged marriage could bring hope and more allies to the side of good, but at the cost of her own happiness. Should Claudia stay on the same path of duty she’s always walked or risk it all—her life and the futures of all brujos—for a chance at something more?
The ALPHA GIRL series, and I have had our ups & downs; I was worried that this magic driven installment might feel out of place amidst Aileen Erin’s werewolves, and that postponing Tessa & Dastien’s full moon ceremony (again) in favour of giving a secondary character their HEA was a mistake. BRUJA proved me wrong on both counts. Lucas single-handedly solved my first concern, and Claudia did the rest.
I liked that the author waited a bit before hightailing it to Peru. She set the stage for the why of De Santos’ trip with a brief recap, and some new information which did wonders for my opinion of this book’s protagonist because she didn’t blindly accept Muraco’s wild goose chase of a quest. The story did lack Peruvian authenticity though, so the setting change was barely noticeable unfortunately.
Claudia has been a useful ally in the witches vs. werewolves war, and after three volumes as a sidekick it was time for her to step outside of her comfort zone. I enjoyed witnessing her transformation from one of Luciana’s minions to future leader of the rebel coven. Her internal monologue exhibited the most growth, but by the conclusion of this tale it was apparent that Claudia was no longer a protégé.
There seemed to be a bit of a love triangle emerging until Erin finished painting her ugly picture of Matt, De Santos’ betrothed, after that unpleasantness he was hastily taken off the menu. The heroine’s connection with Mr. July was impossible to miss, as were the not so subtle furry bits. The outcome was easy to predict, although admittedly the shortage of romantic drama only made the plot stronger.
BRUJA was a quaint witch-y dalliance, but I’m ready for more werewolves!
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