That being said....
Magic is necessary to all things, but like any other source of power, it can be abused. The king of gods has created a Special Collections Team to deal with illegal magic users, those who break the law set forth by the Council of Five. Being part of the team is not an honor however, but a punishment for the crimes the teammates have committed themselves.
Zahra is a magic-addicted djinn charged with the capital crime of consorting with humans. Niccolo is a vampire who betrayed his goddess. Beryl is a fairy assassin demoted for her transgressions against a queen. Wade is the only human on the team, and though his inclusion is supposed to be a compliment, it’s clear there’s a larger plan in play.
From tragic romance to zealous belief, the Special Collections Team is in over their heads, but still must find a way to be successful in their investigations, pay their penance and learn to work as a team.
In Santeria & Sorcery, their first case finds them in Miami, where trouble has come to the attention of the Council of Five. A sorcerer is stealing magic to set himself up as a god, but the team is new and each are unused to working well with others. Their personal issues also hinder their investigation—dealing with bloodthirsty boyfriends, jealous fairy kings and a dangerous fallen angel on top of their own emotional deficiencies take a toll.
The Tithe Collector is an erotic series and does include graphic scenes: M/M, M/F and multiple partners.
Book Title: Santeria & Sorcery
Author: Lola White
Publishing Date: June 11, 2015
Page/Word Count: 240 Pages
Pros: Well thought out characters, story was strong
Cons: Needs more back story
Overall rating: Pretty good good
Impressions: Heavy on the sex, heavy on the magic, good story but back story was lacking.
I should point out that I don't normally read books that are this heavy on the erotica. I wanted to give this book a chance, since it is out of my normal reading genres. I am glad that I did. It was a very good book.
So let's get this started. First, I want to talk about what I think the book needs. It needs more back story. We get many points of view but we don't get too much about each. I want to be able to get into my characters. I want to relate to them, understand where they are coming from. I know that we get bits and pieces, but I wanted more from the past. We have Zahra, the Djinn, and we get some idea of what is going on, but I feel like I couldn't relate to her because I just don't know what makes her tick. It was the same with the other characters as well. We needed more then we got on each of them.
I think that the idea of the story was great. You have these paranormal creatures all shoved together because they have pissed off the leaders of the groups they are a part of. This means they have to work together to get back into the good graces of their leaders. So you get this group working in the human world to get to the bottom of this over abundance of magic use. It worked.
I will say that if you are not into heavy erotica and sex scenes, you need to pass this one by. I can handle some sex in books, I do read romance, but this is very heavy on it and if you aren't used to it you will be overloaded and probably overwhelmed.
“I think this team has been assembled as more than punishment. I know Niccolo is well placed in vampire society, for all he believes he is not. From what he’s said, I think Zahra also has some importance she is not telling. Beryl has served her goddess for a thousand years, and people say simply speaking the assassin’s name is enough to make Lucifer’s Fallen cower in fear.”
The bouda shook his head. “And you are Blessed. I think the team is being used for a bigger purpose than what we’ve been led to believe.”
“Sure, Chimbwe, that’s possible.” But that’s all I was prepared to say on the matter, at that moment with his words of war mocking my memories. I was half-believing, and half-resistant to the idea. On one hand, it was excellent strategy to take the wind from the enemies’ sails, on the other, it was hard to imagine God being so manipulative.
“I don’t know what is going on yet,” Chimbwe whispered. “But the team needs to learn to trust each other. I am afraid of what may happen in the future, and I do not want Niccolo caught in something that may lead to his death.”
I waved my mug because it seemed a better option than putting it down to cross my arms over my chest. “So you and I need to be all buddy-buddy to get the job done. Is that it?”
Chimbwe grimaced. “Even if my suspicions are not correct, this team must meet the expectations of the Council in order to be released from their punishments. I want Niccolo to be free, so you four will need to work as one.”
I weighed his words carefully. I was used to being a part of a team that shared the same training, values and goals. This team, though, was all over the map. They only spoke to each other when they had to, came from different Nations, definitely had different training because I couldn’t imagine Zahra or Niccolo handling a weapon like Beryl, and they all reported in to different leaders.
Hell of a team. Four of us were moving in four different directions, and it seemed Chimbwe wanted to be our wise guide, leading us all into a cohesive whole. A wise guide might be just what we all needed.
That realization had me sitting back down at the table. “I would like this team to work together,” I told him. “Considering the monsters we might run up against, our lives might depend on it.”
Stars: 4 out of 5
Lola White writes what she writes, which is erotic fiction. Sometimes horror, sometimes paranormal, sometimes romance. It’s all sexy, but never predictable because she likes to twist reality at its edges in her stories. She likes delving into the emotions of her characters, finding their strengths and weaknesses, and seeing (and showing) how they get themselves out of whatever trouble has found them—if they can.