CHAOS BURNING - Lauren Dane
A Bound by Magick Novel , Book 2
Seattle, Washington - Present Day
Lark Jaansen has been asked to help Clan Owen after their leader, Meriel, was attacked. The witches in Seattle have not had to face the problems that the Gennessee clan has in Los Angeles, so Lark—one of the leaders of the Hunters for Gennessee—is the perfect one to teach the Owens how to fight the new threat. Upon her arrival in Seattle, Lark is greeted by Simon Leviathan, a Lycian who co-owns a nightclub with Meriel's bond-mate, Dominic. Huge, handsome and sexy as can be, Simon intrigues Lark, but he's too put-together for her, plus she has too much work to do. Her plan had been to teach Clan Owen's hunter teams how to fight, but they quickly find out that there are disappearances happening across both the U.S. and Canada, and it's not just witches being taken.
Lark is unlike any other woman Simon has ever met. She's a warrior through-and-through, can out-drink him, enjoys smoking cigars with him, and they spend quite a bit of time together. The first time he watches her fight though, it changes everything for Simon. He's been careful not to get to close to any Other women in the time he's been on Earth, but thanks to their friendship, Lark snuck under his guard. Now he knows that she is everything to him, but he needs to convince her of that. With more witches and Others being abducted, Simon will have to do his convincing while fighting alongside Lark to save the world.
Clan Owen returns, bringing new people into their circle in CHAOS BURNING. Lark feels the need to be away from home, and her sister, Helena, with whom she is sharing duties as Hunter for Clan Gennessee, for a while, and Meriel and Nell offer her the perfect opportunity. Not only is Clan Owen unprepared for the violence it's now facing, but with Nell pregnant, she needs a little help in her role as Hunter for Clan Owen. Lark figures that this trip will be all work, but it isn't long before she's enjoying her time with Simon. Lycian is similar to a shifter, but from the other side of the Veil between worlds, and Simon is definitely an Alpha wolf. He too felt the need to make his place somewhere other than his home, and he's settled nicely into Seattle. He's avoided serious relationships and women that are Other (witch, vampire, fae, shifter, etc) but Lark, with her funky sense of style and blunt personality is so far from his type that he lets her in without realizing it. As both Simon and Lark are bossy, accustomed to being in charge, and—it bears repeating: bossy—there are bound to be clashes between them. Yet, there is also respect for each other's abilities to temper some of that.
While there are things mentioned in this novel that took place in the previous book, HEART OF DARKNESS, it's not difficult to follow along as Clan Owen is facing a new threat, not a continuing one as is often the case with a series of books. The characters are interesting and likeable, and the suspense is compelling. A thoroughly enjoyable book, I highly recommend CHAOS BURNING.