I know of Stork's work. She has her novel Conner out, but I haven't gotten to read it yet. Same thing with a paranormal erotica collection Craving. I figured the best place to start with a small amount of reading time was with this one. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the second in the series.
I was intrigued by the setting of this story. It takes place in the southern United States....deep south. It's a small town that's closed off enough from the surrounding areas to allow its history of being a Wiccan community to thrive. This was very cool. It felt like something that could actually happen in the real world (if you leave out the debate of whether or not magic and all that is real). Basically, you really never know what goes on in small communities. Everyone knows everyone so it's easy to keep a secret like this from the outside world. Because this is a novella, there wasn't a wide cast of characters. I hope that in later installments Stork will give us more glances into what the town has to offer. Small towns always have interesting people in them.
What I was also drawn to was the language. It's not really something to always mention, but I feel I need to. Miranda Stork is from the UK and she's writing a story that takes place in the US. Not really a big deal, but I found entertaining to read words that aren't used in America describe various things in the story. This also helped reflect that the main character Catherine is a native of England. The combination of a UK character living and author writing in the United States just jumped out at me. It had a very American feel to it, so it was strangely good.
Another thing to note is the character of Mr. Caden Rouquette. He's pretty much a cowboy ____....wait I can't tell you what that blank should say. You'll just have to read about it. But I really thought it was cool to have a character like that. He was a mystery like most men in the books I've been reading. And while I'm not into them myself, I can see qualities that women will probably swoon over for awhile.
The driving plot of this story, the mystery of who's out to harm Catherine and her mother, and what they want to do that for had me wondering the whole time. I was questioning my judgement of characters left and right. At the reveal I was left with more questions; left wanting more...the second novella in the series. If this was the peril already, what will happen next? I guess I'm going to have to grab Playing With Fire when it comes out.