1 – Essential Magic

Essential Magic

The Fay of Skye Book I

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***Essential Magic is a semi-finalist for the 2017 Publisher’s Weekly Booklife Prize***

A woman driven to excel. A man ashamed of his past.

A desire that could lead them to bliss…or peril.

When Etta Mae Cook arrives in London in 1895, she steps into a dangerous world of politics, decadence, and magical power far removed from her home in Appalachia. Queen Victoria wages a silent war against Etta’s distant kin: Clan Fay. In the balance: the future of spellcraft in the kingdom. Etta’s lineage and magic make her an asset – or a threat – to the two formidable forces.

Then she meets Malcolm Seward, a mage of Clan Fay. He once held a prominent role in society, until a tragic mistake forced him to flee into obscurity. The sparks between them pull him back into the fray, but Etta didn’t come to England for desire.

Despite her intentions, their passion flares, and Malcolm falls for her. Now, Etta must choose: love, or ambition?  Either path could mean the renewal — or the destruction — of British sorcery.

If she follows her heart, will she doom their magic?

Read an Excerpt

Praise for Essential Magic:

“McKinnon writes clear and often beautiful prose, utilizing apt analogies to give liveliness to the text. An American girl with native blood who lands in London society makes a good frame for this romance novel.” – Publisher’s Weekly Booklife Prize

“Vivid backdrop…thorough research…very hot.” –Avonna from The Romance Reviews

“Engrossing and dramatic…. Tantalizing details.” –J.L. Gribble, author of Steel Victory  and Steel Magic

“The writing is just lovely…. Characters you care about!” –Maria V. Snyder, author of Poison Study

“The romance is sweet and hot.” – Amazon reviewer

“[A] great romance.” – Goodreads review by Olivia

“Masterfully written.” – Amazon reviewer

“Cara McKinnon does a masterful job of transporting her readers to magical 19th century Scotland. Her detailed descriptions of historically accurate attire and etiquette helped to fully immerse me in a story that I was unwilling to put down until the very end. Engaging characters, powerful emotions; all with a unique and captivating method used to describe the casting of spells.” -Christina Robbins, author of Seeking Solace




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