“Fate has a way of leading us to where she wants us to be.”

Once again, author Delta James gives us a story that combines elements of romance, fantasy, real history, creative history, action, adventure, and just the right amount of spice to make a perfectly delicious book. “Illusion” is the first book in the ‘Masters of Valor’ series, which is a spin-off series from the ‘Masters of the Savoy’ series.  There is a prequel called “Prophecy” which sets up this series, but this book is so well written that I think you can follow everything even if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading the prequel.

“Illusion” begins in New York, where Cynthia ‘Goody’ Goodson is a successful pastry chef. She arrives home early one night and discovers her boyfriend in a situation that explodes everything she thought they had together. She’s still a member of a lifestyle club although she hasn’t been there in a long time because her boyfriend wasn’t into it. She calls to ask if she can book a room there for a few nights and a session with a Dominant so she can clear her mind.  Sometime later, a death in the family has Goody relocating to North Carolina to settle her beloved grandmother’s estate, which includes a bakery that’s been in the family for generations.

Tristan Crawford is a renowned treasure hunter of lost ships. He happens to be at his lifestyle club in New York when asked to scene with a blindfolded submissive. They have an amazing session together, then he’s interrupted by an emergency call from a friend and abruptly leaves.  He’s happily surprised to meet her again in North Carolina, and excited that the unusually perfect chemistry between them is as powerful as it was in New York City.  Tristan and Goody have a second chance at love in this romance with strong paranormal elements, and they make the most of it.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed story that kept me involved from the first paragraph to the last. The main characters are compelling, and I really wanted them to get their happy ever after. Also there are  BDSM elements in the book, Tristan comes across as particularly sensitive and romantic, not hard-edged.  The villains are horrible, and their treachery runs deep. There are a lot of characters in the book but it never gets confusing, and as a reader you’re aware that most are characters that will be recurring in the series.  As usual with books by this author, I’m very much looking forward to the next story!

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