Climax - Susan Mac Nicol
In order to truly appreciate Climax, it is best to read Double Alchemy first. I am not a fan of paranormal fiction, as a rule, but I have been trying selective paranormal reads lately. This duo was one that made me glad I was stepping outside my comfort zone. These two books have a lot of supernatural elements to them, but the characters are still living in the here and now, not some alternate universe. This is helpful when trying to relate to the characters and situations, as I can imagine their surroundings more accurately.

Climax picks up soon after the end of Double Alchemy. Quinn and Cade have gotten their HFN. They are truly happy, and it’s clear in this book. Part of that love and happiness is the scorchingly hot Susan Mac Nicol sex scenes! Swoon… Seriously, she is one of the few authors whose sex scenes are always a turn on.

There are still way too many secrets that Quinn is keeping from Cade, things that are really important for Cade to know. Their world is turning into a vortex of evil, but Quinn and Cade still find ways to connect whenever they can, and that is plenty! Each man still has his career separate from the other. I like that they retain their independence within the confines of their relationship. Quinn is definitely an alpha male, but he knows that Cade holds a lot of power in their relationship, which is made clearer than ever when Quinn’s green eyed monster reared its head!

The new bitch in town is Valensia, queen bee of the Witches, as Quinn is the King of the Warlocks. She and Quinn had a really steamy past. Valensia is part Fey, so the magical and mega-powerful attraction is there. Quinn has to fight to overcome it every time he is near her. This presents a challenge for Cade and Quinn to not allow her to come between them, as the Warlocks and Witches are forced to form an alliance to fight a common enemy. Valensia initially tries her best to use her Fey influence to bring Quinn back to her bed, even going so far as to strengthen it with additional magic. Eventually, she realizes that Quinn and Cade belong together and tries to concentrate on their common goal.

The fifteen-year-old bratty villain from Double Alchemy is still around and has recruited help in the form of a regular human and a Book of Shadows. This is an ancient, rare and dangerous book of spells, some of which have never been tried. Quinn’s book geek side really wants to keep the book for his collection. I totally understand that urge! The book brings with it a very strong evil presence which wants to inhabit a human vessel and rid the world of Warlocks and Witches. It will take all the combined powers of the Witches, Warlocks and Cade’s Fey healing abilities if they are to be successful against this evil.

Quinn’s secrecy with the knowledge that he has of Cade’s Fey side turns around and bites him in the butt. It broke my heart when this happened. It was really hard to see a strong, both physically and supernaturally, man brought virtually to his knees in pain. It was a triumphant day when Cade was finally aware of the depth (pun intended) of his powers and abilities. He is truly the perfect equal for Quinn. Together, their powers compliment each other’s and they appear unstoppable.

As an added bonus, Ms. MacNicol throws a little political intrigue into the mix in the form of an attempt to overthrow Quinn’s leadership on the Warlock Council. Once that rebellion is taken care of, things began to wrap up quickly, probably more quickly than I would have liked. The end felt a little rushed. We had had almost 600 pages building to this point and while the outcome was very satisfying and worth waiting each of those 600 pages for, I would have liked to see the pacing slowed down a bit.

While Climax served as the end of the magic/human problems, I could have used some more Quinn and Cade time. This was truly a plot driven book, where the first one was more character driven. There were conflicts between the men, and the heartbreaking ugly-cry-face scene where Quinn had to put Cade in the water, but I am a selfish, selfish reader. I want an Oompah Loompah NOW!

Don’t misunderstand, these negatives are tiny little problems in a huge, sweeping masterpiece. I love Cade and Quinn, Percy and Jomo, and Valensia kinda sorta grew on me, eventually. Even that damn Withinner, Taliesin, garners a little sympathy from my cold dead heart. This is a perfect cap to the stories contained in this pairing of books and men. Well worth the investment of time and money and emotion, which may just be the biggest price of all. Double recommended, but especially to fans of Susan Mac Nicol’s work specifically, and paranormals in general.