Sentinel (Light Mage Wars #0.5) by Nancy Northcott

SentinelHe’s on a Quest for Justice
Her Secrets are his Only Hope

When mage investigative reporter Rick Moore gets the unexpected chance to clear his father’s name, it looks like a dream come true. But there’s a price. He must first uncover the truth about the mage world’s most wanted fugitive.

Caroline Dare knows her beloved brother had a reason for killing a member of the mages’ governing council. Real heroes don’t go rogue on a whim. Burned by shady reporters, she pours her devastating worry for him into her fabric art career and maintains stony silence about him. But when her art is panned as a fraud because she’s blind, she’s forced to seek help from Rick, a man she knows only as a sexy arts writer.

Helping beautiful, determined Caroline prove her art is her own gets Rick inside her well tended walls. But as he wins her trust, he finds he’s losing his heart. Now he has a choice–give up his dream or betray the woman he loves.

Have you ever picked up a story simply because it was by an author you really liked? Yeah, that was a pretty silly question… Ever since I picked up the first book in Nancy Northcott’s The Protectors series I was hooked. Renegade, Protector and Guardian quickly became some of my favorite PNR books. The world building was fantastic and the characters were amazing. I found myself anxiously awaiting each new installment. When I saw that she had a new novella out that was a prequel to a new series I didn’t hesitate. Even though it wasn’t a new installment of The Protectors I knew that I would like it just as much as the others. I obviously wasn’t paying attention because not only is Sentinel the prequel to Nancy Northcott’s Light Mage Wars series, it’s also a sort of sequel to The Protectors series as well. That is definitely a win/win as far as this reader is concerned. 😉

As far as series introductions go, Sentinel did an amazing job. I’ve pretty much made it clear before that novellas can be either hit of miss with me. The misses happen when the story is so short that I’m left wanting more… and not in a good way,  but in a cheated way. Rick and Caroline’s story wasn’t rushed or forced. The story wasn’t long, but no time with them was wasted and readers were given a perfect introduction into the mage world and it was the perfect set up for things to come. I got so wrapped up in the story that I almost forgot that I already knew where things would inevitably lead. For that reason I have no qualms about recommending Sentinel to readers who haven’t been introduced to Nancy Northcott’s writing yet. It’s enough of a taste that you will be left wanting more… in a very good way. If you have read The Protectors, you’re in for a treat. Once I finished I was ready to schedule an impromptu re-read of Renegade.