Berkley Trade / June 3, 2014 / $16.00 print, $9.99 digital
When Dawg Mackay made his four half-sisters part of his family, he vowed that he would care for and protect them with everything he had. But what happens now that the girls are all grown up? The Mackay girls are on the loose, and Somerset County will never be the same…
Lyrica Mackay has wanted tall, handsome Marine Graham Brock for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, Graham only sees her as his friend Dawg Mackay’s “baby sister.” Or so she believes. The truth is, the fiery party girl stirs something in Graham no female ever has. But Graham, like everyone in Somerset County, knows that trouble stalks the Mackays like bears track honey, and when a Mackay runs as hot as Lyrica does, someone’s bound to get burned.
Then Graham discovers that Lyrica’s wild side is just a cover for a frightened and vulnerable woman who needs something true and genuine, something only Graham can offer. But surrendering his heart to Lyrica exposes them both to her shocking past—and a sinister secret that, once exposed, could destroy their only chance at happiness and shake the Mackay family to its core.
Continuing her Nauti Boys series world with Nauti Girls, Lora Leigh has created new protagonists to lead stories that build on characters and past romances her fans hold dear. With Nauti Enchantress, the audience is introduced to Lyrica Mackay, one of the younger half-sisters of James “Dawg” Mackay of Nauti Nights. She is a feisty and no-nonsense woman with a sharp tongue, and I was an immediate fan because of those facets of her personality. No doormat women for me, thank you, as I like a heroine who can hold her own in any situation, especially verbally. Lyrica has that in spades plus she’s quick to figure out when she’s being treated like a fragile flower and to counteract that treatment. I really enjoyed reading a female protagonist who knew her own worth and wouldn’t be coddled or over-protected by those around her.
Graham Brock is Leigh's usual brand of alpha male, but the reader can easily understand his rationale and even his occasional vulnerability with his choices. Graham’s a strong, determined male protagonist but not a step away from being a caveman. He is strong, determined, and intelligent but without the chest beating “I am right so obey me” mentality. A few other characters have an element of archaic he-man mentality that, even with their respective motivations, became grating after a time. Though an important part of the story in terms of moving the plot forward and in Lyrica’s further character development, that old-school mentality was sometimes frustrating to read. Other readers may not be as piqued by it as I was.
The suspense aspect of the novel is nicely done. It is woven in well and hovers over the characters but doesn’t feel contrived nor drawn out. An element of danger permeates the story without overwhelming it, making it a good impetus for the love story by breaking down barriers between the Lyrica and Graham so that they can move forward towards eventual consummation. All of elements with the mystery, the back and forth in the love story, work best in my opinion because of how Lyrica is written overall. Had she been meek or a wallflower, the mystery elements would be tedious and the romance a drag, but due to her determined involvement in her own safety and welfare as well as her healthy self-respect, the story hits all the right notes.
Lyrica and Graham have chemistry from the beginning and the steady build-up is sustained by heated scenes between them, not just sexually but emotionally. Graham has baggage, some of it legitimate guilt and the rest more manufactured self-persecution that makes him resist giving in to his feelings for Lyrica. Her attitude is mostly in response to Graham’s behavior, so it primarily becomes a combination of her breaking down his perceived nobility in keeping himself from her and him forgiving himself, with secondary characters and the main mystery rounding out the complexities of their burgeoning relationship. I totally bought that these two characters were mad about each other and that it was readily apparent to everyone around them. It was a pleasure to read their journey of falling in love and being together.
I think fans of Lora Leigh, and particularly this series, will adore this book as much as I did. Lyrica and Graham’s story is one of her strongest in the Nauti series and very satisfying. I am also very much looking forward to the next book in this series after the teaser at the end of this book. The Nauti Girls do not disappoint in bringing the drama that the Nauti Boys did. Nauti Enchantress is a fun, suspenseful, and sexy read.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Nauti Enchantress by Lora Leigh, available June 3, 2014:
Miss_D has been reading romance books for over 25 years. A native Californian making her way in the Big Apple, she likes to spend her downtime relaxing in front of the TV, chatting with friends, sitting in Central Park and playing beach volleyball. Miss D can be reached via Twitter @bonobochick.