Beware your heart and soul...
Evan broke Cassie's heart two months ago, and she still doesn't know why. She throws herself into family, friends, and her new job at the sheriff's department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her to heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him... irresistible.
Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the non-magical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor's wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands, with tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze. Book 3 in the Cassie Scot series.
I'm really enthralled into the Cassie Scot series. I think Christine Amsdendid a great job with writing this series. I just hope in book 4 we get more answers and light shed on a few things. If it's not finished after this last audio then I'll scream. I don't care for reading so I must know how it turns out.
The narrator did a good job but not a great job. I actually thought she was better in the other books than this one. I'm still going to rate it 5 stars because it wasn't so bad I couldn't listen to it. She needs some improvement in her male voices but other than that you could still listen to it without wanting to throw it in a wall. I highly recommend this series.
What made the experience of listening to Mind Games the most enjoyable?
I loved "coming home" to Cassie and her life after enjoying the first two books in the series narrated by the same actor, Melissa Reisian Frank. It's difficult to keep the second, third or fourth book in a series as fresh and interesting as the first book, but in this case, Ms. Amsden has done a wonderful job. It was fun to see Cassie's role in the community and politics expanding, to meet more community members, and to see that she is indeed, capable of being "almost" taken advantage of by a mind mage. Seeing her vulnerability made her more endearing. I do not know this imaginary world of magic except through Ms. Amsden's books (I read mysteries and thrillers aside from this) but she has made it a very real world. I find myself accepting the outlandish with a sage nod, because it is handled so well in this series. I also continue to want to "slap both main characters upside the head" as they say, because they drive me crazy with their blind focus. What is wrong with Evan? Why wouldn't he want to relinquish that which isn't his if he loves her? (no spoilers here) And why can't Cassie see he loves her? He has shown her in all but one way. She is really still very young, however, and that's the answer. They're both kids, in their early twenties, and this is not surprising behavior for this age group. So again, very realistic in that sense. My favorite part of the story was when Cassie discovered a big secret about her past and started brewing her own concoctions. Although I was a little confused that her mother could still infuse magic into them even though she was originally a "drained" woman who had lost all her magic. (It may have been because she was currently pregnant with magical twins.) I also loved the scene where she found her own strength and stood up to the horrible men who claimed to be Christian but who were veritable monsters in disguise. Great scene, perfect for the temperament of the series.
What other book might you compare Mind Games to and why?
Both Cassie Scot books - Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective, and Secrets and Lies are great companion books. I do recommend reading/listening to them in order!
What about Melissa Reizian Frank’s performance did you like?
Ms. Frank's voices are consistent from book to book which is nice, again, like "coming home" to a world you know and have missed. I enjoy her unique voices for all of the characters.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When Cassie warned Evan of the upcoming danger, and where he told her he loved her in spite of the fact that she despised him.
Any additional comments?
The triangle of Matt, Cassie, and Evan was most interesting - great angles here. And I loved the "surprise" in the Sheriff's office staff - no spoilers, but it was a nice twist!
There is just something about this series that draws me in and keeps my attention. This book has a bit of a slow start, I was a touch confused about where we were in the timeline. Thankfully things came together when Cassie picks up the POV narrative.
I really liked the look into Evan's mind, but it probably would have worked better somewhere other than the very beginning of the book. There is much intrigue revealed in the start of the book, I ended up going back and reading it a second time when I finished. There was much that made sense with the re-reading.
The plot has a lot going on, almost too much at times. There are many intrigues to keep up with and plenty of players to keep track of. I was happily surprised to see a few unexpected twists. Definitely eager to read the final book in the series when it releases!
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Melissa Reizian Frank, who has been with the series from the start. She really has a great feel for Cassie, love the sass and angst she can instill into the read. Terrific pace that moves the book along and helps the story flow. I will have to look for more of her reads after the series is finished.
The story was really great, it just had a very slow start. I know that is weird to say when the book begins with a bit of action. It just felt slow motion because I was trying to catch up with what was going on in the story line. Things picked up and really moved later on, it was just a climb to get there.
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
What did you love best about Mind Games?
I loved the characters and the dynamic between them.
Any additional comments?
Ever since Evan Blackwood broke her heart, Cassie Scot has had a hard time adjusting back to real life. When Matthew Blair, a local mind mage, asks her out, Cassie decides to say yes despite her reservations. She finds herself growing close to him and falling in love, but everyone keeps telling her that Matthew is using his mind magic on her. Meanwhile, when the Pastor Roberts’ wife is killed in her own house, the Gateway Christian Church parishioners start a witch hunt for everyone they suspect is a witch, including Cassie and her family. To help solve the dispute and restore order, Evan shows back up in town on the heels of Alexander Dupree, a magical practitioner interested in creating a unified magical government. To top off Cassie’s plate, she discovers the truth about why she doesn’t have magic and Evan and his family are a part of it. Are the incidents are related? Is Matthew using his mind magic on Cassie? Will Evan and Cassie resolve their differences?
Narrator, Melissa Reizian Frank is a perfect match for Amsden’s book. Her unique voices for each character are easily distinguishable and bring to life the well-developed personalities of each character. The character dynamic was engaging and entertaining. The plot is not only well-developed, but engrossing and hard to put down. The plot twists and turns are abundant and keep the reader guessing the ending. The mix of intrigue, mystery, and action blend together well and Frank does a great job of transitioning between them. Readers who liked the first two books or who like mystery, romance, and humor will thoroughly enjoy reading this book.