Tête-à-Tête: Letitia & Paula Chat About Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews


Gunmetal Magic: A Novel in the World of Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
Urban Fantasy
2012-07-31 (Ace)

Rating: A
Heat: Sweet

Heroine: Andrea Nash – Gun aficionado, Beastkin
Hero: Raphael Medrano – Alpha of Clan Bouda
Setting: Georgia, USA


Summary, in which Paula and I break our opinion down into this lovely gem:

PAULA: I do love it. A little disappointed with the lack of Raphael in the book. Wish we got more of him but I understand that this is Andrea’s book and it’s about her trying to figure herself out. And boy when she makes up her mind, she goes all the way. I love that she just runs around in her beast form for half the book. Go Andrea! I am happy with the book though. It’s definitely an “A” – I mean really – the dynamic duo puts so much into these books and it shows. The writing is extremely intelligent.

LETITIA: It has definitely been great to see Andrea grow to love and accept herself. She's a balls to the wall type of gal--goes from being a closet shifter to walking around with her furry boobies on display! LOL But I agree with you, I treasure and adore every scene with Raphael. I want more of him. He can scratch MINE into anything I own...

PAULA: He can tattoo MINE on my butt for all I care!

LETITIA: Hm. If I let Raphael tattoo MINE on my butt, there might not be any skin left showing. Running out of butt real estate for my book BFs to mark...

PAULA: Nice. You said “butt real estate” hee hee…

For our unabridged opinions on all things Gunmetal Magic, keep on reading! Warning: While spoilers are not our intention, if you haven’t read the previous Kate Daniels books – you may end up a bit spoiled.

LETITIA: It's been exactly 14 months since the last Kate Daniels book, Magic Slays (not that either of us were counting or anything). Gunmetal Magic, was it worth the wait?

PAULA: Definitely. Always worth waiting for one of Ilona Andrews books. This is one my most favorite Urban Fantasy series and authors. I’m usually so excited right before the release date that I feel like I might burst. When I learned the next book in the Kate Daniels series was going to be Andrea’s book, I couldn’t have been happier. I love all of the characters Andrews has created but I have a soft spot for Andrea. She’s been through so much in her life and her story needed to be told before the next Kate book and her issues needed to be worked out.  Plus, I really wanted to see inside her head and know what makes Andrea tick. I was not disappointed. I think I adore Andrea even more now that I’ve gotten to know her.

LETITIA: Absolutely. Andrea plays such an important part in Kate's life, has such a presence in the previous books... this was the perfect time for her story to be told. I was dying to know what happened to Andrea during her three week absence [in Magic Bleeds]. I think even fans who would have rather had another Kate and Curran book will be satisfied. It was great to see the Beast Lord and his Consort from Andrea's POV.

PAULA: I agree, I really enjoyed seeing Kate and Curran from Andrea’s POV. They really are the ultimate power couple. I like that they didn’t hold back letting other people see their tender moments. I’m pretty sure I said “awe” a few times.

Curran and Kate stood by the door.
“I can’t believe you decided to come down here and check on me,” she said.
“The guy once handed you a fan and told you to fan yourself if the sight of his naked torso was too much.”
“That was like a year ago. Will you let it go already?”
“No.” Curran grabbed her and pulled her to him, kissing her. “Never.”
She kissed him back and smiled.
Awww. Kate and the Beast Lord sitting in a tree…

PAULA: Tell me about Andrea and what stands out the most about her character?

LETITIA: Andrea in one word: Fierce. Andrews doesn't write simpering or weak women as a rule, but there is an edge to Andrea. She is... angry. She has so much emotion pent up inside of her, my goodness. And yet she is also loyal and protective and puts others before herself.

PAULA: You took my word! Fierce is the first word that comes to my mind too. She has endured so many hardships as a child and refuses be a victim again. To protect herself,  she molded herself into a warrior by excelling at weaponry and martial arts. She’s a no-nonsense, straight forward, bad-ass woman with a huge heart. 

LETITIA: How is the Andrea in the previous books different from the Andrea in Gunmetal Magic?

PAULA: Wow, so much about Andrea has changed since Magic Slays. But the biggest change would be that she’s learned to accept herself as a Beastkin. Which is a HUGE accomplishment for her. She’s been hiding that part of herself for years. First, it was because she felt ashamed and afraid because of the kind of abuse she endured as a child. Second, because she wanted to be a part of something, to feel needed, and that’s why she joined The Order. But The Order would never accept the “other” part of Andrea so she hid herself. When they found out about her being a shape shifter, they dismissed her in a heartbeat. That’s when Andrea did a serious 180 and realized that she couldn’t hide her true self from everyone anymore. It takes guts to just let everyone see what you’ve been hiding for so long.

LETITIA: I concur. In this book Andrea really comes into her own. She’s becoming secure in who she is and how she fits into the world and her life outside of The Order. You could tell, by the way her furry self kept bursting free, that she desperately needed to accept her “other” self. It was awesome to see her finally grow to love herself.

PAULA: Who is Raphael to Andrea?

LETITIA: Mate. Maaaaate. Mate-mate-mate. Other than that? I’d say he is this infuriating, charming, outrageously sexy Alpha bouda that can turn her on and fire her up like no one else!

PAULA: Raphael is definitely charming and sexy. I absolutely adore him. He and Andrea make a great pairing. He is the Alpha of the Boudas, where he is favored and spoiled by his mother, Aunt B, who is also Alpha of the Boudas. Andrea gave him a run for his money when they first met. He is the first person to tell her how beautiful she is in Beastkin form. When Andrea chose The Order over the pack in Magic Slays, she hurt Raphael. They never patched things up and their lack of communication caused a huge misunderstanding between them. I can’t say that I was happy with Raphael at the beginning of the book. They both made mistakes but, really, Raphael, you brought Barbie into Andrea’s territory? Bad Bouda.

LETITIA: Bad Bouda indeed. That whole scene really tore me up inside. Andrea pays him back for it though, slowly but surely.

Since we’re playing that game… I tilted my face up to his and gave him a lovesick gaze.
“Do you have to sneeze?” he asked.
“Be quiet. I’m pretending to enjoy your company, just as you said.”
“Try not to strain anything.”
“Oh, I won’t. I’m very good at faking it.”
That shut him up.

LETITIA: Now let's talk shifter mating rituals. Is there anything as hilarious as the way those wily shifters court?

PAULA: I have to say, shifters are extremely original when it comes to getting their mate’s attention. I won’t go into details but will say two words: purple shag. I thought when Kate glued Curran’s weight’s to his bench was funny but Andrea’s tops the cake.

LETITIA: Previously my favorite was when, in Magic Bleeds, Curran put industrial strength glue under the fabric of Kate’s desk chair at The Order. All of those mating scenes are always my favorites—Ilona Andrews writes snark and sass so darn well and it really shines then. But, yeah, Andrea takes it to a crazy, maniacal level… Which fits her so well. Crazy boudas.

PAULA: Andrea and Kate are BFF’s. What makes this friendship so unique considering neither one of them are girly girls? How are they alike and different?

LETITIA: Oh, wow. For me it’s easier to say how they’re alike. I think they’re best buddies because neither one is a girly-girl. They both love weapons and combat… Both ladies are tough, bad ass chicks who don’t take other peoples crap. They both defy a-typical gender stereotypes for women. The biggest difference between them, in my opinion, is Kate’s levity. She has an absurd (in a good way) sense of humor and is so flippant about things. Whereas Andrea is more serious and has a harder time letting her playful side loose. But that side is showing itself more and more.

PAULA: I love these two ladies. They are both crazy and sarcastic in their own way! Before Gunmetal Magic, Andrea was a bit more intense and serious and it's refreshing to see her letting go and letting out her inner Bouda - being herself. This is my favorite scene between Kate and Andrea - so much love.

Kate smirked
"Your horse is pink."
"If you paste so stars on her butt you'll be riding My Little Pony."
"Bugger off." I patted the mare's neck. "Don't listen to her, Sugar.You are the cutest horsey ever.The correct name for her color is strawberry roan, by the way."
"Strawberry Shortcake, more like it. Does Strawberry Shortcake know you stole her horse? She will be berry, berry angry with you."

LETITIA: Let's talk about those two scene stealing characters, Ascanio and Roman.

PAULA:  Oh Ascanio. I adore his character. He’s gotten into a lot of trouble with the pack so Kate hired him as an intern at Cutting Edge to help discipline him. He’s a great fighter and  Andrea’s side kick in Gunmetal Magic. And like any typical Bouda, he’s arrogant, mischievous and naughty. 

"Did those nice church ladies come by again?"
He nodded. "I asked them if a man died and then the woman remarried, and the three of them met in heaven, would it be a sin for them to have a threesome, since they were all married in God's eyes. And then they decided they were late to be somewhere else."

PAULA: Roman is a black Volvh or wizard.  He’s sexy and hilarious. I loved the bickering and sparring matches between Raphael and Roman. He is also wickedly powerful. He reminded me of Gandalf and then Ilona Andrews so totally goes there. Heh.  

“You will not pass!” Roman thundered.
Great. Now he had decided he was Gandalf.

PAULA: I really hope we get to know Roman more in the next books. Maybe he can have a spin off book. Wouldn’t that be sweet, Letitia?

LETITIA: Can you imagine the kind of woman it would take to have Roman as a mate?? She would have to be a mix of Andrea and Kate with a dash of extra mischievousness. And a penchant for the darker side of things. Yeah, okay, I’m sold on Roman getting a spin-off book.

LETITIA: Let’s wrap this bad boy up. Ilona Andrews books always have fantastic mythologies combined with kick ass action. Does Gunmetal Magic deliver?

PAULA: These books are always so much fun and full of adventure. Andrews has created a wicked, dark, and unique world where they weave mythology and folklore into their storylines. The writing is seamless and smart with action-packed scenes, vivid characters and a witty dialogue. The mystery is interesting and more information about the shape shifters and Gods are revealed. This story is multi-layered and definitely not a stand-alone. With that said, hell yes, Ilona Andrews delivers and gives us another fantabulous story!

LETITIA: I completely agree. Ilona Andrews knows their stuff. I love how Egyptian is weaved in with Slavic and Russian and, I shall plead ignorance, any other number of origins. It blends into a world that is all their own. I love how it doesn’t resemble any other Urban Fantasy out there. And I loved seeing it all from Andrea’s POV. Gunmetal Magic was such a great installment. I am still so thrilled we got Andrea and Raphael’s story. Really got to know their characters better. And the mystery in this book was so darn cool! Gods and monsters and shifter romance, oh my!


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