Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes, you just had to endure.”
Anna Lenoir has always fought. First to escape her broken childhood, then to prove a female shapeshifter can stand shoulder to shoulder with the men. Now she fights for money, and her reputation is as legendary as her stone-cold heart. She’s never met a man she couldn’t walk away from.
Bounty hunter Patrick McNamara has a scary reputation of his own, along with mysterious powers linked to his many tattoos. On the clock, they’re the perfect supernatural-crime-solving team. After hours, she’s ready to rock his world. But Patrick won’t settle for just her body, and Anna’s better at breaking homes than making them.
When the heir to the Southwest council goes missing, their combined skills are the best chance of averting a territory war. But the hunt will drag them through the most vulnerable parts of their broken pasts. Daring to risk her heart might be the first fight she loses, and the stakes have never been higher.
Because Patrick will sacrifice anything for her… even his life! (Goodreads)
Enigma is the sixth book in Moira Rogers’ dark and intense Southern Arcane series. A paranormal thriller with plenty of hot steamy romance and edge of your seat suspense. Evolving world building and dynamic tortured characters explode to life as we are taken on a journey through a past and present filled with tragedy, remorse, and redemption. Fast pacing, multiple plotlines, and heavy character interaction keeps the arc fresh and addictive. Though each book revolves around one hero and heroine and has a resolvable conflict, I don’t recommend reading out of order. The characters and ongoing arc bleed over into each new installment without much recap.
Enigma provides an intriguing and horrific storyline that backdrops the protagonists journey to deal and move forward from events in book four, Cipher. Particularly the events that surrounded Patrick McNamara and Anna Lenoir. Patrick, an untrained caster/bounty hunter, shoulders a heavy burden of grief and sorrow over his brother Ben’s death. His carries a lot of guilt over not being able to save Ben and for the lives he took in revenge. Wounded in Cipher, Patrick struggles daily with his loss. The tattoos that bound and controlled the magic inside him were damaged and now Patrick is likened to a walking time bomb…able to go off at any given time.
Anna Lenoir, alpha wolf shapeshifter/bounty hunter, has her own ghosts to battle. Abandoned by her mother and used by her drug addicted father, Anna struggles with her feelings of inadequacy and abandonment. This is especially true as the Supernatural Conclave she works for is decidedly misogynist, though huge steps been taken to change this.
Anna and Patrick are two damaged reluctant heroes who will capture your heart from page one. Both have suffered horribly at the hands of their families yet their inner strength and loyalties don’t allow them to wallow long in self pity. From the beginning you see their only shells-neither of them are whole-and watch as both unknowingly push away the one person who completes them.
“You tell yourself it’s noble. You tell yourself it’s right and just and you’re so fucking dangerous that our poor little human hearts or bodies or whatever can’t survive you. But walking away hurts us even more, so what you really mean is you’re not brave enough to stick around and keep trying.”
Anna is a strong heroine who’s trials through life have forged her into the seemingly unemotional hardened woman that stands before us. Yet, buried beneath her strength is a vulnerability that speaks to you. Physically and emotionally drawn to Patrick, she shies away from the levels of intimacy he tries to offer her. Anna feels she is unable and unworthy to love anyone and fears that Patrick will feel the same once she lets him in.
Patrick is remarkably sane and well balanced considering how people have and continue to treat him. Abused as a child, he and his brother Ben escaped the insanity of their childhood and created a new life for themselves. Now a renowned and feared bounty hunter, he faces bigotry for being a castor yet he buries it all out and continues to fight for those who can not. His bond with Anna is strong but submerged in fear. He is spiraling out of control and fears if he allows himself to commit fully to Anna, he will take her down with him.
Someone had to do the wrong thing for the right reasons, after all, and he belonged in the gray areas between the heroes and the villains.
Rogers’ does a fantastic job of blending the suspense of the story with the emotional journey of Anna and Patrick. Non stop action speeds the story along as you frantically absorb all the nuances and shifts. The plot is a intense, suspenseful, and horrific blend of magic and revenge. I found myself riveted as it revealed itself. The multiple plot lines are easy to follow with Rogers’ clear and concise writing. With each scene we watch Anna and Patrick face their fears and overcome obstacles while dealing with external factors trying to kill them. Neither plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire arc; merging together towards the end.
The romance evolves slowly as they struggle to reconcile their feelings for one another. Both have some heavy issues and Rogers’ requires them to deal with those issues. The chemistry between Patrick and Anna is a curious mixture of love and sorrow. Even though the physical aspects are so smoking hot you can’t deny their connection, it’s their dialog and the undercurrents that sparks between them that is the most telling.
“You’re a dangerous woman, Lenoir.”
“Anna.” She turned again, tugged the bar of soap from his hand and slid it over his chest.
“My name is Anna.”
He closed his eyes and savored the slick brush of her fingers. “What’s my name?”
“Patrick.” Her voice came in a whisper as her hands slipped lower.
The supporting cast is strong and imposing. Complex and convoluted. The good and bad are merely defined by degrees of separation and much plays out behind the scene. Everyone has a long game. We see many old faces along with some new ones. I found each one to be a satisfying addition to the story. There are plenty characters to cheer and hate with abundance.
Nail clenching tension heralds the conclusion. Rogers’ plays it close to the vest and keeps you guessing to the very end. It’s a climatic affair of heart pounding action and wide eyed trepidation that leaves enough open end questions to assure us we haven’t seen the last of this world.