Cover Image: Cassadaga Nights

Cassadaga Nights

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Member Reviews

As I said, it's a short book that's read in a short time. I liked the beginning, how likeable the characters become, and others not so much, in a short time. The staging's quite fast and we find out immediately what's happening in this town. The fast pace works this aspect very well, so I immersed myself in reading practically from the first page.

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Cassadada, Florida is famous for being full of psychics. Tourists flock there, and so has Santino, a psychic himself who works for the mysterious Aspida. When Santino meets Ryan, a fellow psychic, sparks fly immediately. As they juggle dating, secrets, and a powerful supernatural force set loose on the town, both must decide what, and who, their futures hold.

This was a quick read full of fun characters, and I especially enjoyed Santino and Ryan. They are both delightfully self-described geeks, who also are gorgeous and have amazing psychic abilities. Their relationship is definitely one to root for.

The side characters are fun too. I especially liked Cam, Santino's coworker, who can shift into an owl. The Florida setting is really brought alive as well, I could practically feel the oppressive heat and humidity Denardo describes.

I do wish this book was a little longer, but I think the shortness of it is because Denardo is (hopefully) setting things up for a sequel.
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Overall an enjoyable story. The characters were engaging and the storyline was interesting enough that I'm hoping for more.
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I liked the characters and enjoyed the story, but there was one thing that sort of nagged at me. Though our two characters are both differing brands of psychic, that's not as big a part of the story as it makes it seem. The entire join our psychic organization because your psychic powers are useful plot would have been more convincing if the psychic aspect played a bigger part in the story as whole. They did appear, of course, and they were plot points but just not in proportion to the importance given to them.
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Ryan Doyle is a psychic in a long line of them--his mother was renown in the field and his sister has the gift, and resents that Ryan does as well. Ryan mentors younger or newer psychics, using his gifts to help them gain control of theirs, but he's feeling a little melancholy about his life. Cassadaga, Florida is a a sheltered community and he rarely has and social engagements--of the romantic kind. 

Santino Bellomi is a mage and psychic, and works for a secret society called Aspida Pneuma. He is tasked with stopping malevolent forces from infringing on the mortal realm. His partner, Cam, a shapeshifting female, also has strong magic. They have been dispatched to Cassadaga to track down a nixie (water spirit) who seems to be in danger. The pond where this being is living is tiny and not suitable--but Santino and Cam are having trouble coaxing the nixie into direct contact. Meanwhile, Santino is intrigued by the thriving psychic community, and believes Ryan's abilites may align with that of the Aspida Pneuma. So, he begins to build a rapport with Ryan--whom he finds very attractive.

This is a sweet, short romance with some excellent and fun magical elements. There happens to be a fae interloper in Cassadaga who's wreaking unexpected havoc--and Santino and Cam are in good position to manage the situation. Ryan's shock over learning about magical creatures and the danger Santino faces day to day. He's intrigued about the Aspida, but he's more intrigued with Santino. I liked how they had some fun date nights, and tried to learn a bit about one another before they get physical. The game dates and walking through botanic gardens really sounded fun. It's a low angst romance kicking off what seems to be a series focused on the magical misadventures of Ryan and Santino. I look forward to reading on!
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I was really intrigued by the premise of this book.  The story follows Ryan Dole, a genuine psychic who comes from a family of psychics and makes a living doing readings for others.  Ryan lives in the town of Cassadaga, a small unincorporated community in central Florida, which is a real place known for having many psychics and mediums.  It’s even been called “the Psychic Capital of the World.”  

We’re then introduced to two additional characters, Santino and Cam, who have been sent to Cassadaga for two purposes: 1) to recruit psychics for the Aspida Pneuma, a secret order of psychics and magicians, and 2) to rescue a nixie from a polluted lake.  When Santino and Ryan’s paths cross at a psychic fair, sparks fly between them.  Santino hopes to recruit Ryan for the Order and also perhaps to win the man for himself.  But first, he has to get Ryan to trust him and somehow not scare him off in the process.

I loved the idea of a secret society of mages and psychics who investigate paranormal activities and found this aspect of the book intriguing.  But as a whole, the story didn’t work for me as well as I had hoped.  There was very little conflict in the story — only a couple of super-short scenes which were resolved almost immediately.   Most of the book consisted of detailed descriptions of Santino’s and Ryan’s dates as the two men slowly got to know each other, which, truth be told, I found rather boring overall. 

Now I do get the impression that this is the first book in the series, so I might be interested in seeing where the author takes it in the future.  Hopefully, future books will have more action/intrigue and fewer drawn-out dating scenes.  But for someone who prefers more of a romance-centered story with the added intrigue of psychics and magicians, then this might be worth checking out.
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A fascinating premise that could serve as an amazing series starter, but with some plot and pacing issues

There are many things I enjoyed about this book. The whole idea of Cassadaga (which I didn't know about but apparently it really is known as the "Psychic Capital of the World") and the abilities of people there was fascinating. The idea of Aspida Pneuma (had to chuckle a bit on the use of Greek there) as a secret organization/supernatural police was also fascinating: I wanted to learn more about how Santino and Cam came to work together, their other colleagues, their code of conduct... And last, but definitely not least, I thoroughly enjoyed the high caliber geekiness in both the MCs. 

There were however, some issues with plot and pacing that pulled me out of the story at times. 
For instance: the POV often changes from Ryan to Santino mid-chapter. That is no problem by itself, but the way these two characters voices are written is quite similar to one another; very often, until we're given a name, we have no idea which character is talking. It would be lovely, for instance, to get more glimpses inside their heads or to have Santino think or talk to himself more in Italian. 
Another big issue for me, which forced me to turn my editor's brain on, is that at some point Ryan talks and behaves as if he already knows Santino's occupation and secret... although they haven't had that conversation yet. For a while, I was left wondering why such a big part of the plot was handled off screen.... only to see that the revelation hadn't come yet and was indeed handled later. I don't know if that was the developmental editor messing up with continuity or what it was, but personally, it took away my focus from the great story for a while.

Overall, while I loved the premise, I do feel like this book would be absolutely amazing if it had more space to spread its wings, so to speak. Things were a bit rushed; the first few chapters were so exposition heavy they were quite hard to read; the finale felt a tiny bit anticlimactic... Still, this world is so fascinating, I'd love to read more of it.
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The book wasn't bad per se but I would have liked it to be more about the paranormal aspects of the story, maybe fewer dates, and more about the characters as well. Also, I didn't understand if this is a stand-alone or the beginning of a series.
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The premise of this book sounded interesting and I really wanted to like it. I love books that focus on the supernatural world. But that’s not really what this book was about, it was about dating. Geeky, awkward dating and Florida’s terrible heat.

So much of the book was spent on Santino and Ryan getting to know each other that anything supernatural was just hamfisted on a few pages here or there to remind the reader what the book is supposed to be about. But nothing of substance really happened. Every conflict was handled quickly without much detail, making me wonder why it was a problem to begin with. One conflict was forgotten about entirely and I don’t know if that was done on purpose or the author just forgot. There is also one part in the book where one of the characters is thinking about the name of a group he doesn’t learn about until two chapters LATER. 

While the characters and their powers were interesting they didn’t get enough fleshing out for me to care about anything that happens to them or the world they live in. The entire book felt rushed and disorganized. 

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was such an interesting paranormal mystery romance. Coupled with geeky psychics, magic, suspense and a slow brewing romance, this had all the elements of a good paranormal mystery.
I was absolutely entertained by the plot. The characters were likeable a ad well fleshed out. Hopefully we get a sequel so see what happens next!
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While the M/M paranormal romance concept intrigued me, I couldn't push through the prose long enough to enjoy the story. There is a lot of telling-not-showing and filler prose. The entire first chapter, 13% of the book, is just Ryan wallowing in the muggy Florida heat and Santino making plans for the more interesting psychic search; the story really ought to start in at the psychic appointment where they first meet. 

Plenty of prose could be cut elsewhere too - for example, "He strolled into the kitchen, poured himself an iced tea, and rubbed the cool glass across his nipples a few times in a vain attempt to lower his body temperature," feels like it's trying to be titillating but just comes across as meh. (quote from uncorrected proof.)

I skimmed the rest of the book in the hopes it would improve, but I just couldn't dig into this one. I'm hoping it gets a pretty heavy editorial pass before publication.
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I enjoyed this book. A slow burn setting up characters for a series I assume. I’m in. Would like to know what happens next.
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It was okay. Entertaining. I was expecting more action and suspense considering it's a book about physics and magic though. That was a bit disappointing. Overall it was good.
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Psychics in Cassadaga, Florida and not just any psychics, geeky psychics. 

Heat and would wear anyone down, luckily there is a new relationship to be found, that may make things even hotter. 

This book has it all from magic and secret societies to steamy romance between geeks. It is a quick exciting read that keeps you entertained the whole time. 

Looking forward to more from Jana Dernardo.
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