How could Corbin possibly do what he was supposed to do? After Corbin’s mother died, Maxim Moritz Grobian took him, penniless orphan that he was, under his wing and taught him the magic that was their heritage. Corbin owed Max everything, and now Max had given him a mission. Corbin was to bring Max's estranged daughter to New York. Lorelei was the only one, Max insisted, that could use the Heartstone, a crystal of phenomenal power, to keep mages safe from the Inquisitors that hunted them and allow mages to finally take their rightful place in the world.
A worthy goal, thought Corbin initially, but now that he had actually met Lorelei all he really wanted to do was to run for the hills. Both afraid of hurting her and endangering himself, he needed to stay away from her, not befriend her to do Max’s bidding. Besides, his instructions were more than to just befriend her. He was supposed to make her fall in love with him.
There was no way, absolutely no way he was going to do that – not after what she had told him.
If I am being honest, I have to say that the beginning of the book was a little boring. About a third of the story is just background info on Corbin. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, I personally love background info, but it was excessive. I feel that all that background info could have been worked into the story casually and distributed throughout instead of lumping it all together at the beginning. At the beginning of the story we get a scene that is in present day, and then that is followed by about a third of the book being in flashbacks of Corbin's life. By the time I got back to present day scenes, I had forgotten that one present day scene at the beginning and was quite confused.
There was also the issue of being "told" versus being "shown." I wondered why this story was so difficult for me to get into, and when I truly read what I was reading, I found that it was the classic "tell" versus "show." Because of "tell," the story lacked a great amount of emotion and failed to pull me in like I was hoping it would.
I was very disappointed with this book, but I will say that things did get interesting toward the end. Even though it wasn't a book I enjoyed, I can say that the story did begin to pique my interest when Lorelei was introduced into the story. I didn't see anything wrong grammatically, and it is carefully edited. While I liked the concept of the plot, it could have been better executed. I am willing to read the sequel and see if the author's technique has improved. Unfortunately, I have to give Smoke and Mirrors 2/5 Platypires.