Illicit Magic (Book 1, Stella Mayweather Series)

Rated 4.08/5 based on 24 reviews
More than three hundred years after the most terrifying witch hunts the world has ever known, it's happening again.

When an attack by ruthless witch hunters forces twenty-four-year-old Stella from her home in London into the protection of the powerful Witch Council in New York, she has to put her faith in strangers just to stay alive, yet she might not be any safer in their midst... More
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About Camilla Chafer

USA Today bestselling author Camilla Chafer is the author of the Lexi Graves Mysteries, the Deadlines Mystery Trilogy (a spin off from Lexi Graves), Calendar Mysteries, and the Stella Mayweather urban fantasy series. She is also the author/editor of several non-fiction books and has written for newspapers, magazines and websites internationally.

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Also in Series: Stella Mayweather

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Reviews of Illicit Magic (Book 1, Stella Mayweather Series) by Camilla Chafer

Chrystal M reviewed on Aug. 6, 2012

Honestly it took me a bit to get into this book. I almost gave up and said not my thing, but with the insistance of my best friend (who had read it previously) I kept reading and I am so glad that I pushed myself that little bit further into the book. Once I got past the third chapter, I devoured this book.

I think the reason I loved Illicit Magic so much was that Stella made it easy for me to like her. She wasn't born into a life of privilege, she was down to earth and made due with what she had. From the start I felt for poor Stella, an orphan at the age of five and never having even made very close friends with anyone. She's the kind of girl I would befriend if I met her and I would show her all the wondrous things there were to offer - friendship, love and laughter.

Ms. Chafer did an excellent job of writing the story of Stella, from being the poor lonely orphan to a young woman of disbelief that she is actually a witch and following through with a woman who is more self assured. Watching as Stella makes true friends for the first time, discovers love and finally come into her magic was such a wonderful journey.

The supporting characters in Illicit Magic were interesting and I would love to know more about some of them. Sisters, Etoile and Seren, are a bit of a mystery to me - though their powers are explained and their missing sister brings some surprises that I hope will be followed up on in the second book, Unruly Magic. Marc and Kitty are another set that I would love to see their stories fleshed out a little bit more. But mostly I want to know about sweet and sexy, Evan!

Illicit Magic has some pretty amazing magical happenings including some pretty hilarious scenes where Stella is still learning to control her magic and some pretty freaky scenes filled with death and carnage. It's interesting to see two sides to magic, but it helps to realize that there are always the sides of good and evil.

Sincerely looking forward to reading book two, Unruly Magic and book three, Devious Magic. Camilla Chafer has created a world that I would like to return to soon.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
Lissette E. Manning reviewed on April 17, 2012

With her parents taken from her at a very early age, Stella Mayweather has spent most of her young life bounced around from foster home to foster home. The existence of unexplained powers has caused her to live a solitary existence, something she much prefers, since it allows her to live in anonymity. Keeping away from others is the only way she can ensure no one else gets hurt when bursts of her powers surface unexpectedly. Yet, at times, she yearns to have someone she can depend on. To have that one friend who would be understanding about who and what she is.

An unexpected attack on her one night draws her attention to the unexplained burnings occurring all over Europe. Woman are are being burned alive on supposed accounts of their being witches. The reasons behind such things elude Stella, yet she can't deny the fact that she has always been different. When help arrives unexpectedly, she knows she has no choice but to do what has been asked of her. Surviving to live another day is a must and she'll do anything to make sure that happens.

Accepting Etoile's helping hand, she's catapulted into a world she never really knew existed. She'd always know that there were others like her out there, yet she never expected to meet them so soon in so short a time. As secrets surrounding her true origins come to light, Stella begins to question everything she's ever known in hopes of coming to terms with her parents untimely deaths so long ago.

With no other option but to accept the new life she's been given, Stella immerses herself in learning all she needs to know. She's intent on making the most of the gifts she's been bestowed. Getting used to them, however, isn't as easy as it seems. Her new teacher, Evan, is determined to show Stella that she definitely has what it takes in handling her raw power. She's willing to do as he asks of her, yet never once did she imagine finding herself attracted to him.

When it becomes apparent that someone is out for blood, Stella's especially, the Council decides to protect her, at all costs. The repeated attempts on her life are jarring, yet she's willing to show everyone that she's more than what they think of her. As more and more secrets, both hers and those surrounding her new family, make it into the light, she comes to the realization that there's quite a bit she doesn't know. Things have been kept from her a reason. While curiosity has killed the cat in the past, Stella knows she'll need to get to the bottom of things if she's to live a peaceful life. But first, she'll need to stay alive long enough in order to achieve it.

This book is the beginning of a great series. Action packed and quite addicting to read, the reader finds him/herself immersed in a world full of magic and intrigue. A world where appearances are definitely deceiving. I'm definitely look forward to what comes next!
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)
Emmalee Aple reviewed on April 16, 2012

I dont know what it was about this book but I just couldnt get into it. The characters seemed younger than they were described as, and a lot of things made this a hard book to get through. The story had a good plot but it was just hard to follow at times. I really wanted to get into this book but i just couldnt
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)
Erica Abrams reviewed on April 14, 2012

I will give this 3.5 stars!
I liked Stella she is logical not too trusting and somehow believable
Evan sounds sexy And I love a sexy love interest !
The world building was decent enough
I liked the general storyline of the novel one reason I picked this up.
The overall outcome of the novel/ mystery was too predictable for me. I suppose it must come into play in some conceivable way but I just wasn't keen on how it turned out.
The last 10% of the book was unnecessary to me I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and it didn't in fact had it not been for the last 10% I would have rated this 4 stars. I felt it was a perfect opportunity to pose a sort if cliffhanger, something that makes me seriously want to pick up the next book and I was let down.
The love scenes could have been written better this book was really more romance than mystery and I felt like it should have been explored more as such

Overall I'm not about to rush out and buy the second book but I would read the next installment
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
Maghon Thomas reviewed on April 12, 2012

I would like to thank R2R and the author as always for giving me a copy to read for a review! These programs allow me to find fantastic new reads just like this one :)

I would like to start with saying that the bad guy totally threw me at the end. I was not expecting that one... I was guessing in those lines but wow! I know that's vague, but no spoilers! I like that it's written in first person for this book because I like that I get to see Stella's thoughts as she goes through the obstacles and I like the things she says to herself.

I also LOVE the characters, especially the supporting characters like Kitty and Etiole' (I think I'm spelling that right). And her original thoughts on people, like Robert, can be so off... Also, Evan is just HAWT!!!! I mean come on!!! Also, her growth with magic (stella's) is a fun ride.

The writing was a little funny, since it's a UK version, things like pyjamas cracked me up, and also some sentences like "snogging my best friend" made me laugh. Funny how everyone has their own wording yet we all know what it means! It is still well written and I am well on my way to getting book 2 & 3, as I REALLY wanna know what happens, especially after that last chapter :) Overall 4 stars for me :) Good book!
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
natalie berry reviewed on April 5, 2012

Lovely story with a dark start which propels Stella into a new world of magic which she has always denied she has. Meets wonderful friends and a gorgeous boyfriend. Has lots of ups and downs, thoroughly enjoyed it!
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Shana Higgins reviewed on April 3, 2012

"Illicit Magic" was actually a pretty decent book. You get to learn all about Stella Mayweather, who lives in London, and isn't doing too well for herself. She does temp jobs, lives in a meager flat/apartment, and just tries to get on with her dull, boring life the best way she can. She's a witch who doesn't know she's a witch, until some evil men begin chasing her from her workplace one day, almost to her home. When she arrives home, she begins to notice many of the news channels on TV, talking about "The Brotherhood" burning women at makeshift stakes, just like Salem, MA back in the 1600's.

Stella begins to wonder how she can do weird things and "zap" from one place to another without really trying, especially during extreme moments of crisis or when her emotions are up. Case in point; a lady comes to her home (after Stella has arrived safely), and tells Stella she needs to come with her. Stella doesn't know this chick from Adam OR Eve, but after her window is shattered from a Molotov Cocktail, she gets a clue and the lady "zaps" them both outta there!

The lady, Etoille (eh-twall), which is such a pretty name, explains a few things to Stella about who she is, and why she is how she is. (Make sense? LOL) Once Etoille gets Stella and her few belongings on a plane headed for America, that's when the story/fun begins.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters, relationships, and storyline were fleshed out nicely, and made for good reading. Even Stella's backstory is filled in, especially at the end. Btw, the ending really makes you want to pick up the next book, which I plan to do. I only wish there were more details about The Brotherhood, and why they have such a vendetta against the witches. Plus, I want to know where Stella fits in all of that. I guess I'll need to pick up the next book in the series to find out, eh? :-)

Give "Illicit Magic" a shot. I would've given it 4.5 stars, if Smashwords allowed 1/2 stars. LOL
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Pepper Owens reviewed on April 3, 2012

I received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review. My rating is 4.25stars. I was surprised to enjoy this book as well as I did. It was written quite English and a couple of the words didn’t actually translate to American well so I still don’t get a couple of the words. Another surprise was that this was termed as YA though it reads more mature. However it was an extremely pleasant surprise.

Friendless odd woman out Stella Mayweather is looking forward to her typical night alone eating a frozen dinner watching her old television in her grubby London flat when her life takes an unexpected turn. Stella is stalked on her way home by a group of men intent on harming her when she inexplicably finds herself temporarily out of their grasp. After making her way home and trying to calm down with a nice cup of tea, she finds this is only the beginning as she has a visitor that won’t take no for an answer. So begins Stella’s journey to discovering her destiny as a witch when her visitor Etoile convinces her that the men intent on harming her were actually witch-hunters. A group calling themselves The Brotherhood and that Etoile is there to spirit her to safety. Stella soon finds herself in a different country, in a romantic triangle, with friends for the first time, learning how to control her powers and deep in the mystery of solving her parents’ deaths.

Basically this was a character driven piece and everything rode on being able to connect with them and their ability to connect with each other. This story succeeded and you were invested in Stella and the other characters. There was romance in the story but this is not a romance it is clearly the foundation for an UF series. That being said, this fast paced story moved quickly and all of the characters were fully fleshed and for the most part, well used. The climatic action scene was done exactly right but somehow felt as if it was unexpected because so many other things were happening. I am certainly on board for book II because I want to know if……
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
amy colegrove reviewed on April 1, 2012

I read this book in one sitting! I couldn't believe how great it was! From first sentence to last you will not be disappointed!
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
Marilyn Hughes reviewed on March 29, 2012

This is a great read, starting with the very first sentence.

Stella doesn't know she will soon be on the run for her life. All she knows is that "things" seem to happen when she's around. No family, no friends, working as a "temp" since she can't stay too long in one place (she makes people uneasy), and living in a grubby flat in London, Stella believes this is what her life is to be and she's become accustomed to being alone.

That all changes when a group called The Brotherhood gets her in their sights. Even though Stella doesn't know it yet, she's a witch and The Brotherhood has made it their mission to target and eradicate witches from the face of the earth. They are responsible for a string of murders where the victims are burned alive at the stake. And now they are after her.

Enter Etoile, who rescues her from them at the last minute, whisks her overseas to America, and introduces her to the Council, the witches' ruling body. While waiting for the Council to decide what should be done to protect her, she's attacked again and it's decided that she needs to be sent to a "safe house" where she can be trained in the use of her magic while being protected.

While there, she's introduced to a cast of characters that quickly become the friends and family she's never hard. However, throughout this almost idyllic time, trouble has been brewing and it's after her.

This is one of those rare books that reaches out, grabs you, and doesn't let you go from the very first sentence to the very last word and then leaves you wanting more. Thankfully, the second book in this series, Unruly Magic, has already been released. I'm headed to buy it now. Illicit Magic was that good of a book.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
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