A bit of mistaken identity kicks this book off with a bang at bar where the main characters meet and that fire starts lighting. Rachel tells Caine off thinking he’s the man who screwed her best friend over. She realizes her mistake and hopes to never see the sexy stranger again.
No such luck on her part. Karma delivers a comedic punch when she shows up (late) to her music class at Brooklyn College to begin her new position as a teaching assistant, and she meets her new boss – Professor Caine West. Rachel is mortified by her mistake, and she’s extremely attracted to Caine. Caine, a bit of a closed book, acts professionally, but it becomes obvious he’s attracted to Rachel. He’s drawn to her hilarious and bitingly sarcastic and is captivated when she begins to reveal a softer, intuitive and more vulnerable side. But it’s a no-no for a professor to have a relationship with a student as well as a TA.
In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic, the Mageus, live in the shadows. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power, and often their lives.
Esta has been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer these artifacts from the past, before the Order realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training was meant for traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order, and the Brink, before the Magician can destroy it.
But Old New York is a dangerous world where the very air crackles with magic. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.
But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: The brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.
It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan — a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life — went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body — only a hiking boot — has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.
But then Olive starts having waking dreams — or are they hallucinations? — that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth — about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.
Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love.
Thandi’s life unfolds, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, the book portrays what it means to choose to live, after loss.
What We Lose is an elegiac distillation of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades.