Aileen Donovan is an oceanographer with magical control over the element of water. While her normal focus in on research and fighting poachers, she's about to go up against the stuff of legends - and that's saying something for a supernatural.
A transport ship is missing and everyone's eager to get their hands on the cargo. No one knows what it is, but when fragments resembling coral begin to drive local residents insane, Aileen suspects a preternatural source. Whatever is at the bottom of the ocean, a power-hungry alchemist wants it, and releases a sea dragon to eat the competition - literally.
Aileen sees this as an opportunity to win the professional recognition she desires, but keeping secrets is complicated when she's working with local Coast Guard officer Colin Benson. Her sense of love and duty will be put to the test, and when the tide washes out, it might have been better if that lost ship had stayed lost.
I don't read a lot of fantasy or paranormal, but that doesn't mean I don't like them, cuz' I do. I love Alina's The Voyages of the Legend fantasy series (looking forward to book 4!) and A.R. Silverberry's YA fantasy, Wyndano's Cloak. I also enjoyed Hannah Jayne's urban fantasy, The Underworld Detection Agency. I'm going to put Angela's Elemental Magic series in with these others.
Did I emotionally connect with the characters? Uh, yeah; especially Aileen. I knew immediately that I cared about her. But none of that matters if the book is not well-written. And this one is (thank goodness). I don't always make that emotional connection with the characters in a book (The Girl on the Train, anyone? - P.S. I gave the movie the same 2.5/4 that I gave the book). But I CAN'T make those kinds of connections if the book is not written well. Kudos to Angela for that. And thanks, Angela, for the tears and worry (and raised eyebrows) that you put me through. I won't forget you for this!
A couple of interesting notes: 1) This book is similar to book 1 of Alina's series in that the 1st half is good, and the 2nd half takes off; 2) interracial in this book means human & elemental - you don't see that definition every day!; 3) Aileen says: "I had always thought it would hurt more if I let people get close, but it seemed I didn't actually have any control over how emotionally connected I became with people." I think this is probably true for all of us, whether we want to admit it or not.
If you want to read something a little bit different from your normal genre (whatever that might be), then give Elemental Magic a try. And if you like it, there are 6 more books in the series! Now that's fun.