Release Date: July 9, 2018
Publisher: Jill Grinberg Literary Management
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Callie Delgado volunteered to apprentice to Gem City's Soul Charmer. He'd forced the soul magic ability into her, but now it was hers. She'd learn to control her body's reaction to rented souls or go up in flames. Literally.
She exchanged her chance to escape the darker side of Gem City to save her brother. Now she needs to keep him sober and safe, try to mend family ties, and avoid the mobsters who have too much interest in the magic of borrowing souls.
But when bodies begin dropping at the Soul Charmer's door, it's up to Callie and her partner Derek to track down the person killing soul renters. The Charmer wants retribution, but Callie is determined to get justice even if it means putting herself directly in the sights of the murderer.
If she wants to stay on the Soul Charmer's good side, Callie must confront her enemies head-on and learn to command rogue souls.
...and hope someone she loves doesn't become the next victim.
Rogue Souls is the second installment in author Chelsea Mueller's Soul Charmer series. Having saved her older brother Josh in the previous installment, protagonist Calliope (Callie) Delgado made the choice to apprentice with the Soul Charmer. Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence. All condoned by the Cortean Church which founded the city.
Callie and her partner Derek Shepherd are responsible for repossessing rented souls from those who attempt to delay returning the borrowed souls. To top it off, Callie has become a human soul detector and things really get weird whenever she's around someone who has borrowed a soul before like her mother. Callie doesn't really own her own body. She's stuck with the Soul Charmer's magic without the skills to contain it. Whenever she's near a soul renter, her hands get icy. Other times, she feels as though she is burning alive without any way to save herself.
If she can't control the power within, she's going to have to learn quickly since the Charmer himself is rather elusive when it comes to giving Callie any sort of instructions. Callie's learning by sinking or swimming begins in earnest when Derek discovers a dead body near the Soul Charmer's business, and they are ordered to find out who is responsible, and cut them off before the situation gets out of hand. Soul Charmer has more enemies than one can shake a stick at. Every one of his enemies wants to encroach or take away from his business.
Callie and Derek must become investigators and track down those responsible for the dead body being left behind. This means dealing with Nate, Ford's favorite goon who wants something from Callie, as well as Josh, who is a recovering addict, and Zara, Callie's mother who believes that family comes first over anything and everything else. Besides her day job at Cedar Retirement Home, her one constant in her life is Derek. One of the main things I love about this series is Derek. As Callie's struggles with learning about her own abilities that takes her to places she's never dreamed about, Derek is Callie's rock. Derek has Callie's back no matter what problems arise, or what issues Callie has with her family, especially her mother. Callie will definitely need Derek's strength and guidance if she ever has hopes to actually understand the great responsibilities she's been given.
I've said this before, and it bears repeating; There are similarities between Borrowed Souls and Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. The sad part is that we haven't seen a new story by Kane in years which gives hope that Mueller's series will pick up the slack. With the twisted ending, readers will definitely be eager to see what the author has up her sleeves for the next round of Callie's adventures.