Rarely have I received as much pleasure from $5.99 as I did when I read Kim Dare’s “Magpie”. Like one of the breed that starred in her latest avian shifter story, I had been eyeing off the bright, shiny offering as soon as it was released, not daring to get too close in case it wasn’t as glittering as the previous book, “Duck”.I shouldn’t have worried. From the first page, she had me as enthralled with the story as Kane was by any coveted trinket. In fact, as I read, I could identify more and more with his cravings because my love for Kim Dare’s stories are the same.Deep down, I know there are probably more worthwhile books on the market -- ones that offer deeper characterization, more elaborate plots, more meaningful relationships -- but I can’t resist them. I have them all squirreled away on my ebook reader so I can visit them from time to time, having read each so often that I only need to look at the title to recall exactly what went on. Yet, just like a magpie who can’t resist touching bright shiny things, I’ll re-read them to gain that instant gratification.Kim Dare is a masterful story teller. True, a harsh critic might say her stories have a sameness to them, but it’s the reassuring kind of sameness that a Master gives to his submissives, giving them exactly what they expect, so they can take comfort from that knowledge. There must be some part of me that needs the kind of reassurance that Kim deals out in spades.Like “Duck” though, the increased word count allows Kim to offer more than just the quick fix. This is the soup tureen or the magnificent epergne in the middle of the table, rather than the silver cutlery or goblets that grace the edges. Kim’s depiction of the way Kane suffers through his withdrawal, and the patience and steadfastness Everet exhibits as he demonstrates to the thieving magpie that nurture can overcome nature are magnificently crafted.The scene as Everet accepts punishment on Kane’s behalf won’t be forgotten in a hurry.A lot of psychology goes into Kim’s writing. Every pairing is different, yet each person gets exactly what they need to make the partnership work. Everet and Kane’s needs bear little resemblance to Raynard and Ori’s which were all about pecking order. I’d love to discover whether this is just instinctive on Kim’s part, or if she has researched what makes people tick. I even enjoy seeing minor characters behaving badly because I know that their flaws will be addressed in future stories. Her eagle, Hamilton's, pride will definitely come before a fall. I look forward to seeing what she does with him.Kim has an understanding of people that is sometimes overlooked when discussing her books. Perhaps her characters are just stereotypes, but if so, she always has a wonderfully fresh way of presenting them to the reader.The only niggle were the three or four typos that jumped out at me. These should have been found by a half-decent copy editor. But these were only minor blemishes on the surface and were easily brushed away. “Magpie” is still a super, shiny bauble.