Emily and Christa decide that they need a distraction from Christa's dissertation and Emily's recent break up with her boyfriend and decide to cast an ancient spell for run. They never imagine for one moment the spell will work and suddenly find themselves saddled with a demon. If that were not enough to deal with, the summoning brings them to attention the synedrion - the magical police. They may have stumbled into the supernatural work on a whim but learning to deal with what they have entered is going to take all of their time and may cost one of them their life.
Magical Ties just sort of stutters along at the most plodding pace. At about the 60% mark I started thinking about chalking this up to a DNF, simply because it felt like the story was headed nowhere. This in part is because of the time that Levinton spent setting up the world. There's only so many times you can be amazed with Emily learning that werewolves exist, or that elves exist or that vampires exist. It would have been simpler had she been told that just about everything supernatural that you can imagine exist and then have the story move along. Look, I get that there's going to be growing pains when a normal person suddenly learns about the existence of the supernatural but that's not a reason to dwell on it to the degree that Levinton did.
There's an element of romance in the story; however, Magical Ties is far from a paranormal romance. It's clear that she intends the relationship between Emily and Thomas to grow organically and I really like that. Everyone around them seems to be aware of their attraction even as they remain ignorant of it. In later books, if Levinton decides to go through with the romance, I hope that she deals with the power imbalance between Thomas and Emily. Thomas clearly is magical and extremely powerful, while Emily is a normal talent-less human. It's all further complicated by the fact Thomas is Emily's boss.