Monday, July 11, 2011


I struggled a little with "Witches" . After reading a wonderful short story starring Freya I was so excited that I had the signed Arc to read right after (Thanks to ALA and the lovely Melissa). Freya is a wonderful free spirit but there is a definite difference in the Freya from Bloody Valentine and this book.

Freya is the youngest daughter of Joanna Beauchamp and sister to the tightly coiled librarian Ingrid.The Beauchamp family live of the island town North Hampton. The three of them seem to live a normal island life but it is a false front. Banned for centuries from using their Magic everything changes on the night of Freya's engagement part. Bran Gardinier is the man Freya has always dreamed of. Her safe harbor for her heart and her conflicted emotions. The only block to her happiness is Killian Gardinier. Killian makes her nervous and makes her ache with desire. A desire that Freya decides to indulge and that indulgence is the one thing that soured me on the story.

I could understand Freya's conflict and even her desire but the constant back and forth portrayed her as a weak victim, especially in comparison to her prior story. This may be just my interpretation due to my prior experience with the character but it made her part of the tale a struggle. What saved this book for me was Ingrid and Joanna!

How could I not adore book lover Ingrid whose powers are helpful and solid like herself. Joanna is  a more artistic witch, keeper of house and  hearth, and becomes a passionate godmother of sorts to a young island boy. The one gift Freya has given the family is a determination to risk all to use their powers, it is a heady recklessness that spreads to her family after centuries of restriction.

Strange happenings begin to increase on the island. A mysterious infection is crippling a number of the islanders and there is that unsolved double murder lingering in every ones thoughts.

I really didn't know where Melissa was heading, and the second and third acts of the book were really interesting as revelations of the Beauchamp families past and the person behind the murders is revealed.It all ties back to the Beauchamp family and the Gardiner brothers in a most unexpected ways.

Melissa transitions very well to the Adult genre. She has a couple of really passionate love scenes that really add some spice to the book as well as a sweet and subtle romance for Ingrid.

There were some stumbling blocks to the story overall and Freya was really hard to take at some points but overall a balanced first entry in a new series I plan to follow.



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