Genre: paranormal contemporary romance
Cover: generic, but this one is more pretty than mine.
Justine Hoffman has made a safe and comfortable life for herself on the island of Friday Harbour, but there is still something missing. Love. And after years of waiting and dreaming, she is willing to do whatever it takes to change her destiny.
But when Justine discovers that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate, she is determined to change her fate. But she could never have dreamt of the dangerous complications that will follow…
Meeting the mysterious Jason Black, Justine unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threatens everything she holds dear – because Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow.
I have to tell you again: I still prefer her historical romances over her contemporary romances, even though this series has a paranormal edge.
Justine Hoffman is a witch, although she is not interested in studying or belonging to a coven, like her mother wants her to. She has made a good life for herself in Friday Harbor, operating a Bed and Breakfast with her cousin Zoë. The business is doing well, and Justine likes her life, if only she could find a man she could truly love. Especially now that Zoë has found hers, and is so blissfully happy with her Alex. What is wrong with her, that she has never fallen in love in her life? She scared her last boyfriend off, the biker Duane (whom I liked!) when her powers went out of control.
Justine does have a very loving contact with two old women, members of her mothers coven, who life on another tiny island, with a lighthouse, and only a few inhabitants.
When Justine suddenly finds out, that she is cursed, with a geas unable to find true love, she is devastated. Who would have done such a thing to her? And she is determined to lift the geas, which she knows how to do thanks to her family’s spellbook: the Triodecad. It won’t be easy, and it will have to be soon, or else she has to wait another month to try it.
She will have to take care of some business at the B&B first, which has been rented out to Jason Black, a software tycoon, and his main staff. He is planning to build a convention center on the island, partly as a tax deduction. He has given some very strange and strict orders, that need to be followed to the letter, or the B&B will loose a very heave fine. Justine is confident that they will manage it all, making a nice profit of this. Jason Black is kind of a recluse, who doesn’t want to appear in public, or have his picture taken. Still, there are some things available thanks to the internet.
When she finally meets him, she finds him dangerous, but is also a bit attracted to him. He invites her to share one of the two icecold vodka’s she just delivered to his room, to try to ease his insomnia. And so they get to talk a bit, and decide to raid the pantry for a snack. A game of truth and dare follows, and Justine gets burned by that game.
What Justine does not know, is that Jason knows she is a witch, and he plans to “borrow” her spellbook, and use it to his own gains. He doesn’t care what he has to do to get his hands on it. The end justifies the means in his eyes. What he doesn’t plan on doing, is falling for Justine.
What neither of them knows is that there is such a thing as the Witches Bane. When a man falls in love with a hereditary witch, he is slated to die very soon. In centuries, no couple has been able to dodge that curse. Never has a witch grown up with a father. When Jason uses the Triodecad, he messes with high magic, and that has unforeseen effects. Now they are both struggling to right things, and safe the other.
Spoiler alert, read at your own risk, as I go ranting.
I have to admit, this story just has too many things I cannot fall for. When I finished the book, I was totally unsatisfied. For one, Justine’s mother Marigold is a totally selfish bitch, why would she leave such a powerful spellbook in her daughter’s hands? She totally cut Justine out of her life when she did not want to follow in her exact footsteps. (Yes, I hate her, can you tell?) Secondly, without any real training, Justine should not be able to work such powerful magic as to get rid of the geas, which took a whole coven to put on her. When she finds out that Jason has stolen her book, after seducing her (in a way much, much too erotic for my tastes, especially for their first encounter) she just stays home and sends him angry texts. She should have gone after him first thing, and get the book back. And then, she forgives him just like that, as life is too short. That really bums me, as Justine is supposed to be a strong character, and not a wimp like she is in this book.
Usually, I would have loved the use of magic, the original story, but not how it is portrayed here. A man without a soul, who won’t live long, and he wants to fight that. I think it highly unlikely that it could be researched somewhere, that Justine is the person having the spellbook in the first place. She has never used it. And Jason knows everything about her, that is too be known, but he doesn’t know she owns a little cottage at the edge of the land he wants to buy? And why o why would you go play something like Truth or Dare with a total stranger, to get to know him better? A customer none the less, and a very rich and powerful one at that. And the stakes were ridiculous as well.
Okay, too many things bothered me about this book, I was ranting to my best friend about it. She is also a (historical) Lisa Kleypas fan, but hasn’t read this series yet.
All this ranting does not mean it is a bad book. No. It is well written, easy to read, but I just don’t like the characters and how they act and react. So this is a book that I won’t ever re-read but just keep on my shelves as I am a glommer.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian