dinsdag 22 juni 2010

Barbara Bretton - Casting Spells

This is the first book in the Sugar Maple series, and I loved it very much. It has a bit of every genre I love: paranormal, witches, cozy mystery, contemporary romance.

Casting Spells

Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it's inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches - and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She's a sorcerer's daughter in search of Mr. Right - and she's found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple's very first murder. Bad news is he's 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.

When she was six, Chloe’s parents died in a car accident, and she was taken in by the local healer, and raised by the towns people. But they are no ordinary people. Witches, vampires, were-animals, ghost, elves, trolls and fairies, they all call Sugar Maple home. Modeled after the famous town of Salem, Massachusetts, there is one big difference: this town is spelled to be safe, safe from outsiders, and safe from harm. Protected by a power full witch 300 years ago, the town is kept safe by every next generation of Hobbs sorceresses.

But Chloe’s mother fell in love with a human, and their daughter doesn’t posses magic. And now the spell is weakening. A powerful fairy woman is threatening to take the town and all its inhabitants with her behind the veil that separates the worlds. And only Chloe can stop her. But Chloe doesn’t have her powers, she doesn’t have the book of spells her ancestor wrote. Her mother came into her full powers when she fell in love, but Chloe hasn’t found the man for her yet.

Then a woman is found dead in the ice, and the real world encroaches on their little town. They have no crime, so there is no police, no-one dies, they just cross over, so there is no cemetery or hospital. But now a human police inspector is send over to investigate Suzanne’s dead. Was it just an ice skating accident, or foul play? As Suzanne was dating a married politician, it is important that he is not tied to her death. He stood her up on their date, so did she meet someone else?

When Luke MacKenzie meets Chloe Hobbs, the towns mayor and owner of a knitting shop, sparks literally fly between them. Chloe chalks it up to static electricity because of all the wool, but those sparks only fly when they are together. And she cannot seem to stay away from him too. How is she to protect the towns secrets from this snooping inspector, who doesn’t believe in magic even when accidents keep happening to him.

Then Isadora ups the stakes, when she and her evil son Dane are searching Chloe’s home, and destroying it in the process, searching for the Book of Spells. Gunnar, her other son, is a close friend of Chloe, and he tries to help her as much as he can.

Falling in love with Luke has set Chloe’s powers free, and totally out of control. She is kind of freaking out when she sees all the ghosts residing in town, all the energy she always felt and now sees what or who is causing it, the real looks of her friends, and not the same things strangers see when they enter town. But Isadora is not giving her the time to learn to control her powers, when she searches the knitting shop for the book. In the fight Gunnar gives his life for Luke’s, Dane gets killed too, and Chloe gets the strength to Banish Isadora from this realm. But not for good …

But can Luke face living in a world of magic, is love enough for him and Chloe, or will she lose him like all her ancestors did their loves?

What makes this book a bit difficult to read, is that it is told by Chloe and Jake, both from their own perspective. And both in I-form, which is something I don't much like. The story has to be really good for me to be able to ignore it.

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