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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Review - Bewitched and Betrothed

With Halloween approaching I thought this cozy paranormal would be perfect to get us all in the mood.  

Read my reviews of the prior books:  #1 Secondhand Spirits (click here), #2 Cast Off Coven (click here), #3 Hexes and Hemlines (click here), #4 In a Witch's Wardrobe (click here), #5 Tarnished and Torn (click here), #6 A Vision in Velvet (click here), #7 Spellcasting in Silk (click here),  and #8 Toxic Trousseau book excerpt (click here).  I also interviewed the author twice: interview #2 (click here), and interview #1 (click here).

If you are a fan, you won't want to miss this book. If you are new to this series, you can check out the reviews above and try the first, or jump right in with this 10th book.  It works as a stand alone as well.

Author: Juliette Blackwell

Copyright: June 2019 (Berkley) 352 pgs

Series: 10th in Witchcraft Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Cozy

Main Character: Lily Ivory, powerful natural witch and owner of vintage clothing store

Setting: Modern day, San Francisco

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

Book Blurb: "A supernatural force on the loose in San Francisco and a family reunion keeps witch and vintage store owner Lily Ivory on her toes as she prepares to walk down the aisle...

When Lily Ivory stumbles on the uniform of a former prisoner from Alcatraz and SFPD inspector Carlos Romero’s cousin is kidnapped, Lily suspects something dangerous has been unleashed on the ghost-ridden island of Alcatraz. She'll have to sleuth out the culprit—when she’s not busy entertaining her visiting relatives and resolving romantic conflicts as her wedding date approaches. Could recent omens be pointing to the magical threat in her adopted city? If so, she'll have to line up her allies to change the fate of the Bay Area. Because no matter what, Lily's determined to celebrate her marriage with her friends by her side—even if it means battling a demonic foe before she can make it to the altar."

Lily Ivory has come a long way in this series and she is more confident but still has her insecure moments.  Sailor is her fiance who we barely see in this book, which is surprising with the wedding fast approaching. Aidan makes only two appearances in the novel, but he plays a vital role in the climax. I know the focus is growing more on Sailor and away from Aidan, but he is still an important character and I love his part in every book.  Detective Carlos Romero has also come a long way in trusting Lily and he has become a favorite of mine in the lineup.  Oscar the Gobgoyle in the disguise as a pig is Lily's familiar and he is still searching for his mother.  Graciela’s Coven comes out for the wedding with a crew of quirky gals.  Lily's mother also joins in and I appreciated her attempts to fit into Lily's life a little.  Overall a fantastic gathering of strong characters.

The setting is bustling San Francisco and Alcatraz island specifically. Using the reputedly haunted Alacatraz was great and made this story that much more spooky.  The plot is the culmination of Aidan's warnings in the past few books of a supernatural showdown approaching for the very city and its citizens itself.  It is also the culminatin thus far of Lily's personal growth since she can't fight this power by herself and all the people she has made friends with will have to back her up.  The pacing is spot on and kept my interest riveted to the pages.

The climax was on a grand scale and delivered all the thrills and chills the book had built up towards.  It was brilliantly executed, my hat is off to Ms. Blackwell.  The wrap-up was the event the book promised and was touching.

I have been a fan of this series since the first book was released.  I am impressed at how Ms. Blackwell built this showdown up from previous books and delivered on every promise.  I hope that Aidan doesn't get shuffled off and he remains in the character lineup because his character is so much a part of the mythos of the series.  I have to wonder, after this powerful showdown, what could be in Lily's future?

Rating: Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend. 

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sherry fundin said...

looks like fun. thanks for sharing
sherry @ fundinmental

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