Hereditary witch Justine Hoffman runs a Bed & Breakfast on the small island of Friday Harbor. She knows something is missing from her life, but she doesn't realize what it is until she reads the grimoire that was passed down to her and finds he has been cursed to never love a man. Taking matters into her own hands, Justine breaks the spell, causing complications she didn't expect. Now she has met Jason Black, a mysterious man staying at the Bed & Breakfast who shows more than a passing interest in Justine. But Jason has secrets of his own, and isn't afraid to use Justine to get what he wants.
This book was very different for Lisa Kleypas. Her books in the Friday Harbor series have some paranormal elements included in the story. This one is a full blown paranormal romance where the plot hinges on a witch's curse. Some of the story just didn't work for me. I would have liked to see more romance and less curse. My rating: 4 Stars.
Good news LK fans: sexy love scenes have finally come to Friday Harbor. Any Lisa Kleypas fan knows that the woman can write some smokin' hot love scenes. So it came as a bit of a surprise and disappointment that the Friday Harbor series has been so...PG (by comparison.)
The bad news is that the improvement in the bedroom came at the price of a weak story and a kind of (gasp) forgettable hero. LK has long dabbled with the paranormal (anyone remember the ghost in MineTil Midnight, the first Hathaway book?). Friday Harbor has taken it to the next level by making it an element in each of the books. However in this book it comes front and center, magic being in fact the primary plot. Unfortunately, Kleypas just doesn't sell it here. It was easy to accept Justine as magical since that was revealed in previous books, but without revealing too much, there were other mystical elements as key plot devices that just didn't work for this reader. Furthermore, Jason just wasn't all that strong. He's not awful, but he isn't memorable. The soul thing really cost too much in terms of character and direction. I wish LK had found a different way to get the story to gel. And a small quibble: somewhere I'd gotten the impression that Jason Black was going to turn out to be a long lost bastard brother of the brothers Nolan, was I dreaming?
Complaints aside, the book did get me thinking about some of the assertions made about metaphysical stuff. Like can you really exist without a soul? Some theorize that the soul and life are not connected. Some say it is an integral fact of all human life, that the soul is what makes us aware, able to love or make choices that aren't just nature calling. It is interesting to think about.
Overall, even a less than perfect LK book is better than most other romance out there, and with those hot love scenes, she still gets my three stars.