My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book without reading the first book in the series, and now I regret it–not because I had any trouble with this book. I didn’t. The author did a very good job of filling the reader in on everything that happened before.
Now I’m torn! On the one hand, I enjoyed this book so much that I’d like to read everything related to it. On the other hand, I feel like I already know about most of the events in the previous book.
Knit shop owner and sorcerer’s daughter Chloe Hobbs felt the Fates finally got it right when she met Luke MacKenzie. And no one could have convinced her otherwise—including the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home. But then out of nowhere Luke’s ex-wife suddenly shows up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie—a daughter Chloe knows nothing about.
Steffie’s spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader. And if Chloe weaves a spell to free her spirit, her nemesis will also be free—free to destroy her yarn shop and all of Sugar Maple. But if she doesn’t, Steffie won’t be the only one spending eternity in hell. Chloe’ll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart.
This was a really fun read. I don’t have a lot of experience with paranormal romances– the only ones that I’ve read before are by Nora Roberts, who has written a little of every sort of romance, I think. (Well, and then I’ve read Twilight…)
I think Laced With Magic is on the less edgy side of the paranormal genre, in some ways it is as much a supernatural cozy mystery as a romance. Only the fact that we know very early on who is the troublemaker keeps me from wanting to cast it that way. Yes, the book focuses on the relationship between Chloe and Luke, but their relationship feeds the plot, rather than the other way around.
I think a strength of this book is in the world it sets up– I enjoyed the details, from the yarn store to the vampires that have given up the old ways.
I enjoyed the characters (including the cat!). The plot was interesting. I liked how the chapters skipped back and forth between Chloe (lead character, sorceress), Luke (love interest, human) and Karen (Luke’s ex-wife, human, drawn into the story by a series of phone calls from their dead daughter).
I’ll be checking out more of Barbara Bretton’s books. Since there are quite a few that sound interesting, I’ll probably try something other than the first book of this series, which I now wish I’d read before reading this one.