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I Belong

Review: A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper

TitleA Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses

Author: Molly Harper

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Half Moon Hollow (Book 2)

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Format: Paperback, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 1451641850 (Pocket After Dark)

ISBN-13: 978-1451641851 (Pocket After Dark)

Reviewed by: Anjelica


A new comedic paranormal romance featuring a witch who finds love while searching for a magical artifact and set in the same “terrific vamp camp” (Publishers Weekly) world of Half Moon Hollow as the Nice Girls series.

Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it.

Complication One: The artifacts are lost somewhere in vampire Jane Jameson’s occult bookshop. Complication Two: Her new neighbor Jed Trudeau keeps turning up half-naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn’t need. And teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially since Jed’s got the face of an angel and the abs of a washboard. Can Nola complete her mission before falling completely under his spell?

Quick & Dirty: As if looking for family heirlooms isn’t hard enough when the only people who know where they are have died, now Nola must try to complete her task with a handsome, usually shirtless neighbor constantly showing up at her door.

Opening Sentence: If you are fortunate enough to receive a message from the other side, pay attention to it.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I really, really enjoyed this book. It is the third in the Half Moon Hollow series, but I couldn’t tell at all. Harper did an amazing job of making this book work as a stand alone while still making me want to go back and read the other two to see what kind of other adventures Nola got into which were subtely hinted at in certain parts. The characters were brilliant.

Nola, having been raised in both Boston and Ireland at some point in her life has a rather unique accient which was mentioned several times but Harper didn’t write in this apparently difficult to understand accent. I enjoyed this because I tend to struggle when authors write dialogue in the accents the characters have, however, for people who enjoy that very thing, they will find happiness in Jed. He is a man from the deep south with a sexy southern drawl and the southern made manners to match. I was immediately swept up into Nola’s thoughts and adventure as she faced losing a beloved family member only to be shipped off to a new country just days later in search of family heirlooms known as the Elements, Nola and her family are witches and the Elements are a major part of a family feud that has gone on for centuries. Nola meets a lot of really fun people during her journey like the bubbly and excitable Jane and the kind but slightly more reserved Andrea and the sexy piece of man named Jed.

One thing that I loved about how Harper wrote this story is how she played off the existance of vampires and shape shifters and witches as a well-known fact that some humans accepted and others didn’t. It really took out the annoyances of trying to be subtle in situations that just call for a bit of supernatural action. Harper created a fast-paced and well layered story. While Nola is supposed to be looking for the Elements, they don’t completly dominate the whole story. Nola still manages to find love and friendship and even extended family. This makes the story more than a wildly frustrating scavenger hunt, it makes it an extremely fun adventure.

My only complaint about the book is that in more than one scene, Harper writes that a certain character is out doing something in a completely different location, therefore, this character should not be in this scene, however in more than one occassion this character randomly appeared in the scene. When this happened, I went back to re-read the scene to see if I had just missed something, but that wasn’t the case. This little mistake is easily overlooked because of how well written this novel is. So anyone looking for a fun and steamy adventure, look no further, this one is for you.

Notable Scene:

Eager to shake off the images of Penny sexually harassing my neighbor, I went to the sink to start tea. There was a squarish window over the sink, with a pretty blue flower box outside overflowing with white impatience, thanks to the work crews. I was loath to admit it, but I was afraid to look out the window into the back garden. The clouds had cleared, and even the half-moon was bright. And i was convinced that the moment i looked up, I would see a Chupacabra pressed against the window like a suction-cup Garfield doll. But damned if I didn’t accidentally look up anyway. I shouldn’t have. Near my brand-new arbor, I could see something moving. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. It stood on two feet and seemed human. The shape seemed thinner than last time, larger, but I was viewing it from another angle. It crept past the arbor toward the house. Gasping, I dashed toward my kitchen door and flipped the lock. I fumbled for the light switch, and the room plunged into darkness. The outlines of the trees stood in sharp relief without the interference of the kitchen light. The shape stilled, swinging its head toward the house. I backed away from the door, wondering if it was smarter to run upstairs or out the front door. Of course, this had to happen on one of my “powerless” days, so I couldn’t even work up the juice to neutralize whatever it was if it broke into the house. A voice sounded behind me. “What are you doing?” Shrieking, I pivoted on my heel and swung my fist as hard as I could.

Half Moon Hollow Series:

0.5 Driving Mr. Dead

1. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

1.5 The Undead in My Bed

2. A Witch’s Handbook to Kisses and Curses

FTC Advisory: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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