A quaint paranormal romance with a unique magical system, this story was a pleasant diversion. Three parallel plot lines intertwined in this book: a magical mystery, a self-discovery journey, and a love story.
When the protagonist Stacy, a former librarian and a first-level conjurer in Nodaway Falls, learns that something is awry with magic spells in her neighborhood, she is determined to uncover the problem and fix it. And whoever is responsible for the magical screw-up will be sorry.
While Stacy is searching, her former sweetheart Leo arrives in town. Once upon a time, he left and broke Stacy’s heart. She wouldn’t allow that to happen again. She has never stopped loving Leo, but she knows deep in her soul that she deserves all the pain she’s got because she is such an ugly person inside. Her mother always said so, so it must be true.
Leo disagrees. In his eyes, Stacy has always been beautiful, inside and out, and he is determined to reclaim his place in her heart and her life. But Stacy can’t let the emotional turmoil divert her from her goal: to deal with the magical calamities besieging her town. Somehow, they all revolve around her friends and clients. Who is the culprit and what does he want? To compound her troubles, her egotistic, hypocritical mother starts glowing and acquires a cult of acolytes. Something must be done about that too.
Leo and Stacy have their hands full. He must convince her that he still loves her and make her believe in herself. She must accept Leo’s love and find out who is targeting her friends and neighbors. The three subplots weave around each other in a sophisticated dance pattern that makes for a fast absorbing read.
The protagonist Stacy is a complicated character, a bit brash maybe but vulnerable and compassionate, even towards her narcissistic mother. Loyal to her friends, she would rather sacrifice her life than make them suffer. We all need such friends, friends who might stumble occasionally and make mistakes but never really swerve from the right course.
A tale infused with subtle magic from the first to the last page.