I am in full-blown Halloween prep around the house. Skeletons are strewn about, candles are glowing, pumpkins have been carved; it’s festive up in here! Because of my fondness of witches, I figured today’s #ThrowBackThursday could highlight all things wicked! When one considers witches, it would be effortless to dedicate tomes of thoughts on the entire Harry Potter series. It is safe to say it is one of my all-time favorite reads, and along with Hocus Pocus, it’s on heavy rotation on my television. Another all-time favorite is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Clearly, it’s about witches, it’s right there in the title! It also has a sexy vampire and some demons for good measure. If you haven’t read this book, or its entire All Souls Trilogy, I suggest you get to it. Harkness takes her research seriously, you’ll learn a lot, you’ll jump back in time, and you’ll be completely entranced by Diana and Matthew’s story. Her clever historical backstory linking Diana and Matthew is nothing short of spectacular. I suppose I could also throw in a mention of Kresley Cole’s Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night. Mariketa the Awaited is a kickass witch in a literal fight for her life. Her powers have been stripped, and she had to rely on her sworn adversary, Bowen MacRieve, for protection. Now, it should be stated, I am a were stan, not a vampire groupie, especially in this series. The MacRieve’s are 100% the bee’s knees, and you’ll never convince me otherwise. Mari is a fascinating character, and the heat between her and Bowen will melt your e-reader. All of the books mentioned above are worthy of a solid #TBT shout out but, I’m saving the best for last!
Bewitching by Jill Barnett
The first book in Barnett’s Regency Magic series was originally published in 1993. I read it many years ago as part of a book club discussion. I’d never read Jill Barnett, but the title came highly recommended by a trusted friend. As usual, that trusted friend’s recommendation did not disappoint! Joyous MacQuarrie is a “pixie-like, green-eyed beauty” that mysteriously appeared in the life of Alec, the Duke of Belmore’s life. He fell helplessly in love with Joy and much to the chagrin of his society friends, set about marrying the girl.
Joy, as her name implies, filled Belmore Park with laughter and a lively spirit, something Alec was sorely lacking. She gave him a brightness and lightness, his noble life had often eschewed for formality and societal constructs. It was a glorious and “Joyous” thing until Alec learned our dear sweet Joy was a witch. She had somewhat inadvertently bewitched this grouchy handsome man, and there was no going back for either’s heart. Much like Alec, I entirely and irreparably fell in love with Joy and her infectious giddiness.
I’d be remiss if I failed to point out, Joy has somewhat questionable control over her powers. Her spells hardly ever turn out as she plans, but that only adds to the humor of this story. If you enjoy a fun, fast-paced story filled with laughter, steam and a very grouchy hero that sometimes says terrible things because he doesn’t know how to love, and has his world turned upside down (sometimes literally) by a sweet and caring woman who makes him see the light, then Bewitching is the book for you! In fact, I think Joy may have cast a spell on me, I believe I feel a re-read coming on!