Overall rating – 5 silken sheets
In New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas’s Crystal Cove, Justine Hoffman has made a comfortable life for herself on the island of Friday Harbor. She is the proprietor of a successful boutique hotel, and she has the safe, predictable life she has always wanted. Growing up with her flighty, nomadic mother, Marigold, has instilled in her a deep longing for stability. But in spite of everything Justine has achieved, there is still something missing. Love. And after years of waiting and dreaming, she is willing to do whatever it takes to change her destiny.
What Justine soon discovers is that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate. Determined to change her fate, Justine finds a way to break the enchantment, never dreaming of the dangerous complications that will follow.
And when Justine meets the mysterious Jason Black, she accidentally unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threaten everything she holds dear . . . because Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow.
Spellbound. That’s the perfect description for this book.
I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa Kleypas since stumbling across a copy of Smooth Talking Stranger in the library a few years ago. Since then, she’s been an auto-buy for me and I’ve sniffled and outright sobbed many times with her characters. The predecessor to this one, Dream Lake, hit me in all the right places and was almost The Perfect Romance novel. I waited eagerly for Crystal Cove… and then read the reviews. Big mistake! I should have trusted my instincts and bought it when it came out. I could have enjoyed this months ago!
The Friday Harbor series has dabbled with the supernatural since it started. Ghosts. A gardeners with truly green fingers. A glass maker with special abilities. A cook whose food can heal the deepest wounds. I knew from the outset that Crystal Cove would do more than dip its toe into witchy-ness, and I was not disappointed.
Justine has inherited powerful abilities, along with a curse. She will never find love. Some think this is for the best: when a witch falls in love, the object of their affection is cursed to die soon after. Her father died before she was born and her mother never recovered from the loss. However, Justine cannot bear the idea of a loveless life, and sets out to break the curse upon her.
More witchery. Although Jason didn’t react outwardly, he was startled by the sight of Justine creating sparks with her fingertips. Jesus Tap-dancing Christ. What else was she capable of?
Jason Black isn’t a man she thinks she even likes, yet her magic works and she falls deeply, and irrevocably in love with him. He’s highly controlled, and driven by his own demons, and his reasons for wanting to meet Justine are questionable. I spent the first part of this book wanting to shout at Justine to keep away from him, and the second half yelling at her to hang onto him.
Now he knew that it was only love when you knew there could be no end to it. When it was as inevitable as gravity. Falling in love, a helpless descent in which the only way to avoid being hurt was to keep going. Keep falling.
Once Jason learns of the bane, he realises his time is limited. Not just time with Justine, but for life itself. He hears of a strange coincidence: in the week before their deaths, the clocks stopped for two other men cursed by the bane. From that point on, Jason looked out for that sign, and so did I.
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take. This happens once in a lifetime. You meet someone and have this crazy reaction… you touch her skin and it’s the best skin you’ve ever felt, and no perfume on earth could be better than her smell, and you know you could never be bored with her because she’s interesting even when she’s doing nothing.”
It was that delicious agony that only happens sometimes when you’re immersed in a book. I couldn’t put it down, but wasn’t sure I could bear to read it any further. You’ve been there, I’m sure.
Jason stared at her, considering his options. Charm. Seduction. Bribery. Begging was not out of the question.
I talked to my friend on our commute home and explained the premise. Later that evening, I had to go pick up my son and just at that point, it happened. No!! While waiting for my son to finish at his scout troop, I frantically texted my friend:
Me: Oh no!!!!
Me: His watch just stopped and his cellphone keeps changing timezones…
Me: and I had to put it down to pick up Son from scouts!!
A: No!! Keep reading! You can’t leave him like this!
Thank God for book girlfriends 🙂 She understood my predicament.
Ignore the dubious reviews. This is a romance of the highest calibre and one I will re-read again more than once. Lisa Kleypas wove her magic all through this delicious story and I’m still tingling from the experience.
Overall rating – 5 silken sheets
Sexy rating – 5 lips
Plot – fabulous
Characters – faboulous
Warnings – you’ll develop an addiction to Lisa Kleypas 🙂
Genre: Contemporary romance
Published: February 2013; $6.83 (Amazon)
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Author website: Lisa Kleypas