Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crystal Cove

14141318Justine 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.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Lisa Kleypas knows love stories. That's a given. But, when it comes to paranormal, fantasy, magic... not so sure. Crystal Cove is a contemporary paranormal romance that explores the relationship between a soulless man and a cursed woman. 

As a young girl, Justine had a geas (Scottish Gaelic spelling of geis) cast upon her. A word that can mean either a curse or a gift. The geas was placed upon her so she would never have to know how hurtful love can be after the witch's bane strikes. But Justine is a powerful natural witch and she's determined to remove the geas. Unbelievably, she succeeds. And the world goes into an imbalanced upheaval. 

Justine is an interesting character. In the previous series book, Dream Lake, Justine vowed she'd never fall in love, that she didn't need a man, and that she was happy alone. I guess she changed her mind because now she's on a mission to find true love. Justine is blunt, open, honest, and focused. She knows what she wants and that's powerful knowledge to have. Readers will connect with Justine's desire to share her life with someone. 

Jason Black has no soul and he's very much aware of it. Knowing that soulless people only have one chance at life, Jason knows that he must do everything he wants in the moment he wants it. He's an insomniac control freak who has too much money. Jason also knows that Justine's a witch and a certain spell could add years to his life. But falling in love with her wasn't part of his plan and he could end up putting both of them in danger. Readers will understand Jason's wish to live longer but I'm not sure they'll connect with him. Like him? Yes. He's a mysterious romantic man. Of course readers will like him, for the most part. 

The plot of the novel is quite complicated, with lots of tangles. Jason Black wants to build a sort of community center at Dream Lake so he visits Friday Harbor to iron out the details and make an offer. Him and his team stay at the bed and breakfast that Justine owns. This is how Justine and Jason meet, but Jason already knew about Justine before visiting. He actually sought her out because of her abilities as a witch and the grimoire she owns. At the same time, Justine is removing her curse and upsetting the balance of nature, putting her life in mortal danger. They fall in lust at first sight and so mote it be. 

Though the paranormal aspect of the story isn't Lisa's strong suit, I thought the novel overall was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the two main characters battle back and forth, using mistakes as weapons, all while falling in love and looking for a solution to an unsolvable equation. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

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