Being a witch is the last thing she wants…
by Leigh Goff
Mirror World Publishing
September 17, 2017
YA, Fantasy, Romance
Sixteen-year-old Hannah Fitzgerald has always known she is descended from a troubled legacy of magic. Although a stranger to her coven in Annapolis, she is no stranger to grief and denial. However, when an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful Chesapeake witch and the impending death of another, she realizes she can no longer afford to suppress the magic that has taken away so much. She seeks out the frighteningly scarred, yet mysterious W, a Calvert descendant who is destined to change her life, but even he cannot prepare her for the danger that lies ahead. Engaged in a deadly game without knowing who her true rival is, Hannah isn’t certain she will survive, and if she loses she may lose everything, including the ones she loves.
Shadowed with a constant layer of darkness, this read packs magic, tension, and the hand of fate into a read which hooks until the last page.
Hannah is a witch, although she wishes she wasn't and tries to keep the magic inside of her from surfacing. After her parents' tragic deaths, she lives with her aunt in Annapolis and is forced to take part in the coven she was born into. Hannah's attempts to deny what she is unravel as she's faced with three girls/witches, who are determined to make her life not only difficult but use any means possible to steal a so-called 'key' from her. Even if Hannah is sure she doesn't have it and wants nothing to do with it, the girls' quest for power turns into a deadly game.
I enjoyed reading this book. There's tons of magic, wonderful tension and enough twists and turns to keep one guessing until the end. Hannah isn't comfortable in her own skin, and it's a rough road before she learns to accept who she is. She's a bit snarky at times and tends to snap out exactly what she thinks, but there's a caring side to her and her moral compass keeps her actions intact. In other words, she's far from perfect but still a true heroine inside.
The idea of covens and witches living right under normal human radar comes across very naturally. The magic is intense but it slides right along with normal high school life in a smaller town. Although witches and wizards are key in the plot, other types of magic also have an influence as magic from cultures such as the Incas and even a bit of the Greek mythology is sprinkled in.
The plot moves along quick, never leaving a moment for boredom. Even the romance holds dark secrets, which keep the tension high the whole way through. I enjoyed the hesitation in the romance, but found it sometimes was a little off in the chemistry. Some of the reactions seemed a bit sudden, or lacked a little more background. Especially the first chapters were a little confusing, and it seemed as if some information was missing. But then there were hiccups even later on, at times. Still, the world and story were interesting enough to keep me engaged, and even with these little stumbles, I didn't want to set the book down.
Fans of witches, magic, slightly dark romances and hidden evil will enjoy diving into these pages and are sure to get caught up in Hannah's world.
The storm was at least four miles away. I pressed a hand over my chest, feeling the thumping slow.
I glanced at Aunt J, who was no longer bopping her head to the bad music. Instead, she blinked over and over, and rubbed her eyes with one hand.
“If you’re tired, I can drive.” Who needed a license when I’d already mastered a moped along with the Green Briar golf carts?
Her slender fingers searched for me as if I were a ghost she could only hear. She grasped my arm tightly.
“Hannah?” Panic drenched her voice.
My eyes widened. “What’s wrong?”
“I can’t see. I mean, I see something, but it’s not the road. What’s wrong with me?”
I peered out the windshield. A distant telephone pole grew bigger as her foot stuck to the accelerator.
A frightening swell of adrenaline flooded my veins, sending my heart into a frenzy. “Stop!” I yelled, but she was frozen with fright. I grabbed the steering wheel and threw my leg over to jam on the brake pedal.
It was too late. Absolute silence fell over us in the grim second before we plowed into the pole. My lower body slammed into the dashboard while the seatbelt squeezed hard against my ribs. Metal groaned. White bubbles deployed. Glass shattered with a scream. Or maybe the scream was mine. The car groaned to a halt with a hiss and clank.
Stillness settled over us. My head was reeling as I checked myself for injuries. Bursts of pain sparked from my chest and leg.
“Hannah?” Aunt J’s quivering voice reached out.
I pried my eyes open. She had escaped her seatbelt. Her lips and hands were trembling, but I saw no blood or broken skin. Inwardly, I sighed with relief.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
I sucked in a shallow breath. “Me? Fine,” I managed, not wanting to stress her out, but I struggled to breathe and my left leg was wedged under the intruding dashboard.
She reached over, wiping her hands across my cheeks and forehead, dusting away crumbs of glass. She touched her trembling fingers to the seatbelt release and pressed on it, over and over. “Come on, dammit. Let go.”
I pushed her hand away, restraining a whimper. “It’s okay. Go get help.”
She nodded and with a hard push, shoved her door open. “I’ll be right back.”
A heavy silence fell over the car’s interior until a hiss sounded from the engine. Within seconds, the smell of burning oil seeped in through the vents.
One toxic breath went deeper than I meant it to. “Ow!” I coughed and writhed beneath the unyielding seatbelt like a five-year-old having a tantrum. Panic swept over me as I struggled for freedom.
Stress vibrated deep in my gut. Self-soothe, self-soothe, I reminded myself. The air grew thicker with burning oil and a starburst of pain wracked my body. I was going to die. Unless…
No. How could I even think it? There had to be another way because what if I couldn’t send it back? What if it took me to the same terrible place it had taken them?
I peered out the windows, searching. There was no one. I turned my focus on the glove box. Maybe Aunt J kept a knife in there or a pair of floral scissors. I pushed the button hard, again and again. Jammed. My heart raced.
A burst of smoke puffed into the car’s interior. I coughed and closed my eyes. The pressure on my leg intensified and the sickening fumes filled me with dread. Eff it. I balled my hands into fists.
I recalled the spell I’d overheard my dad utter once. I recited it in my head before casting, making sure I had it right. “By the power of fire, I do summon and churn, and call thee forth to blaze and burn.”
I stopped breathing, trying to sense any changes. I felt no different. And then it filled my core like a warm sphere of energy. Quickly, the power expanded into a blazing inferno. My back arched, pressing me harder into the seatbelt as my internal fire surged. Every cell jolted awake. My heart pounded out of control as I imagined channeling the smoldering energy. Suddenly, my hands tingled with intense power. I swallowed hard and aimed my fingers at the strap. The fiery threads trickled out in a wiggly pattern until I steadied my hand. The seatbelt burned orange, then cooled to black before separating.
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And here she is. . .
Writing Enchanting Ever-Afters ♥
Leigh Goff grew up in Maryland where she resides today. Her writing is inspired by an eclectic childhood, a vivid imagination, and compelling historical events. After taking several writing courses in college and attending professional writing workshops after she graduated from the University of Maryland, she joined the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America.
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