Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Potions, Librarians, and a Tiny Hispanic Boy: Review of Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End
#1, The Beauchamp Family
Melissa de la Cruz
Adult, 272 pages

I like the cover, but I'm not too sure
why there are pretty red leaves.

This is Melissa de la Cruz's first adult novel, and I LOVED it.  It was fun, but not ridiculous (some of the Blue Bloods kind of weirded me out), it read smoothly, and basically, it was like the perfect truffle- rich but not too big of a serving.  I also liked that although there will be more books about the Beauchamps, this book could be a stand-alone novel.  As in, it's a complete story in one book!  Imagine that!

North Hampton is an old-fashioned coastal town in New York, and three witches live there.  Joanna Beauchamp lives there with her two adult daughters, Ingrid and Freya, and their familiars: a griffin, a raven, and a cat.  Joanna's gift is wisdom, Ingrid's is Hearth, and Freya's gift is love.  Unfortunately, back in the 1600's, the three were told that they could no longer practice magic- they had to live as humans...  So Joanna is a lonely woman, Ingrid works at the local library as an architectural archivist, and Freya is a bartender, engaged to be married to wealthy Bran Gardiner.  Things are going well for the family until Freya's eye is caught by Bran's younger brother at their engagement party.  When Ingrid decides to secretly practice a little magic to help a fellow librarian conceive, things really start to spin out of control, and the events that follow start to look pretty bad for the family.

As I said, this was an excellent novel.  It's advertised as a summer read, and it's really perfect for reading right now, with the end of summer mentality going around.  For me, it's cooler nights, stormy weather, and an air of nostalgia.  Some Blue Bloods characters show up, which is fun, and there is a heavy infusion of Norse mythology, particularly at the end.  It's also refreshing to read the first book in a paranormal series where the paranormal beings already know about their powers!  All three main characters are engaging and likeable.  Joanna is a very motherly figure, and her affection for her housekeeper's young son is endearing.  Ingrid, who might have an unrequited crush, has a sincere desire to help others, and Freya's passion for love and life is energizing and sexy.  My favorite part is when Freya starts to mix up love potions at her bar- I love fancy drinks, and magical ones sound even better!

I'd recommend this to older fans of Blue Bloods- I like this book better, and it's got a positive energy flowing through it. I'm looking forward to the next book!

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