Back in a Spell (The Witches of Thistle Grove) by Lana Harper: Lovely Characters

Even though she won’t deny her love for pretty (and pricey) things, Nineve Blackmoore is almost painfully down-to-earth and sensible by Blackmoore standards. But after a year of nursing a broken heart inflicted by the fiancée who all but ditched her at the altar, the powerful witch is sick of feeling low and is ready to try something drastically different: a dating app.

At her best friend’s urging, Nina goes on a date with Morty Gutierrez, the nonbinary, offbeat soul of spontaneity and co-owner of the Shamrock Cauldron. Their date goes about as well as can be expected of most online dates—awkward and terrible. To make matters worse, once Morty discovers Nina’s last name, he’s far from a fan; it turns out that the Blackmoores have been bullishly trying to buy the Shamrock out from under Morty and his family. 

But when Morty begins developing magical powers—something that usually only happens to committed romantic partners once they officially join a founding family—at the same time that Nina’s own magic surges beyond her control, Nina must manage Morty’s rude awakening to the hidden magical world, uncover its cause, and face the intensity of their own burgeoning connection. But what happens when that connection is tied to Nina’s power surge, a power she’s finding nearly as addictive as Morty’s presence in her life?

In book three of The Witches of Thistle Grove series, Lana Harper turns to the Blackmoore’s, entangling Nina with Morty, a non-witch. Like the first two books, Lana Harper’s skills lie in blending lovely characters, magic, and intrigue into a fantastic paranormal romance. Part of what creates such a magical story are characters that have depth. Nina is authentic and Morty is down to earth, their personalities a perfect contrast for the other but also creating a believable romance. The relationship is positive. Morty supports Nina but doesn’t encourage bad behavior while Nina learns to have boundaries with the negative aspects in her family.

Besides the characters, the story itself is full  of depth, interesting magic, and difficult choices, with an ending that has realistic consequences for those involved. Part of the mystery is how the magic works and why, especially when Nina’s magic surges. The answers are well written and well chosen to advance the series as a whole while still developing the romantic threads in the story. The lovely characters are engaging, the story fascinating, and the series magical. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 magic coins

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