Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Review: Serpent's Kiss

Serpent's Kiss (The Beauchamp Family #2)
Published By: Hyperion
Publication Date: June 2012 
Page Count: 336
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Paranormal

This installment picks up pretty much exactly where book one left off. It took me a little time to settle back into these characters and their world since it's been awhile since I read The Witches of East End, but once I gained my bearings it was full speed ahead. I love the combination of magic, Norse mythology, and suspense that Melissa de la Cruz weaves into this series.

The Beauchamp women haven't changed much. Freya is still working her magic at the local bar while her sister, Ingrid, is keeping busy at the library when she's not helping out the town's citizens with medical maladies. Their mother, Joanna, is keeping herself content with baking and doting on Tyler, the young son of her housekeeper. Life is good and love is swirling in the air. It seems like all of the Beauchamp women might just finally get their happily ever after, but things begin to change with Norman, Joanna's estranged husband, returns and Freddy, Freya's twin escapes from Limbo. With the Valkyries on his trail, Freddy has to race to prove that he did not destroy a mystical bridge.

The suspense in this one kept me on the edge of my seat. I wasn't sure how things would end up and I couldn't have been more shocked by the story's resolution. I'm looking forward to the final book which will be out in August - if only to have my lingering questions answered. I'm also excited that this is going to be made into a tv show on Lifetime. I think the stories lend themselves well to a tv show. I just hope they cast people who truly meet my vision of the characters.

I also really enjoyed that the connection to the Salem Witch Trials is a dominant theme in this one. The addition of time travel also sets this one apart from its predecessor. 

In spite of my overall approval of this one, there was one element that irked me. Freddy was a mess. It took me awhile to like him - especially when he storms into town making accusations without solid proof. Eventually, when he did begin to win me over, he starts to have romantic feelings for a girl he barely knows. He instantly goes from smitten to full on stalker worship. I was flabbergasted that none of his family members seemed to think this was a big deal. Furthermore, his feelings toward the girl apparently eat away all of his remaining brain cells because he does stupid things like sign a contract in blood without reading it. Seriously? If someone is making you sign something in blood, you can be sure that some bad stuff is about to go down.

I do feel like this series isn't meeting its maximum potential. The writing was a bit simplistic and many of the characters' actions annoyed me. The whole back and forth between Ingrid and Matt drove me insane. I also thought there were several loose ends. For example, Freddy never thought to mention the captain to his mother? Things just didn't make sense. I like this series, but it does come with a heaping helping of frustration.

One Last Gripe: I feel like I have gripped enough, but it still bugs me that these Gods and Goddesses don't automatically recognize and know the others. 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Norse Mythology

First Sentence: Patsy Cline's mournful contralto warbled a love song on the jukebox at the North Inn.

Favorite Character: Ingrid

Least Favorite Character: Hilly

The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Timesbestselling Witches of East End, returns in Serpent's Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and spellbinding magic.

Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down--from Joanna's organized kitchen to Ingrid's previously nonexistent love life to Freya's once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner.

When Freya's twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiancÉ Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya's help to prove it. Now Freya doesn't know who to believe or trust.

And for the first time in--well, forever, really--Ingrid is also busy in love. Matt Noble, the handsome and charming police detective, has won her heart. But can romance work between a virgin witch and a mortal who doesn't believe in magic? Things get even more complicated when it appears Ingrid is harboring the prime suspects in Matt's police investigation.

To add to the chaos, a dead spirit is attempting to make contact with Joanna--but does it mean to bring harm or help? Joanna asks her sort-of ex-husband Norman to help figure it out, only to accidentally invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a dapper gentleman she's recently begun dating.

As the witches pull together to discover the serpent within their midst and the culprit behind Freddie's imprisonment, everything is thrown into peril. Will the discovery come too late to save those they love most?

Melissa de la Cruz weaves all this and more in a blockbuster sequel that is not to be missed by her fans, and one that is sure to enchant new readers of the series.

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