A fiery witch…
Ember Belle is a total mess. When she’s not partying with the local shifter pack or causing mayhem around New Orleans with her three sisters, she does anything to avoid confronting her out-of-control fire magick and the grief from losing her parents. However, when an opportunity arises to obtain a magical item that could solve all her problems, she decides to take her life into her own hands.
A cold-as-ice demon…
Killian Inferno’s only desire is to spend his final weeks of freedom in New Orleans, away from his duties as the future Lord of Pride. What he doesn’t expect, is to be summoned by the amateur witch who has been haunting his dreams. A seductress who needs his expertise to solve a recent murder by any means necessary. Even sorcery.
Ember now has no choice but to enter a demon pact with Killian. The terms are simple: remove the spell she may have cast on him before Samhain, or return to Hell with him, kicking and screaming. Can the two enemies set aside their animosity to uncover the city’s secrets and unlock Ember’s true magical potential, or will they be undone by the enemies they didn’t see coming?
The Coven always warned that a ruby-red blood moon foretold a terrible omen. I couldn’t ignore the warning brewing in the pit of my stomach to remain cautious, despite the warm glow emanating through my body.
* Thanks to NetGalley and Autumn Blake for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *
More of a romance novel with a fantasy background than the start to a low fantasy series with some romance, Bewitched Shadows was not quite what I expected.
Bewitched Shadows has all the necessary components for a solid romance, but I found the fantasy and paranormal aspects hard to accept. The writing has no subtlety to help make the vampires, werewolves, witches, and demons feel believable. Instead, they’re loud and brash and very in your face. I don’t know if it’s the way it’s written, but the style here put me on edge the whole time. It’s missing the occult feel, especially being set in New Orleans. So instead of it feeling dark, creepy, and powerful, the magic is almost too… normal?
The romance is pretty decent if you can put the paranormal aspects to one side (which is difficult, considering they are pretty much the whole book). There’s the shared history of trauma, the deep grief and denial, the slow burn, and (for once) a book about mates that doesn’t overuse the word. In my opinion, that alone is worth a whole extra star (Maas, for all the good she has done, has forever ruined that word for me).
So, if I focus more on the romance and less on the fantasy, Bewitched Shadows shines a little brighter, but I can’t help feeling conflicted by the strange feeling that something was ‘off’. And while I wish the magic had been explained more, the sisters spent more time together to prove the bond they were always talking about, and the timeline hadn’t felt so rushed, I would definitely be interested in checking out the second book in the Wicked Belles series when it comes out. There might be something here that just needs more time to develop.