Witch in the House
Witch In the House is the promising beginning of a series about three best friends whose husbands mysteriously disappeared after an ice storm six years earlier. Though the circumstances that put the hero and heroine together are quite sad, this is a story in which I truly believe in the couple’s HEA, which, I might add, is well deserved.
After Mason Kincaid is stranded at the alter (and receives a bill from his fiances’ baby daddy, his very own wedding florist, for the flowers gracing the chapel), he decides to get sloppy drunk and forget his troubles. His best friend and partner in his private detective firm decides to rescue him from destruction by getting them both back to work immediately. While not quite sober, Mason meets Jade Delarue, a woman who is suspected of swindling an insurance company.
Jade’s husband has been missing for six years and the insurance company is ready to pay the claims of Jade and her two friends whose husbands also disappeared. However, to be on the safe side, the company wants the three women investigated to make sure they’re not running a scam. Since the disappearance, Jade has spent the time building her bed and breakfast and selling botanical products she makes herself. Yet, Jade has a secret: She’s a witch for hire for those who know her secret and pass it along only to those who can be trusted in their small, mid-Midwestern, religiously conservative area.
To complicate matters, Jade cast a spell for a client and the result was Mason’s breakup. Jade later casts two other spell which become somehow intermingled, bringing Mason to her. While she wants him, (and boy, does she) to be ethical, she must resist. But despite all her attempts to cast him away, nothing works.
From the first time Mason sees Jade, he is immediately attracted to her. Posing as a photographer, he rent rooms at Jade’s B&B in order to watch her comings and goings. The constant contact, and the growing belief in Jade’s innocence, hook Mason enough that he wants off the case. But he’s woven a web of deception that may be impossible to overcome.
Mason and Jade’s story plays out like a light romance with many humorous moments and a few tugs at the heartstrings along the way. The interaction between the two is charged and flirtatious. Jade is vulnerable, yet strong and ready to move on with her life. She resists Mason at first, mainly because she thinks she has acted unfairly. Mason is a likable character as well. He can admit when he’s done for. The secondary characters are also well developed.
However, McKnight’s story did incorporate one of my biggest pet peeves in romance: The hero is supposedly Pierce Brosnan’s clone. Just give me a hair color and an eye color and let me do the rest, please. There was also a bit of head-hopping and I found myself occasionally having to backtrack quite a few times to figure out who said what. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the husbands is not resolved in this installment, but left for future books in the series. Another issue that left me with questions – the dog that appears frequently throughout the story – is something I hope the author resolves later on.
Jenna McKnight’s Witch In the House is definitely worth a try. The romance and antics of the characters was enough to keep this reader interested and looking forward to the next installment.