Book Review: Winds of Salem (The Beauchamp Family #3) by Melissa de la Cruz

Modern-day witch Freya Beauchamp is cast back in time to 1692 amongst the Salem Witch Trials by an enemy spell, as her present-day family attempts to reopen the passages of time to bring her home.

Freya Beauchamp is trapped in 1692, in Salem of all places, with no recollection of her past. A powerful enemy spell has sent her spiraling away so that she is separated by centuries from her mother, Joanna, and sister, Ingrid. This is not good news for a twenty-first-century witch. Not to mention the immediate threat she faces from the wealthy and influential Putnam family. When little Annie Putnam is one of the first to make accusations of witchcraft, her landowner father jumps at the opportunity to consolidate his power and expand his holdings in Puritan Salem Town. If Freya is caught using magic, she will be forced to relive the witch trials, and this time, even her immortality is in question.

Meanwhile, twenty-first-century North Hampton has its own snares. Joanna and Norm consult the Oracle for advice, and Freddie and his pixie allies search for a missing totem that could reopen the passages of time and help bring his sister home. When Ingrid bumps into an old flame, she finds that her new love for Detective Matt Noble is in doubt.

Moving between past and present, Winds of Salem’s dizzying plot twists and page-turning suspense is sure to bewitch fans old and new.

I start to get twitchy when I see the big announcement of a series being made into a TV series. While I have enjoyed some book to TV shows (Dexter, True Blood) over all I still get twitchy especially such a new series, because you can not help to ask okay so is the book going to start being written more with a focus to the TV show.

I am not sure if that is what happened with this one or not, but I have to say for me a series that Started out with such a Bang getting a 5 gem review from me has ended with a whimper. This book was even more convoluted then the last one and just a lot of it was so sophmoric I do not know what to think about it anymore. Sadly I think this might be a case where the writer has been writing YA long enough they can not dig into the meat of an adult read and progress the characters in the right adult kind of way. I mean these are supposed to be ancient Nordic gods here.. and they don’t act like it.

In fact I do not usually put GIF’s in my book reviews..but I think this one fits..I suspect even the comic book version of Loki would be saying this.. about this group of Nords.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Serpent’s Kiss (The Beauchamp Family, #2) by Melissa de la Cruz

The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling 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.

I had such high hopes for this book because I really loved the first one. However for me Serpent’s kiss just kind of fell short of what I would have expected. The story gets convoluted with just to much going on around it. There were to many sub plots that did not really get hashed or fleshed out enough to really hold my interest. I love a book that has a lot going on, but there is such a thing as to much going on especially when none of it seems to form fully.

So while on some levels it was nice to spend some time with the North Hampton girls again overall this one just kind of left me feeling dissapointed and a little bit cold that had nothing to do with the chilly weather.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Spellbinding by Maya Gold

Release Date: April 1st 2013

Salem is the bewitching backdrop to this lush, fast-paced tale of one girl discovering the source of her powers.

It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva–sixteen and nearly friendless–makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession.

Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush–and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there’s Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history–and her heart–before she can face the powerful truth.

Having read a lot of the other reviews of this book just before I started it I was a little bit worried, but I liked the sound of the book when I asked for it on Net Gallery and so I was going to read it and form my own opinion about it. So my first thought is that it is a fast read and it is most certainly a young adult book like it states. There is plenty of teenage angst and plenty of silly teenage drama wrapped into the paranormal side of it. So keeping that in mind it was an alright book.

The characters had some depth although really over all they seem like your typical teenagers. There are your usual mean girls that you would expect and the main character Abby must overcome a lot of issues with the mean girls, and other torments in order to come out on the other side. I could guess most of the plot twists well before they happened and a lot of the witch stuff was your typical run of the mill, witches for dummies kind of stuff. However it was still a fun book with some nice descriptions and if I was younger I would probably have really loved it so it is good for the target audience. I would feel alright recommending this one to friends with a firm warning that it is a young adult book, you might not like it and a lot of the turns are very predictable but it is still a pretty decent story.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Book Review: Witches of East End by Melissa De la Cruz

From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz’s first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches.

The three Beauchamp women–Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid–live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret–they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there’s Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it’s time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

I am a huge fan of the Blue Bloods young Adult Novels by Melissa de la Cruz, so I was happily surprised when I found she had started a series for Adults on Witches. I admit I do not follow authors (even ones I like) as often as I should so I am a little behind the eight ball but I was happy to set to reading this first in the stories of the Beauchamps.

Joanna, Ingrid and Freya are a family of a Mother and two Sisters who after the Salem witch trials were put under a restriction by the council that governs them. They were no longer able to use the powers that they have always had, they must live immortal lives as normal as possible. Not a very easy task when your used to using magic all the time. They were lucky to escape the punishments with out being destroyed however so moving to the seemingly sleepy down of North Hampton they adjusted to life without magic.

That is until they decided like many do to say screw the authority! This rebellion starts selflessly however. The three do not use the powers they have for any personal gain, although it has been tempting it seems to do things such as clean the house (oh don’t we all wish!). Freya the youngest uses her powers to make a love potion to keep a couple together and from things for them ending in certain doom. Ingrid uses hers to help a friend who has been desperate to have a child with her husband to have the child they have always wanted, and Joanna uses hers to help keep a small boy happy. Things of course spiral from there and before long they are doing a lot more than just those small basics, however it is still always to help other people.

I really love the way this story spins and grows as it tells the tale. I had my suspicions of who the three might be because of my knowledge of Norse myths and the name Freya and then her making love potions gave it away some. Still I loved hearing of this and I have to say it was very cool to also see the Blue Bloods woven into the story as well, so we see the fallen angel Christian themes of Blue Bloods woven in with the Nordic Pagan themes of Norse Gods and Goddesses. I will not give away who all the players are because it would spoil a good deal of the plot, however you should be prepared to also see Balder (Baldr) and Loki show up, alas Thor does not but hey maybe next book because the ending is a cliff hanger for sure!

This is a great first adult novel effort by Melissa de la Cruz and I am looking forward to the next in the series. I would recommend this to any fan of her Young Adult books who wants to see what she can do as an adult and of course fans of mythology are going to love it as well.

My Gemstone Rating:


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