Following Compulsion (2014), Barrie juggles future plans with handsome Eight while dealing with the possibility of ending the Colesworth curse.
When Barrie returns from San Francisco after her godfather’s death, her home’s been besieged by paranormal investigators drawn to the Fire Carrier legend. Worse, Eight knew but didn’t tell her. Also straining their romance is his decision about what college to attend (will he follow his dream of going far away or stay local for Barrie?), and Barrie must decide if he loves her or if he’s being compelled by his Beaufort gift. Multiple encounters with shadowy, mysterious Obadiah—who reveals a personal connection to the gifts and Colesworth curse—lead Barrie reluctantly to her treacherous cousin Cassie. But Obadiah’s of uncertain trustworthiness, and the magic he unleashes has unexpected consequences. Meanwhile, Cassie’s desperate to save her home by finding its legendary buried treasure and brings in an archaeological team. She also experiences the onset of PTSD as a result of a traumatic incident in her past—one echoed in a ghostly flashback she and Barrie experience of the Colesworth plantation during the Civil War, a painful moment in the family’s history. While the multiple storylines and subplots help perk up the slow pace, they’re unbalanced and result in a lackluster climax that doesn’t resolve the more interesting questions, leaving readers to wait for the third book.
Uneven but also atmospheric and packed with magic and mysteries. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)