A frothy romantic comedy with a magical twist.
Sarah’s 75-year-old Aunt Lilly has been causing mischief for a while, ever since she got her hands on her late sister’s book of spells. Up until now, these spells have only led to the occasional hors d’oeuvre explosion, but Aunt Lilly’s goal is to “straighten out” Sarah’s life, mostly by finding her a true love. Sarah’s last relationship, with the sexy and arrogant Anthony, was stormy enough to convince her that love is exactly what she doesn’t want or need. When Aunt Lilly and her new friend Emily decide they want to go on a cruise, Sarah is determined to meet Emily’s reluctant grandson and convince him to allow them to go. But Sarah soon discovers that the grandson is none other than Anthony, who convinces them all that they should all go on the cruise together, despite Sarah’s best efforts to wheedle out of it. Once Sarah and Anthony are thrown together again, sparks fly and old resentments surface—only this time, Aunt Lilly casts spell after spell to complicate things further. Romance author Roblin (Hocus Pocus, 2012) crafts a satisfying, gently comedic love story with just enough eroticism to satisfy readers looking to spice up their literary lives. Readers may not quite be convinced by some overdramatic lines (“In the throes of passion, Sarah looked into Anthony’s earnest eyes and greedily grasped what they offered, rediscovering small parts of herself that she’d locked away”), but for the most part, the characters’ relationships and dialogue are believable for the genre. The story’s magical elements, and its inclusion of well-meaning, winking-and-nudging old ladies, are welcome departures from typical romantic fare.
A fun, relatively unpredictable addition to a well-populated genre.