Series: Half Moon Hollow #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Pocket Books on 28 May 2013
A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses is another fun read from Ms Harper. Our witchy heroine Nola Leary has travelled from Kilcairy, Ireland to Half-Moon Hollow in order to track down four magical artefacts given to her grandfather in order to recreate a 100 year old spell. She’s on rather a tight schedule though as a rival family is desperate to claim the goods and to make matters worse her grandfather, Mr Wainwright, has hidden them somewhere in his bookshop which now belongs to Jane Jameson (heroine of another of Harper’s series). Failure to get the artefacts would mean her family losing their magic and having to close their health clinic which the Kilcairy locals rely on. Nola knows she needs to concentrate but her sexy and often semi-clad neighbour Jed makes that a bit difficult.
Nola is a great character who was shaped by her feisty maternal grandmother, Nana Fee. Nola hadn’t had an easy beginning – she was abandoned by her mother and then had to deal with her father dying. Luckily Nana Fee brought her over to Ireland, where she not only taught her the Craft but surrounded her with an extended family and love which she cherishes. Nola’s magic had always been a bit unstable and ebbed and flowed depending on her emotions. I liked that she sought other ways of finding the artefacts than just using magic which can be a pretty annoying deux ex machina.
Watching her and Jeb each trying to hide their big secrets was pretty fun. Jeb was a perfect partner for her and although they had great chemistry, they also managed to become friends along the way (despite a few bumpy parts). The scenes with them flirting were almost just as good as the ones with sex because of the witty one liners and playful banter. Jeb is Mr Mysterious for most of the book and the truth about him when it was finally revealed was completely unexpected. Needless to say he is hot, charming and pretty smitten with Nola. What more could you want?
As great as Nola and Jed were, at times they were outshone by the quirky inhabitants of Half-Moon Hollow. I appreciated the opportunity to catch up with Jane, Andrea and the others but it wasn’t their story. There was also so much happening in the background that I got side-tracked – I would have loved a slightly longer book to explore even more of this world. The plot is well paced and the big baddie reveal nicely executed. The humour which is a trademark of Harper’s novels was littered throughout and I was chuckling the whole way through.
With these books it isn’t the ending that is important but rather the journey along the way. You might miss some of the in-jokes if you haven’t read the Jane Jameson series given the high profile of Jane and Andrea but nothing too dramatic. It is fun, sweet, sexy and a great read.