We’re headed back to Thistle Grove in Lana Harper’s upcoming release Back in a Spell. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the witches in Thistle Grove and was so excited to get an ARC for the 3rd installment. One of the things I like about this series, is that they’re all independent stories. It is best to read them in order, just because of small references and call backs, but each story focuses on a different witch family and witch. Add in the coziness of Thistle Grove itself and well you’ve got some great romantic witchy reads.
Back in a Spell follows Nineve (Nina) Blackmoore as she tries to recover from a broken heart. Since her fiancee called off their wedding, Nina has been in a funk and her best friend Jess thinks a blind date would be the perfect remedy. Nina’s blind date, Morty, is the complete opposite of Nina not to mention Nina’s family has been trying to buy Morty’s family bar from him. All this to say, the date did not end well. But when Morty wakes up with magical abilities the next morning and Nina’s magic is surging unexplainedly, the two are going to need to set their differences aside to figure out what is going on.
I think I liked this one the least so far in this series. I really think that has alot to do with not liking the Blackmoore family in general. The Blackmoore’s tend to keep to themselves and don’t interact with the rest of the town’s witches as much as the other family. I feel that this leaves us in a sort of silo, and I missed interacting with the rest of the families. The Blackmoore’s are also somewhat unlikable. Gareth, Nina’s older brother who we meet in the previous books, is the absolute worst. Her younger brother isn’t any better, and Nina herself is a bit cold. Though she does have significant growth throughout the story, I just didn’t feel the urge to root for her at all.
Nina’s love interest Morty, I wish would’ve have been our narrator for this one. He’s fun, complex, and extremely likable. I would have loved to get a dual POV with his perspective, especially since he’s a non-binary person. The chemistry between Nina and Morty though, is what really makes this read enjoyable. You can feel the tension between them and I definitely enjoyed being a passenger on their journey.
The mystery portion of the story was okay. I would have liked t haveo more around the reasoning for Nina being ‘chosen’. But was certainly intrigued by the plot.
Ultimately this is still a great series, and I’ve really enjoyed diving into it. I’m eager awaiting for another installment, and really hope we get book from Jessa’s POV. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Back in a Spell comes out January 3, 2023! Huge thank you to Berkley for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.