Series: A Midnight Magic Mystery #1
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 8, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
A suspenseful brew with a dash of passion.
High Priestess might sound like an ’80s hair band, but its Mona McGregor’s life. She runs the Midnight Magic shop in Goodnight, Virginia, and leads a large coven. She’s also raising two nieces and hasn’t been with a man for fifteen years…until a handsome doctor takes an interest in her. But Mona’s life really heats up when Adam Blue, a sexy werewolf, arrives at her door. Adam informs her that someone wants her dead and he is there to protect her. Hell’s bells! When a demon begins stalking her, Mona has to suspect her coven members, and even her family.
With two handsome men and a determined demon after her, Mona teams up with Adam to find out who really wants her dead . . . and who really wants her.
I'm a sucker for witches and werewolves and I love mysteries so this was a no-brainer for me. But. I have had this eARC sitting on my Kindle for about a year now. *hangs head* The next book is out in March and it's also sitting on my Kindle so I figured I should get busy reading this one.
Mona is in her thirties, single, raising one sister's daughters while helping plan the wedding of another sister. She also runs a shop and is High Priestess of her coven, an inherited position. Mona has spent much of her life being responsible for others -- helping her father raise her sisters when their mother died, taking care of her father, taking care of her grandparents, taking care of her coven, etc. She's known as the town spinster and has had a limited love life.
Right before her sister Debbie's wedding, an injured werewolf shows up on Mona's doorstep and tells her there's a hit man out to get her. He sticks around to help but his Alpha has allowed him only a week and then he must return to the pack.
Harlow gives us romance, mystery, humor, and a story that was a lot fun. It was an ARC and as such was poorly copy edited; I really hope the final version was cleaned up because this one was in bad shape - typos, wrong words, misspellings, clunky sentences, etc.
The mystery portion was weak. Harlow shoves one person at us so hard that it was obvious, to me at least, that that person wasn't the would-be killer. There are several other viable candidates and it becomes clear who the guilty party really is, though not why until they are outed. Mona's attempts to play investigator were fun to read; she's somewhat inept, at breaking and entering anyway, but her attempts were believable.
The heat between Adam and Mona builds slowly and was a treat to watch. He's had a thing for her for years but didn't speak up. She thought he didn't like her. As they spend time together, they really get to know each other and the heat builds. There's a love triangle but it's not drawn out and it didn't develop the way I expected, which I liked. When Adam makes a move, whoa! The heat rises and the fun times begin. The "I love you"s sweet, romantic and made me tear up.
I liked that Mona is in many ways just a regular woman; she's average looking, of average intelligence, juggling work and family, with little time for herself. She's not superwoman, she's not a kick-ass crime fighter, she's a just a decent, caring woman who wants someone to take care of her for a change. Adam is happy to do so but there are impediments to there being together long term. I was pretty sure it would work out but wasn't sure how Harlow would do it.
While the editing was weak and occasionally the story telling wandered, I enjoyed Mona, Adam, and Mona's nieces, Cora and Sophie. I enjoyed spending time with them and am ready to jump into the next book, which, sadly features different leads but maybe they'll make a guest appearance.