Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the latest (final?) installment of the series that started with Christmas in Friday Harbour. Lisa Kleypas has always been my go-to author for stories with epic emotions and larger than life characters.
(the rest is under cut for spoilers)
I find that her contemporary novels do not hit quite the same high notes as her historicals, but I suppose the shift in writing focus with different characterisation and plot development may affect it. I can't quite pinpoint what it is; but I devour her books anyway. Even with this minor complain, I would still take her novels over other contemporary authors that don't quite crank my engine.
One of the running theme for this series is the presence of magic in the life of the characters. Magic in Christmas in Friday Harbour was not quite realised but was given a stronger presence in Rainshadow Road and Dream Lake.
Here we have Justine who is a hereditary witch paired with Jason who has no soul. Jason's plan to gain himself a soul through Justine's spell book was derailed when he was hit by the freight train of love. How two diametrically characters find their way towards happily ever after is the goal of every romance, and Ms Kleypas did not disappoint here with the plot and banter.
For all that I am keen on urban fantasy, I do not quite like stories that feature witches. They oftentimes reek of ghost in the machine with every problem magically solved, pun intended. Most authors seem stuck on Charmed-like story telling, with Christine Feehan the worst offender in this. Hence, I prefer Kim Harrison with the fumbling though powerful witch Rachel Mariana Morgan. At least Rachel grew in her powers and evolved as a character as books go by.
Back to Crystal Cove. Ms. Kleypas has always written fabulous sex scenes that are raw and rich with emotional intensity. Here she explored the kinkier side, utilising Jason's heritage to bring in Japanese bondage as an extended form of foreplay. Suffice to say it was awesomely done.
Go read and enjoy.
Male protagonist(s): 5/5 stars
Female protagonist: 5/5 stars
Storyline: 4/5 stars
Pacing: 3/5 stars
Fun Factor: 4/5 stars
Repeat Reading Factor: 4/5 stars
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