Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Have You Heard? Juliet Blackwell's Bewitched and Betrothed

While I have a copy of Juliet Blackwell's latest Witchcraft mystery, Bewitched and Betrothed, I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Fortunately, Sandie Herron had time to listen to the audiobook. She's sharing her comments here today. (Thank you, Sandie.)

Bewitched and Betrothed                                                           
Witchcraft Mystery, Book 10
Written by Juliet Blackwell (Julie Goodson-Lawes)
Narrated by Xe Sands
Unabridged Audiobook
Tantor Audio (7/2/2019)
Listening Length: 8 hours and 54 minutes

Lily Ivory is tending her San Francisco vintage clothing store, Aunt Cora’s Closet, when one of her co-workers brings in a shirt believed to bean original Alcatraz prisoner shirt.  Using her witchy powers, Lily feels the evil in the shirt and warns everyone not to go near it.  An Alcatraz national park ranger picks up the shirt to bring it to Alcatraz for display, but she is kidnapped on Cora Closet’s doorstep along with the shirt.  

While Lily Ivory is planning her wedding to Sailor, she hardly has time to search for the missing woman, but she investigates where the shirt came from, how the owner came to have it and why.  She uncovers symbols that might tie it to a demon she had defeated at the School of Fine Arts years before.  She visits the school to discover the demon is loose.  Everyone in the magical community is becoming aware of a great disturbance in the aura around San Francisco.  

Lily’s grandmother, who raised her, her coven of 13 women, and Lily’s mother have arrived in town all together in a bus in which they’ve taken a circuitous route to California from Texas.  They deliberately took their time so their arrival would coincide not only with the date of Lily’s hand-fasting but also with this huge paranormal event.  After visiting her mentor, Aidan, head of the magical community, Lily realizes that this is a foretold event where a man and woman join forces to rule San Francisco.  Their combined powers would put them above all others, including Aidan.

Alcatraz prison, just a short distance from the city of San Francisco, would make an ideal location for this to happen.  Many believe the island is haunted and is cursed.  Lily investigates these allegations and discovers a very strong vibration in the prison, especially the dungeons underneath the prison.
Meanwhile preparations continue for Lily’s wedding.  Despite their busy lives, especially now with this supernatural event looming, Lily and Sailor manage to spend quality time together.

It comes as no shock that this supernatural showdown is going to occur during a festival planned by a local rich man out on the island.  Have Lily and Sailor and their community prepared sufficiently to fight a powerful duo of witches strengthened by a demon? Do they survive the event?  Do they get married?  

This was another charming and scary entry in the series by the Bay.  Lily has come of age here, discovering the extent of her witchy powers and also those of being a lovely woman coming into her own.  She has gained the support of many supernatural beings yet also has numerous mortal friends.  Lily is ready to share her life with Sailor.  I find myself cheering her on and hoping everything works out for her because she surely deserves it. The juxtaposition of good versus evil is very evident in several ways, but which will win out?

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