Author: Heather Blake
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: ARC uncorrected proof, 299
Published: Jan. 3, 2012
Opening Lines: "Usually I'm not in the habit of tiptoeing through strange houses under the cover of darkness."
"Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They've come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business . . .
"Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their aunt Velma delivered a bombshell: They're actually Wishcrafters -- witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt's magic-themed tourist town to master their newfound skills.
"But their magic fails them when a wannabe witch turns up dead -- strangled with Aunt Velma's scarf -- and Ve's sweetheart, Sylar, is found looming over the body. Ve is standing by her man, but Darcy overheard Sylar wish that the victim would disappear --- forever. With Harper distracted by her handsome new crush, Darcy is determined to sleuth her way to the truth. But it'll take more than a wish to unravel this mystery."
Thoughts: I was so excited to receive this book in the mail! The "Uncorrected Proofs" got me extremely excited! It made me feel like I was finally coming into my own as a book blogger! I really, really, really wanted to like this book, especially with the nice note left by the author. Unfortunately, I could not convince myself.
Where do I start? When I started reading this book, my husband asked what I thought of it. I told him that it was obvious it was the author's first book. It needed a lot of work. The author, while having an interesting story idea, needed to mature into her craft. After that, I found out the author has written several books. Oh wow . . .
First of all, I found Darcy and Harper's last name to be way too cliche. I could see it as a cute touch to a first time author, but it really annoyed me. Also, when a pickpocket was mentioned at the village meeting, Darcy was quick to jump to the conclusion that her sister was responsible. However, the audience is told that Harper only did crimes related to activism. That being the case, why does Darcy automatically assume her sister is stealing money from tourists? And that brings up the Enchanted Village . . . I cannot put my finger on it, but it felt too contrived.
The residents and business owners in the Enchanted Village are concerned about the pickpocket and the fact that it was driving tourists away. However, the murder had no effect on them. Does this seem weird? In addition, the residents didn't seem to be phased by the fact that someone was strangled behind the local bookstore. It was more of a novelty and something to titter about around the green. To a point I can see the gossip, but the author pushed it to an unbelievable point.
Multiple times Darcy and other people break into the victim's house/place of business. On the first occasion, it was to stop a thief. Unfortunately, the thief disappears into thin air, which leaves Darcy and her accomplice on the scene of a crime. Does this strike the cops as weird . . .? And, if this isn't enough, Darcy constantly tells the audience that she frowns upon breaking laws; however, since it was fine to break in once, she breaks in AGAIN!
Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. The following chapter picks up sometime after the cliffhanger and barely comes back to it. While I understand a few cliffhangers, constantly doing it is a sign of an immature writer. It felt as though she was doing it in an effort to keep the readers reading.
And, to add insult of injury, the characters in the book honestly believe that an allergic reaction is CONTAGIOUS!
There are many more issues I had with the book, but going into all of them would be overkill. To distill it down, I really did not enjoy this book. The idea was a creative one; however, it was not implemented properly. Normally, I would have given the author a lot of grace if this was her first book. It can take awhile for an author to mature into their craft. However, since she has many books out, there is no excuse. I'm sorry to give a low rating. The only thing that kept this book from getting one skull was the fact that I was curious who murdered Alex.
Take a look at the other tour stops: http://crazybooktours.blogspot.com/2011/12/january-tour-it-takes-witch-by-heather.html