Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Nov09/lacedwithmagic.bb.html
Things are finally going right for Chloe Hobbs. Her latent sorceress powers have finally kicked in, she saved her town from being pulled beyond the mist, she banished the power-hungry Fae leader, Isadora, and best of all, she’s in love with Luke Mackenzie, the town’s chief of police and only resident full-blooded human. But Chloe’s bubble of happiness is popped when Luke’s ex-wife, Karen, shows up in Sugar Maple, claiming the spirit of Steffie, their dead daughter, is in trouble. Despite wishing Karen a thousand miles away, not to mention the shock of learning Luke had a daughter, Chloe can’t leave Steffie’s spirit in danger. Turns out, Chloe’s old nemesis, Isadora, is the one holding Steffie’s spirit hostage and will only release her if Chloe undoes her banishment. It’s up to Chloe to rescue Steffie’s spirit, save her town and her relationship with Luke before Isadora destroys all three.
Action, danger, and a surfeit of magic blend together as things take a dark turn in this sequel to Casting Spells. Laced with Magic is even more engrossing than its predecessor, though the joy and energy that came from the first book is markedly lessened by the desperate situation the characters are in. Chloe and Luke remain incredibly likeable as, to my surprise, was Karen. These three endeared themselves to me in part because of Barbara Bretton’s use of the first person. The story switches from each of their perspectives (clearly labeled, which I appreciate), giving me a more intimate inroad to their thoughts. Because of my attachment to these characters, I couldn’t put Laced with Magic down because I wanted to see everything work out for them.
I was delighted to return to the town of Sugar Maple once more in Laced with Magic. Chloe’s store, Stick & Strings, continues to be a knitter’s dream, and the town itself a fascinating one. The other residents of Sugar Maple, from faeries to vampires, werewolves, and so forth remain interesting, but I am sad to report they are less likeable than in Casting Spells. Still, I was captivated by Laced with Magic and, given the cliffhanger Ms. Bretton ends the story with, am on the edge of my seat for the next Sugar Maple book.