Back in a Spell by Lana Harper

Published: January 3, 2023


Pages: 336

Genre: Romantic Comedy

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Lana Harper is the New York Times bestselling author of Payback’s A Witch, and the forthcoming From Bad to Cursed from Berkley Books. Writing as Lana Popovic, she is also the author of YA novels Wicked Like a Wildfire, Fierce Like a Firestorm, Blood Countess, and Poison Priestess. Lana studied psychology and literature at Yale University, law at Boston University, and is a graduate of the Emerson College publishing and writing master’s program. She was born in Serbia and lived in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania before moving to the United States, where she now lives in Chicago with her family.

Even though she won’t deny her love for pretty (and pricey) things, Nineve Blackmoore is almost painfully down-to-earth and sensible by Blackmoore standards. But after a year of nursing a broken heart inflicted by the fiancée who all but ditched her at the altar, the powerful witch is sick of feeling low and is ready to try something drastically different: a dating app.

At her best friend’s urging, Nina goes on a date with Morty Gutierrez, the nonbinary, offbeat soul of spontaneity and co-owner of the Shamrock Cauldron. Their date goes about as well as can be expected of most online dates—awkward and terrible. To make matters worse, once Morty discovers Nina’s last name, he’s far from a fan; it turns out that the Blackmoores have been bullishly trying to buy the Shamrock out from under Morty and his family.

But when Morty begins developing magical powers—something that usually only happens to committed romantic partners once they officially join a founding family—at the same time that Nina’s own magic surges beyond her control, Nina must manage Morty’s rude awakening to the hidden magical world, uncover its cause, and face the intensity of their own burgeoning connection. But what happens when that connection is tied to Nina’s power surge, a power she’s finding nearly as addictive as Morty’s presence in her life?

“You gave me everything I needed to find my own strength.”

Nina comes from a long line of influential people. And having secrets is just another part of that. Luckily, her brother is a loyal friend and willing to risk anything for her. Nina’s best friend, Jessa, decides she is going to help Nina get over her failed engagement once and for all, which brings Morty into Nina’s life. When a mysterious nightmare turns out to be a memory, Nina will need her tribe more than ever if she is going to survive.

I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to follow this storyline because I haven’t read the first two books in the series. But, each storyline is a standalone. So I was able to enjoy this book without issue.

There was an emotional element to this plot that seemed to surround Nina. She was dealing with a lot, trying to recover from her fiancée leaving her, her demanding familial obligations, changes to her community, and maintaining her life.

I liked how “having it all” was embraced and how the concept of having it all isn’t as glamorous as we think. I found that refreshingly honest.

I enjoyed the characters in this book. Nina was one-dimensional initially, but as her story unfolded, we started seeing more of who she was. Jessa was radiant, happiness and light. Morty was stability and truth. Gareth was trust and unity.

The elements of each character mixed well with the plot and helped the storyline. I enjoyed the descriptions of the town and the way magic mixed with daily life.

There were a lot of pop culture references, which audiences will connect with, and I think it will help endure Nina to readers swiftly. Overall, this was a decent read.

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