by Shanon Grey
Release Date: November 23, 2011
2011 Turquoise Morning Press
Ebook Edition; 244 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Paranormal
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
3.5 / 5 Stars
When is a whole more than the sum of its parts? When it has ties to the quaint little town of Ruthorford, GA, as Morgan Briscoe discovers when a cryptic message threatens to change her life forever.
Morgan's relatively normal life is turned on its ear when she learns not only that she is adopted, but her birth parents are dead and she now holds half-interest in a business with their ward, Dorian Drake, who, despite his riveting good looks, can barely conceal his hostility toward his new partner.
Morgan discovers that she is more than she seems and together she and Dorian have the ability to control a portal to another dimension. Unable to control their growing attraction, Morgan and Dorian dance around their desires and her burgeoning abilities, until danger forces them to face their destiny.
The Shoppe of Spells had a very interesting and unique story line to it that I quite enjoyed. From the moment I was introduced to Morgan and her cat, Mrs. T., I was intrigued by the secrets that were set in motion almost from the beginning of the novel when a letter from a mysterious lawyer arrived for her in the mail. Secrets, mysteries, old family traditions - all of these things are always a draw for me and often keep me reading until I discover the things I want to know.
Some of these secrets lure Morgan to a charming town where she discovers she is now half-owner of a shop and bounteous gardens, something she has always wanted and longs in her heart to keep forever. She also discovers the other owner is a sexy male and finds herself completely smitten right from the beginning. I thought the growing relationship between Dorian and Morgan was cute and fun, although I like the fact that trust was not always forthcoming as it made their relationship seem more real and believable. There were times I would have liked to have shaken Dorian however, as his habit of withholding information was sometimes annoying and seemed more like it was for the sake of the moving the plot along rather than for relationship purposes. There was sometimes a false ring to these revelations when he spoke to others and it sometimes drove me crazy. While the author tried really hard to show the physical attraction between the two of them, there were times when I felt like Ms. Grey was trying a tad too hard to push the believability of the attraction and I didn't buy it. However, I did enjoy the scene in the grotto, and for those romance lovers out there, who don't want too much detail, but still want some romance and love, I think you will really enjoy this scene.
The plot itself, while it had some intriguing twists and turns, was somewhat slow in sections, and the whole villain thing didn't work in my estimation. While what happened to Jasmine was truly horrible, it felt wrong and out of place in the novel, not because of the incident, but because it didn't really seem to fit in the plotline very well. I couldn't really grasp Rob's importance in the grand scheme of things, and yes, I know he worked for Iain, but to turn so horrible so quickly made little sense to me. I also felt the creatures and their purpose was not explained very well, nor were the portals and it left me with far more questions that were not answered; this was sort of frustrating as a reader. There were quite a few secondary characters involved in the novel, some I am absolutely certain we will see in future novels (hopefully!!!), and I really enjoyed their quirky personalities. Meadow was a delight and a treat, and I really hope there will be a novel devoted to Morgan's BFF, Jenni, as I adored her character. I was totally surprised by Jasmine as I was prepared to hate her character as the scheming and jealous ex-girlfriend, and she ended up being anything but that. Love those twists!! These characters also played pivotal roles in this novel, roles which are not totally clear at this point. Hopefully more answers will be forthcoming in future novels to the many questions I have.
The Shoppe of Spells is the first novel in the Gatekeeper Series and is a fun, lighthearted read. While I thought it was somewhat lacking in regards to suspense and I did find it fairly predictable, there were enough other delights, especially through some of the quirky secondary characters, to keep me interested. This series is off to an interesting start, and I am looking forward to learning more about Jasmine and her abilities in the next book in this series.
Shanon Grey weaves romance and suspense with threads of the paranormal. THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS is the first in her series, THE GATEKEEPERS. Shanon spent her life on coasts, both the beautiful Atlantic and the balmy Gulf. Hurricane Katrina taught her the fragility of life and the strength of friendship, family and starting over. She currently lives in northern Georgia, trading the familiarity of the coast for the lush beauty and wonder of the mountains, where her husband fulfilled her lifelong dream—to live in a cottage in the woods. There, she garners inspiration from horses grazing on rolling pastures and deer that wander by to tease her beloved dog.
You can join her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ShanonGrey and visit her website at www.shanongrey.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you.