Magic and I hadn’t exactly had a good start, but thanks to a spell that made me repulsive to men, I was seriously considering becoming a witch hunter.
A chance encounter with a charming stranger makes Phoebe dream of a happily-ever-after, until she learns that there’s a spell on her that makes her repulsive to men. Luckily her boss, Archibald Kane, and her new landladies are experts on magic. Only this one seems to confound them all.
Who has spelled her and why? Is it a challenge on Kane’s leadership of the mages? Or is there a more sinister game afoot?
Phoebe doesn’t mind the space men give her in the tube, but her cousin’s engagement party is coming up. How is she to celebrate, if she makes half the guests nauseous? And how is she to charm the man of her dreams when she suspects he’s part of the problem?
It might take the Archmage to break the spell—if only they could find him. A spell may be needed to save them both.
Saved by the Spell is the second book in Susanna Shore’s new series of paranormal cozy myteries set in London. Earlier this year I reviewed the first book Hexing the Ex (this has got to be one of the most popular titles in the genre-hmm, I wonder what it says about the human nature…). We got introduced to the protagonist, Phoebe Thorpe, a recent graduate in History of arts who is working in an antiques shop. When her hapless flatmate floods their tiny flat, they get evicted and Phoebe has to look for a new place, which miraculously she finds on the same day. Even more miraculously, despite its premium location, this room above ‘a magic shop’ is something Phoebe can afford. Stranger things happened, but surely not in Central London…The landladies are very sweet, meals are included in the rent (you see what I mean?) and the flatmates all seem very friendly. Of course, our naive Phoebe has no idea she is about to enter the world of witches/mages/dangerous warlocks, vampires and werewolves- well, all the usual suspects are there, plus a hellhound or two. I don’t want to give away the mystery at the heart of Book 1 in case you want to start from the beginning of the series, but Phoebe does find out that somebody very close to her isn’t exactly what she thought they were and although there’s no romance as such in the book, there is plenty of potential for it.
I enjoyed reading Book 2 even more than the first one. Just when Phoebe starts thinking she might have had her own very special ‘meet cute’, she discovers a strange thing- she has become extremely repulsive to all men. This magic spell, which turns out to be usually cast by super-protective magical fathers (and a few jealous husbands as well), is making her work quite difficult – not only with the shop customers, but also with her boss Archibald Kane. Convenient as it is for giving her extraordinary amounts of physical space during her morning commute in public transport, the spell has to be broken. It soon becomes clear that the mystery goes beyond the romantic life (or lack of it) of one non-magical human, and what is at stake is a political leadership of London magical community.
There were quite a few twists (some were easier to predict and see through than the others) in this action-packed cozy. Phoebe continues to charm with her irresistible mix of innocence/naivety and desire to protect people around her. Her landladies, her flatmates Ashley and Luca, and, of course, the archi-gentleman Mr Kane are all unique characters that grow on you the further you get into the book.
Light, uncomplicated, clean, Saved by the Spell is great for anyone who loves paranormal mysteries and is looking for a quick read. Can’t wait for the next story in the series!
Thank you to NetGalley and Crimson House Books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
About the Author:
Susanna Shore is an independent author of more than twenty books. She writes the Two-Natured London paranormal romance series, P.I. Tracy Hayes series of light mysteries set in Brooklyn, and House of Magic paranormal mystery series. She is also an author of some contemporary romances and thrillers.
You can find her on Twitter @SusannaShore and more about her books on her webpage susannashore.com, where you can also find short stories and a sign-up page to her newsletter.