Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hot
Friday Harbour: (1) Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour, (2) Rainshadow Road, (3) Dream Lake
Justine Hoffmann runs a little B&B with her best friend, Zoe, in Friday Harbour. Artist’s Point is doing well and Justine is content with her life – with one exception: she’s yet to find love. When she finds out that someone cast a spell on her at birth, preventing her from meeting her soul mate, she’s determined to change her fate with the help of her Grimoire. Justine is a natural born witch – she may have decided against joining her mother’s coven and practising her magic regularly, but she’s determined to work with what she’s got so that she can find true happiness.
Jason Black of Inari Enterprises, has created the most successful fantasy video-games series ever. He and a small group of colleagues have booked out the entire inn for five days as they work to iron out a contract that will see Jason purchase a substantial area of land in Friday Harbour, to establish a community retreat for education, innovation and inspiration. Despite being as handsome as sin, he’s something of a recluse, never attending any promotional events and he works hard to avoid the camera. With this knowledge in hand, Justine is as surprised as Jason when he makes clear that he wants to spend time with her.
Their attraction is sizzling, yet Justine knows that she must keep her distance. Jason is hiding more from Justine than she could ever guess and his reasons for wanting to get close to her will be devastating once she finds out. Yet, by destroying the curse that was placed on her, Justine has unleashed a storm that is waiting to break, and Jason might be the only one who can protect her from the aftermath …
I haven’t been too fond of the Friday Harbour series – until now. Crystal Cove is the fourth book in the series and I’ve carried on reading, nonetheless, because Lisa Kleypas is a great favourite. I think my main complaint about the series is the magic element. Not that I don’t like magic, but it’s hard to reconcile with Lisa Kleypas and in my opinion, I’ve seen magic contemporaries done much better.
I’d love to visit Friday Harbour for a holiday. The name itself sounds like a little paradise tucked away where tourists can’t find, and Artists’ Point is just the sort of place I could fall in love with. I have no quibble with Ms Kleypas’ choice of setting and as always, the writing itself is good; it’s just not the preferred genre I like to read from her.
I would have liked it if we’d seen more of the other Friday Harbour characters. Usually, Ms Kleypas is very good at linking books and characters together and that’s one of the things I love about her; in Crystal Cove, however, we had only fleeting scenes with Zoe and Alex and none with the other characters. This was hugely disappointing, but it did, in a way, make sense: the heroes of the first three books were brothers; Justine’s primary connection to them was through Zoe.
I thought that this was the end of the series, but apparently Lightning Bay will be released in 2014. I’m curious as to who this book will feature; I was under the impression that all the main characters we’ve met have now met their happily ever after. Lukewarm-ish as I am about this series, I’m still anxious to find out more.
If a new Kleypas reader wanted suggestions, I'd have endless possibilities to give them, but the Friday Harbour series would not be on that list. Crystal Cove would have worked well as a standalone and I didn't mind it overall, but it's by no means my first choice to re-read. I much prefer her historicals to contemporaries, but I cannot wait for Joe Travis' book in the Travis series.
Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction