Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.
The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.
Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.
Willa Iscove, fae jeweler, has her first stalker. Really, he’s just one of her lovesick customers. The ring she crafted to help him find new love has backfired, making Willa the object of his affections. In a bid to rid herself of her amorous client, Willa makes a wish in the Nocturne Falls fountain using the piece of opal in her pocket and in doing so, unknowingly conscripts as her guardian the sexy gargoyle on duty.
Former Army Ranger and gargoyle Nick Hardwin has some serious suspicions about the pretty fae who just invoked the ancient pact for protection. Her kind have been at odds with his kind for ages. Now she wants his help? He’s determined to figure out what she’s up to. Which won’t be a hardship considering how much fun she is to be around. And kiss.
But then her stalker turns out to be the tip of the iceberg and things go really wrong, really fast. When they’re both kidnapped, Willa is forced to make a hard decision. The life of her family or the freedom of the man she’s fallen for?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the third book in the Nocturne Falls series. I loved it!
Willa Iscove is a wonderful character. I really liked her. She has a very independent spirit. She is a fae jeweler, now living in Nocturne Falls after running away from her home, Rhoswynn, several years earlier when she was fourteen. When a spell she included in a ring she made for a client backfires, she finds herself being stalked. Desperate, she makes a wish at the town's fountain. What she didn't expect was to find a protector in Nick Hardwin, an ex Army Ranger and gargoyle.
Nick Hardwin is also a wonderful character. I liked him a lot. He was only mentioned in The Werewolf Meets His Match, so it is nice to get to know him better. He has a typical alpha type personality, fiercely loyal, extremely protective and seriously sexy. Being an Army Ranger, Nick was used to action and danger, but now he's a civilian once more and he is finding life a little dull. Hoping to find a little excitement, he agrees to act as a night watchman, doing surveillance as the gargoyle at the town's fountain. When Willa unknowingly recruits him as her guardian, he is unsure of her motives. As his attraction to her grows, he is torn between his heart and his duty.
I came across this series through the recommendations from Amazon due to my reading/browsing history. I loved the first book and couldn't wait to read this one. Luckily, my sister and I share the same taste in books and, since we also share our Kindle libraries, I was able to read this from her account.
I started to read and didn't put it down until I had finished it. In fact, it felt like I'd only just started it when I finished. I flew through the story I was that absorbed. I enjoyed meeting the various residents of Nocturne Falls and getting to know them better. .
The story is told through the eyes of both Willa and Nick. There is slightly less humour in this story compared to the first book of the series, but it was no less enjoyable. The story took me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I really liked Jasper, Willa's cat. He has his own personality, though he reminded me of my own cat, whom I miss dearly as she died many years ago. I also liked meeting Pandora Williams, a witch with misfiring magic who works as an estate agent and is known as The House Witch. She has a cat sibling to Jasper, so Willa and Pandora have bonded over this and have become best friends. As the story progressed, the reader also gets to meet Julian Ellingham. He is still rather enigmatic, even though he's known as a playboy and is the youngest of the three Ellingham brothers. He's in charge of organising the various jobs the "characters" aka the residents play (even though they mostly play themselves) to keep the visitors happy. There are also several other interesting characters, though I must admit I didn't warm up to Willa's younger sister and brother, Kyanna and Zane; they were rather spoilt and bratty. I did, however, like Shay, Willa's youngest sister. She is much more down to earth.
As the story unfolded, there were several twists and turns I didn't see coming and I found myself in awe at Willa's strength of character. Her stalker is more of an annoyance rather than a danger to her, but I also felt sorry for him as he is unwittingly used as a pawn by Kyanna. I must admit I enjoyed visiting Rhoswynn. It sounds like a beautiful place to live, though rather oppressive, considering the way they treated their lapidus fae (those who could work with both metal and stone like Willa). Nevertheless, the challenge scene with Willa and Kyanna was incredibly tense and I could feel the tension as Willa struggled to get through it. The conclusion wasn't unexpected, but Willa's actions were.
I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of insta-love, I like characters to have time to get to know each other better. This story is more in line with this compared to the first two books, though not by much. Having said that, the story is a romance and I enjoyed watching Willa's and Nick's relationship grow. I reached the end of the book and was left with a warm fuzzy feeling as I enjoy a happy ending. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Professor Woos The Witch, as soon as I can.
Kristen Painter has written a wonderful paranormal romance. I enjoyed her writing style, which is fast paced and entertaining. The flow was wonderful too. I would definitely read more of this author's books in the future.
There are no scenes of an explicit sexual nature (the scenes fade or are implied and not shown), nor is there any bad language. Therefore, I recommend this book to older teens and highly recommend this book to readers who love paranormal, supernatural or urban fantasy romances. - Lynn Worton
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