Thursday, August 31, 2023

Blog Tour: Big Little Spells by Hazel Beck

ARC provided by Harper Collins
Links denoted with * are affiliates.


Today, as part of the Harlequin Trade Publishing Summer Blog Tour programme, I want to talk about a book called Big Little Spells - it's the second novel in Hazel Beck's Witchlore series, and the follow-up to Small Town, Big Magic

A smart, modern Rom-Com about a witch banished from her coven who seeks help from the only person who can prove she's not a threat to witchkind - her annoyingly immortal childhood crush.

Rebekah Wilde was eighteen when she left St. Cyprian, officially stripped of her magic and banished from her home. Ten years later she's forced to return to face the Joywood Coven, who preside over not just her hometown, but the whole magical world.

The Joywood are determined to prove Rebekah is a danger to witchkind, and she faces a death sentence if she can't prove otherwise. Rebekah must seek help from the only one who knows how to stop the Joywood - the ruthless immortal Nicholas Frost. Years ago, he was her secret tutor in magic, and her secret, impossible crush. But the icy and frustratingly handsome immortal is as remote and arrogant as ever, and if he feels anything for Rebekah - or witchkind - it's impossible to tell.

As I've mentioned already, this is the second in a series, which I was completely unaware of when I requested it. I haven't read the first book, and it soon became evident that that would be a slight issue.

The book picks up after a fairly big event, one that's not explained very well. We're thrown straight into the world and we're expected to know and understand several strange terms (like a test called a "Pubertatum" that just made me think of the baby from the Addams Family Values). Usually in a series, there's a little catch-up, and I felt that really would have helped here because it took me a while to figure out who was who and what was happening.

In saying that - the story romped along fairly quickly, and soon morphed into a solid tale of two witch sisters who had spent some time apart and were now working on repairing their relationship while also proving to their community that they had earned the right to use their magical powers. There's a romance subplot, it's a very early Buffy/Angel dynamic with some similar banter and some closed door scenes ("we tumbled this way and that" was about as explicit as it got).

There's a wider issue at play here - local witches are succumbing to some kind of illness that kills them, and the sisters and their coven are sure that the local equivalent of the town council are to blame. The same people they must impress if they're to be seen as true witches. The sisters failed the test once before, ten years ago, now they must take it again. This means revisiting some of the preparations and rituals they did as teenagers (think Never Been Kissed if Josie was a witch trying to prove herself). 

I didn't really take to the teenage elements of the story (like the Prom) - I imagine fans of the first book who enjoyed it will LOVE this one, especially the progression of the relationship between Rebekah and Nicholas. I couldn't put it down for the last quarter, but I did feel like the book overall could've lost 50 pages and been none the worse for wear. 

Will I read the rest of the series? Probably not, but I imagine fans of these authors and this series will be very happy with this latest instalment, which is hitting at the perfect time of year for some cosy witching. 

Thank you to Justine at Harper Collins for having me as part of the blog tour program. 

Big Little Spells is out now to buy (or you can request it at your local library!)

You can learn more about Hazel Beck below, and keep up with them on their website, or on social media via Instagram, Facebook and Goodreads

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk at me!