**spoiler alert** The third installment in the Elemental Witches series, Witch Heart pulls together Anya Bast's ability to write a great romance wit...more**spoiler alert** The third installment in the Elemental Witches series, Witch Heart pulls together Anya Bast's ability to write a great romance with a good plot that has some unusual story twists. Like the first two books in this series, the main characters, Adam and Claire, are part of a developing couple. Unlike the first two books, the emphasis shifts away from sex to the story and deserves a four star rating for the deepening plot.
Ms. Bast does not completely abandon her skill as a romance writer and continues to write good sex scenes. Similar to Witch Fire and Witch Blood, she uses sex to further the individual character development, but now her characters are on a more equal footing. Like Jack and Thomas, Adam is the third Alpha male; however, Claire is demanding in her own right and their telling is more of a partnership. That does not mean Adam never acts like a super protective white knight (Poor Micah). In a way, their sex is about healing their pasts. In Witch Heart, I think Ms. Bast finally achieves what she set up to do with the first Elemental Witch book, use sex as a catalyst for positive change and development, without making it the focus of the plot.
Although this book is entirely a stalking-the-prey story, the developments of where the witches came from, how the demon world is different, how demon magic differs from elemental witch magic and how Claire reconciles her own relationship with the demons pushes the series quite a bit further along than the first two books. Between the long introduction of Theo and a couple of plot twists toward the end of this book, I am actively looking forward to book 4.(less)
In terms of romance (and this includes the gratuitous sex scenes), Isabelle and Thomas's relationship differs from Mira and Jack's. Yes, Thomas, like Jack, is another Alpha male, as one would expect the head of the Coven to be. And Isabelle, like Mira, has some issues dealing with self-worth and love to work out. Even some of Ms. Bast's sex scenes are similar in act (though Thomas is not as fiercely dominant as Jack); however, since the taste of the characters is not the same and the way they react to similar stimuli is different, Ms. Bast manages to convey both different intentions and lessons with Isabelle and Thomas's relationship.
After reading the second book, I found that I was enjoying the world Ms. Bast created and how each elemental magic differs. For example, how earth witches have to work out most of their spells in advance, while air, fire, and water can pull magic at the needed instant. Also, the entire concept of moisture memory is a unique spin on water magic. At this point in the series, I'm enjoying both the world Ms. Bast has created and how her main characters not only complement each other, but force each other to become stronger. (less)
**spoiler alert** Witch Fire is one of those books that's a delightful guilty pleasure that rates 3.5 stars. The story is intriguing and moves along...more**spoiler alert** Witch Fire is one of those books that's a delightful guilty pleasure that rates 3.5 stars. The story is intriguing and moves along with a good pace. The characters are not necessarily the most complex, but there is good development of them by the end of the book. I'm actually looking forward to see how Anya Bast develops them through the rest of the series when they become secondary characters.
And then there are the sex scenes. Yes, they make up a substantial part of the book. And yes, it is completely gratuitous to read them. However, they are well written, interesting, and introduce ideas that help the characters grow. That being said, there is a certain level of submission (including bondage)in their telling. Jack is an alpha male without a doubt and Mira has never been appreciated by a man. You might believe that bondage would actually hamper Mira more; however, Ms. Bast does a wonderful job of explaining how it's about Mira's pleasure and her acceptance and surrender to the sexual part of herself. By the end of it, Mira becomes more confident and sure of herself as a sexual woman. And that is something to applaud.
I heartily suggest that readers keep an open mind while reading it and follow the characters intentions. You never know what you can learn from a book.(less)
This is a charming romance about a supernatural town in Vermont, the owner of a knitting shop and a cop from Boston. For anyone who knits, the humor w...moreThis is a charming romance about a supernatural town in Vermont, the owner of a knitting shop and a cop from Boston. For anyone who knits, the humor will be delightful. And the paranormal bits are just as amusing, for instance geriatric vampires. Just think about it. Great, quick read to chase the blues away.(less)