cover image Back in a Spell

Back in a Spell

Lana Harper. Berkley, $17 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-33610-6

Harper’s charming third Witches of Thistle Grove romance (after From Bad to Cursed) continues to plumb surprising emotional depths while maintaining a lighthearted rom-com vibe. Responsible pansexual witch Nina Blackmoore agrees to a blind date with spontaneous nonbinary bartender Morty Gutierrez, not realizing he’s from the same Gutierrez clan that her powerful family have been harassing into selling the bar. The date’s a disaster—but mystical forces are at work to keep this duo from calling it quits. After witnessing an apparition in the town lake, Nina wakes to find her powers are wildly magnified. Worse, somehow Morty now has powers of his own. The only way he could have acquired magic overnight is if the pair of them are witchbound, the metaphysical equivalent of marriage. Though Nina is desperate to regain control over her power and halt the connection rapidly growing between her and Morty, she also welcomes the unexpected benefit of the bond: having someone she can be herself with, who helps her to confront the damage her self-centered mother has wrought on her life. Harper doesn’t hold back in showing the effects of being raised by a narcissistic parent, grounding the witchy story in heartfelt reality. This is sure to enchant series fans and new readers alike. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Jan.)