Genre and Pairing:Paranormal and M/F
Reviewer Name: Luna
There’s a new evil in town, and it’s gunning for Scarlet...
Scarlet Burke isn’t an ordinary witch. She comes from a long line of Burke witches, whose job it is to protect the good folks of Purgatory, Alabama from things that go bump in the night—and things that might slip through the portal in Fool’s Wood. Normally, it’s an easy gig that doesn’t take much time from her day job. Until her ex-husband turns up dead in a ritualistic killing no one recognizes. William, a mundane, had high-tailed it out of town years ago after getting Scarlet’s baby sister pregnant. So why had he come back? Better yet, who (besides Scarlet) had wanted him dead badly enough to lure him to the forest, stake him, skin him, and drain his blood? It wasn’t a vampire kill, but she was damned if she could determine what it was.
Werewolf Jake Mills, the bossy and possessive chief of police, can’t believe anyone in his town could commit such a brutal crime. And Scarlet can’t believe she’s still trying to avoid his advances. Jake has been chasing her for years, and if he wasn’t so charming—and so drop dead sexy—she might try harder to outrun him. Or at least summon a bit of self-control. But the man simply refuses to stay in the “Just Friends” box she’s placed him in.
But when the killer targets Scarlet’s family, ghouls, demons, and dark fae all come under suspicion. And when her daughters become the targets of an ancient dark ritual, Scarlet and Jake are forced to make an impossible choice. Fight evil with evil, or watch Scarlet’s daughters die...
I enjoyed The Southern Belle’s Guide to Witchcraft by Loribelle Hunt. I loved getting to know Scarlet and her family. They are the Guardians and Scarlet is fighting not only her attraction to Jake but also an evil that has never been witnessed by her or the residents of her little town. And Ms. Hunt did a wonderful job of showing us Scarlet’s struggle. She has been burned by love and is raising her twin nieces as a result of her fickle ex-husband. She is afraid to open her heart again even sixteen years later.Ms. Hunt did a great job of showing the push/pull relationship between Scarlet and Jake. Jake knows that Scarlet is his but he allows her the distance she needs until it is no longer safe to do so. He knows that her calling as Guardian is dangerous but until the current evil that has come a calling, he trusts that Scarlet can protect herself with him having her back. I love that Jake is sure enough in himself that he appreciates the seemingly contentious relationship he has with Scarlet up to this point. But when her life is at risk, he doesn’t allow Scarlet’s fears to continue to drive a wedge between the relationship they could have.
I thought Ms. Hunt gave us a well-rounded story. It was full of emotional depth and the characters were well developed. I have always been a fan of Ms. Hunt and this story reminded me why I enjoy her storytelling.
Five Shooting Stars