Beguiled (Betwixt & Between, # 3)
By: Darynda Jones
Publication: February 15th 2021 by Feather & Leaf, LLC
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Source: Personal Kindle Library
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Goodreads description--Newly indoctrinated witch, and a charmling to boot, Defiance Dayne discovers there’s more to life after forty than she'd ever imagined possible. Especially since one neighbor is trying to seduce her, another neighbor is trying to steal her house out from under her, and a third neighbor is trying to get her kicked off the planet. Oh for three, but things start to look up when a new witch moves to town, one who says she’s been sent to thwart an attempt on the charmling’s life.
Dephne decides she has three things to do before she can die. Find out who killed her beloved grandmother, teach her BFF, Annette, the finer points of spellcasting before she blows up the world, and figure out how serious her relationship with the Adonis living in her basement really is. If it’s heading in the direction she’s hoping for, she can die happy. Though, admittedly, she’d rather not.
None of that will matter, however, if she can’t figure out how to foil the supernatural assassin who’s been sent to kill her. Until then, it’s business—and hopefully romance—as usual. Now if she can only figure out how to tame a lacuna wolf.
I have this funny habit of reading books and ignoring characteristics about a character that I find unattractive. Like men with long hair aren't attractive to me for the most part. So if a book has a main male character with long hair, I mentally edit that out. Or in this case, if the main male character wears a leather kilt, I just kind of forget that detail as I'm reading. Does anyone else do that? I'm sure some people find leather kilts attractive. Me...not so much.
One thing Darynda Jones does well is writing quirky, funny heroines. Defiance might be her quirkiest character yet. Charley comes close, but Defiance has an air of ditziness that even Charley didn't have. And Sunshine is quite a bit more put together with her professionalism that neither Charley nor Defiance has. And Annette is right up there. The humor was on point in Beguiled.
I was slightly discouraged with the romantic relationship. Roane said a few things that made me feel like he had no emotional choice in his being drawn to Defiance. And the two progress in their relationship without actually sharing much back and forth conversation as far as delving into the essence of who each other is and how they've come to be these people...at least in this story. They seem to just share day-to-day experiences with each other, which is fine, but doesn't give me a really deep feeling about their relationship despite having some supernatural situations that tie them together in multiple ways.
-"I want to be let past the gates. You can keep the wall up." He leaned back again. "I'm fine with that. I understand it better than most. I just want to be on the other side of it. With you."
-There were few things more disappointing than finding out you were nothing more than a means to an end.
-Clearly, I could not be trusted when it came to men with a penchant for saying exactly what a girl wanted to hear.
-"Sometimes the fiercest predators and the strongest allies come in the smallest packages."
-"How long can you wait?" "Until the stars burn out."
Perhaps the most telling thing for me was that after I finished Beguiled, I kept wanting to come back to it. I kept forgetting that I was finished and had this urge to pick it up to keep reading. Of course, I also want to continue the story and find out what happens next. I'm both dreading and excited to see things continue with Annette in the future. But I don't feel done with Defiance. (Obviously, she'll still be present, but I hope she continues to narrate in the future as well.) I'm hoping to see continued depth develop between Defiance and Roane and not just be two characters that were cosmically connected and now have no choice in the matter. Beguiled gets 4 Stars. Have you read Beguiled? What did you think? Let me know!
This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.