USA Today Bestselling Author
I was engaged.
Okay, so I wasn’t technically engaged. But I did fantasize about it. A lot. Okay, all the time. No need to pretend.
The only problem here was when couples got engaged, there was usually a proposal of sorts, an exchange of promises, and a mutual agreement to spend the rest of their lives together. But three weeks have now passed since the night I found that black box with that pretty ring, and still, the chief hasn’t proposed.
But I’ve got worse problems.
A mysterious and ominous curse spreads across our town, and we don’t know who’s responsible or why it’s happening. This curse could mean the destruction of Hollow Cove and all its people.
Things soon spiral down the crapper when the folks from our town start acting crazy and lashing out in a frenzy of madness before dropping dead from this mystifying curse.
With our lives on the line and my magic mojo back, it will take everything I have to survive.
If I even can…
Tessa’s got her magic back, and after another test by Greta and Silas, she’s a Merlin again.To top that all off House created a cottage, the exact replica of itself for Tessa and Marcus.
It’s been three weeks since Tessa saw the ring that fell out of Marcus’ jeans. He still hasn’t asked the question, and Tessa is now wondering if he’s changed his mind. They have moved into Davenport Cottage together, and Tessa is planning to cook a nice meal for him, have we mentioned she can’t cook?
All things considered it’s not a surprise when Gilbert puts in his two cents while Tessa’s getting the needed groceries. He’s fining her five thousand dollars, for not getting the proper permits to build the cottage on Davenport land. He’s even claiming it’s not zoned for it. On top of that, he’s also deducting three weeks from her paycheck for not having her magic during that time. Oh, and she has 30 days to pay the fine before interest starts adding on. She’s not sure how that’s going to happen.
As she’s processing that, Martha joins her, and she’s not about to share with the gossip what Gilbert is up to now. Then everything goes to hell, well in a manner of speaking that is.
Screaming right in front of the store, has Tessa throwing money at the cashier and works her way through the crowd outside. Now usually it’s Gilbert who panics the town, but this time it’s Martha as she starts screaming it’s a demon possession. Tessa’s sure it’s a curse or hex but it’s different, darker, more evil. Before she can even call her aunts, the man stabs himself.
With the man identified as real estate agent Arlo Miller, her Aunt Ruth uses her dust to try to identify it. What they discover is that it’s a black magic curse, and then Marcus finds Arlo’s wife dead as well. To top that off, Beverly finds her date Bernard dead as well. So that’s three bodies and no answers.
Things only get worse as Gilbert puts the town on quarantine. We all know how well shifters do with confinement.
Iris wants to be helpful since she knows a bit about black magic, unfortunately the attempt leaves Tessa and Ronin switched. Marcus shows up and Lilith too, only making things worse.
This is a favorite scene.
Marcus swept his gaze around Iris’s spell work. “My phone died. I came to find my charger. What’s going on here?”
“You’re not going to believe it,” I mumbled.
Marcus ignored me and went straight to Ronin-me. “Tessa. Have you been drinking?” he teased. “I’m sorry I couldn’t call you back. It’s been hectic. Trying to get everything sorted out and people safe. I knew you’d be worried. I came as soon as I had a few minutes to spare.”
“Huh?” Ronin-me struggled to get up just as Marcus reached down and pulled him—, me—God, this was complicated—to his feet.
Marcus hauled Ronin-me to him, wrapping his big, muscular arms around his waist.
“Ah! Are you crazy!” Ronin-me struggled out of the chief’s grip, pushing him away, and stumbled back. “I’m all for the manlove.” He raised a fist in the air. “But I’m into women, dude. Beautiful, sexy, vagina-wearing women.”
Marcus’s face went slack. I could see the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes, the brewing of a storm inside them. His big hands curled into fists as the muscles on his neck bulged and popped, playing across his big frame and straining his lightweight shirt. His body was braced and taut, ready for action.
Trepidation and confusion filled his eyes. I knew what would happen if I didn’t do something quickly. He was about to beast out.
There was no way I’d keep this from Marcus. Ring or no ring. I wasn’t going to do that to him. Even if he’d be furious, I had to tell him.
I took a breath, steadied myself for the wrath, and said as quickly as I could, “We kinda switched bodies.” I pointed between Ronin-me and myself to clarify things, though I knew nothing was any clearer. When he didn’t respond, I added, “Iris tried to do a counter-curse to help Ruth… and things didn’t go as planned. As you can see.”
“Planned?” said Ronin-me. “It’s a disaster. I need a beer.” Ronin-me moved to the kitchen and opened the fridge in search of beer.
Iris glared at Ronin-me, but she kept quiet. I knew she was angry at herself and probably feeling terrible that she’d accidentally switched our consciousnesses into each other’s bodies. Even though it was an accident, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with her at the moment.
Marcus drew in a long breath and released it through his nose. “You and Ronin switched bodies?” His tone was all business, and I had no idea if he was angry or not.
“Think Freaky Friday, and you’d be right,” I told him, tingles washing over my scalp and traveling up my spine.
The chief moved my way. His intense gaze fell on me, traveling over my face and then moving down to the rest of my body. I knew this wasn’t the sensual way he usually rolled his eyes over me, like he wanted to lick me all over. Instead, he was staring at Ronin. Still, I couldn’t help the delicious tingles that fluttered over me.
He leaned forward a bit, his nostrils contracting, the way an animal takes in a scent. I knew he was trying to see if he could sense me in Ronin’s body. I had no idea if he could or not.
The chief’s brow pinched. “So, you’re saying you’re Tessa.”
I swallowed as prickles of unease worked through me. So far, so good. “Exactly. And that over there,” I said, gesturing to Ronin-me drinking a beer straight from the bottle. “Is Ronin. Ta-da.”
Marcus’s eyes sparkled with a predatory menace, his unwavering gaze piercing. “Is it reversible?”
I looked over at Iris. “Iris?” I was hoping she’d changed her tune.
The Dark witch’s face was pulled in anger. “I don’t know, okay? I just don’t know. I’m sorry. If I knew why it happened, maybe I could fix it.”
“Maybe?” Marcus raised a brow. Thick slabs of muscles flared along his back.
Iris lifted her chin at the chief, in defiance. “Sometimes, these things happen with magic. Unfortunately, it can be… unpredictable.”
“Catastrophic, more like,” growled Ronin-me. “On a global scale.”
It seemed as though Iris was not as well-versed in Black magic as she once thought.
Iris picked up her ceramic bowl from the floor. “I could try it again, but that could produce worse adverse effects.”
“Like what?” I asked, confused and a bit terrified. “What could be worse than this?” I pointed to myself, to Ronin’s body.
Ronin-me made a grunt. “Hey, that’s a grade A specimen you’re riding there. Have some respect.”
With a sudden pop of displaced air, the scent of spices filled the room.
A beautiful red-haired woman was sprawled on my couch, a glass of red wine dangling in her hand.
“Oh, thank God. Lilith.” I let out a breath of relief.
“Goddess,” corrected the redheaded deity. Lilith looked between Ronin and me. “Oh. This is precious.” She laughed as though delighted.
I frowned. Well, Ronin frowned; annoyance flashed through me. “Not funny, Lilith.” Obviously, the goddess could see right through us. She saw the clusterfuck.
Lilith smiled and said, “I beg to differ. I had a feeling paying you a visit was a good idea. I just didn’t know how good and entertaining it would be.”
I moved forward until I was face-to-face with the goddess, realizing I didn’t have to look up at her anymore, with Ronin’s body. “Can you change us back?” If anyone could, Lilith could.
The goddess glanced over at Ronin, in my body, and then back at me again. “I don’t think I will. You seem to have had your wires crossed.” She laughed at her own joke. “I haven’t had this much fun since I changed Cleopatra’s milk bath to goat manure. Oooh. She was so mad.”
I pressed my hands on my hips. “Please, Lilith. Ronin and I need our bodies back. Some weird Black magic curse has hit our town. I need to be able to function. Do my magic. I need my body back.”
Lilith pointed a finger at Iris. “You did this. Didn’t you?”
Iris’s mouth clapped shut, her eyes widened, and she seemed afraid Lilith might spell her or something.
“Yes, she did,” I answered for her. “We were only trying to help Ruth with a cure.”
“But we ended up like this.” Ronin-me raised her arms.
“Are you going to change us back?” I pressed, wishing I had my body so I could magic her to do it. Maybe I could bite her? Or use Ronin’s vampire mojo to persuade her. Would that even work on a goddess?
“No.” Lilith took a sip of her wine and crossed her long legs at the knee.
Anger rushed through me. “I can’t believe this. Why the hell not?”
The goddess shrugged. “Because it’s fun to see you all freaked. Besides, the spell will fade on its own. Just give it time.”
“It will?” It wasn’t the solution I wanted, but if that was true, it was good enough. “How much time?”
Lilith flashed me her teeth. “It’s hard to say.” Her attention homed in on Marcus; if I didn’t know any better, I’d say she was trying to see through his clothes. No. I know she was. “Maybe a few hours… maybe a week.”
“A week!” Ronin-me and I cried at the same time once again.
I rubbed my temples, feeling a migraine on its way. I looked at Iris. “Iris?”
Iris stared at me but said nothing. “This is beyond my capabilities. I don’t know how to reverse it. I’m sorry.”
“We need my aunts.” I answered the question in her eyes. “Dolores will fix us. Take everything you used, your spell, your ingredients, everything with you.”
“Yes.” Ronin-me put his empty beer bottle on the table and slapped his hands together. “Let’s go.” He was out the door before he’d barely finished his sentence.
My gaze fell on Marcus again. He was watching Ronin-me go, his brow wrinkled.
He turned to face me again. I could tell he was trying hard to see beyond the shell of the half-vampire, trying to see me in there. But he couldn’t.
“Let’s get this over with.” I started forward and stopped. “Oh no,” I said, shifting my weight.
“What is it?” said Iris, rushing over to my side, her dark eyes traveling over my—Ronin’s body like I was about to morph into some creature.
Lilith laughed harder, which only made it worse.
I clenched my jaw tight. “Cauldron, no. This can’t be happening. No. No. No.”
“What?” Marcus eyed me with the same wild expression as Iris’s.
I took a breath, looked at them, and said, “I have to pee.”
Richardson, Kim. Brewing Crazy (The Witches of Hollow Cove Book 11). Kindle Locations (1207-1272). Kindle Edition.
It really would have been nice for Tessa’s father to be around, but he was at a demon convention of sorts. When he does return he has much more knowledge and a much safer way to get rid of the curse. Unfortunately, it’s not one curse.
This is a laugh out loud, hold your breath page-turner. There are many twists and I truly loved the ending.
5 Contented Purrs for Kim!
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Kim Richardson is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of urban fantasy, fantasy, and young adult books. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat. Kim’s books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages.