Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review: Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas

Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas
Crystal Cove is the final book in Lisa Kleypas's Friday Harbor series but honestly, it reads very much like a standalone since there really is not much interaction with characters from the previous books. And let me just say, I'm totally fine with that. I get tired of previous characters showing up too much in romance books. This really is Justine and Jason's story from start to finish.

Synopsis: ONE WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN CURSED NEVER TO FIND LOVE . . .
ONE MAN WITHOUT A SOUL WHO WANTS HER MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF . . .
THEY MEET IN A SMALL ISLAND TOWN IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, WHERE MAGIC IS IN THE AIR AND FATE IS A FORCE TOO POWERFUL TO DEFY. . . .

In New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas's Crystal Cove, Justine Hoffman has made a comfortable life for herself on the island of Friday Harbor. She is the proprietor of a successful boutique hotel, and she has the safe, predictable life she has always wanted. Growing up with her flighty, nomadic mother, Marigold, has instilled in her a deep longing for stability. But in spite of everything Justine has achieved, there is still something missing. Love. And after years of waiting and dreaming, she is willing to do whatever it takes to change her destiny.

What Justine soon discovers is that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate. Determined to change her fate, Justine finds a way to break the enchantment, never dreaming of the dangerous complications that will follow.

And when Justine meets the mysterious Jason Black, she accidentally unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threaten everything she holds dear . . . because Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow. (Goodreads.com)

To really enjoy this story, you have to buy into the idea that Justine and Jason basically fall in love at first sight. They get together one night and from there is it emotional city but in a good way, at least I thought so. Jason comes with some baggage and some pretty dark ambitions but that does not mean he is an awful guy. In fact, I liked him quite a bit. Lisa Kleypas does a great job of showing how torn Jason is when it comes to his goal and his feelings for Justine. The two become quite intertwined in fact.

Justine is a witch, and not just mean but as in an actual witch with powers of her own. Unfortunately, she tries to beat the system, tries to break a curse and it definitely backfires on her. Love becomes both an emotion to celebrate and an emotion to curse at as Justine comes to realize.

Crystal Cove is the most "paranormal" of the Friday Harbor series. Lisa Kleypas does not hold back on the magic but rest assured there are no werewolves, vampires or other creatures to be found. I thought this was a good readalike for many of Nora Roberts's witch based stories (Three Sisters Island series, the Donovans, etc). However, unlike Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas is at her most sensual in this book. She definitely breaks a lot of her intimate scene boundaries but in a surprising way that works for the characters.

The ending does require a bit of suspension of belief also but mostly it fits with the story and in particular, Jason's secret. I was happy to see these two connect and realize that happily-ever-after, a goal so long out of reach, would finally be possible. I consider Lisa Kleypas to be one of my favorite romance writers and she definitely holds my attention yet again in Crystal Cove. I will be interested to see if a secondary character is explored in more depth in a future story. Lisa Kleypas remains one of my favorite romance writers and the great thing about Crystal Cove is you can jump right into it without feeling like you needed to read the other books in the series. That is becoming more rare in the romance world.

If you decide to read Crystal Cove, I would love to know what you think!

Other reviews:
All About Romance reviews Crystal Cove

ARC received from publisher for review.

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