The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling – ARC Review!

Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven; she’s running a successful witchcraft shop, Something Wicked; and she’s started mentoring some of the younger witches in town. As Halloween approaches, there’s only one problem—Llewellyn “Wells” Penhallow.

Wells has come to Graves Glen to re-establish his family’s connection to the town they founded as well as to make a new life for himself after years of being the dutiful son in Wales. When he opens up a shop of his own, Penhallow’s, just across the street from Something Wicked, he quickly learns he’s gotten more than he bargained for in going up against Gwyn.

When their professional competition leads to a very personal—and very hot—kiss, both Wells and Gwyn are determined to stay away from each other, convinced the kiss was just a magical fluke. But when a mysterious new coven of witches come to town and Gwyn’s powers begin fading, she and Wells must work together to figure out just what these new witches want and how to restore Gwyn’s magic before it’s too late.

Gwyn Jones is loving life. She has her family, her magic, her talking cat… the only thing missing is love, something she’s only recently started missing. But when Llewellyn “Wells” Penhallow comes back to town, love is the last thing on her mind. Never mind that he looks like a god, and is an insanely good magic user, but he knows how to get on Gwyn’s last nerve, and opening up a rival magic store across the street has definitely done just that. When their rivalry leads to a ‘magically induced’ and very hot kiss, they are determined to stay far away from each other, but fate has other things in mind. Something is going on with the magic in Graves Glen, and Gwyn and Wells will have to work together if they are going to work out who is trying to cause trouble and save the town they both love.

The Kiss Curse is the perfect, cozy rom-com for the spooky season. Gwyn was such a fun POV to read the story from. She absolutely rocks, her magic helps run the town and she’s quirky as heck, all of which ensured I fell a little in love with her by the end of the book. Her inner thoughts, as well as spoken ones had me laughing out loud so many times and, as someone who is the Queen of grudge holding, she absolutely does not hold back when it comes to her interactions with Llewellyn “Wells” Penhallow… Esquire. But there’s also a softness to her. She longs for the kind of relationship her cousin has, something she never envisioned herself having, but between her family, baby witches she looks over and infuriating, but gorgeous neighbour… fate has other ideas.

This may be a short and fun read, it took me under 3 hours, but Sterling doesn’t hold back when it comes to our side characters. We have her cousin, Vivi and her husband, both of which were the main characters in the first book in the series, Sam, Cait & Parker the three witches she takes under her wing and of course Wells, neighbour, tyrant and heartthrob. But, the absolute best side character, IMO, was Sir Purrcuvil, Gwyn’s talking cat who had me absolutely howling in parts. Every single one of these characters is well built, so you can’t help but love them all, but they also all help propel Gwyn’s characters progression throughout the story. Through them we see Gwyn grow up, become more at home with herself and start letting new people into her life and heart.

Lets be honest… We’re all here for the romance right? And I loved it, I really, really did, but I also I really enjoyed the mystery, magic and general atmosphere of this book. We have a new coven of Witches moving into town, as well as Gwyn’s magic slowly diminishing, something our pair think must be linked, but there is something darker at play behind Gwyn’s magic failure, something neither Gwyn of Wells saw coming. Graves Glen is the king of quaint American town I would die to live in, and I loved how the witches who reside there take full advantage of the tourists by selling ‘potions’, putting on Halloween parades, all the while practising true witchery right under their noses. I’d gone into this book having not read the first in the series, but it’s incredibly easy to get into and you absolutely don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one.

NOW. Now we can talk about the romance. It was peak enemies to lovers, idiots in love and filled with plenty of steamy moments. Gwyn and Wells might well claim to hate each other, but it’s another, slightly racier emotion that’s actually sparking between them. Their denial, determination to bring each other down and distrust for each other made for some hilarious moments, but my favourite scenes where when they had come to a kind of impasse, when they decided that they had to work together because it was in those moments they started to truly understand one another, their past actions, and when they truly started to care for one another.

Basically this is the perfect rom-come to read in the lead up to Halloween. It’s by no mean spooky, but has the perfect witchy vibe for the holiday. Filled with characters you will adore, a steamy and hilarious romance and set in a town I would move to in a heartbeat. I will definitely be picking up the first book in the series, and can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us next.

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