Book Review: The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell

The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell is the sequel to The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale. In this novel we return to the lives of time pirates Dorothy Gale, or Stormy, and her brother Bacon Frogs. Stormy has settled into an almost conventional life as wife to Dev and mother to Molly in London 1841. But one morning she spots a man, Phineas Grubb, acting strange and is sure that he must be a fellow time traveler. In her efforts to prove herself right Bacon is accidentally whisked away into time with Grubb. Unfortunately, the two land in Salem Massachusetts in 1698, just in time to start a second round of witch trials. Stormy and Dev need to follow the trail and rescue Bacon. However, proving his innocence will be hard and skipping out before the trial would only put more lives at risk. Their lives, and the fabric of time, all depend on everything going according to plan. But, since when did anything go according to Stormy's plan?

Now, I need to start with admitting that I missed reading The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale, and started The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale with no back story. Because of this, it took me awhile to get into the story and understand just who everyone was and how they came to be where they were. There was enough hints at the back story to catch me up, but it took a little while. Once I really got into the story I enjoyed it. Stormy did bother me on occasion, for instance if she grew up on the streets why is she so cavalier about spending money and losing or ruining things and if she is a mother how can she still behave like a teenager running around pulling pranks? As a mom I am rarely awake alone, particularly in the early morning, never mind awake and free to run around town in disguise. I did like that she was a modern and intelligent woman in Victorian London, even if she had some serious emotional and common sense related issues. 

The major plot of this book is saving Bacon's bacon (ha!). Dealing with Story's emotional issues goes along with the plot, and there are some major twists at the end that made up for the slow start I had with The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale. However, there were some moments when I was unhappy with the amount of trust given, and the speed with which it was given. It seemed like things just fell into place a little too easily at the end in order to wrap up the book and set up a sequel. However, that feeling could just come from my reading too many mysteries and other novels where those decisions rarely end well.

I recommend The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale to readers that enjoyed The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale or the other works of Christine Bell. I think that readers, like myself, that skip the first story are missing something important, however this book is still good on its own.This was a good, interesting read with quirky characters. Readers expecting romance will be a little disappointed, because there is not much of it here. Stormy and Dev do show their chemistry and work through some things, but that is not the focus of the story. I suspect the first book, and perhaps the next, have much more romance than this installment.
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