Book Review: Smoke on the Water by Lori Handeland

Smoke on the Water is the third book in the Sisters of the Craft series by Lori Handeland. I have not read the previous books in the series, and while it might have given me a better grasp of the larger picture, I was still able to enjoy the story and understand what was going on.

Abandoned beneath a black willow tree on the banks of a northern Wisconsin creek, Willow Black spent her entire childhood in foster care. Her entire life she's had terrifying visions, and it is these visions that eventually land her in a psychiatric facility. And so Willow takes her medication and believes she is getting better. Until she meets a fellow patient who doesn't think she is crazy at all. She thinks Willow is a witch. Willow's new psychiatrist, Dr. Sebastian Crane, works hard to resist his feeling that he and Willow are destined to be together while also working to convince her that strange occurrences aren't the result of witchcraft. However, when he is thrown into the middle of a storm of supernatural events that can't be explained any other way they both need to come to turns with their connection and the events surrounding them.

Smoke on the Water is a solid and entertaining read. I think I might have seen more of the action coming, and understood more of the danger Willow and Sebastian faced. However, I still really felt for the characters and enjoyed how they connected with each other. Willow was a smart and introspective character that knew that she experienced visions in water, but knew enough to hide that fact and avoid having it happen as often as possible. Sebastian is equally smart and an interesting character, but I do not feel like I knew him as well as I did Willow, or her fellow patient Mary. Their connection was one they both fought against, and they both held on to common sense the majority of the time, which was nice. I found myself invested in Willow's life and how everything was going to play it. I will say that I expected at least one of the big surprises to happen, but most of the time I was eager to turn the page and see what would happen next.

Smoke on the Water reminds me of why Handeland was one of my must read authors before I started reviewing (and burying myself in books I have committed to reading). The characters just work, and the larger plots as well as the  immediate action are engaging and interesting. I need to go back and read the first two books in the series, since I am not sure how I missed them. A worthwhile read for fans of the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres. 

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