This series just keeps getting better and better.
After almost losing Rick forever in Kick the Candle Grateful is happily planning their wedding. Things are finally starting to fall together for her: her and Rick are committed to each other, she is in no more danger of losing her home, she has the help of her new familiar, and she is starting to get the hang of this whole witch thing. Naturally, that’s about the time that the bottom should fall out, right?
Julius, the leader of the local vampire coven, goes missing, leaving nothing behind but the mutilated body of a woman he used for a regular feed . Bathory, her big bad from the last book hasn’t shown her face lately either. When Grateful goes to investigate she finds nothing but more questions instead of the answers she was hoping for. A standout moment for me was the encounter she had with the murdered girl later in the book; she sees her entire life, and releases her soul on, but the whole encounter was very well written. Julius missing poses more problems than you would think; if he does not return quickly then the vampires will choose a new leader for their coven. There are some within the group that were Bathory’s flunkies and them coming into power would prove even more troublesome for Grateful and Rick. Gary, Grateful’s ex, and now a vampire, is her inside man in the coven, and has no love whatsoever for either Bathory or her supporters. Grateful is determined to do what she can to help Gary fight his way to the top, for her sake and his. I really despised Gary at the beginning of this series, but I find in this book that he’s starting to grow on me.
That’s not all of the trouble Grateful is facing - Tabetha, the Queen of Salem shows up on her doorstep demanding payment for the candle that she created for Rick in the last book. In a moment of overblown man-drama Rick went to Tabetha searching for a way to release the bond between him and Grateful. Tabetha created a candle that was engineered to turn Rick back into his human self. He promised himself to her as payment, being sure that he would die in the process. He came very close to it, but Grateful realized what he meant to her and agreed to marry him, which broke the spell.
That was all well and good, until Tabetha showed up to collect. She says she is owed blood, and she wants Rick for her own, and nothing else will do. That completely enrages Grateful, understandably. I would be violent myself, if some chick showed up saying she was taking my man. Tabetha is powerful, older, and more experienced than Grateful. She has the benefit of being immortal, having no caretaker of her own. Most witches wouldn’t sacrifice their immortality for the benefit of having one. Tabetha has already taken over a nearby territory from another witch who “mysteriously” disappeared. So she has her own powers plus those she absorbed when she took on the new territory. All together she is someone not to be messed with if you can help it. Grateful doesn’t have much of a choice here though. Tabetha gives her only so long to satisfy her “debt” to her and agrees to meet with her later to hash out a price.
That’s not all - Grateful hid her spell book, The Book of Light, at Logan’s apartment in the second book, for safekeeping. Logan has a thing for Grateful, but she shut him down in the last book, both to his face and by agreeing to marry Rick. He’s got his panties in a wad about it, and is acting out - not wanting to answer her calls, to never being home for her to come get her book. When she finally puts her foot down and comes to get it she finds Logan distant and cold to her, and protective spells that she placed around her book have been tampered with. Also Logan has a new girlfriend whom he won’t elaborate on. She feels any connection she had with him slipping away, which saddens her. She has a meeting with Tabetha to hash out the deets of her “debt” and finds out who Logan’s new girlfriend is - it’s Tabetha, and she intends to use her fondness of Logan to force Grateful to give her what she really wants - her territory. Her territory, or Logan dies.
Hecate - the real one, the mother goddess - appears to Grateful in a dream, and tells her that she has to defeat Tabetha. Tabetha is stuffed with power that is not her own, and not meant to be hers -adding Grateful’s territory would give her power over air and earth, when she already has power over wood (her own natural element) and metal (inherited from Polina, the witch whose territory she took over). Hecate gives Grateful permission to kill her. She doesn’t tell her how, however, which frustrates Grateful to no end.
Meanwhile, back in the city, vampire attacks are on the rise, as Julien has not returned and the contest to determine the new leader hasn’t happened yet. Grateful winds up convincing Gary to fight for the leadership position, although his opponent, Kace, is bigger, older and exponentially meaner than him. Grateful’s dad is also attacked by a vampire, and winds up in her hospital, dropped off there by Gary, who found him afterwards. Grateful loads Gary up with protective spells and the next night is the battle for the leadership of the coven. Tabetha shows up too, and is helping Kace. The battle between the vampires turns into more of a battle between the two witches. From then on, this book only gets more intense. Rick and Grateful’s wedding day is approaching quickly, which is also the date that Tabetha set for her payment. Her dad awakens from his coma, and knows what attacked him. Turns out that Tabetha was in on that too.
Grateful winds up telling him about her being a witch, and assures him that the vampires are under control for now. She devises a plan to keep Logan safe, and before she knows it her wedding day is here. The day is beautiful, everything is perfect…...until. Rick drops a bomb on her, right there in the church. He says he can’t do this, he needs time, he has to prove to himself that she doesn’t own him. O.O!!!
And I’m not going to spoil the best part of the book. It was frigging awesome. Epic. Phenomenal Buffy would have been proud. Like I said, this series just gets better and better with every book. I’m actually wondering if the next book will have to have a new rating system made up for it - because surely it will be a six star event. This books ends on a...well, not a cliffhanger, but there are definitely consequences that will have to be dealt with in the next installment. The next book is called Mother May I, and it is supposed to be coming out sometime in March 2015. Ugh, I don’t know if I can wait!!
Until next book,