Cover Image: Bewitched and Betrothed

Bewitched and Betrothed

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Member Reviews

Bewitched and Betrothed, the latest Witchcraft Mystery by Juliet Blackwell may be my favorite book in the series. Some of the threads from the previous books were wrapped up: Sailor’s mysterious absence, Lily’s continuing growth in magic, and Adrian’s friend or foe status. I really liked the Alcatraz setting and the history of the island. The Crazy Coven of witches who came to attend Lily’s handfastening were a hoot. There are still some story lines unresolved so I expect the series the series to continue. If you like paranormal mysteries this series, especially #10, will be a treat for you.
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This is such a fun series. I don't know if a real witch would be offended by the way magic is done in the book, but as a nonwitch, it seems realistic. I am totally in love with Oscar. I want a gobgoyle of my own.
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This is book 10 in A Witchcraft Mystery series.  I have read only 1 previous book in the series. This may be the reason I just didn't love the story.   Lily goes to Alcatraz Island and finds the ghost population is rampant.  She is in the midst of planning her wedding and isn't sure if it will come off as planned.  Many previous characters are in this story.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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It's a mad dash to the finish line - will Lily be able to control the forces threatening her beloved San Francisco before her wedding?  She has a full plate, as always, with magical work, her grandmother's coven, her fiance, and oh, yes! running a business too.  This time, a shirt off the back of a prisoner who escaped (?) from Alcatraz is at the center of the story, along with lots of  interesting information about the island itself.  As usual, all the story lines are interwoven and a lot of fun.  Pull up a chair and prepare to be bewitched.
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Bewitched and Betrothed:  A Witchcraft Mystery
By Juliet Blackwell
Berkley
July 2019

Witch Lily Ivory may have grown adept at wielding spells and charms, but she’s never before manifested a nightmare to the point that she wakes up covered in sea water.  The new experience is not one she welcomes, especially since she’s finally planning her wedding to the mysterious Rom gypsy Sailor.  Not only is Lily in the midst of scheduling a honeymoon that will include tracking down the gargoyle mother of her shape-shifting familiar Oscar, Lily’s mother and grandmother’s coven are in San Francisco to sight-see and prepare for the ceremony.  Lily’s vintage clothing store provides the ladies with a vast supply of outfits perfect for the nuptials, but it is another piece of clothing that sends an ominous ripple through the witches.  The chambray shirt Lily’s young assistant found in an attic has the number 258 stamped on it, connecting it to Alcatraz prison and possibly worn by one of the few who attempted to escape it.  Inmate Ray Perry was believed to have drowned in his 1937 plot to dig his way out and float to safety, but the discovery of the shirt has them believing that his legendary caper was successful.  Lily is simply relieved to have this be a crime of the past, and her friend Detective Carlos Romero’s cousin is thrilled to have the chance to display the shirt in the Alcatraz park service museum.  The bad vibes Lily sensed around the artifact should have been countered by the spell she casts, but she can’t help but feel responsible when Elena Romero is kidnapped just after taking possession of it.

When Carlos returns with news of a dead body being discovered inside of Alcatraz prison, Lily fears the worst.  She is tremendously relieved to learn that the corpse is not Elena’s, but still alarmed when she’s shown how the body has been ritually sacrificed and wearing the 258 prisoner shirt.  Lily may feel that many of her past success with the investigations were due mostly to luck and sheer determination, but as San Francisco’s witch detective Lily feels responsible for protecting her town and the covens who adopted her.  The mystery of a prophesy that involves Lily, a possible half-brother, and the safety of San Francisco continues to play out in the background, preparing readers for even more magical confrontations and gatherings of Lily’s allies and cowan friends.

This extraordinarily compelling series builds a strong mythology that has slowly combined traditional mystery elements with an increasing number of fantasy elements and characters.  Lily herself has grown as she’s allowed more and more in on her and her familiar’s secrets, and now she even has her estranged mother on her side.  Her fiancé Sailor sits on a bit more on the sideline as his Rom family tentatively seeks Lily’s help in their own confrontations with a spirit.  Reliably enjoyable has been the descriptions of San Francisco, which celebrates diversity and where Lily and her fellow feel welcomed.  Alcatraz’s dark and fascinating history plays a crucial role in events, and readers will be as drawn into its own lore as much as the adventures of the charming Lily and her food-obsessed familiar.
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Bewitched and Betrothed is another fantastic book in the Witchcraft Mystery series. While the story is a continuation and includes may of the same characters (full-time and part-time players), the storyline is fresh and exciting. For that reason, this series should definitely be read in order. I love the Alcatraz theme and how the author wove it throughout the story.

When Lily is shown what is said to be an original prison uniform from an escapee, the sheer amount of malice surrounding the garment is staggering. So much so that Lily puts a binding spell on it and warns Elena, Carlos Romero’s cousin, not to let anyone wear it. The uniform must immediately be placed under glass and locked up so it can be seen but never touched or worn. Except, Elena no more than steps outside of Lily’s shop and is kidnapped, prison uniform and all. Lily knows the uniform, kidnapping, and theft of the shirt are not coincidences.

The Witchcraft Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell just keeps getting better and better. I love Lily's character and Oscar's companionship. Lily is simply an amazing and down-to-earth witch. I have enjoyed watching Lily's character grow so much throughout the series. She is embracing who she is finally and allowing others into her life without all of the doubt and suspicion, getting more comfortable with her surroundings. She has friends that accept her for who she is and what she does, a very successful resale shop, and a familiar that sometimes just steals the show.

Each story in this series has been developed nicely. The reader is taken on a new adventure in the world of the paranormal; the content never duplicated or stagnant. The novels are suitable for anyone who wants to read them - teens, adults who don't like sex or swearing, and adults who do like those things but also like the cozy mystery scene, too (like me).

If you're looking for your next witchy cozy then I highly recommend Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries. They are written well, have great storylines, solid plots, and easy-to-like characters. The dialogue between all characters is smooth and understandable and the novel is an easy, relaxing read. I am waiting patiently for the next book in the series.
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This book is the tenth book in the series, and it’s still going strong. To be honest, I haven’t read a book in this series in a while, but I had no problems keeping up with everything, a definite plus. I loved all the characters, but I don’t feel I knew Sailor very well, someone I think I would have liked to know better. However, maybe that was just because he didn’t play a huge role in this one. I found the plot interesting, so much so, I’d like to find out more about Alcatraz, maybe even visit there soon. Overall, I really liked this cozish paranormal mystery, and you should definitely give it a try. I highly recommend this book! I was provided the e-book which I voluntarily reviewed.
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In the newest adventure in the witchcraft mystery series, Lily must fight to stop a powerful demon from taking over the city that she loves, and hunt for a missing woman, all while planning and preparing for her rapidly approaching wedding to the man she loves.  As if that is not enough to keep her busy, her gobgoyle familiar Oscar and the members of her grandmothers coven are also causing trouble. Lily dives head first into the investigation surrounding the woman who was kidnapped right outside of her vintage clothing shop.  With the help of her friends and family, she is able to stand strong and face the many challenges that come at her from every conceivable direction.  
As with all of the books in the series, I was completely absorbed and found this story hard to set down.  I always get swept up in these fast paced, adventure packed mysteries.  I find myself rooting for not just Lily, but the whole town of misfit, lovable characters (gobgoyles included).  Blackwell does a commendable job of blending mystery, adventure, and magic into a decidedly enjoyable tale.  I look forward to future adventures featuring Lily and the gang.
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Lily Ivory is trying to plan a handfasting. She loves Sailor and would like to be married before the upcoming magical war breaks out. One thing she's not excited about is the former prisoner's shirt that has some really evil vibes. Lily is excited that the Park Service is coming to pick it up and she warns them not to put on the shirt. Both of the rangers are confused but they walk out. Too bad one of them is kidnapped, with the shirt, minutes later. The talisman to hold in the vibes is left at the scene. Oh, and the ranger? Carlos Romero, inspector for the police department and Lily's friend, it's his cousin.
Things ramp up and all of the bad vibes point to Alcatraz being the point of the issues. Lily is also juggling her grandmother and her grandmother's coven as well as Sailor's family. 
A good addition to the series, I'm wondering why Amanda, Sailor's ex-wife was added to this book. It seems to be resolved but, unless she's going to be a larger part of the series later, it added nothing but extra lines to this story. 

Three stars
This book comes out June 25th
Follows A Magical Match
ARC kindly provided by Berkley and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
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Lily is a witch living in San Francisco, and owner of the vintage clothing story, Aunt Cora’s Closet. She’s engaged to be married, and looking forward to their handfasting ceremony. But there is a demon in San Francisco threatening the whole city and Lily, along with her grandmother’s visiting coven members, assorted psychics, and  voodoo practitioners are working together to save the city. I listened to the earlier books in the series on audio, and enjoyed reading this one in ebook format.  One of the things I like about this series is that the author is very familiar with San Francisco, and real places, often unfamiliar, are mentioned. Who knew there was a Bay Bridge Troll? Great San Francisco ambiance and  realistic characters make this paranormal series a lot of fun to read.
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Always a fun ride with the crew in San Francisco. Author has a love of the city as well as all things magical. Makes for a great combination.
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This is only the 2nd book in the series I've read. I'm sure I would have understood more if I'd read all of them. However, it didn't impact my enjoyment of this book at all. I enjoyed it enough that I've put the others in the series on my TBR list. Mystery, witches & demons, romance and saving San Fran all in one book. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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When a series hits double digit numbers, I often lose interest. That is not the case with Blackwell's Lily Ivory series, and this latest one is one of her best. This is really a series about the characters rather than the story, and the characters Blackwell has developed are people you want to know in real life. From Lily's mischievous grandmother and her saucy coven, to Lily's mentor Aidan and his mysterious past, to Patience Blix and her belled ankles, to San Francisco cop Carlos, to Lily's closest friends Bronwyn, Maya, and Conrad, to her fiance Sailor, and finally to her familiar Oscar - every character has an important role to play. 

One of the things I have enjoyed most about this series is how Blackwell grows and develops the characters. Each book has brought the characters farther along their path; for example, Conrad has gone from the stoned "gutter punk" to a guy trying to get sober and reconnect with his family. Lily herself has grown from a suspicious, solitary witch to someone who values friendship and love, which is a theme that appears again and again in this book and which she ultimately embraces in the thrilling climax where she does, indeed, save San Francisco. 

Well done, Juliet Blackwell! Looking forward to more Lily Ivory!
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What's more stressful than preparing for your wedding day?  While Lily prepares for her upcoming nuptials, she also tries to find a kidnapped woman and stop a demon from rising; not to mention her gobgoyle familiar is trying to plan her honeymoon and the elderly ladies of her grandmother's coven are in town for the wedding sightseeing and getting into mischief.
Lily has her hands full in this excellent installment in the Witchcraft mystery series.
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