Author: Bella Falls
Publisher: Evermore Press
Series: Southern Charms Mystery
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars
Medium: Audio Book
Just as things are starting to get better and even out, nothing can stay quite in a small magical community like Honeysuckle Hollow, right? Of course not.
Following the events of the last book, Honeysuckle Hollow has started to be overrun by the fae as they flock to find a new home in a town that will actually accept them and let them be actual citizens instead of bound help or second class. But when Gran falls ill, the town’s expanse rate is the least of Charli’s concerns as she races against the clock to figure out what’s wrong with Gran and save her.
Probably spoilers below.
The book starts out showing the growing concern in the town because far more are flocking to the town than Charli had expected. What she finds out is because you have to speak carefully to the fae, when she’d invited them to Honeysuckle Hollow, her words had invited everyone. Not just those who were being mistreated in Charleston. Which is leading to the town expanding at a rate that’s starting to be hard to contain not just in housing but also jobs and everything as well.
It’s also started to pull out some of the same issues in some of the older witches of Honeysuckle, like Aunt Nora who’s making her unhappiness at her quite little town turning into a buzzing city very well known. In order to try and help the newcomers mingle with the town and everyone have the ability to get to know each other, the town’s welcome committee – which Charli is part of – creates a pot luck that everyone can enjoy.
Leading up to the potluck, we’re able to glimpse Mason and Charli’s relationship budding more and the two of them really connecting in this new space. At the welcome we get to meet some of the new fae as well as the new shop owner who’s opening a massage parlor on main street. Mysterious, flirty, and covered in strange tattoos, what’s to be suspicious of him at all.
While Gran isn’t feeling well, she’s seeming okay so Charli and Mason take a small trip to his home town to get away. Which was a sweet edition for the couple. But when Charli comes home, not all is right. Gran can’t be woken up and no one knows what’s going on. Aunt Nora is moving in to take over her position as Head of the town council. And Charli is upset with her brother for not calling her sooner when Gran fell ill, because now she feels guilty that she and Mason had a good time while things were happening in the Hollow.
Mason is stuck still back home because he’s been asked to assist on a case he’d started working on before he moved to Honeysuckle, but Charli has her friends, her brother, and even Dash is back as Charli works to try and figure out what’s wrong with Gran. But also, what’s wrong with her friends, because they’re starting to act funny or have changes that don’t quite make sense. Things become especially dire when the town closes it’s borders and wards itself in so that no one can come or go from the town, trapping Mason on the outside at Charli’s time of need.
With no other choice, she has to turn to Dash to help her in a dangerous power move in order to save Gran and the town as a whole.
Over all, I think this is one of my favorite of the series so far. I will say, I’m getting to the point between Dash and Mason where I wish the author would just pick one already. We’re six books in, Charli seems to be picking Mason, but we’re still throwing Dash into the mix to stir the pot, turn her head, twist her heart, and make her second guess some of her choices. And I feel like at this point, if Charli is choosing Mason – then let her choose Mason. I thought, with the shifter being engaged, that would have been the end of that, but nope, he’s no longer engaged when he pops up in town, so if course it just stirs the pot between the triangle even though Mason and Charli have shared ‘I love yous’ with each other.
Not only do we stir the pot with him being in town, but at the end Charli has to bind her soul to his to outwit the crossroads demon, so she’s now magically tangled and tied to Dash. And while the author does do a really good job of the whys and it completely fits in the story as plot. The constant back and forth pull between the men is officially getting old.
What I did love too though, was the introduction of the crossroad demons and the lore with them, as well as the deeper dive into the fae since they are a smaller problem that have to be dealt with as far as housing and the like. As well as using them to bind the crossroad demon to her word when she can’t claim Charli’s soul for the deal. It’s a good mystery, a deep and wonderful lore to burrow into and a fantastic edition to the series as a whole.