I picked up Flea Market Magic because I finished the other series by the same author and wanted to check this one out to see if it would be both of the same caliber and contain the same lovable characters. I was pleased to find that this is set in the same universe as her Southern Charms Cozy series with Charli – something easily distinguishable because of the use of the Spell Phones that are in the book.
As a whole the concept is interesting. Ruby and her family live in Jewell, NC – which qualifies as its own township so the neighboring town they would normally be part of technically has no jurisdiction within their borders, which comes into play a little when the family finds a dead body not just on their land but in one of their buildings. The family themselves deal with antiques and refurbished goods, but also host a flea market with stalls from other people on their land. While out picking through other flea markets to pick up new products, they also keep a keen eye out for any magical related items.
One of the other key features of the family, which I found interesting, was that they store magical items in a family vault that only the family can find and open. And while they do sell magical items to the magically inclined community, they also do a fair bit of safe keeping on the more dangerous relics that they stumble across to keep them out of the wrong hands or off the market entirely.
Possible Spoilers beyond this point.
Like I said above, I find the concept interesting and I am intrigued to be able to dip into the same universe as her other series but see a new aspect of the world and the lore. Ruby’s family tends to stay a little to themselves it seems, making sure to keep the family business going, but at the same time our main character is dating a vampire. I do like that we’re getting to see more of the vampires in this series because in last series while there are some vampires living in town we don’t get a deeper dive into them.
As a whole, I’m not entirely sure how old Ruby is supposed to be but she does come off as naive and impulsive. She’s been told that this magical item is dangerous. She’s been told not to touch it or try to use it, no matter how much it might help them. She’s even been shown what happens to the people who have used it, because just before she uses it she has to help save the woman who used it before her. But instead of listening to the people around her from family members to her own vampire boyfriend that has seen people use it to no good end, she forges ahead like she has an idea of what she’s actually doing.
She also seems really reckless about using her magic in front of the non-witch folk, which is both dangerous and technically against the magically inclined rules that she’s supposed to be following. To the point where one of the guys actually starts to get uppity about what she might be doing, suspicious because she does things to him on two different occasions.
For someone who’s grown up in magic all her life, knowing the rules and how careful they have to be – I feel like if she’s as old as I wanna pin a finger on how old she should be she’s technically too old to be doing both of these things.
While the other series got four stars from me across the board, because I’m a little unsure of the characters and I didn’t bond with them as fast as I did the characters from her other series, I’m dubbing this three stars. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and I’m intrigued by the family dynamic, the vampire boyfriend dynamic, as well has her needing to join the local coven as part of her deal for some help to see how that plays out. And I will continue the series at least for another book, but at the same time I wasn’t as impressed with this book as I was the other series.