Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna Collett
Series: Ever Dark Ever Deadly #1
Publication Date: April 2021
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler » No « Hide Spoiler
Content Warning: View Spoiler » Murder, Violence, Lies, Betrayal « Hide Spoiler
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
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A spellbinding mystery leads an unlikely pair on the hunt for a killer.
Tessa Daniels needs a miracle. Preferably, the kind that comes with cold hard cash. Her magic shop is failing, and she'll be tossed into the street unless she clears her debt.
When a financial boon arrives in the form of a young woman determined to attend the prince's ball, a risky spell turns out to be the miracle she needed. That is until the woman is found dead at the stroke of midnight, and Tessa comes face-to-face with the kingdom's cold, and way too appealing, lead detective.
Detective Derrick Chambers has no use for the supernatural. As the rising star at the Royal Agency, he won't let magic, or the pretty witch that deals in it, get in the way of solving a murder.
His logic tells him to steer clear of Tessa's chaos, but a forced partnership soon turns into an attraction neither can resist.
With the body count rising, and the kingdom in a panic, an exposed secret will tear them apart and put Tessa in the sights of a killer where no amount of magic can save her.
Spellbound After Midnight is an enemies-to-lovers, slow burn romance, with a puzzling mystery, strong female heroine, and fairy tale elements.
Spellbound After Dark is the first book in Jenna Collett’s Ever Dark, Ever Deadly series. I found this while browsing Kindle Unlimited and decided to give it a try based on the reviews. This is my first read by the author. I really enjoyed the writing and the story. I easily fell into it.
Tessa Daniels is a down-on-her-luck witch. Her mother was renowned in the kingdom for her powers, but Tessa has never had very good control of hers. More often than not, her potions and spells go wrong (sometimes seriously so). As a result, the magic shop she inherited when her mother passed away is on the brink of bankruptcy. In a moment of desperation, Tessa borrowed money from the local kingpin, and he’s calling it due.
When a young woman she casts an illusion spell for turns up dead, Tessa realizes she can help solve the young girl find justice and solve her financial problems by collecting the reward money. The catch? She has to work with Royal Detective Chambers, a total stick-in-the-mud who also happens to be attractive as sin.
Derrick Chambers isn’t thrilled about being forced to work with a witch, but they end up making a good team. Both on the case and off it. Unfortunately, Tessa forgot to mention that whole “in debt to a gangster” thing, and there may be no coming back once he finds out.
This story was an unexpected delight. I liked the fairytale twist (“Cinderella” died at midnight, and the “fairy godmother” has to solve the murder case), and I really loved the romance. Derrick was really wonderful to Tessa, despite them getting off on the wrong foot. He was kind and caring, and it was obvious he was struggling with his feelings, but he was never cruel.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t love that Tessa kept secrets from him. I understood her reasons, but I didn’t agree with them. Aside from that, I don’t have much to complain about. I loved the friendship Tessa had with Vivian, a medium. I also enjoyed the world and the mystery behind the murder. I figured out the suspect early on, but I still liked the way the story unfold.
I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series.
Rating: 4 out of 5