Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Crystal Magic #6
Publication Date: 5/14/19
Number of Pages: 358
What an enticingly lovely second-chance romance! This exhilarating addition to the Crystal Magic series has it all – romance, murder, mayhem, angry ghosts, possessions, and perverted Hollywood moguls. What more could you ask for in the small town of Hillvale, California? I am thinking this might be my favorite book in the series – but, I think I say that with each new release. What can I say – I love the series.
As we’ve read each new addition to the series, we’ve seen Amber. She was always there, but sort of in the background and to me, she seemed to be the most ineffectual of the Hillvale Lucy’s. As if she didn’t have a lot to contribute at all. Well, not anymore. Amber Abercrombie has come into her own – and what a formidable person she turns out to be!
Amber keeps many, many secrets and she is terrified that someone from the outside will discover her real identity and she’ll be exposed. She has spent years putting herself back together from her traumatic childhood and she is still not in a good place mentally to deal with the exposure. She’s found a measure of peace in Hillvale – she’s eating better, she’s sleeping better, she’s come to terms with her large body (well, sort of). Yes, she’s poor as a church mouse, but she’s calm.
Well, she’s calm until Josh Gabriel strolls into town. Josh was her co-star in a long-running adolescent TV series (Jack and Ginger) – and the love of her life. Here he is – on the eve of his wedding – and he’s just walked into her shop. Maybe he won’t recognize her. But he does. He’s shocked to find her here because he has spent years and years and all the money he could muster to find her. She had just run off – leaving him no word, no explanation, nothing – and now by gosh – he’d have one – because she was the love of his life too.
Josh invites Amber to the lodge to have dinner with him and his bride-to-be (Willa), but Willa had to go back to Hollywood on urgent business. Amber has dinner with Josh and they swim in the pool together and begin to rekindle their friendship. The next morning, Willa is found murdered – near Hillvale – and all eyes begin to turn to Josh and Amber.
If seeing Josh and a murder isn’t stressful enough, Amber gets a call from her nephew Zeke who is living with his grandmother since his mother died. This is the same woman who abused and let others abuse Amber – and now, she’s putting Zeke in the same situation. Zeke runs away and takes a bus as close as he can to Hillvale and calls Amber, who doesn’t drive, to come to get him. She panics but finds a way to get him to Hillvale, now she has to spend resources she doesn’t have to get custody away from her treacherous mother.
Add another murder, an angry spirit possessing the town’s medium, and Hillvale is in an uproar. Josh is the main murder suspect with the sheriff, but Amber and her friends know he isn’t guilty – they just have to prove it by catching the real murderer(s).
This is a wonderful, fast-paced, exciting read with two lead characters who deserve their HEA more than any I’ve read in a very long time.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.