Amber Quill Press, $4.00, ISBN 1-59279-586-2
Paranormal Romance, 2006
I am tickled by the cover of this book. It’s very obvious from the clumsy Photoshop copy-and-paste effort that the artist has merely pasted someone’s face onto the body of someone who will most probably sue if the head on that body remains untouched. The head and the body are so mismatched that even the position of the head and the posture of the body don’t seem to go together, heh.
Okay, let’s move on to the story. Cassandra Curtis’s I Put a Spell on You is just like the title suggests: thirteen years ago our hero Sebastian Matthews was this teenage kid who stole a spell from the Warners so that he can make Tess Warner fall in love with him. The spell didn’t work – in fact, he believes that the reverse actually happened and she couldn’t stand him, so there ended Sebastian’s short-lived career as love magic guru.
Tess and the women of her family are witches so today, Sebastian is still apprehensive about bumping into Tess even when he’s now more confident of his appeal to the opposite sex. Now that he has inherited his grandparents’ place which is just next to the Warners’ place, he decides that it’s time he moves back to Meredith Falls to his new place and find a way to reverse that spell so that he can woo Tess into his arms for good.
Ms Curtis depicts magic in this story in an earthy “this could be real indeed” manner, with the use of herbs and potions and all. The whole thing is pretty short but it’s a fun read nonetheless especially when Sebastian is such an adorable nice fellow who’s confident that he’s in love with Tess. Tess could have been a neurotic weirdo mistrustful of men in another story but here she’s just fine as a woman who’s a little uncertain about Sebastian but is smart enough not to fight the attraction over silly reasons. The secondary characters such as Tess’s sisters complement the main characters instead of overpowering them.
Despite the presence of magic in the story, the romance feels most down-to-earth, real, and sensible. I find I Put a Spell on You most enchanting that way. It’s a shame about the cover but the story is definitely nothing to be ashamed of.