Spellcasting with a Chance of Spirits – For the laughs, the love, and Burgess

It was a long almost six months between the release of Hexing with a Chance of Tornadoes (of which you can read my review here) and that of Spellcasting with a Chance of Spirits, the third of Mandy M. Roth’s Grimm Cove series. However, just like last time, Roth’s book was worth the wait, as it was full of laughs, full of love. And let’s face it: there was Burgess, too!

Who in the world is Burgess? All in good time. For the publication of this book should come first, since it was a difficult birth, not only due to the current circumstances (the pandemic and the stress it inevitably involves), but because the characters weren’t behaving the way the author expected, which led to several complete rewrites and delays. And as Mandy says, she will never rush writing and offer us a sub-par novel. This is all to her credit, on top of making her books absolutely fantastic reads, so waiting a few months longer to get to read them will never be a bother, at least for this reader (and for the vast majority of her readers, in truth).

So no, you will never hear me complain that I had to wait longer for a book by an author when it is of the quality of Mandy’s. Spellcasting is no different.

Need more proof? As you know, I’m currently teaching full time (which involves about 50 hours a week of work) and have little time to really devote to reading, save my daily transit and evenings, and the weekends. However, I did not have a weekend for this one, yet I still finished it in two days. No, it was not because I wanted my review to be out ASAP. It was because the book was that good.

What the book is about

This book is the third of Mandy M. Roth’s Grimm Cove series, this time focusing on Marcy Dotter, the third of the trio of friends who moved to Grimm Cove to help Poppy deal with a new life following a surprising divorce. Since then, Poppy has mated with her first love, Brett, and Dana has fallen head over heels for Jeffrey, the town’s pack alpha, and the three women, alongside their new friends and allies, have defeated a couple of supernatural menaces to save the town and its inhabitants.

A total free spirit, Marcy passes for a weirdo because of her habit of talking to animals, hugging trees, and communing with nature. She is also a witch, who has met her familiar, a squirrel called Burgess, upon arriving in her birth town, and she talks to spirits. Because yes, Marcy was born in Grimm Cove, and following their recent adventure, the month before (the complete story is told in Hexing with a Chance of Tornadoes), she is set upon finding out more about her birth parents.

In order to find that out, she needs the help of Abraham “Bram” Van Helsing, who is not only Dana’s father, but also over a hundred years old… and her mate. It doesn’t help that something else is after the witch.

Hilarious from start to finish

If there is drama in Spellcasting and, believe me, there is, there is also a lot of humour, be it in the banter between the Van Helsings (Please, pretty please, Mandy, do write Austin’s and Elis’s stories at some point!) or in everything dealing with Burgess, to name only that.

To be frank, every time Burgess is mentioned, something laugh-out-loud inducing is happening, much to the reader’s delight. I really don’t like squirrels, they scare me, but Burgess is the one exception to that personal quirk of mine. He is all sorts of cute, funny, and adorable.

On top of really being a witch, and really being able to talk to spirits, Marcy is a total free spirit, including in her lack of inhibitions, which does come with her not caring about appearing naked in front of people… or sharing her bath with others! That “free spirit” part is probably why Marcy has never been my favourite of the trio. Then again, this doesn’t mean that she isn’t a great character, all the contrary!

However, Bram is having a hard time reconciling himself with the fact that Marcy is his fated mate, in part because of being a free spirit, but mostly because she is one of his daughter’s best friends. Plus, he is over a hundred, even though he doesn’t look much older than his 40-year-old daughter and her friends, and has a tormented past, which he needs to come to grips with, and feel that he is worthy of love despite the things that he has done.

My verdict

I laughed so hard in some scenes that I seriously can’t wait for the next book, Starry with a Chance of Nightshade, which will be the mysterious Stratton’s story. I really, really love Grimm Cove and its inhabitants, and their magik.

This is how good Bram’s and Marcy’s story was. They might be supernaturals, but you can relate to them in so many ways!

A squirelly five stars! ✰✰✰

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