Smoke On The Water

23014579Willow Black is a woman with a tragic past, she was abandoned as a child and lived in several different foster homes. People were scared of Willow because she had the ability to summon rain and see the future in water. She didn’t understand her abilities and neither did the families she lived with, which eventually led to her being put in a psychiatric ward. Willow feels like something is wrong with her but things start to change when she meets a fellow patient named Mary and gets a new doctor named Sebastian Crane.

Mary believes that Willow is a witch and together they study the art of witchcraft. Sebastian doesn’t believe in witchcraft but he has seen some things that he can’t explain and thinks Willow could be responsible.  He also feels an attraction for her and Willow has visions of herself in a relationship with Sebastian, but she knows its wrong for a doctor to date a patient. To make Willow’s life even more complicated she discovers that she is a witch and along with her newfound sisters she must stop an ancient order of witch hunters whose goal is to wipeout all witches.

Smoke On The Water by Lori Handeland is the third book in the Sisters Of The Craft series but works well as a stand alone novel. My first thought going into this book was how is Lori going to tell the story of another major character in this series and tie it in to the story in the last two books? Will it be longer? Will she spend less time talking about the third sister? I wasn’t sure how this book was going to work out but was eager to read it. Once again Lori shows why she a popular author by releasing a novel that has a good love story, great characters, a fascinating mythology, a little mystery and just enough action to keep things interesting.

Much like the other books I’ve read by Lori Handeland this book is first and foremost a romance but there is much more going on here then just a love story. Other themes in this book include the importance of friendship, loyalty, doing what you need to do for your family and accepting things you don’t understand. What really stuck out for me in this book was the relationship between Mary and Willow. Mary had a big roll in the second book in this series, Heat Of The Moment and this book shows how she kept escaping the psychiatric hospital. Mary is shown as being violent, unpredictable and some of the patients and other staff are frightened of her. Willow sees Mary as a friend and we see when they are both together they become better people. Mary is calmer when Willow is around and Willow sees Mary as her only friend. The Psychiatric hospital is shown as a hopeless place but Willow and Mary’s friendship adds a ray of light to a dark existence.

Lori Handeland is a master storyteller. I loved how each book in this series works as a stand alone novel and ties in a bigger story in all three books. You can start this series with any of the books and not get confused. I loved hearing about Willow and Mary learning Wiccan spells and  about the mythology in Smoke On The Water.  Each of these books show that there is a secret world within our reality where ghosts and witches exist even though most people don’t believe it. Smoke On The Water shows how good a paranormal romance novel can be.