Beguiled (Betwixt and Between, #3)

by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 9781734385267
Series: Betwixt & Between #3
Publication Date: February 15, 2021
Pages: 254
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Feather & Leaf

Newly indoctrinated witch, and a charmling to boot, Defiance Dayne discovers there’s more to life after forty than she’d ever imagined possible. Especially since one neighbor is trying to seduce her, another neighbor is trying to steal her house out from under her, and a third neighbor is trying to get her kicked off the planet. Oh for three, but things start to look up when a new witch moves to town, one who says she’s been sent to thwart an attempt on the charmling’s life.

Dephne decides she has three things to do before she can die. Find out who killed her beloved grandmother, teach her BFF, Annette, the finer points of spellcasting before she blows up the world, and figure out how serious her relationship with the Adonis living in her basement really is. If it’s heading in the direction she’s hoping for, she can die happy. Though, admittedly, she’d rather not.

None of that will matter, however, if she can’t figure out how to foil the supernatural assassin who’s been sent to kill her. Until then, it’s business—and hopefully romance—as usual. Now if she can only figure out how to tame a lacuna wolf.

(Sort of a) Paradox: I dislike, in general, self-published books, but there are a few authors I love enough to find myself unable to stay away from them.  Ilona Andrews is one example, and Darynda Jones another.

From what I gather, this self published series is part of a larger effort by several authors to publish books whose main characters are over 40 and still living la vida loca.  Or something like that.  Regardless, I picked up the series because, like Chloe Neil, Jones can write the snark and the humor and sometimes, with a very few authors, that’s enough.

So, in spite of the self-published-ness of the series, I look forward to each one.  They’re unfettered by anything resembling an editor’s reins, which, in a paranormal story is pretty damn unfettered, but the grammar is polished and copy-edited, which goes a long way.  Given the general joie de vivre Jones’ characters usually display, the MC could as easily be 30, 40 or 50, so while the story might be meant for ‘mature’ (I hate that word when applied to my gender) women, the story would resonate with anyone.

It was a fun, flirty, fast read, easily enjoyed on a cold winter’s holiday before the slog back to working on-site begins again tomorrow.

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