Author: Darynda Jones
Narrator: Traci Odom
Audiobook Length: 10 hours 10 minutes
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.
Beguiled is the third novel in the ongoing Betwixt and Between series. This is potentially the final novel from the point of view of the first main character as the fourth novel will switch to another character, the main character’s best friend. The novel picks up where the last one ended, so it is highly recommended to start on book one before eventually moving on to book three. However, it is possible to still figure out what is going on, if you wanted to read this one due to some recaps sprinkled throughout.
Defiance Dayne is a mid-forties woman who has previously found out that she possesses magical powers. Not only is she is a witch, but she is a rare variation called a Charmling (there are less than five in the universe). After her grandmother passed away, she inherited a house, named Percy, in Salem, Massachusetts. She originally was in denial about her magic, but has now finally begun to accept whom she is and is now working to protect herself and those she loves from an ever-growing list of enemies. The story goes through the mystery of who is after Defiance and her found family.
The quirky cast of characters is what makes this story fun as it is a diverse group featuring: a three year old ghost boy named Samuel, a mysterious black cat named Ink, the living/dead grandmother, Gigi, the alive house, Percy, the wolfman, Roan, and the human (possibly more) best friend, Annette. There is a host of tertiary characters, as well, that all interact in a fun manner with tons of banter and heart. The characters can be snarky one minutes and have a more serious conversation the next, which made them all seem very realistic and relatable. Each character has a role in the story and each plays their part while remaining dynamic on the page, which, again, added to the realism of the story.
The pacing of the story is great as there never seems to be a dull moment with this ensemble cast. While the mystery of Gigi’s murder is still left to be solved in this novel, there is a new mystery of what is happening with Annette. Additionally, Roan and Defiance are working through their relationship to try and figure out how to move forward in the future. The author manages to balance all of the subplots well so it is easy to keep track of all the events and characters. There is a lot of humor mixed in with the mystery which added a new level of enjoyment to the story.
Overall, I am very excited for Annette to become the official main character in the next novel. This novel ended with a brief part at the end where the point of view changed to Annette and was an excellent preview of what is still to come. There are a lot of loose ends that are wrapped up in this novel while leaving some mysteries to lead to the next novel in the series. Traci Odom continues to narrate the series and I love her portrayal of Defiance, especially her banter with Annette. I cannot wait to see where this series goes as there are many possibilities while making me want to revisit this cast of characters!