I never read Melissa de la Cruz’s teen works. It has nothing to do with the author or the books she wrote; it’s more my aversion to teen literature. I’ll pick one up when I have to, but it’s not my go-to type of book. When I saw her adult debut, Witches of East End, I figured that would be my way of reading a bestselling author without having to dive into the teen world. If her writing is the same across all age ranges, I can see why she’s so popular—her books are addictive!
Joanna, Ingrid, and Freya Beauchamp are witches, banned from using their powers after they were found guilty of being witches during the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600s. Even though they’ve been permitted to maintain their immortality, (or when Ingrid and Freya do die due to accidents, the ability to be reborn through their mother), they are not to use their specific gifts. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal serious injuries; Ingrid can see into the future and read people’s minds and auras; and Freya, recently engaged to one of the town’s wealthiest men, Bran Gardiner, can conjure up any charm or potion to cure heartache or make someone irresistible.
The Beauchamps have been living their quiet life as much as possible, but in their quiet little town of North Hampton, which is not located on the map and is near impossible to find, each woman finds a reason to begin dabbling again. Though their initial magic begins small, Ingrid curing her friend of infertility and Joanna fixing a burnt pie, the temptation becomes too much and they start doing bigger spells.
At the same time, there seems to be a dark presence taking over the town. Joanna finds dead birds on the beach, there’s a black sludge found in the ocean, and people and children are suddenly taken deathly ill with symptoms that initially started out as a mild cold or flu. The women aren’t sure what’s going on, but they’re determined to figure out. If only Freya wasn’t distracted by her fiancé’s intriguing brother or Ingrid wasn’t worried about the impending closure of her beloved library.
I enjoyed Witches of East End, and could see it being recommended as a supernatural beach read. It doesn’t take a lot of brain power to read, but you still have to follow along. The only complaint I had was that, for a book about witches beginning to come back into their power after a long hiatus, I was hoping for more details on the spells and powers they had. Since this is the start of a series, I’m hopeful the future titles will offer me more details. And if it could also offer me more of the sexy Killian, I’d appreciate that as well, too.