Author: Celestine Martin
What I’m Talking About:
Several months ago, Ursula made a wish for happiness, and her fiancé left her at the alter. The impact of being stood up wrecked her confidence and ability to make decisions, so she left her job and is working as a medium for her Mama’s shop. Tired of pitying looks and going no where, Ursula makes herself a list of to dos to take back her life.
Fae Prince Xavier has been cursed (enchanted?) to find the “perfect kiss” after he made some disparaging remarks about love to the Fae Queen. He’s had a number of dates but none lead to a kiss. Striking up an easy friendship, Ursula promises to help Xavier find his kiss so he can return home.
Kiss and Spell is Martin’s follow up to the delightful Witchful Thinking, which introduced Ursula and her magical cousins. In that first book, readers witness Ursula’s wish and the subsequent disintegration of her wedding plans. After reading Witchful Thinking, it seemed that Ursula was destined for her fiancé’s twin brother, but Marcus doesn’t even show up in Kiss and Spell. Honestly, I was a bit shocked, and this may be part of the reason I never got behind Ursula and Xavier as a couple.
While Kiss and Spell has some magical moments, I found it hard to relate to both main characters and the pair as a couple. Part of the issue is that readers don’t witness the time after Ursula’s failed wedding and her loss of confidence. Rather than being allowed to experience Ursula’s pain, readers are told she’s gone through a lot. I also cannot understand why Ursula, who blames that fateful wish on her ruination, is so obsessed with continuing to make different wishes. It’s just so contradictory. Finally, Ursula isolates herself from her cousins, which were a big part of the first book. While I can understand some embarrassment over her behavior, I don’t understand why she has cut her family off so completely.
Xavier comes off as formal and cold at first. He’s kind, but keeps everything at a distance. Even after we get to know him and the pair become friendly, Ursula continues to call him “Highness” and he calls her “Madame” which enforces a formality and distance between the pair in my mind. Additionally, readers are told that weeks go by, and the author doesn’t share the experiences that allow the pair to bond and become friends. I didn’t feel them growing closer, even though I was told they were.
In the end, Kiss and Spell was a disappointment, especially after I enjoyed the first book so much.
My Rating: C/C-
About the Book:
Love is the trickiest spell of all.
A witch without a spell
All Ursula Caraway wished for was to live happily ever after in her hometown of Freya Grove. The self-proclaimed Jersey Shore Witch Princess was set to begin her perfect life—until a twist of fate changed everything. Now, she’s telling fortunes to the lovelorn, selling crystals at the local psychic shop, and reclaiming her missing magic. Ursula desperately wishes to shake up her life—so much so, that she’ll do just about anything. Including befriending a very cute, very enchanted prince.
A prince in search of a kiss
Prince Xavier Alder needs to find The One, but his lack of social skills has made that a challenge—and being cursed by the Faerie Queen isn’t helping either. So when Ursula, eager to believe in magic again, agrees to help Xavier find a perfect, curse-breaking kiss before Midsummer, it’s the ideal opportunity for them to get what they want. So long as they don’t let their mutual (and inconvenient) attraction get in the way.
Release Date: September 26, 2023
Series: Standalone; Elemental Love #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): paperback (384 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)
Reviews in the Series:
Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin (Elemental Love #1)