GWENDOLYN GOODE LIVES A CHARMED LIFE.
As owner of an occult shop in downtown Salem, Massachusetts she’s accustomed to all things odd and otherworldly. But when a bloody animal sacrifice is left as a warning outside her place of business, the police seem to think Gwen might be the target of some truly evil-doers. Suddenly, her sunny existence is riddled with danger in the form of crazed pagans, rogue employees, and nefarious henchmen. And there’s only one man who can protect her until the storm passes...
GRAHAM GRAVES HAS NO TIME FOR WITCHY NONSENSE.
Not in his love life, and definitely not in his line of work. Despite the ever-present oddities of his hometown, the private investigator and acclaimed police consultant prides himself on staying objective in every case that comes across his desk. That all changes when Gwendolyn — a woman who gets under his skin like no other — finds herself in the crosshairs of dangerous criminals. Graham is determined to make her safe, even if her presence tests his steely resolve. But as their mutual dislike sizzles into unexpected attraction… he becomes even more determined to make her something else:
Bad Luck Charm is a quirky romantic suspense / mystery set against a magical backdrop that left me confused as to whether or not magic is supposed to actually be real in this world or not... Either way, one thing is for sure, if magic is actually a thing in this world, Gwen doesn't possess it. What she DOES possess, however, is her grandmother's witchy shop in Salem alongside super savvy business acumen which (when combined with her sass) was enough for me to like her.
The whole book focuses around a series of weird ritualistic sacrifices which puts Gwen at the top of the intended victim list and throws her into the protective clutches of her childhood crush turned adulthood "enemy" Graham.
The push/pull between Gwen and Graham was initially delicious (how Gwen didn't know the snark between them was foreplay, I'll never know!) but it went on for so long that it got exhausting before they finally got it together... And just when you think all is good on that front Gwen is a pain in the ass again. But! Once together *together* there is no third act break up which was great as I really wouldn't have survived anymore drama/acrimony between those two...
The story was engaging but it would have read a lot better had it not been quite so long! 500 odd pages was a bit excessive considering a lot of it was relationship drama (that I've already mentioned was exhausting) and the story really wasn't that complex. That said, I didn't work out who the killer was until embarrassingly late in the story so that was genuinely fun!
I absolutely loved the setting, the witchy vibes, the history, Salem... Johnson really brought the environment to life... Plus, Graham gave me serious Henry Cavill vibes from his description and the supporting characters were interesting enough that I'm up for reading the next book in this series.
All in all, a good addition to the spooky season reading list, I'd say!
I know it's only August but I don't care... Who is getting excited for autumn/spooky season already?!