like a charm by candace havens

Posted on December 30, 2009


The librarian sees dead people.

Kira Smythe used to be a high-powered lawyer, who suffers a breakdown from witnessing the suicide of one of her clients. She reluctantly returns to hometown Sweet in Texas to recuperate from the shock and illness, inheriting the position of town librarian upon the death of the previous one. In the huge, Gothic-like library, she starts to see and hear things that are not quite of this world. Fortunately, she has Caleb, a journalist who drops into town every now and then, to turn to for comfort and more-than-friendship.

Though a far second to the romance between Kira and Caleb, the mystery of the library (is it haunted or is Kira just hearing voices?) and her stalker (why does he want to hurt her? Who is he?) is enough to keep the story from being too fluffy. The lists at the end of each chapter (Favorite Pastries, Five things I like about Sweet, Pros and Cons of Dating Caleb, etc.) is charming but serve more as layout decoration than anything else, I think.

Out of place somewhat in this very normal seeming small town are witches, casually mentioned a few times throughout the book. Is it just my lack of background information (apparently Like a Charm is the fourth book in a series, where each book features a heroine with a unique magical dilemma) or is there a disconnect between the ordinary and extraordinary in this book? Because if witches were so ordinary, why are the ideas of ghosts and mediums so out-of-this-world for Kira? Maybe the logic of this universe just failed to catch up beyond the third book?

Posted in: mushy weird