“Bewitched” opens with werewolf Glynnis Shaussegeny surveying the lake in front of her family’s home, howling her pain over the loss of her mate to another. Despite her despair and sadness, Glynnis senses someone watching her and spots what she believes to be a figure in the shadows across the lake. Rushing inside to avoid the sudden storm, Glynnis mulls over her situation.
Aric Sayer has no memory of how he arrived at the lake but he feels that the mysterious woman on the other side of it somehow called him. Taking up residence in an abandoned cabin, Aric waits for something to happen, though he has no idea what. When Glynnis appears at the cabin, declaring she will help him clean the place up and then invites him to dinner with her family, Aric consents, hoping that Glynnis’s grandfather may help him understand his origins.
The premise underlying the series, of a town haunted by evil, the Guardians set to protect the town, and a curse placed upon a family that made them werewolves proves very intriguing. This story begins with a lyrical fairy tale/folklore narrative which engages the reader immediately. Halfway through, however, the tone changes to that of a paranormal romance and it loses an element of mystery. The two likeable leads in the tale ensure that readers will still wish to discover how their situation gets resolved and will leave them curious about other members of the family explored in subsequent stories.
One Night of Eternity – 2.5 tombstones
This story in the Woodcutter’s Grim mini-series concerns Marnie and Gavin Shaussegeny, the werewolf parents of Glynnis, the subject of the previous tale. The two protagonists share a mate bond, which in the Shaussegeny family means that they both can only find true peace and happiness with one another—and when they remain faithful.
After catching him in what she believes to be a comprising situation with his secretary, Marnie plots to kill Gavin during the next full moon. Unaware of his wife’s plans but very perceptive of her mood, Gavin seeks to smooth things over with Marnie, explaining the scene she witnessed. When Marnie refuses to believe Gavin, he resorts to an alternative to free himself of the pain resulting from his love for her.
This installment of the series suffers due to the two main characters, both of whom come off as unlikeable. Their unwillingness to truly discuss their situation proves frustrating. Marnie stubbornly refuses to accept Gavin’s explanation or his professions of love, which he attempts to demonstrate. For his part, Gavin’s selfish determination to free himself does not take into account the effect on Marnie. However, the author earns extra points for an inventive punishment visited upon one of the two characters.
Beauty Is the Beast - 3 tombstones
“Beauty is the Beast” focuses on Ransom Shaussegeny, the one member of the family who refuses to accept his fate as a werewolf, tirelessly working on a cure to free all of them. On the afternoon of Halloween, Ransom finds himself once again reading the last part of the curse details outlined in his grandfather’s journal, stating that the curse can be broken by beauty and the beast/good and evil falling in love with one another.
To Ransom’s surprise, an odd-looking man appears at the estate that very moment, saying his car has broken down and he needs a phone. Feeling the effects of the full moon and knowing his transformation will soon be upon him, Ransom locks the man in a cell for his own protection. The next day, he releases the man, who then promptly cuts an enchanted rose off a special bush, causing the plant to wither. Ransom recognizes the situation as being closely akin to a fairy tale, and so in order to see how it all plays out, he requires the strange man to send his daughter to the estate as recompense. After Tess arrives, both she and Ransom soon learn that all is not as it appears.
The melding of folklore/fairy tales and modern-day settings sometimes proves a bit awkward in this entertaining series, but each story contains some aspect that adds to the enjoyment. In the case of “Beauty Is the Beast”, an interesting and unexpected twist supplies that extra appeal. This last installment of the mini-series does provide a resolution for some of the ongoing storylines, though a door opens for further possibilities within the world of Woodcutter’s Grim in “The Deep”, expected in October 2013.
- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: lulu.com; 1st edition (August 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1105200663
- ISBN-13: 978-1105200663
Books in the Woodcutter’s Grim mini-series in the order they should be read:
Blood of Amethyst
Dancing to the Grave
Moonlight Becomes You
One Night of Eternity
Beauty is the Beast