Grieving the death of her godfather and haunted by her cousin Cassie’s betrayal, Barrie returns from a trip to San Francisco to find the Watson plantation under siege. Ghost-hunters hope to glimpse the ancient spirit who sets the river on fire each night, and reporters chase rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold that may be hidden at Colesworth Place. The chaos turns dangerous as Cassie hires a team of archeologists to excavate beneath the mansion ruins. Because more is buried there than treasure.
A stranger filled with magic arrives at Watson’s Landing claiming that the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts—and the Colesworth curse—also lies beneath the mansion. With a mix of threats and promises, the man convinces Barrie and Cassie to cast a spell there at midnight. But what he conjures may have deadly consequences.
While Barrie struggles to make sense of the escalating peril and her growing and forbidden feelings for Eight Beaufort, it’s impossible to know whom to trust and what to fight for—Eight or herself. Millions of dollars and the fate of the founding families is at stake. Now Barrie must choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what will keep Watson’s Landing safe in this stunning addition to a series filled with “decadent settings, mysterious magic, and family histories rife with debauchery” (Kirkus Reviews, on Compulsion). – Goodreads.com
Having lived in South Carolina for so long, diving back into this series was like coming home for me. Again, the author manages to capture the rich history, Southern charm, and eerie magic of the Charleston Low Country area.
This book gives the reader a better understanding of the gifts of the Watsons and Beauforts and the Colesworth curse. Some questions are answered, but other emerge and there are still secrets to be exposed and the motivations of some characters to be learned.
Some of the characters have some interesting developments – some I liked and some surprised me. I enjoyed seeing Pru take a more active role at Watson’s Landing and learning more about her past in regards to Seven, but some of Seven’s actions were questionable. As easy as Cassie makes it to dislike her, there may be more to her than previously thought. Again, Eight is just a sweetheart of a character.
I was a little disappointed in the emphasis on the relationship drama between Barrie and Eight. Conflict is expected, of course, there wouldn’t be much of a plot without it, but it distracted me from the primary story of the goings on at Watson’s Landing.
There are still many decisions to be made, secrets to be exposed, and mysteries to be solved at Watson’s Landing and I’ll be impatiently waiting for the next book in this haunting, highly addictive series. Persuasion is scheduled for publication October 27, 2015.
This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.