Title: If Wishes Were Horses
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Author: Joey W Hill
Pages: 236 pp (paperback) / 367 pp (ebook)
Price: $12.99 (paperback) / $6.99 (ebook)
After her marriage collapses and she is critically wounded in a drug raid gone bad, Sarah Wylde leaves Chicago and settles down as the new police Chief of Lilesville, Florida. One night, she decides to take a run across the back of her neighbor’s property — and stumbles across a Great Rite. Only vaguely familiar with Wicca, Sarah nonetheless recognizes the sacredness and raw sensuality of the Rite … and the compelling sexuality of the High Priest, Justin Herne. When a ritualistic murder is committed, Sarah calls on Justin’s occult expertise to help her find the killer. But as Sarah uncovers more information about the victim, she comes to question Justin’s innocence … and her own growing attraction to him ….
Okay, first, ignore the cover. It does not capture the Wiccan or even paranormal elements that are so central to the story. I hope that gets fixed with a second edition.
Second, Wiccan paranormal murder mystery/romance! Too cool! And the Wiccan element is not only fully integrated into the plot, but accurately portrayed. Hill is either Wiccan herself, or she did her homework.
Third, I totally fell in love with this book. Great characters: Sarah is tough, determined, and walled off from her own heart — until she meets Justin. He is deeply spiritual, sensual, and truly loves women. Such a nice change of pace from the usual domineering alpha males found in paranormal romances. Plus, the guy runs a women’s “sensuality boutique.” And, he has one of the most beautiful altar rooms I have ever seen described in a book; I’m not Wiccan, and I want that room.
Fourth, this is an erotic romance. Emphasis on erotic. The book opens with an actual Great Rite, not a symbolic one. In this case, I enjoyed the sex scenes because they added to the storyline; they actually made sense as Justin tried to help Sarah move passed the hurt and coldness brought on by her husband’s betrayal.
So, in conclusion: terrific characters, sensual love scenes, an evil entity, and faith in the Lady and the Lord. Highly recommended to fans of Joey W Hill’s other works, as well as those of Thea Harrison, Erzabet Bishop, and Zoe Archer.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]