Monday, April 13, 2020

Coven of Secrets (The Bayshore Witch Legacy, #1) by C.J. Beaumont

Coven of Secrets (The Bayshore Witch Legacy #1)Coven of Secrets by C.J. Beaumont
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At 17, Roxanne Cole had been a very troubled, young witch headed down a path of darkness and destruction when her beloved Granny had pulled her back from the brink of death at her own hands. Seven years later, she is still recovering but has, pretty much, been getting her life together, making a living as a legal transcriptionist, when Granny passes away. Granny had been the high priestess of the Bayshore Witches Coven and by rights and responsibility, Roxanne should have stepped up to replace her. However, because of her earlier experiences, Roxanne had completely renounced magic and her place in the Coven, and Olivia, a distant relation from another bloodline, had taken on the role. Roxanne is the guardian of her younger sister, Kathryn, a teenager who is also grieving the loss of their grandmother and, as a result, has become quite difficult to manage.

One day, Roxy catches the local television news and is shocked to see Kat being interviewed as the planner and organizer of Bayshore’s first-ever Witch Festival. Kat (who’s skipped school) and several other young witches, too young to be initiated into the Coven, have outed the Coven and announced to the world that witches and witchcraft really exist. As she waits for Kat to get home and explain herself, Roxy discovers that her younger sister may be going down the same dark path she had traveled so many years before.

The sisters’ confrontation goes off the rails right away. Kat is an angry, young woman and has been rebelling against the old ways and the Coven on social media and is disgusted with Roxy’s decision to leave magic behind. Soon Olivia arrives and to de-escalate the tension between the two sisters, convinces Roxy to let Kat come and stay with her and her daughter, Darlene’s, family. (Darlene’s daughter, Sylvia, is Kat’s best friend.) Roxy reluctantly agrees and the following morning she receives a call from Darlene that Kat disappeared during the night leaving behind her cellphone and other possessions.

Frantically, Roxy searches for the missing teenager, and when she gets nowhere on her own, she has no choice but to accept the help of Ray Hammond, an old nemesis from high school. A former high school athletic stand out, pretty boy, and one of the “cool kids,” back in the day his buddies and their girlfriends had unmercifully bullied Roxy and been the source of much of her younger self’s anguish. But Ray was now a successful private investigator in town and may be able to get information and cooperation out of the Coven members that they have denied Roxy who they feel betrayed and turned her back on them.

But the case does not come to a swift conclusion as Kat’s whereabouts and well-being remains unknown and more witches, including the high priestess, Olivia, disappear. And when some of the missing witches are found murdered, Ray and Roxy know Kat isn’t just a disgruntled runaway but in the worst kind of danger.

Coven of Secrets is tension-filled from the first sentence, and warning, it starts out with a suicide attempt. I was drawn into Roxy’s world immediately and wanted her to be alright, succeed, and overcome the problems she was facing. Her younger sister seemed to be reacting pretty much as teens do but she is a mystery yet to be revealed. The chemistry between Roxy and Ray, although immediately apparent to the reader, evolves slowly as the two work through the search for the missing witches.

The author has created a great hometown in Bayshore and a good backstory creating the existing conflict between Ray and Roxy which plays into her mindset from the very beginning of the book. The history and hierarchy of the Coven are solid, easy to understand, and interesting. I anxiously await the next book in this new series. I recommend this book for readers that enjoy stories featuring modern-day witches and thrilling mysteries involving paranormal themes.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy.

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