When the dean of Bishop College in Boston threatened to close Petra Ambrose’s Pre-Revolutionary American History department, she could feel all of her work towards her dream career slipping through her fingers. To her dismay, students weren’t interested in American Puritanical culture and the status of women in their time, not unless it involved trendy witches glamourized in modern society.
In a last hope to save her job, Petra was tasked with finding something new and exciting to draw in more students. Not exactly sure where to start, she headed up the coast to explore sites other than cliche and touristy Salem.
Small-town Maine had her imagining a quaint village straight out of a romance novel on the water. To some extent, she found it, with the quirky, nosy neighbors, but Deadlights Cove was entirely too dingy to be run by its no-nonsense mayor. Plus, everyone in town seemed to be in on some joke at her expense, none more so than the mischievous and overly friendly bartender, Blaze. Far too handsome for his own good, the man had the unfair ability to irritate her more than anyone else ever had while simultaneously setting her heart racing.
With obstacles popping up at every turn, Petra was ready to throw her hands up and go back to the drawing board for a new strategy until she wound up at the center of a murder investigation.
Nothing was as it seemed in Deadlights Cove, and Petra could have just unearthed more than she’d ever imagined. But was discovering the truth about this town worth giving up everything she’d worked so hard for?
Do you ever start a book and know that from the first few pages you read that you will absolutely love it? That is what happed for me with B. Perkins and Aimee Vances’ Smoke Show. I had read Vance’s other series, Call of the Norns, so this new series she has been writing with Perkins has been high on my TBR for quite a while now (and since then they have published more in the Deadlights Cove series so I am keen to read those at some point too).
Everything about this novel from it’s wonderful characters to the witty humour was an absolute delight to read. I love the world these two authors have created together with the small town of Deadlights Cove. It feels like a small town should feel – strange but well suited locals, buildings that house more than one attraction (or seemingly the wrong attraction), and a bar that everyone frequents, and I mean everyone. It all felt very real to me, enhanced by the cagey town inhabitants and their secrets. Even while those secrets were paranormal in nature- actually, especially so.
The romance was really sweet to follow, and I loved being able to read the perspectives of both Petra and Blaze. Both their inner voices were amusing to read, and the story flowed nicely between both points of view. The side characters were also a lot of fun. I think my favourite had to be Orion. He was wonderfully surly, but you can tell he is a softy underneath it all. His friendship with Blaze was fun to read two as they are both so different.
I enjoyed the murder mystery throughout, especially with it’s paranormal ties. I found it flowed nicely with the romance plot, not taking away from it but adding to it in part. I am interested to see if future books in the series have a bit of a mystery to them or not. Though I will be reading them regardless.
I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun and very sweet romance novel that has both mystery and paranormal elements. This was so much more than just romance novel, and I found myself delightfully rereading some of my favourite lines as I read.