Go to Homepage   Candice Poarch: Lighthouse Magic


Crescent Blues Book ViewsArabesque Books/BET Publications (Paperback), ISBN 1583143491

Cecily Edmonds' mother Marva turns her daughter's world upside down upon her deathbed. It seems that the man Cecily knows as her father was really her stepfather and that her real father died in a hurricane many years ago. After being accused of theft, Marva Edmonds fled the North Carolina island her family lived on for decades. Convinced of her mother's innocence and determined to prove it, Cecily returns to the roots she doesn't remember.

Book: Candice Poarch, Lighthouse magic
Once back on the island, Cecily faces a less-than-warm reception from the tightly knit community. Many still believe her mother stole the money and tell Cecily to leave the matter alone when she begins asking questions. The high points of her existence turn out to be her joy in running her little tea shop and a blossoming romance with Ryan Anderson, who co-owns a campground adjoining the land Cecily owns.

Slowly Cecily wins over most of the island population, though the "three witches" refuse to come around. The witches -- Ruby, Taylor and Shelly -- remain convinced that Cecily's mother stole the money and that Cecily takes after her mother in that regard. They also consider her a man-stealer, because Ruby's daughter Hazeline gets nowhere with Ryan. Ryan takes the attitude "Like mother, like daughter" with respect to Hazeline, which enrages both Ruby and Hazeline.

Once Cecily and Ryan's romance gets serious, his father pressures Ryan to marry her and not take liberties without the benefit of a wedding. Only after the couple return from their honeymoon, does Cecily realize that Ryan never says those three magic words. Upset, she tries to pull away from him, but he follows her, not allowing her the space or time to drive a wedge in the young marriage.

Book: Candice Poarch, tender escape
But Ruby's anger at the man-stealer refuses to dissipate and she may not be as mentally stable as she seems. Threatening e-mails periodically arrive in Cecily's inbox, possibly from someone in her Aunt Glenda's past. These two troubles escalate after the honeymoon, driving Cecily and Ryan toward potential doom.

While Lighthouse Magic does a wonderful job as a romance, the mystery plots vie for prominence in the story. At a mere 250 pages, everything feels rushed -- a problem which a more leisurely approach might have alleviated.

In addition, the book could use more character development and time-oriented narration. This book features many characters, a lot of them pretty important to the plot, but most remain flat and bland, no more than names on the page. Also, it proves hard to tell how much time passes between events in the book. Lighthouse Magic begins well but needs a little more work.

Jen Foote

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