The first book in Ani Gonzalez’s Main Street Witches series features a business deal garnered between Liam Hagen and Kat Santelli Ramos to end the curse placed on the historic Hagen House so Liam can sell it, sharing the profits with Kat whose dream is to open her own jewelry store. The catch is, the only way to end the curse, according to local santerra guru and neighborhood exorcist Yolanda is for Liam and Kat to marry, and live in the haunted house together.
While navigating the rocky road of “marrying” a complete stranger, Kat and Liam also have to deal with the local paranormal/ghost hunter crew filming their every move, and a ghost/spirit/curse that is reluctant to dissipate. Kat will also have to accept that her ancestors were witches, and like it or not, she has inherited their gifts, which she will need to learn about if the curse is to be truly ended.
This was the first book I’ve read by the author, and I was fascinated by the fact that she has already created a rich backstory that includes a number of colorful residents of Banshee Creek and a complete history of multiple paranormal entities. Her background characters seem well-developed, but are only utilized as comic relief or scene fillers. I hope that future volumes will include more of this potential entertaining ensemble cast. The plot contains multiple twists on the way to a resolution I was able to predict about ¾ of the way through, but still contained a well-written climax, and a satisfying resolution.
This series seems to take witchcraft, magic, ghosts, poltergeists, and the like as accepted truths, but doesn’t delve too deeply into the scare factor. The result is a light-hearted romantic comedy with a spook factor that is eerie but not too terribly scary. This book, and presumably series, is perfect for those readers who want a taste of the paranormal without being scared out of their minds.
I award this novel four stars, and recommend it to readers of the paranormal, and cozy mysteries, who are interested in a heroine/romantic protagonist who also possesses magical powers.