Reunited after four hundred years, three sisters join together to vanquish the power that tore them apart...and embrace the sorcery that is their birthright.
Abandoned as an infant, Willow Black spent her childhood in foster care, the object of whispers and pity...and rumors about being certifiably crazy. Telling your young friends that you can foresee the future-and summon the rain-is a surefire way to end up in the psychiatric ward. But when Dr. Sebastian Frasier arrives at the facility, Willow's whole life takes a turn. Sebastian is the handsomest man she's ever actually laid eyes on-even though he has been in Willow's visions for years. But not even she could have predicted the storm of passion that engulfs them both. With Sebastian by her side, Willow is emboldened to embrace her history, and the sisters she never knew. Soon, the true power in her blood awakes-and the battle she was born to fight begins. While the tempest rages, Willow must depend on the friends and family she's found-and the man she has loved forever...
In Smoke on the Water, the final book of this enchanting new trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland sweeps readers into a bewitching tale of secrets, sisterhood, and the stunning magic of love.
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Smoke on the Water
By Lori Handeland
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Lori Handeland
All rights reserved.
"Do I know you?"
I glanced up from the book I wasn't reading to find one of the inmates — I mean patients — of the Northern Wisconsin Mental Health Facility hovering at the edge of my personal space. In a place like this, people learn quickly not to get too close to anyone without warning them first. Bad things happen, and they happen quickly.
"I'm Willow," I said. "Willow Black. But I don't think we've met."
I'd seen the woman around. The others called her "Crazy Mary," which was very pot/kettle in my opinion, but no one had asked me. She was heroin-addict skinny. I gathered she'd done a lot of "self-medicating" on the outside. A lot of nutty people did. When you saw things, heard things that no one else did, you'd think you'd be more inclined not to take drugs that might make you see and hear more. The opposite was true. Trust me.
"Mary McAllister." She shuffled her feet, glanced at the empty chair next to me, and I nodded. She scurried over, sat, smiled.
She still had all of her teeth, which was an accomplishment around here. I had mine, sure, but I was only twenty-seven. Mary had to be ... it was hard to say. I'd take a stab and guess between thirty and sixty. Give or take a few years.
Mary looked good today. Or as good as she got. Her long, wavy graying hair had been brushed free of tangles. She'd had a shower recently, but she still wore the tan jumpsuit issued to problem patients. The more you behaved like a human being, the more you were allowed to dress like one. I, myself, was wearing hot-pink scrub pants and a white T-shirt that read NWMHF, which placed me somewhere between Mary's solitary-confinement jumpsuit and the jeans and Green Bay Packer designer wear of the majority of the visitors. Not that I ever had any visitors, but I'd observed others.
Mary had been incarcerated a while. The powers that be didn't like to call us "incarcerated," but a spade was a spade in my opinion, and if you couldn't waltz out the front door whenever you wanted to, I considered that "incarcerated." Mary spent a lot of time either doped into zombieville or locked away from everyone else. She was schizophrenic, but around here that was more the norm than not. Sadly, Mary was on the violent side of the spectrum — hence the doping and the locking away.
"Willow." She rubbed her head. "I don't think that's right."
"What isn't right?"
"Your name isn't Willow."
"No!" The word was too loud. She hunched her shoulders, glanced around to make sure none of the orderlies were headed our way. None were.
"It hasn't always been. It was something else. Before."
Very few people knew about my past, or lack of it. Mary McAllister certainly shouldn't. Unless she was part of it.
I'd been abandoned at birth. Found beneath a black willow tree on the banks of a babbling brook. Luckily for me it had been July, and there'd been a huge town picnic going on nearby. I'd been found almost immediately, or I'd have been dead.
I'd often wondered why the State of Wisconsin hadn't named me Brook instead of Willow, though I guess Brook Black is a bit of a tongue twister.
"Your hair was red." Mary leaned in close. "Your eyes were greenish-brown."
Mary might seem good today but she was still talking crazy instead of truth. Even if I'd dyed my hair from red to blond, which I hadn't, I didn't think I could change greenish-brown eyes to blue, unless I wore superexpensive contact lenses. As I didn't have enough money for new shoes, and putting anything near — never mind in — my eyes wigged me out, that hadn't happened either.
"You have me confused with someone else," I said. "That's okay. Happens to everyone."
Mary shook her head. But she didn't argue any more than that. The silence that descended went on so long, I nearly went back to my book.
"I know what you are."
I hadn't shared what I was with anyone, though I guess it wasn't a secret that I was here for the same reason Mary was.
"What am I?" I asked.
Might as well get the truth out in the open, although murderer was a bit harsh. The man hadn't actually died.
No thanks to me.
"A witch," Mary answered.
I laughed, but when her eyes narrowed I stopped. I'd been in here long enough, with people like her, to know better.
"Why would you say that?" Had I done something to her without realizing it? Or did she just think that I had?
"Because I'm one too."
"When you say witch, you mean ...?" I'd been thinking bitch but —
Mary cackled like the Wicked Witch of the West.
That interpretation made more sense. If Mary thought she was a witch, it followed that she'd think I was as well. Which meant everyone in here was a card-carrying broomstick rider — at least according to Mary.
"You see things," she continued. "Then they happen."
Since becoming a resident of this facility I'd told no one of what I saw when I looked into the water. I'd stopped insisting that those incidents would occur. I wanted to get out of here while I was still young. So how did Mary know about my visions?
"I don't understand what you mean," I lied.
There wasn't much that could be done about what was wrong with me. No amount of medication made the visions stop. Talking about them with my shrink certainly hadn't. Pretending I didn't have them was my only option, and I was getting better at it.
"You know any spells?" Mary lifted a bottle of water to her lips and sipped. The sun sparkled in it like a beacon. Images danced.
I closed my eyes, turned my head. "No."
"We'll have to find some."
"Find spells? How? Where?" I should have asked, Why? My first mistake.
The sound of water splashing onto the floor made my eyes snap open. Second mistake.
The puddle on the ground at my feet reflected the ceiling tiles and the fluorescent lights for just an instant before I saw something that should not, could not, be reflected there.
A room with books, books, more books. I recognized the library here at the facility even before I saw myself at the center — green scrubs, blue shirt, bare feet. I was alone. On the floor lay a volume. The title: Book of Shadows.
I seemed to be searching for something, or maybe someone. I appeared frantic — pale, scared, trembling. What had I done this time?
Then a face appeared in the water, blotting out both me and the library. A man slightly older than me. Longish dark hair, scruffy beard. I'd seen him many times before. He was important, but I didn't know why. He would keep me safe; he would save me. But I didn't know from what.
"Ladies." The mouth in the vision formed the word; those lips curved.
Strange. It was almost as if —
I lifted my gaze. He stood in front of us. Had I conjured him from my vision in the water?
I snorted. Conjured. Right. Mary's witch talk was invading my head.
"Something funny?" he asked.
I reached out, my fingers trembling as they had in the vision, and he took my hand with a gentle smile. A spark flared where we touched, and I tried to pull away, but he held on, though his smile faded to a frown. From the zap of electricity? Or my odd behavior?
This could not be him. He wasn't real. Even though he felt very much so.
I got to my feet, lifting my free hand toward his face. He was so tall I had to stretch. In my dreams of him I'd known he was big, strong. How else would he protect me from ... whatever it was that he would?
He stilled, gaze on mine, but he didn't stop me from touching him. I pushed aside his tangled hair. The tiny golden hoop in his ear made my eyes sting.
"It really is you," I whispered.
Then I fainted.
* * *
Sebastian Frasier caught the girl before she hit the ground, swung her into his arms then stood there uncertain what to do with her.
The other woman, older, wearing a tan jumpsuit, which seemed to have come from the In Custody Collection, beckoned. Sebastian followed her to a room halfway down the hall.
The Northern Wisconsin Mental Health Facility had been built to follow the Kirkbride Plan of asylums in the mid-nineteenth century. Psychiatrist Thomas Kirkbride had had the idea that the building itself could aid in a cure. With long, rambling wings that allowed for sunlight and air, the structures were massive enough to provide both privacy and treatment. Built of stone, they were set on equally large grounds, often former farmland where the inmates could work as a form of therapy. They were damn hard to escape from, which was why this one had been designated by the state as the go-to facility for the criminally insane.
Inside the room were two beds. Made. Two dressers — one with stuff on top, one empty of everything but dust. Two closets — one also with stuff, the second just dust.
"That one's hers." The woman jabbed a skinny finger at the bed next to the nondusty dresser.
The woman jabbed her finger again, and Sebastian laid his burden upon the mattress she'd indicated. He'd thought the girl an employee — nurse, orderly, maybe another doctor. She was dressed in scrub pants and a facility T-shirt. No ID tag, but he didn't have one either. At least not yet.
Nevertheless, her lack of one, and this being her room, meant she was a patient not staff. She hadn't looked crazy. But he should know by now that a lot of them didn't. Her companion wasn't one of them. Sebastian knew a lifer when he saw one.
"I should probably ..." He glanced around for a button, a phone, some way to call a nurse, but he didn't find one.
He stepped to the door, glanced into the hall. No nurse. Although he apparently wasn't very good at spotting them.
There was only one name on the door. WILLOW BLACK.
"Is this Willow?" He returned to her bedside.
"Has she been ill?"
Though Willow was tall, she was also very thin, her skin so pale he could see a fine trace of veins at her temple. Her hair was so light a blond it seemed silver, and her eyes before they'd fluttered closed had been such a vivid blue they'd seemed feverish.
He set his palm on her forehead, but he couldn't tell if she had a fever that way. The only way he'd ever been able to discern one with his sister had been to press his lips to her forehead.
In this case ... bad idea.
"Would you get ..." Sebastian paused. "What's your name?"
"Mary McAllister," the woman said, but her gaze remained on Willow and not on him.
"Would you get a nurse, Mary?"
"First time she sees you and her eyes roll up, she goes down. You think I'm leaving you alone with her? I might be crazy, but I'm not crazy."
"I'm Dr. Frasier, the new administrator."
Mary eyed him up and down. "Sure you are."
At six feet five, two-fifty, Sebastian was huge, and his hands, feet, biceps reflected that. People often backpedaled the first time they saw him. He didn't blame Mary for being leery, though she didn't appear scared, just protective. Considering the fey frailty of Willow, he could understand that. Even if he worked here, that didn't mean he wasn't a creep.
"You're right," he said. "You stay with her; I'll get someone."
"If you're a doctor, why do you need to get anyone?"
"I specialized in psychiatry."
Mary gave him another once-over. Sebastian didn't look like a psychiatrist. Although, really, what did one look like? He'd never met any who looked quite like him.
He could have tried to fit in better. Wear a suit and tie rather than a leather jacket and motorcycle boots. But as he'd driven his late father's Harley from Missouri, wearing a suit and shiny shoes would have been awkward. He could have changed. Should have changed. But there'd been an accident near Platteville, then construction north of Wausau. He'd been lucky to get here on time.
He'd figured he could transform himself — as much as was possible considering his hair, his beard, and his dead sister's earring, which he would not take from his ear, ever — in his office. But he'd been distracted by Willow Black.
As a result he was still wearing a black leather jacket and black dusty boots. His overly long hair was matted from the helmet, and he hadn't shaved in several days. The guard at the front door hadn't wanted to let him inside until Sebastian had shown his license. Then the man had hesitated so long, frowning at the years-old photo of Sebastian sporting a nearly shaved head, a completely shaved face, and no earring that Sebastian had become concerned he'd never get inside.
"Head doctor's still a doctor," Mary said.
Sebastian did have medical training. Not that he'd used it much.
He sat on the bed, then set his fingers to the girl's wrist. Her pulse fluttered too fast. Which could mean anything or nothing at all.
Now what? He had no stethoscope, no blood pressure cuff, no thermometer. He was out of options.
"You have any idea what happened?" he asked.
"She saw something that upset her."
In the hall there'd been the two women and himself. Sebastian might seem big and tough and scary, but he'd never had anyone faint at the sight of him before.
Mary shook the half-empty bottle in her hand. "I dumped it on the floor."
"Not an accident. I wanted her to stare into the water, to see."
Mary wouldn't be the first psychiatric patient he'd met who was a germophobe. She was probably nearer the hundredth.
Mary cast him a disgusted glance. "The future."
"You think Willow can see the future in the water?"
"I know she can."
"And does Willow believe this too?"
"She's never said so."
"Can't imagine why." Sebastian returned his gaze to Willow's beautiful, still face. What was it about her that called to him? His ridiculous need to save everyone, which had gotten worse after he'd been unable to save his sister?
"Why do you think Willow can see the future?" Sebastian asked.
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
As the explanation probably involved headache-inducing kooky talk, not really. Sebastian was saved from answering when Willow began to come around.
Her eyes opened. He was struck again by how very blue they were. Sebastian had never seen eyes the shade of a tropical ocean. He'd never seen an ocean — tropical or otherwise — although he'd always wanted to. It was on his to-do list.
Willow smiled as if she knew him, as if she'd known him a long time, and just as she had before, she reached out to touch his face. He should have gotten to his feet. He should not have let her touch him, but he was captivated by the expression in her eyes. Her palm cupped his cheek, and his heart stuttered.
Her voice made him shiver. Or maybe it was just her words, which also indicated that she thought she knew him. And that couldn't be true no matter how much he might want it to be.
"Miss Black, I'm not —"
Her fingers flexed, her nails scratched against his three-day beard. "You are. I'm touching you. You're real."
"You have difficulty understanding what's real and what isn't?" Her smile deepened. "Never."
Sebastian lifted his eyebrows, and she laughed. This time his stomach twisted, and lower, in a place that had no business doing so anywhere near a patient, he leaped.
He stood so fast he bumped into Mary and had to grab her before she landed on her ass. "Sorry."
She gave him a look like his mother always used to whenever he'd thought something he shouldn't. Mothers were like that. Then she took his place on the bed next to Willow.
"Run along, doc. She'll be fine now."
"Doc?" Willow repeated.
"Sebastian Frasier," he said. "I'm replacing Dr. Eversleigh."
"Shiny new paper pusher," Mary muttered.
"Among other things." In a small place like this, the administrator also treated patients, just not as many as the rest of the doctors. It was one of the reasons he'd accepted this position over the others he'd been offered. Sebastian liked being a practicing psychiatrist. He also liked being the boss.
His superior, Dr. Janet Tronsted, was in charge of state health services. When she'd appointed him the administrator of this facility she'd said, "You're in charge. Unless there's a problem, you won't be seeing me." Then she'd peered at him over the top of her vintage cat's-eye reading glasses. "You do not want to see me."
Excerpted from Smoke on the Water by Lori Handeland. Copyright © 2015 Lori Handeland. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Review: Witchcraft has always been written in books in such a way that those who practice are either older crones or families of strong women where the talent and ability to cast spells is passed from generation to generation. Either way, there's always another element set on destroying the magic within those who possess it or intent on capturing the magic for themselves. In the case of these three sisters the one set to destroy them in the modern world is the same one who was set on destroying their parents in the 15th century. Magical books like these have always captured my imagination, and they hit very close to home for me - from the time I read The Crucible in high school until today, books surrounding the stories of witches and their families just grab my attention! These three books were no exception and why I feel the need to put their reviews into one post - for you cannot discuss one without interlacing the other two - the books and their stories are woven together in such a way that the reader can't help but need to know them together vs. separately. The relationships between the women and their respective mates and then their sisters are perfectly written with each character fleshed out amazingly well. Five out of Five Starts for the Sisters of the Craft Series! I am anxious to see what else Ms. Handeland has written! **I received a copy of these books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
The final book in Lori Handeland’s Sisters of the Craft trilogy wraps up everything perfectly. I don’t want to give away too much, so this might be a shorter review, but we’ll see how it goes. First I have to touch on the romance part of the book. The way Handeland did this was a bit different. Instead of the female character finding reasons not to fall in love, or even both of them, it was just the guy. Although at times (as I’ve said before) this romance trope is the one that can drive me batty, it was a bit refreshing/different to just have the guy do it. The part that Handeland wrote like a master was have the beginning of this story correlate with the same time span in which book two took place. But it wasn’t a rehashing of the previous book, it was a completely new and different story. And while book two completely made sense, this book helped to fill in some time gaps, that were not necessarily missing, but made more complete by book three. It was a wonderful story of family working together, but it never felt cheesy. I also liked that they came out quickly over two months. I know it is very hard for an author to put out so much good content in such a short period of time, but it made me even more excited for the next book to come out because I knew I had to wait just a few weeks. Although not the same in format, it was similar to the serial novels that Stephen King did with The Green Mile and John Saul with The Blackstone Chronicles. Those books came out monthly, and I remember I eagerly anticipated each one. I can see this becoming a new marketing tool for authors. I know it would definitely work on me.
I really liked this book and the series. I would recommend this book and the whole series
Read my full Review here : http://jeri-ryan.wix.com/jerisbookattic#!Smoke-On-The-Water-by-Lori-Handeland/cu6k/55717ce60cf2312d796e7a42 For more Reviews check out/like my Blog & FB Page http://jeri-ryan.wix.com/jerisbookattic https://www.facebook.com/JerisBookAttic
Smoke on the Water, Lori Handeland Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance, What a fantastic trilogy this has been. It reminds me very much of Nora Roberts fantasy trilogies. I’ve read several of those, and the pacing, format and writing style in this series feels very similar though of course the actual story content is very different. I’ve really enjoyed the first two stories, they could be read as standalones but there’s an overall story arc involving the three sisters, one of which is main feature in each book, that ties the three books together. I felt for Willow – the main character in this book. She’s had water based visions all her life, been bounced from foster home to foster home, and after attacking a man she’d seen would try to kill her in a vision she’s now in a secure psychiatric unit. No-one believes her visions are real so she must be mad....and that’s such a genuine scenario. I often think if Jesus were here today, going around proclaiming himself the Son of God, he’d be locked up PDQ....we fear what we don’t understand, and that’s the mainstay of many fantasy reads, how we treat those who have powers/talents outside the norm. Anyway, back to the book. Willow is shocked when Sebastian comes as new Doc in the facility – she “knows” him, intimately, from her visions, but of course he doesn’t know that. All he knows is he’s attracted to her in a way he shouldn’t be, and yet can’t seem to stop himself. Willow makes friends with Mary there – Owen’s mum from the last book. Part of the story takes a slip back in time in that at the end of book two she’s dead but here she’s still alive, and we see the other side of what was happening with her in that book. All three sisters and their partners ( though Sebastian doesn’t get together with Willow properly until later in the book) are here, along with Henry and Prudence. They face a huge battle against Roland. He needs to be stopped but the events of last time have left him corporeal and incredibly strong. Its means they’re in for much danger and need to work closely to use their magics and find a way to destroy him. Stars: Five, a fabulous read, and a perfect wrap up to the trilogy. . ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review** Willow Black is a patient in a mental health facility. She is there for attempted murder and for a terrifying fear of water. When she looks into water, she tends to see the future against her will and when she saw a man she had a vision of killing her, she tried to kill him instead. Only, nobody believed her. Sebastian Crane is the new administrator of the mental facility that Will is a patient of. He’s also the man she has had in-depth visions of a future and life together since she was 12. Unfortunately, while he is drawn to Willow, he doesn’t have the same gift of sight and feels he’s breaking the rules by wanting her. When strange things keep happening when Willow is around and with another patient, Sebastian keeps getting drawn back to her. This the third book in Lori Handeland’s Sisters of the Craft trilogy. In this one, we meet Willow, the sister that neither the ghostly parents nor the other two sisters has been able to find. Unlike the other two sisters, Willow’s life was filled with bouncing from foster home to foster home and a less than good life. It starts roughly 2 months before the first book. When she finally meets her sisters and learns of her heritage, it’s a little harder for her with the acceptance and adjustment. She’s also tasked with a bit more of a challenge in getting Sebastian to see that they were meant to be. This book was a great wrap-up to the trilogy. The author did a great job with this book and with the entire trilogy. She was able to embed a huge overlapping storyline while giving the couple in each book their HEA. There was a nice wrap-up of some of the side characters, like Owen’s mom, that I really liked. Highly recommend.
Named for the black willow tree she was found under, Willow Black never knew the love of a family. Raised in the foster care system, she endured horrifying visions, was considered insane, terribly disturbed and went from foster care to a psychiatric institution. The world thinks she’s crazy, except for one woman, another patient who believes she is a witch. It was her dreams that put her here and her dreams that brought Sebastian into her life. Little did she know it would be as her psychiatrist, in spite of the sparks that run between them, Sebastian cannot swallow the tales she tells. Will he become a believer when Willow discovers who and what she truly is? Lost to her family for centuries, and now she’s found, she finds that along with her two sisters, they are destined to save the world from an ancient demon whose one mission is to see them dead. Strong individually, together their forces triple, but will they be strong enough to defeat evil? What of Sebastian, a man of reason who has treated patients with visions for years? Will he become a believer or will he be the bait that brings Willow to defeat? Leave it to Lori Handeland to bring her trilogy of three magical sisters to a fascinating and powerful end perfectly! Smoke on the Water is more than a fantasy tale; it is a family reunion of epic proportions! Imagine the joy of meeting her sisters and her parents for the first time! Ms. Handeland handled that so warmly, and then switched gears to heat up the action with more danger, an upcoming magical battle and hearts caught in the crossfire! Great characters, old characters making cameo appearances and villains who make you sneer every time they open their mouth. That is great fantasy and a fantastic wrap to this magical family reunion! I received an ARC edition from St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest review. Miss this series and you'll miss the magic of Lori Handeland's writing!
Smoke on the Water is the second installment of the Sisters of the Craft series. After many months of build up around the Taggart sisters and the Venatores Mali we finally got to see how the entire story ends. I am actually sad to see this series end. The lack of witchery the Sisters of the Craft series centered around was a breath of fresh air.As with the first novel, the second was centered around Becca who is a normal girl, in a normal town. It appears Handeland turns away from this formula with Smoke in the Water. Willow is an orphan found beneath a Black Willow tree. She never stays long in any foster home, is branded as insane and ends up in a mental hospital. It is here she meets Mary, a woman who hears voices of a man named Roland who caused her to attempt to kill her son Owen. She also meets the man she has been seeing in her visions since a young age: the man with whom she is meant to fall in love and who will save them all. Her story leads her to meet her sisters Raye and Becca and together they must defeat Roland before he exacts his revenge on the Taggart family. I enjoyed Owen much more in book three because he seemed much less the soldier from Afghanistan and more the protective fiance of Raye. I felt like as a character Owen was more likeable and had under gone some major character development behind the scenes. Becca is learning how her powers work and struggling to control her newest abilities (spoiler, so I won’t discuss this here). I didn’t feel like Becca made any major developments beyond “forgiving” her parents for saving her from a life in the system as Willow experienced. While all the characters were more enjoyable in book three, I hated Sebastian. He was a terrible shrink and a terrible person. One of the first things he does as a Director is look at employee files and mentally start tearing down those who work for his institution. He judged his employees on their files and not on work performance which is a grave error for any new Director. The fact that he behaves inappropriately with a patient is even more disturbing. Personally, I feel like the Sisters of the Craft could have been stretched into a four book series. The moment Willow and Sebastian get together the whole plot speeds along to the conclusion. I felt like the bonding between the sisters needed more time to develop and Willow’s almost pathetic need to be part of a family really clashed with her “tough” persona. I would have liked a more realistic time period for the relationships between sisters to grow as Heat of the Moment gave us. The sisters don’t even meet Willow until just before they meet up with Roland! I assume this not the author’s fault and only so much could be included in the novel without it being too long. I definitely expected more Jager-Suchers action. I haven’t read Handeland’s other work, but I’m hoping the Jager-Suchers are a huge part of it so I can get to know the characters affiliated with that group. This series will appeal to those who enjoy novels involving witchcraft, magic, family discovery, romance and the paranormal. If you’re looking for an easy read that pulls you in and keeps you there until the end, then The Sisters of the Craft series is for you.
Good conclusion to this trilogy. Enjoyed each book in this series. Hope you enjoy also.
Great Series! This is a great series; this is the third book in the Sisters of the Craft series by Lori Handeland. Willow Black was abandoned as a baby and spent her whole childhood in foster care. She has also had terrifying visions which has landed her in a psychiatric facility. In the facility she meets another patient who thinks she is a witch. Willow’s psychiatrist, Dr. Sebastian Crane, knows that she shouldn’t get personally involved with a client, but the more time he spends with Willow, he can’t deny the attraction. This is a great love story that has mystery, and fantasy. The story is well written, that will leave you wanting the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Smoke on the Water is #3 in the Sisters of the Craft Series by Lori Handeland. Its very detailed as it goes into Willow's story. She's had a hard life, an orphan, a number of foster homes and ends up in a mental hospital. She figures out, that she's not crazy, she's just Gifted--she can see future events in water--any water, from tiny droplets on a window to bathtubs full. All of her life, no one has appreciated her abilities. Willow meets the man she has been "seeing" in her visions for most her life, Sebastian Fraiser. He is also her psychiatrist. At first, he thinks she's probably crazy. Then things start to happen..... She finds out that she's Not an orphan, she is one of a set of triplet girls. All three of them have awesome powers. Their parents are with them, father is a ghost & mother has is in wolf form. The whole family lived 400 years ago, mother & father were burned-branded & their family destroyed, by Roland an embittered man who thinks that the girls' mother Pru killed his wife & unborn child on purpose. This is a really good story. It brings all three girls together, with their stories and their lives and has a great finale.
*Received this book for the purpose of an honest review. Review as NOT influenced by this fact.* *Review will be cross-posted to MyBookAddictionandmore.com.* Fans of Lori Handeland already know that any book she writes will leave you eager for more. Smoke on the water is no different. The characters are wonderfully written and very engaging. The storyline is fast-paced, fun, at times a bit emotional or touching, and overall a fascinating read. While this is part of a trilogy to some extent you can read it as a stand alone. I must say I don't recommend it, only because the emotions will be much stronger if you read the first two stories, In the Air Tonight and Heat of the Moment. There are also some visits from characters we love from previous stories, but don't worry you won't be lost. Lori Handeland does a wonderful job of making sure new readers are able to keep up and eager to find out more about characters. SMOKE ON THE WATER is Willow Black and Sebastian Crane's story. I have to say I was eager to find out how the trilogy would end and where Willow has been all the years she was gone, SMOKE IN THE WATER answered all the questions I had, while still leaving an opening to more stories. Willow and Sebastian have a hard road to love and happiness but you know they have to get there. I loved how Ms. Handeland portrayed those who we don't understand may not be "crazy" but may have other things going on. I loved the whole premise behind this series, 3 sisters who were sent forward in time to a place where witches aren't hunted, yet evil follows them. We watch as Willow struggles to find who she truly is and what that means for her future. We watch as Sebastian has to learn to accept things he can't explain and find his way to his own future. Most importantly we watch as 3 sisters find their way to each other and a way to battle for their lives and future. I am eager to see more from all the characters found in this new series and hope that Ms. Handeland will continue to let us be a part of their lives. SMOKE IN THE WATER will pull you into a new and engaging world that you'll hate to leave. I highly recommend this book to all fans of Lori Handeland, paranormal romances, great characters, and fascinating storylines. You'll be glad you read this one!
Willow thinks she's crazy. She was committed to a mental facility for killing someone she saw trying to kill her in her dreams. When a new psychiatrist comes to the facility and its a man from her dreams...in a good way...Willow doesn't know what to make of it. Is her dreams for real? Since this is a relationship building between psychiatrist and patient, it isn't a smooth love match. Mostly Smoke on the Water is the transition Willow makes into realizing her true powers, discovering who she is and the building of the relationship between Sebastian and Willow. This is the final culmination of three sisters coming together, Raye, Becca and Willow. Each sister had an exciting story but putting them together was decadent. The Sisters of the Craft series is wonderfully exciting, highly entertaining and thrilled this paranormal romance reading fan. I give Smoke on the Water 4.5 stars. I received this ARC copy of Smoke on the Water from St. Martin's Press in exchange for a honest review.
Willow Black is a woman with a tragic past, she was abandoned as a child and lived in several different foster homes. People were scared of Willow because she had the ability to summon rain and see the future in water. She didn’t understand her abilities and neither did the families she lived with, which eventually led to her being put in a psychiatric ward. Willow feels like something is wrong with her but things start to change when she meets a fellow patient named Mary and gets a new doctor named Sebastian Crane. Mary believes that Willow is a witch and together they study the art of witchcraft. Sebastian doesn’t believe in witchcraft but he has seen some things that he can’t explain and thinks Willow could be responsible. He also feels an attraction for her and Willow has visions of herself in a relationship with Sebastian, but she knows its wrong for a doctor to date a patient. To make Willow’s life even more complicated she discovers that she is a witch and along with her newfound sisters she must stop an ancient order of witch hunters whose goal is to wipeout all witches. Smoke On The Water by Lori Handeland is the third book in the Sisters Of The Craft series but works well as a stand alone novel. My first thought going into this book was how is Lori going to tell the story of another major character in this series and tie it in to the story in the last two books? Will it be longer? Will she spend less time talking about the third sister? I wasn’t sure how this book was going to work out but was eager to read it. Once again Lori shows why she a popular author by releasing a novel that has a good love story, great characters, a fascinating mythology, a little mystery and just enough action to keep things interesting. Much like the other books I’ve read by Lori Handeland this book is first and foremost a romance but there is much more going on here then just a love story. Other themes in this book include the importance of friendship, loyalty, doing what you need to do for your family and accepting things you don’t understand. What really stuck out for me in this book was the relationship between Mary and Willow. Mary had a big roll in the second book in this series, Heat Of The Moment and this book shows how she kept escaping the psychiatric hospital. Mary is shown as being violent, unpredictable and some of the patients and other staff are frightened of her. Willow sees Mary as a friend and we see when they are both together they become better people. Mary is calmer when Willow is around and Willow sees Mary as her only friend. The Psychiatric hospital is shown as a hopeless place but Willow and Mary’s friendship adds a ray of light to a dark existence. Lori Handeland is a master storyteller. I loved how each book in this series works as a stand alone novel and ties in a bigger story in all three books. You can start this series with any of the books and not get confused. I loved hearing about Willow and Mary learning Wiccan spells and about the mythology in Smoke On The Water. Each of these books show that there is a secret world within our reality where ghosts and witches exist even though most people don’t believe it. Smoke On The Water shows how good a paranormal romance novel can be.
4.5 - "You can't reason with cuckoo." Stars! The final book in the Sisters of the craft trilogy delivered up and exciting and unpredictable finish to what has been a really good series overall. Three sisters, all unknown to the other at the beginning of this series, finally come together in this the final book. Initially it does concentrate on the third and youngest sister; Willow Black. "Evil never dies.” Willow has spent a large part of her adult life incarcerated in the Northern Wisconsin Mental Health Facility. Having an affinity to water, and seeing things through it that any normal person doesn’t, tends to make people think that not all the connections in Willow’s brain are fixed correctly. "I’ve been waiting for you… "I didn’t know it, but I was waiting for you too.” That is until Sebastian Frasier, strolls in, leather jacket, pierced ear, slightly rumpled and oh so delicious, as the facility’s new administrator, he brings back more than a few memories for Willow. Odd thing is they are memories of things between them that haven’t even happened yet. In my mind I knew him. In my heart I loved him. Part of this book runs concurrently with the second book in the series, and I liked the way the author intertwined all of the characters stories together in this, the last book of the series especially as it still felt very much like its own story still. "Not everything should be fixed… not everything can be.” The Venatores Mali are still gathering in strength and number, their leader Roland now back on Earth, steps up his campaign to wipe out the sisters and witches as a whole, the excitement really builds up in the second half, with shocks, surprises and general resolution to things, there are more than a few emotional moments, when people are reunited, people say goodbye, and past guilt and grief are finally laid to rest. Owen, Bobby, Raye and Becca all feature heavily in the finale of this book, and it was good to see them all again one last time, as well as Pru and Henry getting their Happily Ever After-life’. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure about this series when I started reading it, Lori Handeland has a very unique writing style, and perspective on things and it took me a little while to get into her mind-set. But once I did, the whole series turned into a really enjoyable and unique adventure from beginning to end. I will definitely be looking for more from this author in the future. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was an absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.