5 Romance Novels To Read If You Like Practical Magic (the movie)

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Sally and Gilly Owens live on a small island with their two aunts. On the surface, they seem normal. Gilly is a wild party girl who wants to travel and fall in love while Sally wants to put down roots, raise her children, and manage a local skin and hair care shop. But the two women actually come from a long line of witches and live under a family curse that says any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will die an untimely death.

When Sally helps Gilly escape an abusive lover, Jimmy and ends up killing him in the process, Sally and Gilly try to cover it up. But when state investigator Gary Hallet comes by to investigate Jimmy’s disappearance, Sally and Gilly’s cover-up comes back to haunt them in more ways than one. Keeping quiet becomes increasingly difficult as strange things keep happening at the Owens residence, including roses growing overnight, Jimmy’s favorite tequila being left on the front porch, and a strange man is seen by roses that grew overnight. Sally also must fight the strange connection and attraction she feels to Gary, especially as he gets further to the truth.

Practical Magic is a fantastic movie based on a book by Alice Hoffman. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are great as sisters and Aidan Quinn makes for a sexy Gary Hallet. It’s a great movie to watch, especially around Halloween. If you like Practical Magic then you will love these five romance novels.

1) Eternity by Maggie Shayne

2940046326536_p0_v2_s192x300Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 114,060

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars

Read my review of Eternity.

300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.

Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.

300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.

This book is perfect for Practical Magic fans. Not only are there good witches and plenty of magic, but it also takes place in a small town with a lot of the same small town gossip that affects Gilly and Sally. Raven and her sister also have the same strong bond Gilly and Sally have. While the Dark Witch isn’t Raven’s ex-lover, he is a person from her past who threatens her life like how Jimmy threatens Gilly.

Get Eternity for free on Smashwords.

2) Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

22522045Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 400

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Read my review of Dance Upon the Air.

When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago…

But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely.

Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…

Witches, islands, curses, and an abusive lover. This book is practically made for people who like Practical Magic. While the bond between the women isn’t that strong in this book– they’ve only just met, after all– they do have a strong and complex friendship. Zach Todd is also perfect for Nell after her controlling husband and they have a great love story.

Buy Dance Upon the Air at your local independent bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

3) The Boundless Deep by Kate Brallier

9780765319722Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 432

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.86 out of 5 stars

Grad student Liza has long been plagued by vivid dreams of whaling. Offered the chance to trade her land-locked existence for a summer on Nantucket, the well-preserved heart of New England’s whaling trade, Liza jumps at the chance, eager to see how well her dreams mesh with historical reality.

The answer is: all too well. Liza’s dreams become highly sexual; her visions of ship’s captain Obadiah Young grow increasingly intense. At times the past and present mix before her eyes, with automobiles replaced by horse-drawn carriages.

Though skeptical of Liza’s claims of a past life, whaling museum curator Adam is drawn to Liza’s intense desire to know the truth—about herself, and about Obadiah, accused of murdering his beautiful, young wife. But Adam isn’t the only man with an interest in Liza—handsome Lucian, whose home Liza is sharing for the season, has designs on her as well.

In a single summer, Liza must answer the riddle of her dreams, reunite lovers separated by death, solve a hundred-year-old murder . . . and figure out her heart’s desire.

While there are no witches here, the setting of Nantucket reminds me a lot of the island in Pracical Magic and there is a similar atmosphere. This book is great for people who like the strong family legacy aspect in Practical Magic. Instead of a curse that needs to be broken, there is a mystery and to be solved and nightmares to be banished.

Buy The Boundless Deep at your local bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation. 

4) My Romance Curse by Wren Tirrell

Beautiful woman on the beach.Genre: Contemporary, Comedy

Page Count: 214

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Amy has a small flaw in her love life – her boyfriends die on her. Two, so far. With her fear of dead boyfriends, her live ones don’t last long before she dumps them.

Until the day her beloved bicycle, Marge, takes a dive into the sea at Nelly Bay. Can Lukas, her bicycle rescuer, Viking geek scientist, and man with the gymnastic finger-porn expertise be different and survive the curse?

Smitten by Amy, he sure wants to be.

Curses don’t exist. So when bad things happen, things that *might* be impossible, Lukas sees cracks opening in his rule-driven world.

With Wally the border collie by their side, key roles in a movie called Night of the Living Teddy Bears and Zombies, and a whole lot of friends with good, bad, and dirty suggestions, they’re planning to foil this curse.

Just like in Practical Magic, the curse of the dying lovers needs to be broken and there’s a man willing to try so he can be with the woman he loves. Or at least lusts over.

Buy My Romantic Curse at your local bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

5) Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

would-bewitchmmcoverThe family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket-an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers-and a 007 savoir-faire to boot-but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

A family of witches is right up the ally of any fan of Practical Magic. Even though this isn’t a story of a witch denying her powers (like Sally did) and it’s a story of a witch being denied her powers by the universe, the family of witches and the small town setting is perfect for fans of the 1998 classic movie.

Buy Would-Be Witch from your local bookstore and save struggling forests by supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.

Like Lover’s Quarrel’s Facebook page so you don’t miss the exciting giveaway that will be announced on November 1st.

 

Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne

6baad4c8166fb3b89d4ff0a592bfab85300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.

Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.

300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.

Continue reading “Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne”

Discover a Picturesque Island With Magic and Romance Today

22522045When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago… But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd. But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s created so carefully could shatter completely. Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers under a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692. And now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and with the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love…and herself…

Continue reading “Discover a Picturesque Island With Magic and Romance Today”

Historical Romance Novel Book Review: The Robber Knight

When you are fighting for the freedom of your people, falling in love with your enemy is not a great idea. Or is it? Ayla has to defend her castle and her people all on her own, with nobody to help her but a dark warrior she hates with all her heart.

Sir Reuben, the dreaded robber knight, has long been Ayla’s deadliest enemy. He has prayed on her and her people ever since her father fell ill, and she swore he would hang for his crimes. Now they are both trapped in her castle as the army of a far greater enemy approaches, and they have only one chance: stand together, or fall.

This book wasn’t bad, honestly. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, and it had been awhile since I’ve read a medieval love story, so that was a nice change of pace.

Continue reading “Historical Romance Novel Book Review: The Robber Knight”

Enchanted By Nora Roberts

 As a long time Nora Roberts fan, I definitely have preferences over some of her stories. For instance I think she can be a little melodramatic in the supernatural ones, but I really like her stories about Ireland, especially the Born in Ireland trilogy. The Donovan Legacy series has a little bit of both.

Lovely, guileless Rowan Murray felt drawn to brooding Liam Donovan with a power she’d never imagined possible. And his breathtaking kisses convinced her he felt the same. But she soon realized her darkly enigmatic neighbor was as elusive as the mysterious wolf she’d seen lurking about her cabin. Liam was tormented by indecision. He understood he had no right to love Rowan, knowing what lay ahead. But the allure of her beguiling innocence overpowered his will until he could resist no longer. And he knew, if he was ever to make Rowan his, he had no chance but to reveal his incredible secret. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Okay, first of all, this isn’t my least favorite Roberts book for sure. It’s still sweet and entertaining. I liked the interaction between Liam and Rowan, and like just about all of her books, I really enjoyed the story (after the prologue which was a little melodramatic with the supernatural introduction).  However, there were a few things that made me cringe. For instance, Rowan and Liam are cousins. Not first cousins, but cousins close enough to be able to trace the lineage. This bugged me a little because even though it’s not exactly incestuous, it’s still kind of gross. They did it because Rowan turns out to be a witch, too, but I don’t understand why the Donovan family is the only family with supernatural powers. Why couldn’t Rowan’s great grandmother just have been best buds with Liam’s great grandparents because they were both witches. It would take the creep factor out of the book completely. (Disclaimer: this is the last book in the Donovan series and I haven’t read the others, so it might have already been established that the Donovans are the only witch known witch family still alive.)

That being said, I really liked Rowan’s character. I thought she was pretty strong, and I liked how she didn’t let Liam control her at all. I also thought it was interesting how the guy she was supposed to fall in love with (the one her parents like) was actually a good guy too, and they just weren’t meant to be together. I have to admit, I like that because a lot of the time romances have the exes of the heroine be incredibly evil, which is unrealistic, even though it can make for a good story. I definitely prefer the more three-dimensional characters, however.  All in all, a pretty good read if you can look past the distant cousins factor.

/http://www.indiebound.org/book/