Seashells, Spells & Caramels
by Erin Johnson
Seashells, Spells & Caramels
Spells & Caramels, Book 1
Release Date – October 29, 2017
Paperback: 286 pages
Kindle ASIN: B076GT2MXY
About the Book:
Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.
When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.
Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.
It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.
With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.
Seashells, Spells, and Caramels is a cute first book in Erin Johnson's new Spells & Caramels cozy mystery series. Imogen has saved every penny she's earned in order to realize her dream - opening her own bakery. As soon as her bank account contains the amount of money she needs to proceed, an accidental fire in her apartment and a high insurance deductible wipes out her savings. The only saving grace is the baking contest she didn't realize she entered. Now, Imogen's on her way to a mystical place to take her place in the contest. When she arrives, Imogen is awed by who and what she sees. A bit uncomfortable, she finds her way to the location of the baking contest.
Imogen is an interesting character. She lives her entire life thus far not believing in magical abilities then - poof! - she's whisked away to parts unknown to take place in a baking contest that is more than meets the eye. She is way too accepting of what is going on. Then again, she never did feel like she fit in with her adoptive family so maybe deep down she knew....
I enjoyed this first book in this cozy mystery series and found the setting and characters to be similar in some aspects but yet completely different in others. There isn't a lot of character development but I'm sure that will come with time in the series. The world building is interesting and I found myself completely engaged in the story. The book was fast paced and easy to follow.
There were some twists and turns as everyone wondered who was going to win the contest, especially after a contestant died and his death ruled murder. There is a, possibly forbidden, love interest that I hope the author explores a lot more in the next book. I like the premise of the potential love story.