Delilah Harlow has always had a brilliant mind, able to recall anything in an instant. But in the six months since she was hit with a superpowered oblivion glamour, she’s still trying to find a way to manage the unreliableness of her new mind. In a fit of desperation, Delilah turns to a dangerous blood spell to restore what she lost. And it works…but it also turns her into a beacon for all kinds of supernatural creatures that have never found their way to Thistle Grove before. Luckily, half-fae, half-human monster hunter Catriona Quinn arrives in time to save Delilah from a succubus and offers to help her figure out what exactly happened when she cast that spell. As the two work together and fight off the monsters that come after Delilah, they discover more about the spell Delilah used, the town’s hidden history, and maybe an attraction that could flip Delilah’s world upside down.
I have been an avid consumer of The Witches of Thistle Grove series since the very first book blew me away with its gorgeous cover and brilliant story. Delilah has been a presence since the very first book and it was fun to see her take center stage. This story is the fourth in the series but can be read as a standalone. And, to be fair, while I have read the first three in the series, it has been awhile so I almost felt like I was going into this one with no prior knowledge - and it stands up regardless!
Delilah is a complicated character who chooses to hold on her anger at her trauma rather that provide forgiveness. It feels as though she leans into her rage a little excessively when the story starts, but the layers get peeled back the longer we stay with Delilah. The deeper into the story we get, the more we are able to understand why Delilah can’t forgive Nina and the more she really jumps off the page.
The story takes a surprising twist near the end that I didn't see coming and it was such an absolute joy to watch unfold (I think I’ve always secretly been Team Harlows without even realizing it!) Lana has a way of taking what feels like predictable outcomes and turning them on their head. I’m always left wanting more at the end of a Thistle Grove novel and this one is no different.
Delilah and Cat’s romance is beautifully written and exactly as much slow burn as I expect from a sapphic romance. Though I had some guesses as to the reason for the (surprise surprise) third act breakup, it still threw me a little for a loop when it happened. My only complaint is the way the story ended. It felt a bit abrupt and as if it needed just a chapter or two more to resolve the romance storyline specifically.
The way that Lana handles Delilah’s rage is masterful. She builds a solid foundation for it and then keeps building it up the more that Delilah interacts with Nina. It reaches a point when I even started to be angry at Nina on Delilah’s behalf even though I (vaguely) remember commiserating with Nina’s remorse and guilt from the previous book. Through Delilah and her journey in this book, we are able to understand the power that rage (and subsequently forgiveness) can hold over our lives.
IN CHARM’S WAY is the fourth book in The Witches of Thistle Grove series by Lana Harper and can be read as a standalone - though I highly recommend reading the books in order! Grab a copy for yourself here and, while you’re at it, grab copies of PAYBACK’S A WITCH, FROM BAD TO CURSED, and BACK IN A SPELL as well - trust me, you’re going to want to live in the world of Thistle Grove as long as possible!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."