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A Witch's Beauty - Joey W. Hill I have been pondering a few days on what to say about this novel and sometimes words cannot adequately describe or express the reading experience you’ve had and this is the case for me with A Witch’s Beauty. I am baffled, awe-struck and swept of my feet in a story that is brimmed with diverse, enigmatic and colorful characters who voiced an erotic romance that I cannot define as simply erotic or as a romance. Nothing is simple in A Witch’s Beauty; not the characters, the choices they needed to make, the love they feel, or the events that take place. Joey W Hill gave me two characters, the angel David and the sea witch Mina, and in the mere few days this story encompasses it felt like I’d spent a lifetime with them.

In the very first chapters it became evident there was so much more going on that I instinctively slowed down my reading to absorb as many character nuances and details as possible. I wouldn’t classify A Witch’s Beauty as an easy read. The emotional dilemmas are not black or white, good or evil, right or wrong and it seeks a unique balance between all facets because Mina is such a unique character. She is born from a sea witch and a Dark One, and because of that she is born with a natural evil and good side. It is by her own moral sense and sheer willpower she doesn’t tip over to her Dark One side. Complexity is Mina’s middle name with her scarred beauty, her powers, her sea witch body and often Dark One’s attitude which is rooted in pain and darkness. It would be an understatement if I say that she is an extraordinary heroine.

Opposed to Mina is David, a relatively young angel by their standard but one who is inexplicitly drawn towards Mina. As result of certain events Mina has angels guarding her and when the last one comes back with bat wings David pleas with Jonah to give him guarding duty over Mina. David has a contemplating personality, can be pensive at times, he is serious and has an earnest intensity about him. His quiet resolve throws Mina off balance but with his former life as a human David has his share of memories to deal with, memories that speak of dark heinous acts.

Because this novel is so character driven every single character is fully fleshed out and lots of pages went in to unfolding Mina and David’s past and present story. I could feel their separate and combined inner turmoil. I absorbed each shred of emotion between them. The heart tugging and endearing first times, the beautiful cadence of trust given by one which is treasured by the other, a love and eroticism blossoming between two very unlikely characters who fit each other at the core. It is also a story of sacrifice, of pain and loss that screams for healing and acceptance. The loneliness and inner strength that hides behind Mina’s salt and vinegar attitude is at times heart breaking. It is also exceptionally well captivated by the author that despite, or perhaps because of Mina’s tendency to lean towards evil, what makes her such a fascinating character. The synergy of David and Mina delivers a contrast of good and evil which is done with such an understanding of the concept that actions become understandable. But most of all, it shows how the emotional sides can war inside the soul, providing such conflict that on many moments my emotions were triggered in answer.

I feel like I should include a warning for other readers that A Witch’s Beauty can be an acquired taste due the physical description of Mina, in sea witch form her lower body exists out of tentacles, and I can imagine this could be too much for a reader to handle in the erotic department. I feel like I should tell you all that if you don’t “get” either Mina or David then a lot of this story will be lost to you. But I didn’t mind the tentacles of Mina’s sea witch body as it is such a defining part of her, and I “got” their personalities and issues. Their passion feels so natural, so fierce and sensual that I accepted it for what it is; a sea witch and an angel falling in love with every up and down that they needed to experience to fully come together in heart, mind and soul. I had no issues regarding the character development, which is a rarity all on its own. From A to Z it has been done with a fabulous perception and understanding of both David and Mina, of the world this author created with heaven and hell, and the oceanic world was one I loved to be in.

The dialogues sizzle with each character’s personality, be it Mina, David, Jonah, Raphael or anyone else the author conjured in this story. One of the greatest pleasures in reading this novel is getting to unravel and understand the characters, their pros and cons, their doubts and fears and most of all, how their joy and love soars. Also, I need to mention Dante, if there is one character who was introduced in this novel and caught my immediate attention then it was this cross between a vampire and Dark One. The romance gradually builds to a cresting intensity, each struggle, tender or erotic moment, each fight or emotional battle of wills, each holds a meaning and each event shares a piece of the protagonists personality with the reader. I was completely succumbed to this world, these characters and their story. Hubby could call me, I wouldn’t answer. Dinner preparations were forgotten and TV series held no appeal to me. For three days my mind and imagination was occupied by this novel and I didn’t mind it one bit.

The plot holds a minimal of action but when it happens it is formidably displayed in aggressive splendor. The primary focus of A Witch’s Beauty remains on the progress of the personal journey though and it speaks of various choices to make and maintaining a balance. If the right choices are made and a certain balance achieved, ultimate love is the reward. If they would fail a barren emotional abyss would be awaiting them. I always love this kind of high-stake romance and makes the read increase in its intensity. As I continued to read the chapters all minor and major things interconnected together. It created circumstances where I would think a happily ever after wasn’t going to happen. Emotions soared for me in those final chapters like only a few authors have the ability to do so with me. Joey W Hill made that list of authors!

As the author led me towards the ending I was already jubilating about the awesomeness of this novel but then there was the epilogue. I always enjoy an epilogue but then there are those very few that add something more to the story, something that suddenly becomes unique to the tale. There only comes one to mind that shares the same impact as the one in A Witch’s Beauty and that is the epilogue of The Immortal Highland by Karen Moning. I already had that five star feeling but with the elaborate epilogue it was hard to come down from that place I call ultimate reader’s bliss.

A Witch’s Beauty is a story that was a rare read of perfection and poured emotions from each page. It held out on nothing, not in the good nor the bad side of life, nor the powerful passion, or the romance. I will savor this story for the rest of my life.

I will not hold out on any of the quotes I written down:

Quote Mina:

“I don’t love anyone. I don’t laugh. I don’t hope for anything, and you’re the only one who imagines I might have a soul.”

Quote David to Mina:

“Forgiveness is something given by someone who sees all of you, every dark and light corner, who knows where you’ve been, where you’ll walk, where you’ll misstep again, sees it against what everyone else is or has done, and knows it’s going to be okay. That things are the way they were meant to be, that everything has a reason, even those that can’t be explained. That it’s just okay to just be, to take that precious moment of stillness and hold on to it, use it to give you the strength to fuel everything else.”

Quote David:

Mind-shattering orgasm, a violent argument, a harrowing revelation, and now food. Mina would never be a dull companion. (<- when I read this all I could think was: “That’s an understatement of the year!”:)

Quote Mina to David:

She tilted her head. “I don’t think you have to worry so much. He’s a little psychotic for me.”

“Oh sure, that’s what girls always say. Then they go for the bad boy. Look at me, I’m an angel. Harps, haloes, purity and goodness. What chance do I have?”