“Spellcrossed” by Barbara Ashford is a charming emotional read that tugged at my heartstrings beginning with the reminder of the events that transpired in the first book, “Spellcast”. The author vividly creates the ambience of small town theater with glimpses of all of the complications that arise when disparate groups of people are forced together in productions of several popular musicals. The deft mix of magic and pragmatic interpersonal problems create a mesmerizing read as the parallels between the stage productions and the events unfolding in real life continue to become apparent. There are several poignant moments in this captivating tale that will undoubtedly require the use of a tissue or two but the sadness evoked by various characters’ exits are equally balanced by the beautiful celebrations of love that permeate the tale. I knew that I wanted to read the sequel when I had the pleasure of reading “Spellcast” and the author did not disappoint and I can only hope that there will be more tales set in this enchanted corner of the world! This book can be read as a stand alone but the nuances would be much better savored if one reads its prequel.
Maggie Graham has adjusted to if not necessarily accepted the departure of her lover Rowan Mackenzie. She is juggling both her responsibilities as executive director of his beloved Crossroads Theater and as manager of the Golden Bough Hotel yet she is not entirely comfortable in either role. Her decision to stage the musical ‘Annie’ adds the difficulties of dealing with children and a dog to her casting complications and the sudden reappearance of two of the most important people in her life does little to lessen her burdens.
It's not easy losing the love of your life...
But when Maggie Graham freed Rowan Mackenzie from the curse that bound him to this world, she took the first step toward her new life as director of the Crossroads Theatre. As a hectic new season begins, magic takes a back seat to ticket sales as Maggie balances the demands of her interfering board president and a company of actors that includes bewildered amateurs, disdainful professionals, a horde of children, and an arthritic dog. But magic is hard to banish from the old white barn, where memories lurk like ghosts in the shadowy wings and the unexpected is as time-honored a tradition as the curtain call. And when the tangled spells of the past turn Maggie's life upside down, it will take more than magic to ensure the happy-ever-after ending she longs for.