Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: The Spell of Summer (Once Times Thrice #1) by Dianna Hardy @TheWitchingPen


The Spell of Summer 
(Once Times Thrice #1) 
by Dianna Hardy 

Published June 17th 2014 by Satin Smoke Press


Words can change everything, but can they change your destiny? 

Meredith is leading a straight-laced life in London with her straight-laced fiancé, determined to forget her reckless, wild-child past. They're about to get married.

Jamie is an old, poetic soul with a broken heart returning home to Cornwall to get his life back in order.

What binds them?

One chance meeting thirteen summers ago; one innocent spell spoken after one perfect night...

And now history is unravelling; the past and present, merging...

Words can change everything, but can they change your destiny?

And in the messy world of magic, what part does love play?

It's summer all over again, but the spell has only just begun.

Full length, contemporary romantic fiction, written in British English.


“My kids!” Pippa all but sent an elderly woman stumbling with her panic – the third passer-by she’d accosted in ten seconds flat. “Have you seen three children? A girl and two boys? Dark hair—” 

“Pippa…” He tried to sound calming, but what did you say to a mother who thought she’d lost her kids?

 “Oh, yes, dear…”

 “Yes? Where? Where?”

 “The girl was having a tantrum or such.” The old woman tutted in disapproval, and Jamie saw a deep crimson rise up his sister’s neck. 

He took hold of her arm and pulled her back a step. Not even little old ladies were safe now. “Did you see which way they went?”

 “Up that way,” she pointed along the pavement towards the beach, “chasing some litter or something that the wind took from them.”

 Pippa gasped. “The photo?”

 “Well, I don’t know what it was. I thought they taught kids to put rubbish in bins nowadays.”

“Oookay, then!” announced Jamie. ‘Thirty-two Year Old Mother of Three Attacks Pensioner’ would not be a great headline to wake up to tomorrow. “Thank you so much for your help.” He dragged Pip in the direction she’d pointed. “Let’s go find them.” 

He could see her close to exploding, but the threat to her children’s safety outweighed her need to lay into the woman, thank god. They hurried towards the beach, until the sound of crying caught their attention.

 “That’s Becca! Oh, god…” Distress radiated from her. 

Jamie followed the noise with his gaze until it landed on four figures in the distance all standing around a tree. “There, look.” He pointed them out to her, and then Pippa was sprinting, and he was cursing as he followed her. 

“Liam!” She shrieked as they neared. 

Liam turned, fright and the child’s equivalent of ‘oh, fuck’ in his eyes. His arms were protectively slung around Rebecca’s shoulders.

 “Liam … Sammy! What is going on?” But it was the woman with the short, dyed-blue hair she was staring at in warning, not Liam or Sammy, and Jamie felt sorry for her because she looked like a deer caught in headlights. She didn’t look like she’d done anything wrong and the kids were obviously not scared of her. 


It was Rebecca who saved the woman. “Mummy,” her bottom lip trembled on her dirty, tear-streaked, slightly snotty face, “I lost Daddy.”

 “Oh, honey, come here.” 

She ran into her mother’s arms and buried her face in her neck. “He’s stuck in the tree and the super-hero lady’s gone to get him down.” 

The blue-haired woman snorted. 

Jamie raised his eyebrows at her. “Super-hero lady?” 

“Not a super-hero,” she finally spoke up. “Just insane. Likes to give her friends heart attacks.” 

“Woohoo! I’ve goooot it!” came the holler of triumph from somewhere up in the tree.

“See?” said Becca, whose lip had stopped quivering now that her face was lit up with renewed hope. “Super-hero. And she likes climbing, like me.” Rebecca jumped off her mum’s lap before she could stop her and ran until she was directly under the tree, standing next to Sammy, looking up. “Be careful!” she called up to her saviour.

“It’s okay, I know what I’m doing,” came the reply, and something intangible ran through Jamie. He broke out in goosebumps. Maybe he’d been more worried about the kids than he’d thought. He looked at Pip. “Are you all right?” 

She nodded, her face pinched, a hint of anger still shading her countenance. “You shouldn’t have run off, Liam,” she said, sternly, addressing her eldest. 

“I know, Mum, I’m sorry, but Becca ran off before I could stop her, and I couldn’t leave her—”

 “We’ll talk about it later.”

 And that was that.

 Jamie caught Liam’s worried eye and gave him his best reassuring smile, before turning back to the tree where he could now see one trainer-clad foot and most of a leg, in cropped trousers, stretching down to feel for the best place to land. 

That weird sensation came over him again, the hairs on his arms rising, and out of nowhere, the craziest idea in the world entered his mind: It’s her.  


No way. 

No. Way.

My Review:

I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.

Merri had lived a rough life. Her dad walked out on her and her mother when she was only five years old. Losing her father like that really tore Merri up. Her mom did the best she knew how with Merri but she just loved her dad so much that she just couldn’t get over him leaving them the way he did. Merri made some wrong choices in her life while growing up but she also made some great ones as well.

Merri and her mother moved to a new place when she was sixteen years old. On the night before they were supposed to leave Merri planned a big party with all of her friends. She never really expected to see any of them again. During this party Merri was fighting some tough battles within herself and decides to be a little reckless and climb up the side of a mountain. She made it to the top but when she got there and grabbed a holed of the top the dirt was very lose and Merri started to slide back down but as luck would have it a hand reached out a caught hers. The best looking dude she had ever seen in her whole life. This dude was so hot he would make your tongue come out and slap your brains out.

Jamie was a real great guy and he was there for Merri that night in more ways than one. He was her friend and her lover. He listened to what she had to say and helped her to go on with her life. Jamie and Merri spent one night together and it was the best night of their lives. Merri and Jamie’s one night together would make a great “One Night Stand” story in my opinion. I love the “One Night Stand” stories. Jamie and Merri spent this night together knowing that they would probably never to see each other again. They had to leave each other they had no choice at their age.

Both Merri and Jamie go through a lot of bad stuff and times in their lives. Neither one of them has ever forgotten about the other one but they had to go on with their lives they couldn’t give up. They had to make the best with what they had. But when Merri goofs up and makes a really bad mistake on her wedding day she decides that she needs a vacation so she goes back to her old home town where she grew up with her bff from high school. Merri goes home to spend some time with Candy hopefully she can get her life back in order. Jamie just happens to take a little trip home after he breaks up with his girlfriend. He thinks that going back home and spending some time with his sister and helping her out with her kids. Jamie’s sister Pippa is having a rough time with her husband and could also use a little love and friendship too.

Dianna is one of the best authors that I have had the privilege of reading her books. I have read just about every book that she has written and I don’t think that there was a one of them that didn’t grab me by the ears and held on tight. If you have ever read one of Dianna’s books then you know exactly what I am talking about and if you don’t know then you need to get started right now. Because trust me you are going to find a new best author. One that will be on the top of your list and you won’t have to read the summary to know if the book is going to be good or not. You will know as soon as you see her name on it.

I loved all of the characters in The Spell of Summer. I loved reading all the different pov’s. I love books where you can get inside all of the characters heads and know what they are thinking and feeling. I can’t wait to read more of Jamie and Merri’s stories or Candy’s and Pippa’s stories as well. Oh and throw in the kids too; Liam, Sammy and Becca while you are at it. Oh and I loved that it was written in British English. I know we use the same words but differently. I would to learn different languages. The first language I would love to learn would be Spanish. I have tried teaching myself but I didn’t speak it so I have forgotten most of what I learned. I think it would be so neat to be fluent in several different languages. Well that is enough rambling for today. Thank you Dianna for giving me the opportunity to read your books. Reading is my passion and if it was not for authors like you I would not get to read as many books as I do. I just wish I could read faster so that I could read more books and help more authors.

Author Bio:

 photo DiannaHardyBWLowRes.jpg

Dianna Hardy is the international bestselling author of The Witching Pen series and the Eye Of The Storm series. She combines a titillating mix of contemporary and paranormal romance into her writing, as well as urban and dark fantasy, to bring you stories that are action-packed, fast- paced and not short of heat, with the focus on both character development and the plot. She writes full-length novels and short fiction.

She currently lives in Surrey (United Kingdom) with her partner and their daughter, where she writes full-time.