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Friday, July 10, 2009

Waking the Witch by Lisa Whitefern

Waking the Witch by Lisa Whitefern
Publisher: Freya’s Bower
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Other: M/F, Spanking
Rating: 2.5 Cherries
Review by Phlox

From inside the stunning opal necklace, a haunting voice whispered, "Make love to him, Faith. Do it now!"

Faith Abbot is a good Puritan woman, but the magic inside an opal necklace begins to torment her with lustful thoughts.

For years her heart and body have craved handsome James Parris, a man twelve years her junior, a man she thinks should be courting women his own age. But now the magic of a ghost trapped in a jewel breaks down all her inhibitions.

When she and James surrender to the fierce erotic tension that pulses between them, her heart fills with joy.

But who is the angry female ghost dwelling within the necklace, wanting revenge?

And when Faith is accused of performing witchcraft in Salem Village, can James's love save her from the hangman's noose?

The Salem Witch trials are on the periphery of this historic piece, though the action ends before they start. The title and the time period led me to believe there would be an actual, misunderstood witch involved. There was not. Or perhaps a time jump would occur to a future date when the witch needed waking. Wrong on that count, too.

Ms. Whitefern does a credible job with her heroine. Faith is believable and sympathetic as a widow living on the fringe of a Puritan village. She’s largely self-sufficient and certainly not pining after her no-good, abusive, not-so-dearly-departed husband, all good things. James is a nice enough young man, though his personality never really came into focus for me and his failure to reassure Faith that he will marry her someday is baffling. The motives of Rachel, the story’s ghost, are even more baffling and perhaps a bit simplistic in the end.

I’m a stickler for history. Even a short historical story needs to strive for accuracy in all of its aspects. Alternative history can be toyed with and can be great fun but this was obviously not meant as an alternate reality Salem. The dialogue waffles between ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ formality of the period and obvious twentieth century phrases such as ‘I want you so bad’ which were jarring in their inappropriate placement. Ms. Whitefern did some research on the Salem troubles, the names were all in place, Sarah Good, Tituba, and so on, but the lascivious license and lawless behavior of the townspeople did not feel like a real Puritan community. Things got ugly in Salem, certainly, innocent people were tortured and hanged, but all by the letter of the law and under the strict guidance of learned theologians rather than mob rule. (Not that it makes it better, but that’s how it was.) The historical innaccuracies on the author's part are what brought down the rating.

The scenes of lovemaking are sweet, though, and this story’s saving grace. His young, tender fire awakes the long-banked embers in her previously unfulfilled libido and her giving nature are a source of endless surprise and joy for him. Waking the Witch is an uncomplicated bedtime story read with sex scenes heated enough to have you squirming before lights out.

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