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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Audio Book Review: Sleigh Spells by Bella Falls

This is a delightful story with an extra short included.
Sleigh Spells
Author Bella Falls
Narrator: Johanna Parker

Sleigh Spells
Series: Winter Witches of Holiday Haven, Book 1
Duration: 6 h 10 min.
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: Christmas, Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.

Have yourself a very Merry Witchmas in Holiday Haven, where the magic and mystery of Christmas is snow joke!
Aurora Hart hates everything Christmas, but how could she turn down the opportunity to serve one year of probation in Holiday Haven versus a full sentence for her crimes? Saddled with a talking squirrel roommate, Aurora is doing her best to keep a low profile as she bides her time. Everything is going fine . . . until Santa's sleigh gets stolen.
Now, all eyes are on her and the other town Humbugs, and it's up to Aurora to keep her behind from ending up back in jail. With the help of a very important person from the North Pole, she finds herself hot on the trail of the real culprit. But it will take her having to do something she's never done before-accepting new friends and their assistance. Only then will Aurora be able to turn not only her own life around but also Christmas for the entire world!
Will Aurora be able to solve the mystery of who stole Santa's sleigh in time? Or will the culprit get the final sleigh?...

All her life Aurora has struggled with witch powers, ice and fire, that she is unable to control. No one helped her learn along the way and she ended up helping a con man until they were arrested. Rather than spend time in jail, she accepted the offer of one year on probation in Holiday Haven. Aurora isn’t exactly crazy about Christmas since she has never had the chance to enjoy the season. She is trying to keep a low profile but her talking squirrel roommate, Nutty, doesn’t help with his constant thieving. Her first couple of jobs haven’t worked out thanks to her uncontrolled powers. Then a new ‘parole officer’, Clara, shows up with a new position and firm belief that Aurora can succeed.

Aurora's new boss isn’t particularly nice, but then she isn’t particularly nice to anyone. Aurora/Rory makes a new friend of one of the shop baking elves and half-witch, Vale. Vale introduces Rory to some other seeming misfits in town, including handsome Wyatt, and Nutty’s friend Amos. When Santa’s sleigh is stolen from the town park, all of these former criminals, aka the Humbugs, are the first ones pulled in as suspects. Clara, with special authority, appears and releases the group. She assigns Rory the task of finding the real thief. Can Rory accept the help of new friends to find the culprit and save Christmas?

Aurora/Rory is a sweet character who just needs some true friends and a bit of magic guidance. I love how Clara’s support bolstered Rory’s confidence in her own abilities and helped bring Rory and her new friends together. Nutty is a crazy character, of course, and the romance with Wayne (a shifter) is extra cute. I totally enjoyed the friends, the mystery and the magic of Christmas shared in this story. 

There was an extra short story included that is a sweet continuation. I highly recommend this to cozy mystery fans who enjoy magic with their mystery. I hope to read more in this series or other books by this author.

Audio Notes: This book did look/sound cute, but I’ll admit part of my purchase decision was due to the narrator. Johanna Parker is a voice I know and like from the Sookie Stackhouse series. Parker is a delightful narrator, and I am believe I have a couple more new to me series that I have on my TBR shelf that have been narrated by this talented performer. The narration added to my enjoyment of an already fun story.

Source: 12/12/2021 Two for One Credit. This qualifies for 2021Audiobook goal.

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