Synopsis: Abandoned as an infant, Willow Black spent her childhood in foster care, the object of whispers and pity…and rumors about bring certifiably crazy. Telling people that you can foresee the future–and summon the rain– is a surefire way to end up in the psychiatric ward. But when Dr. Sebastian Frasier arrives at the facility, Willow’s whole life takes a turn. Sebastian is the handsomest man she’s ever actually laid eyes on–even though he has been in Willow’s visions for years. But not even she could have predicted the storm of passion that engulfs them both. With Sebastian by her side, Willow is emboldened to embrace her history, and the sisters she never knew. Soon the true power in her blood awakens and the battle she was born to fight begins. While the tempest rages, Willow must depend on the family and friends she’s found and the man she has loved forever.
Reunited after four hundred years, three sisters join together to vanquish the power that tore them apart…and embrace the sorcery that is their birthright.
I always get a little nervous when reaching the end of a series or trilogy that I’ve loved since I’ve been burned a few times by disappointing endings. I’m happy to say though Smoke on the Water is an extremely satisfying conclusion to this enchanting trilogy.
Willow has definitely had it the worst out of the three sisters. In and out of foster homes throughout her childhood, she tried to cope with her powers by using alcohol and drugs. She’s now in a mental institution because she aassaulted a man after having a vision of him trying to harm her. She has no idea how right she is. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with Willow and on some level she knows that. The problem is that she doesn’t understand what is causing her visions. Willow is a wonderful mix of vulnerability and hidden strength. She’s been hurt so many times, but she’s not bitter or jaded. While she’s trusting and still manages to see the good in people, she’s also more than capable of taking care of herself.
Sebastian is a practical man who has never thought about the possibility of magic and witchcraft being real. He does know that there is some sort of immediate connection between himself and Willow, and it goes far beyond the usual one between doctor and patient. Because he’s a man of science he has some difficulty accepting Willow’s powers, but he’s never anything but supportive of her.
Despite that instant connection between them, Sebastian spends the first half of the book trying to keep Willow at arm’s length–at least romantically speaking. Willow however immediately knows Sebastian is her soulmate and while I would normally find this somewhat annoying, given that Willow already knows him from her visions, I found this acceptable.
Halfway through the book the story moves it’s focus from being solely on Willow and Sebastian to a wider circle which includes her sisters Raye and Becca, their soulmates, and of course their parents, Henry and Pru. Once the three sisters are finally reunited their powers expand exponentially and include some of this:
I thought the additional powers were a little silly and the explanations regarding the how and the why a bit distracting, but it wasn’t enough to spoil my enjoyment of the overall story. My only other issue was with the final battle between the sisters and McHugh the villainous witch hunter. There’s a huge build-up to this yet when it finally happens I found it a slightly anticlimactic. Even so, it was nice seeing this truly nasty piece of work finally getting his just desserts.
I’m a sucker for happy endings, and in Smoke and Water everyone gets theirs. There are no loose ends left so there is no doubt that this is the end of Willow’s, Raye’s and Becca’s story. There is however a teaser thrown in that gives you an idea of where Lori Handeland might be headed for her next trilogy. It’s left me wondering if perhaps some of the characters from this trilogy will be making mini-cameos. I’m definitely looking forward to finding out.