Today, I’m sharing my thoughts about Betwixt by Darynda Jones. It’s the first book in a new series and is part of a new reading genre that I’m really excited about. Paranormal Women’s Fiction or PWF for short.
What is Paranormal Women’s Fiction?
Well, 13 amazing paranormal romance, urban fantasy and paranormal cozy mystery authors have teamed up to write books where the protagonist is a woman in her 40s or older. As a menopausal woman within spitting distance of the big 5-0, I’m overjoyed at this new genre and can’t wait to buy them all! (You can check out the ones I’ve read by following the tag PWF.)
Last year, I decided that shorter reviews were the way forward me and my blog. 😉 Consequently, I only write full detailed reviews for the books I receive from authors, publishers and PR organiser (ARCs).
Now, on with my mini review…
Betwixt (Betwixt & Between #1) by Darynda Jones
A Paranormal Women’s Fiction with a bit of class, and a lot of sass, for anyone who feels like age is just a number!
Divorced, desperate, and destitute, former restaurateur Defiance Dayne finds out she has been bequeathed a house by a complete stranger. She is surprised, to say the least, and her curiosity gets the better of her. She leaves her beloved Phoenix and heads to one of the most infamous towns in America: Salem, Massachusetts.
She’s only there to find out why a woman she’s never met would leave her a house. A veritable castle that has seen better days. She couldn’t possibly accept it, but the lawyer assigned to the case practically begs her to take it off her hands, mostly because she’s scared of it. The house. The inanimate structure that, as far as Dephne can tell, has never hurt a fly.
Though it does come with some baggage. A pesky neighbor who wants her gone. A scruffy cat who’s a bit of a jerk. And a handyman bathed in ink who could moonlight as a supermodel for GQ.
She decides to give it three days, and not because of the model. She feels at home in Salem. Safe. But even that comes to a screeching halt when people begin knocking on her door day and night, begging for her help to locate their lost objects.
Come to find out, they think she’s a witch. And after a few mysterious mishaps, Dephne is beginning to wonder if they’re right.
An Entertaining Start To This New PWF Series.
I downloaded Betwixt because it’s part of the new Paranormal Women’s Fiction (PWF) genre. Darynda Jones is a new-to-me author and this book had lots of 4 or 5 star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ve already enjoyed reading other PWF books including Suddenly Psychic by Elizabeth Hunter and Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene. Honestly, I was expecting something similar. Betwixt was OK but didn’t quite live up to my expectations. 🤷♀️
Before continuing, you need to know a couple of things that effect my enjoyment of a story.
I’m in my late 40s and I don’t have the patience for YA novels anymore. Let me explain. Their characters are full of angst and relationship naivety. Usually I’m shouting at the MC’s inability to see the bigger picture and “read between the lines“. I roll my eyes at the stereotypical plots and personalities. Come on, the world isn’t just black & white, people aren’t good or evil but real life is a myriad shades of complex grey. Oh and don’t get me started on all the secrets kept “for their own good” or to “keep you safe” thing. 😭 😤 🤬 😡 🤯
Right, back to my review…
Defiance was a very frustrating character for me. Each decade we live, we gain knowledge, experience and life skills that effect our thoughts, actions and general world view. Defiance felt like a twentysomething instead of a woman in her 40s. In fact, I found all of the main core characters in this story behaved in ways that remind me of YA or New Adult reads (see above rant). This frustrated me as I was expecting something different from a PWF book.
I realised that Betwixt wasn’t going to live up to all my expectations after the first couple of chapters. However, I did generally enjoy the story and found it entertaining. I tried to let it just wash over me as I was reading and simply enjoy the ride. There weren’t really any surprises and the plot followed the expected course but it was an entertaining ride. Sadly, I never really engaged enough with Defiance, Annette, Ruthie or Roane either.
Oh and before I go. ⚠️ Be warned. ⚠️ There’s a huge revelation cliffhanger at the end (funnily enough the only twist that did catch me unawares.) Don’t get me started on cliffhangers, it’s a writing trait that I hate with a passion and the reason this ended up a 2 star read rather than a 3! 😭
Buy BETWIXT (or the rest of the Betwixt & Between series) in print and ebook formats through the usual sources, including:
or download for free using your Kindle Unlimited subscription for a short time.
(I‘m part of Amazon , Audible , The Book Depository, Foyles Book Shop and Waterstones affiliate programmes. Consequently when you use my links to buy anything, I‘ll get a (very) small % from the sale.)
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts, I really appreciate it.
I hope my feelings about this book haven’t put you off. Lots of people have LOVED Betwixt and I hope I’ve sparked enough interest that you’ll check it out for yourself. 😉
Bye for now,