Review: The Water Witch, Carol Goodman

The Water WitchTitle: Water Witch (Goodreads)
Author:  Carol Goodman (or her pseudonym, Juliet Dark)

Rating: ★★★★☆

“You have only to call my name to bring me back”, he whispered, his breath hot in my ear. “You have only to love me to make me human”.

Callie McFay is the guardian of the last gateway between the world of Faerie and mankind. Seduced by a powerful incubus demon, she has succeeded in banishing Liam to the Borderlands but he still haunts her dreams, tempting her with the knowledge of how to bring him back. But loving an incubus usually ends in death for a human. For her own sake Callie must learn to control her desires and ensure Liam remains trapped for all eternity in his watery prison.

Only there is a more dangerous creature than Liam in the Borderlands. The Water Witch is also looking for a way back…


Series: Fairwick Chronicles #2
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Published: Ebury Press, September 2012 (will be published February 13, 2013 in the USA by Ballantine – Random House)
Pages: 339
My Copy: The publisher via Netgalley

Paper copies: Amazon.com (pre-order) • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
E-copies: Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  Barnes & Noble • Bookworld (epub)

Please note: This review is for the second book in this series, so contains spoilers for the first book, Incubus/The Demon Lover. You may wish to go and read my review of that book instead!


Note: The Water Witch was published in the US under Carol Goodman’s pseudonym, Juliet Dark. 

Callie McFay is a doorkeeper – the only one who can open the last remaining door to Faerie in the woods near Fairwick. The society of witches called the Grove have decided that the door is too dangerous to remain open – it has been letting in all manner of creatures including the Incubus who attacked Callie a few months previously. They want it shut, for ever. Callie and the supernatural creatures who call Fairwick home do not agree and decide to do everything within their power to keep the door open.

US cover

US cover

Meanwhile, despite her best intentions, Callie is still desperately missing her Incubus lover, Liam. She travels to faerie and meets up with him there, but when she returns she starts having strange dreams again. Could Liam be back?

Water Witch is an enjoyable sequel to Incubus. We get to see the development of Callie’s powers, but the romantic aspects of the story that were in the forefront of Incubus are not so important in Water Witch. In fact, Callie has less actual sex with anyone and has more imaginary dream sex again. Also she falls for no less than three separate men over the course of this book. I’m starting to think Callie is… how can I put this delicately? Impressionable, perhaps?

The story is once again smart and quite funny at times. The secondary characters really develop well and bring out their interesting personalities.

One of the main problems I had with Incubus was that the story consisted of a few exciting events, interspersed with boring college life. Water Witch has none of that – in fact the entire story plays out within the space of a few weeks during the college vacation, so this book is free to contain pretty much all action. And it does!

Callie’s poor Incubus doesn’t get much of a go in this book, although there is some raunchy action early on in the story. Without giving anything away, Callie really frustrated me with her inability to see the obvious right in front of her. The second half of the story was really quite predictable and I found it a shame. Once again, we’re left on a cliffhanger so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next!

Warnings: Graphic sexual content.

What did others think of Water Witch?

  • “It was an entertaining read, but very high on the cheese factor.” – The Book Stop
  • “I desperately wanted to know what would happen on each page. I was also hoping a heavy branch would fall on Callie’s grandmother.” – Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust
  • “Callie Callie Callie… what are we going to do with you?? She seems to be a lovely girl, but someone you just want to smack upside the head for all the lousy decisions she makes!” – Book Chick City

Review: Incubus, Carol Goodman

incubusTitle: Incubus (Goodreads) or The Demon Lover in the US
Author:  Carol Goodman (or her pseudonym, Juliet Dark)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Dr. Callie McFay travels to the small college town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview. Despite it being her second choice she finds herself talked into accepting a job offer from the Folklore Department to teach a class on demons and vampires. She also finds herself drawn to an old house in the woods where Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte used to live and buys it on a whim, despite the seeming reluctance of the estate agent to sell it to her.

But on the night of her job interview, she had a very vivid erotic dream about a man made out of shadows and moonlight, and this dream becomes a regular occurrence when she moves into her new home. Callie starts to feel like a heroine in one of the gothic novels she teaches as slowly it dawns on her that things at the college – and in her home – are not what they seem. She learns that her house is supposed to be haunted by LaMotte’s former lover and her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her an unfamiliar fairy tale about an incubus-demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen…


Series: Fairwick Chronicles #1
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Published: Ebury Press, July 2011
Pages: 466

Paper copies: Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
E-copies: Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  Barnes & Noble • Bookworld (epub)


Note: Incubus was published in the US as The Demon Lover, under Carol Goodman’s pseudonym, Juliet Dark. It is called Incubus in the UK and Australia.

This is where all stories start, on the edge of a dark wood…

I started reading this book thinking it was a YA paranormal romance (perhaps based on the look of the cover?) – but from the first chapter it certainly is not! There are some quite erotic scenes all the way through, so be warned!

US Cover

US Cover

Callie has had erotic dreams featuring a shadowy stranger since she was a teenager, but since coming to live in the town of Fairwick, a few hours drive from New York City, she’s been having more of them. Her supposedly haunted house is not all that it seems and the woods in the back yard are home to some strange and dangerous creatures. Then, Callie discovers there is also more to the staff and students at Fairwick College than meets the eye. Callie’s struggles now include a strange presence in her house plus fitting into supernatural society, not to mention the freezing weather.

The premise and folklore of this story are very well-designed and those who love Celtic mythology should enjoy the many references to fairies and other creatures. It reminded me somewhat of Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches in its paranormal society and academia, and the sexy parts were quite True Blood. The writing was lovely to read and contains plenty of references not just to literary classics but also to modern pop culture.

Unfortunately, the plot did not flow well. Callie seems to flit here and there, does this thing, then she does that. There are a series of exciting events that happen every now and then, but the rest is filled with rather drab day-to-day college happenings.  I felt that quite a lot could have been removed without damaging the story, especially in the first half of the book. I was slightly baffled when Liam turned up, but it didn’t take me long to work out what was happening and after that the rest was quite predictable.

Callie didn’t seem like such a strong heroine and she doesn’t get much of a chance to try out her magical abilities, but I actually really liked Liam and I hope that the second book will bring more from him! I also enjoyed reading about the town of Fairwick and the staff and students of the college – the extra characters were the saving grace of this story, especially Ralph!

Despite the things I didn’t like about the story, I’ll read the second book in the series, The Water Witch – I’m very curious to find out what happens next.

Warnings: Graphic sexual content.

What did others think of Incubus?

  • “Steamy and nuanced, but ultimately a fairly predictable entrance into the already overcrowded paranormal romance genre.” – Kirkus Reviews
  • “If only it were just about the incubus, the story would’ve progressed and ended faster, but no; I was surprised toencounter a whole assortment of paranormal and magical creatures…” – 4 stars – My Library in the Making
  • “Such as the Gothic romances Callie references, this novel is rich in atmospheric prose and mystery. As a book lover and avid reader and hoarder of books, I can’t say how much I loved Callie’s constant references to literature and her talk of how many books she owned.” – 6/10 – All the Books I Can Read

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