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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Wider Circle by Mary Caelsto

The Wider Circle by Mary Caelsto
Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (126 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

Still grieving from the loss of her father, Dharma takes a job in a neighboring state with the hopes that the change in location will help her get on with her life and maybe find her faith again. She arrives to find the job gone and with it her hopes. She goes to a ritual on the Autumn Equinox, a time for thankfulness, and when a handsome man asks her what she's thankful for, she finds she cannot answer.

Acting as a High Priest in the ritual changes Sid's life. He's making plans to move out of state and form a new Wiccan Coven, except he's missing the other half of his circle--a high priestess. When he sees Dharma he knows there's a spiritual soul hidden inside her grief, and he longs to bring her out.

But when Sid can't wait any longer and has to move in order to keep his job opportunity, will Dharma go with him? Can Sid show Dharma that the Goddess hasn't forsaken her, and that there's a wider circle for them to explore?

A chance for promotion; a new town; a new life...Dharma is ready to forget the past and start again. All her plans fly out the window when she finds the job is non-existent and the past keeps haunting her.

Alone in Des Moines Dharma must find herself a new job. Thank goodness she has savings to fall back on. To take her mind off things Dharma, a Wiccan, decides to attend a local ritual for the autumn equinox. Here she meets Sid, a local Wiccan.

Sid, a High Priest, is determined to make Dharma his High Priestess at his new coven in Oregon, but first he must make her trust him and decide what her future should be.

Weeks pass and Sid and Dharma get to know one another. Unable to find a job, Dharma’s future is still shrouded by uncertainty. She joins in the rituals but is still positive the Goddess has forgotten her.

Sid has his own decisions to make but he knows he must help Dharma to regain her faith, even if it means he has to leave her behind.

This story has a mystical quality about it. The Wiccan religion is introduced gently and, although it plays a major part in the decisions Dharma has to make, it doesn’t intrude on the growing relationship between Dharma and Sid.

Both are strong characters but I was a bit disappointed by Dharma’s sudden change of heart at the end of the book. It seemed abrupt and out of character. I loved the names Ms. Caelsto gave to her characters, Dharma, Dee, Lars. The only name I didn’t like was Sid. I know it was short for Siddhartha but it seemed so ordinary next to the other names.

Despite these few bumps in the road, I found the book captivating. I could empathize with Dharma, although at times I wanted to get behind Sid and give him a push towards the woman who haunted his dreams. The characters had thoughts and feelings that made them real and lovable. I would recommend this to any reader who wants a pleasant book to wile away a few hours.