Trouble Brewing is an enchanting romance by Australian author, Jane Tara. Though ostensibly the second book to feature the magical Shakespeare family (the first is Forecast), it can be read as a standalone.
Calypso Shakespeare is a witch whose psychic ability allows her to brew cocktails to, amongst other things, mend broken hearts, instill confidence or encourage love to bloom. Though based in her parent’s London pub, Calypso’s wanderlust sees her traveling the world, never staying in one place very long but eventually The Winds of Change finds her and Calypso is forced to consider if she is always running to, or from, something…or someone.
Heartbreak haunts Calypso and the arrival of former fling Taran Dee in London is the impetus for her to move on, despite only just having arrived. But this man isn’t willing to let her run far, following her to Vienna and then Paris before convincing her to spend just three days with him. Calypso and Taran’s relationship is fun and sexy, the chemistry is obvious and the push and pull is believable given their individual histories.
Though primarily a lighthearted romance, Trouble Brewing has some additional depth as it explores grief, loss and love. Calypso struggles with the fate of a former love and her family faces a frightening health scare, while Calypso’s Viennese friends are plagued by their unexplained infertility and Simon faces being disowned by his family.
Trouble Brewing is enhanced by its eccentric cast made up of Calypso’s family and friends, several of which have their own stories explored in the novel. For her sister Nell, the focus is on her search for a career, while for Calypso’s unconventional best friend Megan, it is finding love unexpectedly with the wealthy and repressed Simon. I adored the Shakespeare matriarch, known as Batty.
Fun, charming and contemporary, Trouble Brewing is a lovely read ideal for those that believe in the magic of romance.