Here's the summary from Goodreads: Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down--from Joanna's organized kitchen to Ingrid's previously nonexistent love life to Freya's once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner. When Freya's twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiance Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya's help to prove it. Now Freya doesn't know who to believe or trust. And for the first time in--well, forever, really--Ingrid is also busy in love. Matt Noble, the handsome and charming police detective, has won her heart. But can romance work between a virgin witch and a mortal who doesn't believe in magic? Things get even more complicated when it appears Ingrid is harboring the prime suspects in Matt's police investigation. To add to the chaos, a dead spirit is attempting to make contact with Joanna--but does it mean to bring harm or help? Joanna asks her sort-of ex-husband Norman to help figure it out, only to accidentally invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a dapper gentleman she's recently begun dating. As the witches pull together to discover the serpent within their midst and the culprit behind Freddie's imprisonment, everything is thrown into peril. Will the discovery come too late to save those they love most?
What I Liked: 1) I still like the setting of this one. The tiny hamlet of North Hampton makes me think of Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls fans, anyone?) and I like the intimacy of it all. The small library where Ingrid works, and the local watering hole that Freya has made her own. It was comforting to go back to this setting. 2) Freddie was a neat addition to the mix. Because he's been in Limbo for a while he doesn't really know how to handle himself in their world anymore. There is a huge different between his maturity level and Freya's even though they are twins. But he brings some more chaos to their lives, and made the story interesting. 3) New humor. There was a lot of humor injected into this book with the addition of the pixies. They brought some much needed warmth to the rest of the story.
What I Didn't Like: Unfortunately, this book fell into the Book 2 trappings that I've warned against before. It seemed like the whole book was just to get us from book one to book three, without much substance. I'm afraid had it not been for watching Freddie's character develop, and the pixies, there wouldn't have been much of anything. The other characters didn't really pull me in very much, and the plot was a little stagnated.
Overall Thoughts: Serpent's Kiss struck me as more of a transition than anything. The plot was a little stale, and character development came to a near halt, other than the new character of Freddie. There was a lot of redeeming bits of humor though, and I absolutely love this setting, so I'm not giving up on this series. I'll be hoping for more from the next book, The Winds of Salem, set to release in June 2013.
My Rating: 2 shots