This Friday flatlay inspired by the fantastic title & cover of Celestine Martin’s Witchful Thinking. Read on for my review!
Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
The adorable cover of Celestine Martin’s Witchful Thinking made me so happy when it arrived in my mailbox. It’s so charming & striking, right?!
The inside proved to be the same. It gave me those witchy vibes I was craving—with a tight-knit group of related witches who support each other & who are linked to the powerful witches in their past.
The kinda-second chance romance vibes are strong in this one too with celebrity photographer & merman Alex Dwyer returning to Freya Grove after leaving his friend & maybe-could-be-more Lucy Caraway in the dust immediately following their graduation years ago.
He’s not into settling down but maybe this could be different.
In the world Celestine Martin creates supernatural creatures abound & are living public lives & I loved the gently magical ordinary-yet-extraordinary atmosphere.
While insta-feelings isn’t really my fave, it didn’t feel entirely out of the blue here since Lucy & Alex did have that history, & Martin really builds it up beautifully, like with Alex remembering exactly how many days it’s been since he touched Lucy.
This is just a gentle yet powerful story of witches & love & kinship & I enjoyed it a lot. I’ll definitely be checking out more from the author. Put this one on your Halloween list, people, under Fall vibes (but not spooky!).
4⭐️. Out 09/27.
I didn’t record CWs for this one when I read it. Sorry!
[ID: first image: a flatlay of books featuring punny titles. Second image: a white hand holds the book in front of a plant stand.]
Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary finished copy. All opinions provided are my own.
Is this the most eccentric romance I have ever read? I think so.
Maybe it’s because the hero was once dead & the heroine Angelika Frankenstein-ed him, making him from a couple of different available corpses & bringing him back to life in hopes he would be in love with her (& also in hopes of having a huge accomplishment to mark down in her brother’s feud with another scientist- rival).
Maybe it’s because the most romantic moments and even the lesser give full Morticia & Gomez from Addams Family vibes, a comparison made by others & which had me excited to pick this one up.
Maybe it’s just all of the little small details. And there are many 🤣. Angelika’s attraction to thighs. Victor eating his apples. The pig.
But Sally Thorne’s Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match is absurd and stuffed with quirkiness (it cannot be contained) & also with goodwill. Because no matter what the Frankensteins do or how many natural laws they break, it’s made very clear that they do have big hearts as well.
Just your conventional type of romance 😆 .
It was hard for me to pin down my feelings on so much of this book including a love triangle-ish situation. On one hand the love triangle often leads to more absurdity so it fits the theme but on the other it goes too far for me.
But this book has some truly romantic moments, a general sense of exuberant & romance-loving IDGAFs, the leads have a real & true appreciation for the other, & there’s a Frankenstein story that had me saying “what?!,” “oh,” “that’s really sweet,” & probably “what” again 😆.
It’s a romance that breaks a lot of the rules & part of me was like “no! Don’t do that” & the other part was like “this is fun” 🤣 .
4⭐️. Out 09/06.
CWs: Angelika looks at the other MC’s genitalia when he’s dead while she is designing the resuscitated body to come. Angelika really wants a baby & they question whether Will will be able to impregnate her. Violence. Reference to death of parents. Theft.
ID: a white woman wearing a mustard colored floral dress holds the book in front of a big tree.
Hi and welcome to my Blog Blitz stop for Sangu Mandanna's The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches!
A big thank you to Berkley Publishing & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
I hope you'll stick around for more reviews!
A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family—and a new love—changes the course of her life.
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules...with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos "pretending" to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn't the only danger in the world, and when peril comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for....
It’s magic-filled & wonderful & the grumpy & the sunshine relationship at its core—not to mention the found family, the whimsy & the iron—had me squeeing.
I love this book so much!
In The Very Secret Society witch Mika Moon is hired by the residents of Nowhere House to be a magic teacher for three witch children. She takes on what seems like a huge task even though witches aren’t out in the open & aren’t supposed to be together out of set & infrequent social gatherings.
In addition to the children, there are four other caretakers living at Nowhere House, including a striking & very grumpy librarian named James Kelly who is also amazing & gave me heart eyes.
I will say that I fell in love with both leads because they’re both stunning. Mika’s funny & I love how she can laugh at herself, how brave and cheerful she is (without being annoying!).
There’s a caretaking scene & just a sense of care running throughout the pages—I have every feeling that these leads have found true love and family & it makes my heart swell.
This book is enthralling & I loved it from beginning to end. I can’t wait to add it to my shelves.
5⭐️. Out 08/23.
CWs: abuse; previous death of parent. Mothers of witches die soon after having witches. ID: an ebook rests on an open hardback. To the left is a bright yellow coat. The coat & the table everything sits on are strewn with sunflowers.
When the spellwork part of the meeting was complete, Primrose cleared her throat. "Finally, does anyone have any news they'd like to share?" "It's okay to say it's time to gossip, Primrose," Mika said merrily. "We all know that's what comes after the spellwork." "Witches don't gossip," sniffed Primrose. This was patently untrue, however, because gossiping was precisely what they proceeded to do. "My ex-husband wanted to get back together last week," said Belinda Nkala, who was in her forties and never had time for anyone's nonsense. "When I turned him down, he informed me that I am apparently nothing without him. Then he left," she added calmly, "but I fear he's going to be suffering from an inexplicable itch in his groin for a few weeks." Several witches laughed, but Primrose set her lips in a thin line. "And have you been playing such petty tricks lately, Mika?" "Oh, for the love of fucking god, Primrose, what does this have to do with me?" "It's not an unreasonable question, precious. You do like to take risks." "For the millionth time," Mika said, irked beyond belief, "I post videos online pretending to be a witch. It's just a performance." Primrose raised her eyebrows. Mika raised hers right back. "Hundreds of people do the same thing, you know. The whole witch aesthetic is very popular!" "Witchcore," Hilda said, nodding wisely. "Not quite as popular as cottagecore or fairycore, but it's up there." Everyone stared at her. "I didn't know fairies were real!" shouted Agatha Jones, who was almost as old as Primrose and tended to believe all young people needed to be shouted at lest they miss the import of her pronouncements. "Whatever next!" "You see, Primrose?" said Mika, ignoring this interruption. "People call themselves witches all the time. I'm not putting myself or you or anyone else at risk. Nobody who watches my videos thinks I'm actually a witch." It was unfortunate for Mika, then, that at that precise moment, over five hundred miles away, in a big house in a quiet, windy corner of the Norfolk countryside, a skinny old man in a magnificent rainbow scarf and enormous fluffy slippers was saying exactly the opposite. “Absolutely not!” This came from Jamie, the scowling librarian, who was not in fact the skinny old man in the scarf and slippers. That was Ian. And the third person in the library was Lucie, the housekeeper, a chubby, round-cheeked woman in her fifties, who sighed as if she knew exactly how this argument was going to go. (She did know, and she was right.) Ian smoothed down the tail of his scarf and replied, in the deep voice that had charmed audiences in many a small theatre over his eighty-odd years, "Don't be difficult, dear. It doesn't become you." Jamie was unmoved by this criticism. "You can't seriously be considering bringing that"-and here he jabbed a finger at the dewy, sparkly face on the screen of Ian's phone-"into the house?" "Why not?" Ian asked. "Well, for one thing, there's no way she's a real witch," Jamie said irritably. This was not unusual. Most of the things Jamie said were said irritably. "What kind of witch would show off her magic on a platform with millions of viewers?" Mika would have been immensely gratified to hear this, had she been there, but it looked like her double bluff had not hoodwinked Ian. "She's a real witch," he insisted. "How the hell can you possibly know that?" "I have excellent observation skills. Just watch part of the video." Ian wiggled his phone like he was dangling a lollipop in front of a toddler. "A minute. That's all I ask." Jamie's glare stayed firmly in place, but he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against his desk to look over Ian's shoulder. Gleeful, Ian tapped the screen and the video started to play.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
📖 what’s a long-running romance series that’s still releasing books that you’re still loving?
Honestly it was *so* fun to be back in the world of the Baylor family, the Baylor Investigative Agency, the magic-wielding heroes + heroines & the monsters, the loving relationships, etc etc with Ilona Andrews’s Ruby Fever.
Ilona Andrews’s Hidden Legacy series is one I recommend again & again (like in yesterday’s Trope Tuesday post) & it’s sooo good whether you’re a reader of urban fantasy or not.
The first three books in the series focus on Nevada Baylor, & these last three, including Ruby Fever, focus on her sister Catalina, who’s head of the Baylor House in the cutthroat world of magic & Houses & power.
I don’t want to ruin the plot of this one but suffice it to say that baddies are back & we learn some secrets related to Catalina & Alessandro…not to mention a couple of enticing pages concerning the last sister, Arabella. (Pleaseeee let there be more books!!).
If you haven’t read these books yet please please put them on your list!
5 ⭐️. Out 08/23.
Lots of CWs, including murder (including a reference to a woman who was pregnant at the time) & violence. Catalina’s grandmother had an unconscious woman serve as her surrogate without her consent.
[ID: an ebook sits on an open hardback with a red dress as it’s backdrop. All items are on a wooden table strewn with different colored sunflowers & other red & yellow flowers.]