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A Little Familiar

(Familiar Spirits #1)

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  729 ratings  ·  97 reviews
A powerful witch, Piotr Russell has resigned himself to loneliness, because ordinary humans can’t know what he is, and other witches are intimidated by his abilities. Generations of Russells have lived and died with only their familiars at their side. The presence of a friendly familiar is enough to keep even the loneliest witch sane, and yet Piotr deliberately hasn’t chos ...more
Kindle Edition, 91 pages
Published October 3rd 2015
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  729 ratings  ·  97 reviews


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Kasia Bacon
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
That was lovely. *Almost* enough to melt my obsidian heart.
MLE
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, kindle-archive
Really sweet. Review to come.
Ann
More like 3.5 Stars.

Well, 3 stars for some, 4 stars for others, 5 stars for a couple of really great lines and 2 stars for the book cock blocking at the end.

So yeah, 3.5 stars overall.

I liked this quiet and charming story. The characters were very appealing and they really needed to be together for so many reasons. I really wish I would have read it around Halloween, it's got the perfect moody feel to it that I'll have to check out during a reread next Halloween.

I don't need to have graphic bon
...more
Xan West
4.5 stars

I adored this. It hit me hard in the feels. I was basically holding my breath through the last third or so of the book.

I do want to say that there is a non-binary love interest in this, who I read (and the text alludes to this) as genderfluid. I liked the representation; it worked for me.

More coherent review later on.
Meep
2.5 Rounding up because even though I'm unlikely to re-read this there were parts I liked, sadly lost somewhat in the overwhelming sense of longing and UST. While I normally enjoy Cooper's writing it didn't pull me in this time, there was too heavy a feel despite the light homeliness of the story. The UST dripped from the page where I needed some brightness.

At least the first 8% was info dump, tediously setting out the world and explaining how the characters are destined to be together, clearly
...more
Alison
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful story about witches and Halloween. I really enjoy how Cooper writes romantic awkwardness and nervous tension, and both are in abundance in this lovely story. Great secondary characters include a raven and a ghost. I love this author's writing style and the slow reveal of the history between the two main characters. R. Cooper's one of my favourites, and I was not disappointed.
Relly
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, b-2018-read
Was ok

3 ⭐
This author has a formula that revolves around miscommunications, at times when I’m in the mood for it, it works. But I need to pick my moments or else it I can’t handle it. This one was no exception. Piotr did my head in, and there were times I really wanted to slap him across the back of his head. Once Bartleby opened the lines of communication and talked around to what he wanted they finally moved forward.
I’ll still give the next one a go too.
...more
Alexa
khfksdjgkjg

the only word I can use to describe this is magical. the whole reading experience was so real I could almost taste the pumpkin and apples. the soft pining was great, and ghosts and familiars, and Bartleby is literally exactly my kind of person, and the DESCRIPTIONS in this novella were so good! I mean, just look at this: although his rage was the gentlest rage imaginable, the briefest, quietest maelstrom in a teacup.

or this: His anger was fierce and soft, stinging like kitten’s claws.
...more
Bkwyrm
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet

Aside from some grammatical errors and a few spelling mistakes, a lovely gem of a Halloween story. Piotr is a powerful witch from a powerful family, isolated and believes himself entirely self-sufficient, alone in his ancestral house. He never attends his coven's Samhain revels, preferring to stay home and give out candy to kids. He's known Bartleby his whole life, a man born to a witch family, but with a different power - he's a human familiar, a focus and companion for a witch.
...more
Adrian Fridge
I love Piotr for being a burly bear who channels his alphaness into gardening and homemaking and taking care of others. And then there's Bartleby, who's brown and genderqueer and taking care of Piotr by allowing Piotr to take care of him.

This has all the makings for five stars from me: a gruff loner is worn down by a magnetic interloper who winds up being everything the loner refuses to allow himself. Buuuut technicalities.

For starters, this could have used a copy-editor because there's one too
...more
Antonella
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice and sweet, utterly delightful.
Jessie Potts
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-paranormal
I really like this Beings world, I only noticed that the misunderstandings formula is present in all of them.
Barbara Cerda
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Book Review

Impressions

My first introduction to R Cooper’s work was the 900-page collection of his Beings in Love. His characterizations are what made me a fan of his work. Their personalities stick to you long after completing the read. The sex descriptive is good although at times, it may not be for the squeamish…but the storytelling is superb. I’m guessing this is the biggest reason R has a compelling fan base. But I digress.

There’s always simplicity in the rhyme of R Cooper’s storytelling, th
...more
Sakuko
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I had a slow start into this book.
I know there was some reason Piotr is dead set against being with Bartleby, but I just did not get it. They where so good together, Piotr obviously adoring, Bartleby dropping hints like cement bags, but neither of them seemed to get the other. I just couldn't follow Piotrs motivation and because of that I couldn't relate to him much.
I should like this grumpy but caring bear attitude, it's my usual type, but in this book, it did not work for me. Maybe because he
...more
Gillian
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

A little different, but I really liked this one. It's the kind of book you need when you just want to read about nice people getting an HEA (even if was already preordained but one person needed to get out of their own way in order to see what was right in front of them, and the other person needed to use actual words to let the first person know they've been there all along, just patiently waiting).

Recommend
Tori
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
3.5 stars.

I enjoyed this a lot. The world building was very interesting, if frustratingly vague at times. I wanted to know more about witches and Piotr and the Russels, and why Piotr was so absolutely convinced he'd be alone forever.

I could have used a bit more explanation, and the ending was quite abrupt, but I enjoyed the setting and both characters and their developing relationship.
Jaylee
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I would say this is one of my favorite R. Cooper books so far, but I say that about every single one of her books, because she only improves and gets better with each book.

This one is the story of two male witches - a big bear of a man who spends his days tending his garden, cooking, and taking care of people, and a nonbinary guy whose magic lies in helping and whose gender expression varies from day to day. (He's described as never actually using the term genderfluid to describe himself and ne
...more
Furio
Jan 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
The premise of this short M/M romance was quite good, with two potentially strong characters.
In a romance, though, especially in one where nothing really happens, the author needs to skillfully depict the leads coming together and getting to know each other's feeling.

That skill is missing, here.
The general tone, especially at the beginning, is didactic to the point of being mildly irritating: common Wiccan lore does not need lenthy explanations as most readers can be expected to know it well.
The
...more
Bookish
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, sweet, a little bit of R. Cooper at her best. I can't believe this was only 0.99. Paid so much more for a bunch of crap this year. I'm glad to see Cooper being more herself in this story. Piotr is shy, strong and lonely, thinking himself undeserving. And Bartleby, like the other half of the romantic pairing in this author's many such stories, is the protagonist who is different, original, sensitive and knowing, and overcomes the inhibitions of his love interest. More than plot, howeve ...more
Cara
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-romance
This was a fantastic read. The characters were wonderful with a lot of personality, the narration itself was compelling and held a lot of emotion, and the pacing worked. I certainly wouldn't have minded a longer read just to have a few things elaborated on. In fact in certain parts, a little more explanation would have been great since it felt rather vague at times. But in the end I feel like everything was explained enough without getting too wordy, so there isn't much to criticize at the end. ...more
Allison
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads, shorts
I liked it. It is a little ambitious for the length which led me to feel like I was dropped in the middle of an on-going story, but once I got past that, and some editing issues, I really enjoyed the story. The secondary characters were a lot of fun. Piotr and Bartleby were wonderful together once they finally understood each other. I also appreciate that Bartleby's gender fluidity was just a part of him instead of his defining feature. A quick, interesting Halloween read.
LunaKat
Disappointing

This story was unique and a tad odd. Actually it may have been quite interesting if done well but the dialogue is stilted, disjointed and inconsistent. I finished it because I rarely stop in the middle of a book but it was a close call. The writing was not what I hoped.
Riayl
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, romance, supernatural
Pretty cover. *pets*
Jenn (not Lily)
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lovely, lovely, lovely! I think this story gets better each time I read it. Upgrading it to 5 stars this time...I wonder if next year I'll want to give it 6?!
Lene
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Amazingly sweet and magical MM romance.
Michelle
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Nice idea but poorly executed. Dry writing. The setting is intriguing but the carry through is not.
Em
2.5 stars rounded down.

It's not bad, and I struggled with 2 stars for a bit because (despite that bonkers twitter Thing a couple weeks ago), I don't just rate books low on a whim. I want to make sure I'm conveying something with my book ratings. Sometimes that is "this book is shit", but sometimes it's just "this book is not FOR ME" and that is also a valid opinion to have, and that is my opinion on this book. Obviously, a lot of people like this. Fine.

It's a short novella of a witch (Piotr) a
...more
Sam Ashworth
Reading A Little Familiar is like curling up on an armchair with a fluffy blanket and drinking a warm, sweet cup of tea. It’s the kind of book that’s best read on a rainy, lazy day. It will leave you feeling contentedly blissed-out and at ease with the world. …or, at least, that’s how I felt when I read it!

Cooper’s book is unapologetically domestic, taking place almost entirely within Piotr’s home- and a cosy, warm place it is! An apple orchard out the back, a wooden porch covered in cats, fresh
...more
Elizabeth Hanelt
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love happens in context

One of R. Cooper's author bios mentioned that she loves writing about the walking wounded, and even in a shorter story like this, the characters are beautiful in their love and their pain, ensnared fairytale style in their own assumptions and misapprehensions.

There's almost nothing more satisfying to me in a story than having a lonely, sad person, find love and romance and fulfillment with a partner who suits them and to whom they can give fully and from whom they can rec
...more
Tina
A quiet and charming story, perfect for a drizzly October day. I was kind of frustrated by the pacing and the repeated miscommunications between the two characters, particularly in light of how this book pretty much consisted of the two of them talking and spending time together alone in Piotr’s house. You’d think they could have worked some of their misunderstanding out a bit earlier. When things are finally resolved at the end, it’s a bit too rushed — a distinctly odd contrast to the slow unfu ...more
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I'm a somewhat absentminded, often distracted, writer of queer romance. I'm probably most known for the Being(s) in Love series and the occasional story about witches or firefighters in love. Also known as, "Ah, yes, the one with the dragons."


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Other books in the series

Familiar Spirits (3 books)
  • Holly and Oak (Familiar Spirits, #2)
  • Nothing More Certain (Familiar Spirits #3)
“Loneliness could turn a person inward, leave them without a bridge to the outside world.” 0 likes
“Halloween was a celebration of life through an awareness of death, and a reminder of the presence of spirits.” 0 likes
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