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Blood, Smoke and Mirrors

(Bad Witch #1)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  638 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Robyn Bachar’s Bad Witch series blends urban fantasy and romance in a Chicago filled with magic, vampires, shapeshifters and troublemaking Shakespearean fairies.

Even a bad witch deserves a second chance.

Catherine Baker stopped caring about magician politics after the witches threw her out four years ago, convicted of the “crime” of using harmful magic in self-defense.
Kindle Edition, 340 pages
Published January 29th 2018 (first published April 21st 2010)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  638 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
3.5 to 4 stars!

This was an interesting read and definitely one I wouldn't mind picking up book two for. Definitely different and filled with all the things I like in a good fantasy read.
I can't remember the last time I was so irritated by a main character. Seriously, if a Too Stupid To Live award was in the cards, Cat would get my nomination HANDS DOWN. The lady did some relentlessly idiotic things that put her in a bad situation time and time again. I probably should have admitted defeat and quietly walked away from this book but I am WAY to stubborn for my own good sometimes.

The book started out well enough - outcast witch finds out that the previous Titania (this is politica
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nope
Recommended to glitrbug by: Kindle Smut Bookclub
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was disappointing. I really enjoyed the writer's style, but as the story progressed, everything just became a muddle mess of cliches or ideas used by other authors (but not used nearly as well). Then, I realized while the main character is 'portrayed' as strong, she is always thinking negatively about herself in relation to the hot man lead. I'm sick of reading about women who 'don't know what the hot lead sees in them or why he would want to be with them.' The more I read, the more pa ...more
Feb 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on iBooks today (2/5/2019)! 🎁

Even a bad witch deserves a second chance.

Catherine Baker stopped caring about magician politics after the witches threw her out four years ago, convicted of the “crime” of using harmful magic in self-defense. Life as an outcast was nothing new, thanks to her father’s wicked reputation, but the injustice left her heart scarred. Especially since she’d been turned in by the man she loved.

Alexander Duquesne has never faltered in his duties as a guardian—
Robyn Bachar's Blood, Smoke and Mirrors was favorable reviewed on Smart Bitches, and that's always a fine thing, so I took it upon myself to check this book out. It was my first from Samhain Press, who certainly did make an impression upon me with the gorgeous cover for this thing. Yeah, sure, it's yet another Headless Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy heroine, but I will at least give this one points for not having a tramp stamp!

Points off, though, for how the girl on this cover is significantly
Kitty is recruited by her former lover, Lex, and her current boss, Mac, to pursue the position of Titania (ambassador between Earth magicals and Faerie) after the previous Titania dies of "natural causes" (massive blood loss). As she holds Lex responsible for being an outcast from witch society and believes herself too young to hold that much responsibility, she is understandably reluctant. However, after her frost faerie cousin, Portia, insists, Kitty throws her hat in the ring -- and learns wh ...more
Kara Skinner (Lover's Quarrel Reviews)
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.45 out of 5 stars

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Catherine Baker hasn’t been very attached to the magic world for years, aside from her witch friend Morgan, her fairy cousins, and her boss who’s a librarian AKA magic historian.

But who needs the magic world after what it did to her? Her boyfriend, Alexander, outted her to the witch community for using forbidden magic to defend herself. And the martyr-loving jerks outcasted her for it. And needless to say
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
2.5 stars

This book felt like 2 novellas mashed together into one book. The problem/action in part 1 was a lot of fun and I liked it. The second half fell apart for me.

The author has an engaging style. I do wish that there was a bit less of the "he's so perfect, I'm not" bits. Cat seems inconsistent with how she views her & Lex's relationship.

Oct 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Baker was harshly sentenced by the witch's council after defending herself from a vicious attack by turning the attacker's evil back on him. It broke his mind. Her actions offended the witch's "An harm it none" creed. She was ostracized from the witches, cast out, and she's still bitter about it. The fact that her boyfriend at the time, the Guardian Lex, was the one that turned her in after she'd confided in him in confidence not only put the kibosh on their relationship, but it shatte ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: met-the-author
Blood smoke and mirrors ⭐️

“Familiar sensation of a cat biting my toes woke me it’s almost as reliable as an alarm clock with the bonus of being far more annoying”

We follow a witch that just wants to live a normal life but the rest of the world needs her to be the savior and fix everything, save everyone.

The editing could have been better. There were alot of run-on sentences that I notice in others works now that im writing my own book but the story made up for the editing.

I had the pleasure of
Sadie Forsythe
Blood, Smoke and Mirrors wasn't what I expected. To be fair it was exactly what the description said it would be, but somehow I expected a completely different feel than it had. I think it was more fairytale than PNR, despite the vamps and werewolves. But different than expected isn't necessarily all bad. I enjoyed it. Cat is a likeable heroine, though the ever present cigarette annoyed me...a lot. I get that it gave her a personality quirk, but I didn't enjoy it. It bothered me in the same way ...more
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-r-c-g
If you read the Kindle sample of this, you will think it is going to be a good read- it isn't.
I'm so glad that I got it free from amazon, I would of been upset if I had payed money for it. I normally don't give reviews like this but this book bugged me.
The premise behind this book is well done. The main character being shunned by her own kind unfairly, a colorful and eclectic world of magic users, the struggle for power and the need for a new leader for the witch community. This had all the i
May 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. The heroine is a witch who got kicked out of the coven/witch society for killing someone with her magic in self-defense. And her boyfriend is the one who turned her in. Most everyone's shunned her since then, except for her boss at the diner and the local Titania (a title, not a name)--the liaison between human magicians and the fae. When the Titania dies, the ex-boyfriend-traitor shows up to ask the heroine to apply for the job. There's a tryout/test phase to go with th ...more
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
There were some things I liked and didn't.

What I liked: Cat. She's strong and witty, but most definitely not perfect. I liked that she clearly communicated her issues with Lex. "Is it really so much to ask that just once I be worth sacrificing something for?" I thought it was funny that Portia was addicted to "The Price Is Right" and couldn't figure out how to use the remote.

What I didn't: I disliked how Cat would question why Lex was into her, "but to be honest I'd never understood what he saw
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-person, freebie
Might come back later to do a whole review but for now:

Started as a 4 star read,but ended as a 3... Maybe even 2.5...felt like two different books combined into one super long one...and the heroine irritated me, she kept making decisions with little to no thought behind them...there was quite a bit more i either didn't like or just got irritated by. But I'll just end with this for now: I don't thnk I'll be reading anything by this author again.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Since goodreads ate my original stellar review...dammit...I will be brief.
Loved the heroine. The dialog was for the most part good. The hero left quite a bit to be desired however and I never felt like he was fully committed to Cat. He was very milktoast and lackluster which seemed at odds with his role as a Guardian to the Faerie. This was a story that had a tremendous amount of potential but never quite achieved it's goal.
2.75 stars
Blood, Smoke and Mirrors is the first book in the Bad Witch series. I’m currently reading the upcoming book #6 for Netgalley, and the author’s note suggested to grab book #1 first if you’re new to the series. Since it was a freebie, I happily took that advice, and I am so glad that I did—book #6 would’ve been fairly confusing without it.

In Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, we meet Catherine Baker, who is a witch, and Alexander “Lex” Duquesne, who is a guardian. Catherine and Lex have a romantic past, bu
Anne Monteith
This first book is not the best, Cat makes so many stupid mistakes that you wish you could slap her. She is a lone witch who was cast out of their community for hurting a man who tried to harm her (witches have a strict “do no harm” rule, which is kind of stupid in itself). Since being cast our she has been working as a waitress when her ex, Lex, who is also the one that turned her in to the council shows up, turn up to tell her that the Tatiana is dead and she needs to run for Tatiana so other ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This book ranks somewhere around 3.5 stars for me. As a first book, I'm curious enough to read on, and am especially happy that the next book is not in Cat's head.

We join Cat, magical outcast, waitress, and generally bad witch. She's carved out her own unique spot in the world and surrounded herself with people who will tolerate a "bad witch." One of her closest friends (apparently, we join the show already in progress) is the current liaison between the midwest and the fae. This is, I guess, so
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
It was a little hard to get into this book, the writing is a little clumsy. Took a few chapters to really understand most of what was going on and figure out the relationships between characters. The author relies heavily on the use of nicknames, which can be cumbersome and somewhat confusing. The ground rules for magic isn't laid out, so it was hard to understand the consequences of actions, especially in the beginning of the book. I generally like the trickle in method of teaching the reader a ...more
Two stories in one - with some spoilery elements

So, this took a turn. After reading the synopsis I thought the story would be about Cat and Lex getting back together again - after all, this is a paranormal romance- and set against the backdrop of a magical murder mystery...

And we got that, sort of. This book started out with that intriguing premise, but by the halfway mark we were done with the trials for the newest leader. The murder of the old Titania wasn’t even investigated, and for the res
Barbara ★
I wanted to like this book but it was just mediocre. I enjoyed the beginning but about halfway through a completely new and different plot came out of the blue confusing the hell out of me. Things with Zachary just got more bizarre as pages turned and I lost interest quickly. (view spoiler)

I also couldn't underst
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall great book, enjoyed the writing style and descriptions. Would rate 3.7 stars.

Cons: book cover and character poor choices that where cringe worthy.

(view spoiler)
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

As much as I liked the book, I really did, I found myself longing for a feisty female character to stand up and best the snot out of the Vamps.

She didn't arrive!

Cat REALLY needs a pair of big girl panties!

Yes she passed tests thrown at her. But she never saw the big nasty roaming her dreams or upon waking realise something bad this way come.

I want her character to now flourish and become the Titania I hope she will be.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was ok

Started out promising, but then took a turn for the stupid. The heroine spend the last third of the book acting so idiotic and counter to her character from the first chunk I almost did not finish. But I hate leaving a story incomplete and was hoping that based on the first part the book would get better. It didn’t. There are plot holes, the pacing is sloppy and the characterization is inconsistent.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many loveable characters and some you just want to punch in the face. It was a five all the way to the half way point. One choice and it’s like banging your head against a wall at Cat’s stupidity. As a main character she’s strong and feisty but her lacking and slightly on the cliche side. Overall I did really enjoy this book and look forward to reading more.
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Good start to this series by Robyn Bachar. It had a decent amount of humor without being cheesy. The MC's inner dialogue and POV was a bit wordy at times but it may be due to background building being the first book in the series. Just the right amount of romance. Not too much, not too little which is what I prefer. On to Book 2 ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read

An interesting concept for a story, and enjoyable enough though it lacked a certain something for me that would have made this fantastic. Not hating on the book though! Decent characters, nice writing style.
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Robyn Bachar writes romance with swords, sorcery, spaceships and submersibles. Bachar's novels feature action and adventure, danger and suspense, found families and happily ever afters. Her books have finaled twice in the PRISM Contest for Published Authors, twice in the Passionate Plume Contest, and twice in the EPIC eBook Awards. ...more

Other books in the series

Bad Witch (5 books)
  • Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered (Bad Witch #3)
  • Fire in the Blood (Bad Witch #4)
  • Bad Blood (Bad Witch, #5)
  • Blood, Book and Candle (Bad Witch, #6)

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“I turned around to examine the rest of my temporary prison, and saw an enormous golden eye staring at me, less than ten feet away from where I stood.
I did what any sensible witch would do in my circumstance. I screamed like a scared little girl.
The eye blinked. Once, twice, and then shifted as the dragon turned its head toward me, regarding me with both golden eyes. “I could have eaten you, you know.”
I nodded numbly and stammered, “Thank you for not doing that.” I knew dragons existed in Faerie, though I’d never seen one before. Dragons are reclusive as a rule and tend to guard their privacy ferociously, so only the overly brave or overly stupid seek them out on purpose. The creature was huge, taking up a good portion of the room with its bulk. Black scales covered its body, and leathery wings were folded against its back. Smoke puffed out of its nostrils for a moment, and my stomach leapt in panic.
“I only eat virgins though.”
I stared at the dragon in disbelief, feeling the inexplicable urge to defend my past sexual history. My mouth worked as I struggled to find an appropriate response, and I thought I saw a glint of humor in its golden gaze.”
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