Practical Magic meets Gilmore Girls in this adorable witchy rom-com with:
• A bisexual virgin baker with a curse • A witch looking to avoid romantic entanglements • And a chemistry between them that causes literal sparks
Danica Waterhouse is a fully modern witch—daughter, granddaughter, cousin, and co-owner of the Fix-It Witches, a magical tech repair shop. After a messy breakup that included way too much family “feedback,” Danica made a pact with her cousin: they’ll keep their hearts protected and have fun, without involving any of the overly opinionated Waterhouse matriarchs. Danica is more than a little exhausted navigating a long-standing family feud where Gram thinks the only good mundane is a dead one and Danica’s mother weaves floral crowns for anyone who crosses her path.
Three blocks down from the Fix-It Witches, Titus Winnaker, owner of Sugar Daddy’s bakery, has family trouble of his own. After a tragic loss, all he’s got left is his sister, the bakery, and a lifetime of terrible luck in love. Sure, business is sweet, but he can’t seem to shake the romantic curse that’s left him past thirty and still a virgin. He’s decided he’s doomed to be forever alone.
Until he meets Danica Waterhouse. The sparks are instant, their attraction irresistible. For him, she’s the one. To her, he’s a firebomb thrown in the middle of a family war. Can a modern witch find love with an old-fashioned mundane who refuses to settle for anything less than forever?
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ann Aguirre has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in Mexico with her family. She writes all kinds of genre fiction, but she has an eternal soft spot for a happily ever after.
This is a difficult book to talk about because, while I love Ann Aguirre and I admire her ability to write successfully across multiple genres, this ended up not super working for me. Even though I also fully acknowledge its strengths and I can absolutely see why someone else might love it.
The premise here is really charming: the heroine and her cousin are both witches, technomancers specifically, who run a repair shop called Fix-It Witches (so cute) in ye standard American small town. There’s tension in the family because their mothers both fell in love with mundanes which means they ended up being raised by their very traditional grandmother (who believes witches should marry witches to preserve the bloodline). On top of which there’s apparently a family curse which means if any family member falls in love with a mundane they lose their magic powers. Needless to say, the heroine … falls in love with a mundane: the local baker who is so smokin’ hot the town calls him the CinnaMan.
Nearly everything I enjoy about this author in general is present here: the writing is lively and witty, the characters are likable, as is the supporting cast, there’s a lot of focus on the agency of the heroine, and there’s a lot of explicit consent-seeking when it comes to sex and physicality more broadly. The exploration of complicated family dynamics is nuanced and effective. There’s also lots of scope for queerness: two of the (female) witches are in a relationship with each other, which is really nice, and the hero is … bisexual.
Bisexual in that way that seems to be currently on trend that I’m struggling to deal with and have written about before. Because while I absolutely believe it’s normalising and positive and unproblematic for a character to be queer and for it to be no big thing (after all, queer identity is not, and should not, be defined by suffering) I think if it is literally nothing more than a word on the page that can feel less like representation and more like … um. Marketing?
So that didn’t super work for me. As did some other things that I’m about to go into. Although let me make very clear much of this came down to personal preference and, to some degree, personal weirdness. I’m not saying the presence of any of these features make this a bad book. They just ultimately made it a book I—as an individual—wasn’t really into. Despite really really wanting to be into it, and still being able to see many things that are great about it.
There will be spoilers.
So, mostly, I wasn’t a fan of the hero—he is no Zylar put it that way—but what’s really complicated about this is that none of the reasons I wasn’t a fan were his fault exactly? Basically, when we meet him, he’s a 30-something virgin baker whose prior relationships have all gone way way wrong: this makes him feel like he’s under a curse and makes him sound like an incel. Like he genuinely imagines having “forever alone” carved into his bones at some point. And as part of what came across to me as his creepy incelness, he kept sort of second guessing himself around the heroine, which I think was meant to come across as charmingly insecure, but just sounded to me like he was trying to manipulate the heroine into a relationship with him. Which again was just very incelly: this idea that women don’t know what they want and so you have manifest certain behaviours in order to capture one like they’re some kind of obscure Pokémon instead of a person with agency of their own who can decide whether they like you and want to date you for themselves. Plus, the first time he sees the heroine he’s like “that’s the woman I’m going to marry” pretty much immediately (which I know is a thing that lots of people find mega romantic, I just happen not to) and about three paragraphs later is musing on how many children they’re going to have together (2-5 apparently), which strikes me as a pretty presumptuous thing to be thinking about someone who you don’t even know wants children. And feels to assert a kind of ownership over the heroine’s body which. Um. No?
Anyway, at the end of the book we learn he IS, in fact, under a curse. The heroine’s mother didn’t want her daughter to be cheated on like she was, so she cast a curse which meant that the heroine’s soulmate wouldn’t be able to, uh, seal the deal sexually-speaking with anyone until he met the heroine. Which, oh my God, this struck me as SO WRONG on SO MANY levels.
Firstly, I know this paranormal-land where soulmates and fated mates and blah blah blah are part of the fabric of the genre. But given the modern twist of this particular story it felt out of place to me—like a left-over piece of genre legacy rather than something integral to the narrative. On top of which, while the whole concept of “relatability” is really complex (and often gets applied to keep marginalised voices, well, marginalised both in the industry and reader spaces) and I definitely don’t *require* romances to be relatable to draw me in: but I think romcoms, even ones with a twist to them, are meant to be, to some degree, accessible. They’re about the messiness and the joy of finding love in a world that can feel alienatingly absurd sometimes. The thing is, though, the whole idea of a soulmate isn’t remotely accessible to me. There’s one person in the world you are inherently MEANT to be with and everybody else is just chopped liver until you find that one person? Even if they’re in New Zealand? COME ON. It’s the most depressing idea, like, ever. It undermines the value of every relationship except the last one you happen to be in and reduces the beautiful, meaningful emotional work of CHOOSING to be with someone to an abstract sizzle that has, when you get right down to it, nothing to do with either of you.
Anyway, I think the fact that Titus is Danica’s official “soulmate” (and how very convenient he lives in the same small town in rural America) is meant to soften his, frankly, creepy vibes at the beginning of the book: explain why he meets a random stranger in a shop and is immediately thinking of annexing her womb. But, unfortunately, once the book had—at the eleventh hour, put my “dear God he’s an incel” vibes to rest, I just felt immensely terrible for the poor bastard. I mean, the fact he’s lived his entire life under a curse that has denied him any sexual agency (including the ability to bonk anyone who isn’t the heroine) is sort of just hand-waved away, as if getting to be with his “soulmate” in his thirties is fair compensation for having had aspects of his freedom denied him for thirty-something years. It doesn’t help that the heroine attempts to cast a bunch of spells on him over the course of the book (they don’t take because he’s already cursed), mostly aimed at forcing him to get over her but … again … like. Consent? Can we get a little consent up in here please? Full round of consent for table three please.
I just don’t think you can be in a healthy relationship when one person has the power but more importantly the WILL to essentially mind control you. Given how blithely Danica approaches using magic to deal with Titus’ emotions (even though she believes she’s acting for the best) I kind of … worry for their future in which she’s gone full Season 6 Willow and every they time they have a fight over the dishes she’s casting a spell to make him get over it.
Also, the whole … “I have cursed your soulmate not to be able to have the sexytimes with anyone else” is an incredibly um … I guess … simultaneously allosexual and sex-negative view of love? Like the heroine’s mother explicitly cast it so that her daughter was never cheated on … but, um. Having sex with other people BEFORE you get together with someone isn’t cheating. It’s just, um, life? And also surely the painful thing about cheating is the emotional betrayal part not the literal rubbing of genitals? Like, surely the curse should be more interested in who Titus feels an emotional connection to, not who he gives a handjob to at his high school prom?
While we’re on the subject of sexytimes, due to his literal curse, Titus happens to a virgin. And, y’know, that’s fine: it’s not fetishised or treated as particularly weird (although the fact he’s only a virgin because he’s CURSED kind of takes the wind out of the ‘some people are virgins and that’s chill’ sails) but he also … kind of … doesn’t tell Danica. She’s super into him (and as I said above, I did appreciate how much scope the book allows her for sexual expression and agency) and they end up doing it on his office chair: he gets away with not really knowing what he’s doing because she’s mostly running the show. And obviously the question of how much disclosure is owed during sex is a really complicated one and doesn’t have any easy answer: but it troubled me way more than it troubled the book that he wasn’t honest with Danica. Because sexual consent is about information as well as about acts.
I wrote a really long blog post about the sexual dynamics Bridgerton that I didn’t eventually post because I didn’t want to get hate mail: but the long and the short of my take is that it’s actually non-consensual in both directions. He doesn’t consent to the act. But can she be said to have consented to ANYTHING they’ve done because she hasn’t actually been given any context or understanding of what sex is or means.
Similarly, when it comes to de-virginating a baker on his office chair: they both consent to the act but I feel Danica’s consent was compromised because she didn’t know about his lack of experience. I mean … when you have sex with someone who has never had sex before you kind of need to have that information that so you can properly ensure *their* consent (regardless, I hasten to add, of gender identity). It’s like, I don’t know, scuba diving. If you take someone scuba diving you need to know if they’ve ever scuba-dived before so you can properly take of them, physically and emotionally. The way you go scuba-diving with someone who has gone scuba-diving loads is different from the way you go scuba-diving with someone who hasn’t. It’s just common sense.
Moving away from sex, the other thing I found difficult to navigate was the “witches should marry witches to keep the blood line pure” aspect of the plot. Now, it’s super clear that the primary proponent of this worldview is an old woman who has alienated both her daughters and is super controlling with her granddaughters: clearly the text isn’t suggesting this is all cool beans. It’s just really hard, I think, not to read stories about the social complexities of one, um, type of person dating another, um, type of person (this second type of person deemed ‘lesser’ by the first type of people) without being able to shake the spectre of some potentially really dark real-world analogies. Analogies the book is aware of, I think, because while Danica can’t confide in Titus about the witch stuff she does try to explain her family dynamics to him and he essentially assumes that Danica is telling him her grandmother is mega racist. Again, it’s way out of my lane to discuss this aspect of the book, I might even be significantly over-reaching in its overlap with real-world issues, but I still found it a bit complicated to navigate.
Oh, and finally. There’s a minor cameo British witch hunter in this book who I believe may be a future hero? Do forgive me for getting all Britpicky but I was not entirely thrilled with him—not least because he’s described having an accent, which is “one of the rougher ones”. Look, um, while accent can be a class marker in the UK, mostly it just about regionality and the idea that having a non-RP accent makes you “rough” or uneducated is … not okay? Like that is explicit social propaganda aimed at reinforcing the idea that the southern RP accent is the “correct” one alongside devaluing and erasing regional dialects. Which is a real problem over here.
Plus the “rough” accent in question turns out to be from Birmingham.
Birmingham? So this bad ass witch hunter sounds like Jasper Carrott and I’m meant to find him either sexy or threatening?
I’m really conscious I’ve just ranted on for ages. So let me just clarify—re-clarify—that these are very much personal issues. Because I’m a weirdo who over-thinks things and sometimes finds the tropes of m/f romance a bit alienating (because I’m not the target audience and that’s fine: I should not be the target audience).
There is definitely a lot to enjoy here if it’s your kind of book: it’s fun, it’s witty, it’s sexy, the chemistry between the leads is undeniable, and the supporting cast are fantastic. If nothing I’ve said here hits any of your “not for me” buttons I genuinely think you’ll love it. So, as ever, take my thoughts as just my thoughts because I like thinking about things.
This is a dream’s coming true: a witch heroine: combination of Olivia Pope meets Diana Bishop with magical powers mixing with fixing skills!
A literally unconventional cinnamon bun hero ( surprise, surprise : he’s bia, virgin with extremely talented culinary skills) blanketed by sweet-swoon-soft dusty tale makes you feel extremely happy!
I loved the idea! I enjoyed the execution! I loved Danica and Titus as a couple!
Both of them are so scared to suffer from broken hearts, taking this slow but blooming attraction between them is so hard to resist!
And of course the merciless grandmother of Danica watches her every move like a hawk and did I tell you Danica cannot be with a mundane if she doesn’t want to lose her magical powers. Is Titus worth to risk everything she’s built in her life?
One of my quickest, enjoyable, tempting, unputdownable reads! I had so much fun!
Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Big thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me an early copy. I'm just sorry it flopped so hard. A romance trend I've noticed for this upcoming fall is witchy stories! And I couldn't have been more excited about that, especially when this one landed in my lap a couple weeks ago. So imagine how disappointed I was that this started off okay, then completely fell apart in the second half. Best I can describe it? The editor forget to read the rest because this feels distinctly like two different stories.
Where to even begin? Well, I'll admit that the worldbuilding was a bit of a mess. From what I understand, each witch bloodline carries an affinity for a particular type of magic. For the Waterhouse girls, this is apparently a proficiency for fixing technology. Radios, microwaves, ovens, etc. It works well within the confines of the story and was quite cute, but I have so many questions. Like, these witches have been around for a few hundred years ... technology like that hasn't? Another thing was the idea that if a witch marries a mundane, she loses her magic. For the first half of the book I thought this applied to all witches, but it's actually just the Waterhouse line and . And don't get me started on the fact that literally no witch can tell anyone what they are so they spend their entire lives just ... lying to their partners? Workabouts for that came way too late for me to jive with that detail, but let me just tell you, I would not give up one drop of magic for Titus Winnaker.
Look at that perfect opportunity to segue into discussing the characters.
Let's start with Danica. I actually quite liked her. The aforementioned worldbuilding mishaps kept me from understanding her for a bit, but I did like her character. She is quite typical of a romantic female lead. You know, bubbly and confident with a great support system behind her - minus one overbearing grandmother that I did not care for. Danica's mom married a mundane and now Grandmother believes that gives her free rein to dictate every inch of Danica's love life, shoving every eligible male witch her way. Danica does her best to keep Titus at arms' length for reasons that seemed a little weak to me thanks to a crappy pact she made with her cousin, but as you would expect, she can't stay away from him.
Now, Titus. Whoo boy. First impressions are everything and this guy creeped. me. the. eff. out. He considers himself cursed because he has never had a relationship work out. He is 32 and still a virgin, but within five minutes of meeting Danica, I chalk that up to him, not a supposed curse. He has determined he has found the person he is going to marry and isn't really listening to her at the moment because he's too busy picturing the 2-5 kids they'll have. Girls get unfairly called crazy for that, but I would support it applying here in his case. If there wasn't strong chemistry on both sides and a lack of thinking of sex on his part, I would declare him to be giving off major incel vibes. He has so many awkwardly weird possessive thoughts about Danica that made me stumble. One thought process literally went "If she gets pregnant from this condom-less sex she initiated, it is totally okay by me because it means I can MARRY HER." Exit stage left, bro.
I will refrain from telling you how many times I read his name as Tits.
Romance-wise, the pair of them have serious chemistry. You'd be a fool to deny that. There was clear insta-attraction between them that blazed fast and bright. Was it a little too pedal-to-the-metal for my taste? Yup. I like a little bit of teasing and a touch of slow-burn, but this was still steamy. However, much of the multiple sex scenes were a wee bit awkward to read, not to mention the dirty talk that I did not find hot at all. Like okay dude, whatever works for you I guess. Alpha male talk is such a turn-off for me and honestly, Titus needed to just shut it. Part of the premise that attracted me was the fact that Titus was a bisexual virgin as that is rare to see, but the author may as well not have bothered. There was no fumbling, no conversations about it. Just bam! spice! expertise! perfect execution! weird inner thoughts! There is a miscommunication moment that resulted in such a leap that I lost a lot of respect for the character who did it. Just send a text, oh my word.
Finally, the writing was not great. This was a quick read, but it genuinely surprises me how much this still needed a good tightening. Several times we get multiple pages worth of mundane play-by-plays of things that I can safely say no one cares about. Titus comes home, cooks this by cutting this, calls for his dog, plays with her, makes her go out to pee, gets her inside, brings her upstairs ... on and on and on. This issue was extremely prevalent in the last half. So much digging into utterly boring moments. There were a lot of pop culture references that are so obscure and niche they did not fit, but they weren't as bad as the few references made to COVID without actually calling it that. There was no reason to add it. The characters also took such leaps action-wise towards the end that I had to pause a few times to stare into distance because that's ... not how that works?
As I said, I'm delighted with the trend this fall of witchy adult romances, and I can only hope that this will be the worst one I read. I saw that the companion novel is Clem and the witch hunter, and while that is more my jam than this weak forbidden love, I have little hope considering how much was already revealed about the relationship in this book.
Witch Please by Ann Aguirre Paranormal romance / romantic comedy. Danica is a witch that can fix machines with her powers. She knows her Grandmother will not allow Danica to have a relationship with a mundane but Titus is irresistibly charming. They make literal sparks with a simple hand touch. Danica appeals to a higher power to give her strength to walk away from Titus and for him to not to be heartbroken. But the two are drawn to each other as if by magic.
I loved the banter and charm of this book. Titus is adorable and his history of heartbreak makes you want to help him find his true love. I hated the manipulation of the Grandmother and won’t share any spoilers but am happy with the resolution. Titus says he is bisexual and tells Danica about a past crush with a boy but he is also a virgin so that side of the story feels a little incomplete. The sex scenes between Danica and Titus are steamy and satisfying and also a bit on the light and humorous side. The neighbor cat repeatedly visiting and allergic reaction were delightful. My only complaint was the rather abrupt ending. Happy for now with the intention of forever.
🎧 I listened to an audiobook which was narrated by Ava Lucas. The narrator did a good job with voice variations and expressions of emotion. Speed of 1.0 felt like it was dragging and much slower than regular conversation so I listened mostly at 1.25 which is about the norm for me. There was a distinct male / female difference in the performance which helped visualize the characters as the story progressed.
Excerpt: “She leaned forward over the counter, proping her chin on her hands. “How interesting. Would you care to tell me why?” “Would you care to tell me your name?” He suspected it was too soon to declare he had decided to marry her and was already christening their babies in his brain. Two at least. No more than five. He had to act fast before his curse kicked in.” Excerpt from Witch Please by Ann Acquire
I received a copy of the audiobook from NetGalley, Sourcebooks and Dreamscape Media. I also purchased a copy to share with my romance loving friends.
What an absolute delight of a romance. A cinnamon roll bisexual virgin baker who bakes actual cinnamon rolls? A witch who owns an appliance repair shop with her cousin called "The Fix-It Witches"? The horniest yet sweetest vibes? Casually diverse and queer small-town with a cast of characters who I want to read more more and more about? All of these things just wrapped me up in a warm hug!
I am only sad I read this now and have to wait to yell about it with other readers because I loved it so very much.
Horny and charming is the perfect combination.
My only slight quibble is there are a lot of loose ends from the witch hunter subplot that I'm hoping will be tied up with further books.
You know a book really isn’t working for you when it takes over two weeks to finish it. I love the cover, I love the author, I did not love this book. The pacing and plot were all over the place to the point where I was wondering why this book was 350+ pages. I think it would’ve worked better as a short story but that’s just me. Too cutesy, not enough meat to the story.
I was looking for a book with fall vibes, so this seemed like a good choice. Witch Please has a really cute cover and I really liked the premise, but sadly it wasn't what I was hoping for. Danica is a witch who falls for a mundane which she has been told her whole life is against the rules for her family.
I'll start with my issues. I'm good with immediate attraction, but I tend to prefer slow, tension-building relationships and with Danica and Titus, it all just happened to fast which left nothing to look forward to. Titus was nice, but for me he was a walking red flag, and his internal dialogue was excessive and at times cringe-worthy. Some of the banter was cute, but some of the dialogue between characters was unnatural and didn't flow well. The ending felt rushed and there were quite a few loose ends hanging around that I felt needed to be addressed.
There were parts of the book that I did enjoy such as the inclusive character representation. Danica's book group was a lot of fun. I wanted more of them and more magic. I loved when Danica stood up for herself and the growth that Titus showed with regards to his family. But out of everything, my favorite part of the book was Goliath the cat.
This was almost a DNF for me, but I decided to push through and actually ended up enjoying the second half more than the first. Overall, it was a quick, light rom/com. 2.5 stars rounded up.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Dreamscape Media for my advanced audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
A fun, witchy romance with a bisexual, virgin baker and forbidden love between a quirky fix-it witch and this mundane cinnamon roll hero. (who also happens to bake delicious cinnamon rolls)
This was really cute and funny with several steamy scenes to boot. I really enjoyed the characters and how they came together. Danica is a witch trained by her bigoted grandmother, taught that if she marries a mundane like her mother did, she will lose her magic. Titus is hot and nice, but has had TERRIBLE luck with relationships and feels awkward about it. But the chemistry between these two is electric and they just can't resist.
Definitely recommend this and I would happily read more! I love the casual diversity throughout the book, how Danica is chill about Titus being bi... I also might have squealed at the mention of a book by Tasha Suri because she's amazing and so are her books! Had a great time with this and the audiobook is fantastic. Gets the right vibe and brings the characters to life. I received an audio review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Wow. I would have never finished this had it not been a book club read. As it is I want my time back 😂
So Titus, the virgin baker, falls head over heels for Danica as soon as he lays eyes on her. And not in a sweet way. .5 seconds after seeing her he is already having fantasies about how many babies they will have. Bruh.
She, on the other hand is full out lusting for him too. So insta love/lust doesn't bother me except that Titus was never developed fully or at all. His inner musings so at odds with what came out of his mouth that it turned him into an outright creep. When the hero of your book is having thoughts about how not having condoms is a good thing because he can make her pregnant and then she will have to marry him? Dude, no. Also what century is this that pregnancy automatically leads to marriage?
That leads me to my next problem. This book takes place in present day but the characters speak in 1950's Sitcom. They all sound like they live in Donna Reed or Leave it Beaver. The dialogue is ridiculous. Except during sex in which our thirty two year old virgin hero suddenly turns into a sex god with the dirty talk to prove it. At one point after having sex the heroine praises him for his skills in the bedroom( where did he aquire these skills? smh) and Titus responds with: "that's great feedback!" My eyes rolled out of my head. This type of awkward and disconnected dialogue was pretty much the entire book. There was such a disconnect in characterizations that it came across as if the author was literally writing off a checklist about what modern readers want and never bothered to develop any of it.
The plot? Well there's not much going on except a metric ton of needless side plots and characters that never moved the romance forward. The villain is the heroine's grandma who does terrible things and in any other universe would be a flaming racist but there's no confrontation at the end. Her awful actions are pretty much swept under the rug. The heroine's mother is supposed to be one of the "good" ones and ends up admitting she hexed the hero to fail at relationships hence the reason why he's a virgin. Stealing someone's agency like this is disgusting. It was treated as a great big oopsie and the hero never finds out about it.
Also, filler is a huge pet peeve of mine and there's so.much.filler. Pages of the characters musing about what they will eat on a date. Endless paragraphs about Titus and his dog and about a random cat that keeps appearing but then nothing happens with it. So much filler!
The end was atrocious. The hero never finds out Danica is a witch. The grandma is never confronted and nothing is resolved. So the HEA is basically Danica deciding to lie and hide who she is from her partner for the rest of her life. I cannot find one single redeeming thing about this book and can't recommend it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
DNF I was thrown off by the audiobook narrator affecting a “ethnics accent” for a minor character of color. I should note that the text itself is just as sloppy with this character’s presence in the story and dialogue written for them. I’ll explain more at the end of my review.
The story is a sweet and funny straight Romance. A bit instalove, but in a very endearing way. I like the world building (no surprise, this author always delivers in that department). I think this will be very enjoyable for fans of contemporary (straight) Romance looking for a fluffy read for Autumn.
The race issue: white people, especially ones of the upwardly mobile economic persuasion, ascribe each other’s enjoyment and even awareness of “ethnic” foods and small businesses as an indication of worldliness and even progressive politics. As if Phó is anymore exotic than chicken noodle soup. And think eating or even knowing about it is some measure of a person’s character, and even a sign of their progressive politics.
Ironically these attitudes are rooted in colonial classism. Where a white persons familiarity with other cultures was a subtle indicator of their wealth, because they could travel to other countries, consume their culture and food and appropriate the cultures.
So, the very common assumption among white people that it’s “cool” to know about or eat food from other cultures, even other white coded Eastern European cultures, is rooted in racism, colonialism, and classism. And feeds into xenophobia that others migrants as a whole.
Did you lean into October reads this year? Usually I just read what I’m in the mood for, but with the library opened back up after a year and a half of only being able to pick up reserved items I make sure to stop in at least once a week and grab allllll the things that catch my eye. That meant everything that made me think of Halloween went into my car. I spoiled myself a bit with this one when I happened upon a real scathing review by another author talking about how problematic it was. When it ended up being such an average read for me I was shocked. The only big turn off I could see was for those who are allergic to instalove . . . .
The book started off strong and I was sure it would be an amazing read. The whole premise was very fun and I loved the setting, the shop names and the characters.
Another thing that had me convinced is the writing style and how easy it was to jump right into the world.
The point where it started to go downhill was the introduction of the witch hunter. I wanted all the fluff and none of the rough. But by the end, I felt the opposite.
It was as if the witch hunter came to cause a scene and then stayed in the background the entire time. I really wanted that to be resolved, now I'll have to wait until the next book.
Then we have Titus. His whole personality is cute, and that's not what this is about. It's his curse.
I spent the whole book thinking that he was some sort of secret witch, and was left disappointed on that front. MAYBE I wanted the grandma to be right a little bit okay? I kept hoping that if Danica checked the profiles, one of them would be Titus.
And finding out what the curse was in the end...I'm not mad. I was just expecting something less simple.
And that brings us to the Waterhouse curse of sorts. Where a witch is destined to lose her magic if she marries a mundane. The resolution for that was also unbelievably easy and it's so hard to believe that no one thought of that before.
Also, going into this, I was not expecting so much steam? But it's a very good thing. A very, very good thing. When I round my rating up you'll know it's for the steam and their chemistry alone.
The romance was, as it should be, the best part of this book. It's what I read it for and I'm content with what we got. Danica and Titus were made for each other.
Other than the witch hunter resolution, I'd like to see more of the coven in the next book(s). They're a riot. And more food descriptions please. I love the treats.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
*Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
I had a lot of fun with this book! I have had some luck with this author’s work in the past, although with another genre, so I was eager to give this romance a try. I found this audiobook easy to listen to for hours at a time. I am so glad that I decided to pick up this incredibly entertaining audiobook.
Danica is a witch. She has the ability to fix just about anything so she puts her skills to good use in the fix-it shop that she runs with her cousin. Titus runs a bakery just a couple of blocks from the Fix-It Witches shop and he stops in for some help when one of his ovens. These two are instantly drawn to each other and they have a lot of chemistry. There is one problem that might keep them apart – Danica will lose her magic if she marries a regular mortal. Danica is under intense pressure from her grandmother to get matched up with a man with magic but her mother just wants to see her happy.
I really liked the characters in this book. Danica and Titus were both dealing with some pretty big family issues. Seeing how they handled everything helped to develop their characters. I thought that they were a very good match and the chemistry between them was rather intense. I was invested in their relationship early on and really wanted to see them find a way to make it work. I also thought that the secondary characters were very well done and added a lot to the story.
Ava Lucas did a fantastic job with the narration. I thought that she did a phenomenal job with all of the character voices and added a lot of emotion to the story. I found her voice to be very pleasant and I had no problem listening for hours at a time. I think that this was the first time that I had the chance to listen to this narrator’s work but I hope to have the chance again soon.
I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a well-done romance with wonderful characters and just the right amount of magic mixed in. I look forward to reading more of this promising series.
I received a digital review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media via NetGalley.
3.5/5 stars. It was slow at first and it quickly picked up. But then the plot just kind of fizzled? Our heroines grandma became a super villain and everything was resolved in the end. Nothing crazy happened but there were some 'realistic' heartbreaking scenes involving our two main characters. I liked how both characters had intense family issues.
A fun paranormal rom com to delight and entertain the day away! If you ever watched Gilmore Girls then you are familiar with the pop culture references throughout the shows and you get that type of interaction going with the characters in this story with a bit more explicit bedroom aerobics to speed up your heart rate! Great interactions between the characters including friends, family members and significant others and a few sketchy characters along the way. Even the pets have great personalities. I have to say that I quite enjoyed listening to this book and can't wait to get started on the next book in the series!
This was a ridiculously cute romance between a witch and a 30-something virginal bi-sexual baker. Yeah, it may be completely unrealistic but I’m not here reading my witchy fiction books for real-life angst and accuracy. It was sweet and he was a complete cinnamon roll of a character. Loved it. I haven’t read a ton of romances this year and this one was a lovely break from the heavy, dark stuff I’ve been immersed in.
Danica comes from a family of witches and she’s expected to keep the bloodline strong by marrying another witch and to hell with chemistry and true love and all that nonsense. Her mother gave up her magic for love and Danica isn’t about to follow in her footsteps. She loves her coven members and her magical powers and, well, who would want to give those up? Unfortunately for her, the male witches her Grandma fixes her up with are unappealing at best, and dicks at worst. Her last lover broke her heart and she’s still nursing the wound when the hunky baker down the road opens the door to her “Fix It” shop, walks in, and messes her hormones and her plans all the way up.
Titus is but a mere mortal but Danica is due a little fun, right? But from the moment he sees her, he decides she’s the one he’s going to marry (ok, that right there might’ve been a wee bit creepy even I’ll admit) and you can guess how this all goes if you’ve read a romance or two . . .
The romance was adorable. I give it all the stars. I loved these two together, sexy and funny and goofy and awkward and sweet. The family issues might even make your heart thaw if it’s frozen like mine. There is a cat character. There is a dog character. All of these things are my personal catnip. However (you probably saw that coming), the controlling Grandma was NOT my favorite and the world-building needed a little bit of work. A “witch hunter” is introduced but that plot-line kind of fizzled and died. I had a bunch of questions and the resolution didn’t really answer them. I think this is going to be a series so maybe this secret witch world will be made a little clearer then.
Anyhow, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ava Lewis who does a fine job of injecting life into the cast of characters. She has a pleasant voice and a nice cadence but you’ll likely want to put in some headphones or be careful who is in the car listening along with you because the love scenes are spicy and this is no lie.
If you need some sweet and spicy fluff in your life, this one should do the trick!
I really waffled on what to rate this book but ended up landing here. The front half of the book was hovering around three-star territory, but the back half flopped quite badly for me. It's hard to know where to start but I will say that I loved the premise of the book and the elements of cozy little town/witches with different types of magic/a cinnamon roll virgin baker were SO appealing for me. I think this book ultimately did not work for me because it set up some high-stakes problems (witch hunters, inter-generational strife, not being able to be with a romantic partner because of a critical part of your identity) and attempted to resolve them in low-stakes, drama-free ways. This led to a feeling that the plot was just hand-waving away some huge issues in ways that bordered on unbelievable. (Casually cursing someone and taking away all their sexual agency?? Somehow literally not knowing your whole life that your mom was actually a witch?? Finding out your grandmother, who you loved and looked up to your whole life, is actually a terrible person??)
I may still try to read book two (in spite of firmly believing Clem is a massive hypocrite) because I do think this author has a tendency to get stronger as she goes in a series... and frankly, because I'm hoping she can get it on track! I want to love this book universe, but this one just wasn't it for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
2.5 star Well this book was really cute. I really like the whole plot BUT I did not like ANY of the characters. I was gonna rate this a 2 star because I found Tytus insanely pathetic... but then it got brought up to a 2.5 star once we figure out the reason he's like the way he is. I found Danica very annoying.. her *quirkiness* was not cute.. also wtf is up with the pact her and her COUSIN Clem made.. "Lets be single together forever and go get a sperm donor and raise kids together and we can NEVER be in happy relationships with ANYONE". like the fact that clem was getting mad at her for dating.. and don't get me started on the grandmother.. or her own mother?
The only interesting Character was the witch hunter and we know the next book is about him and Clem so FINE I'll read it.
This book felt more like a cheesy tv movie. I felt like the author went down a checklist of everything woke she could fit in the story... 1. bisexual hero 2. virgin 3. strap on These things didn't work for me. They were not truly explored. I felt like they were just thrown in there to make the story seem more 2021 rather then "Bewitched."
Witch Please was a delightful read featuring a romance between a witch and an adorable baker who is cursed in love.
Danica Waterhouse runs Fix-It Witches, a magical tech repair shop, with her cousin and fellow witch Clementine. After their grandmother gets pushy about them settling down with the "right" kind of witch, Danica and Clem make a pact to avoid love. But when Danica meets Titus Winnaker, owner of the bakery down the street from her store, sparks fly both literally and figuratively. As their attraction grows by the day, Danica finds herself in deeper than she expected to be. Soon Danica will have to decide if her newfound relationship with Titus will be enough to overcome the obstacles in their path.
Danica comes from a long line of witches and her magic manifests as technology magics. This means Danica can repair any technology which her repair shop serves as a great cover for. Danica's grandmother is very biased against mundanes and believes Danica should make an alliance with another strong witch family through marriage. It takes Danica a long time to stand up to her grandmother and her meddling but I was so happy when she finally did. Something I enjoyed about her character is that Danica is allergic to cats despite adoring them and often finds them following her around. There's one cat in particular that belonged to her neighbor that would show up far from home to get her attention which I absolutely loved.
Titus is an absolute sweetheart and I really enjoyed his character. Until now, Titus has been cursed in love and he's never had a relationship last long leading to him still being a virgin past thirty. I felt terrible for Titus after learning about how poorly all of his relationships went prior to Danica. Titus does have a lot of anxiety around relationships which causes him to panic a lot about his relationship with Danica but knowing his history, it was understandable.
Danica and Titus's relationship starts out fantastically with some excellent banter. The chemistry between them in their first few scenes together was amazing and immediately drew me in. Initially Danica views their romance as something light and fun while Titus is all in right from the start. Their relationship turns physical fairly quickly and while the steamy scenes are normally my favorites in romances, I didn't completely love the scenes in this book. For example, there's some oddly stilted dialog during their first time together that lessened my enjoyment of the scene. Near the last quarter of the book, their relationship hits a snag but I enjoyed the way the pair worked everything out. There is one thing I didn't like about how the book ended that is a bit of a spoiler.
Overall Witch Please was an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it. I'm looking forward to reading Clementine's book, Boss Witch, when it releases next year.
**I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
I have been looking forward to Witch Please for months. I love Ann Aguirre’s books. She has gotten me through the last two years with some parts of my soul and sanity intact. On top of that already solid reason, Courtney Milan said she read Witch Please months ago and, well, the blurb is right there on the cover: “Sheer happiness in a book…” How can you argue with that? You can’t. Fortunately, I got my hands on an arc and I have read it twice now, thank you very much NetGalley.
Danika Waterhouse and her cousin Clementine are witches. They own the Fix It Witches repair shop in a small Midwestern town. Titus and his sister Maya own Sugar Daddy’s Bakery in the same small town. Danika and Titus have both been unlucky in love, (Titus thinks he’s cursed), until they meet each other. Their road to relationship bliss should be smooth, but instead it is littered with baggage from the past, and other people’s expectations. They are so immediately delightful, I was rooting for them to figure it out as soon as they went googly eyed over each other.
They each have families and businesses that demand their energy and attention. Danica’s grandmother has specific ideas about who Dani ought to marry, and her cousin wants her to keep up the no romance pact they made. Titus and Maya’s father remarried very quickly after their mother died and has moved on from his adult children, leaving them hurt and angry. Add in to the mix an encroaching cat, a friendly coven, a witch hunter, a slacker friend, and a teenage step-sister in need of saving. Both families have issues, but it’s Danica’s family throwing up roadblocks to true love. Though I don’t come from a family of witches, Danica’s grandmother was familiar.
Danica and Titus, individually and together are the glue that holds their worlds together. They like each other, and they are so horny for each other it steams off the page. This was a quick, entertaining read and I am already impatient for the next book, Boss Witch.
CW: secrets, destructive lies, family disapproval, difficult family dynamics, past parental death
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really really wanted to like this but so many things just didn't come together to make this a cohesive story. Look, I get it. Authors need to set up future romance couples because writing books is a business and they need readers to come back for more. But if so much of this book is dedicated to side characters that have no real purpose in THIS love story - I don't understand why they should even be featured at all. I'm looking at you Trevor, Lucy, Gavin and even Clem. Not to mention that nothing was really settled with the abusive practically racist grandmother by the end either because presumably more of her gaslighting schemes will come up again for the other witches in next book of this series. There are also massive consent issues everywhere including performing spells on people without their knowledge. I loved the premise so much, but if witchy romances become a new romance trend, I can see this being a reoccurring issue that I hope other attempts will take more seriously.
Danica is frustrating unreliable narrator. When she sets up the worldbuilding for us readers at the beginning of the story she lays out a couple of key facts: "Danica must partner with another witch or else lose her magic." AND "Danica's and Clem's mothers lost their powers when they married mundane (non-magic) people". That is the entire main conflict of the story since Danica has romantic feelings for her mundane fellow small town small business owner. But both of those things end up being lies and don't serve any purpose in the story except to set up (fake) stakes for Danica and Titus' romance. And when those stakes are removed, it just turns this into a story about how two adult women were somehow gaslight by their grandmother well into adulthood without ever questioning anything or even speaking to their mothers.
So I can see that Ms. Aguirre was probably trying to make a point here about generational differences. One of Danica's best friends is an older woman and the text praises her for not discriminating friends based on age. There's more than one dig at the supposed laziness of millennials - every scene involving Trevor feels like I'm being bashed over the head with this perspective. Also there's more than a few "Titus acts older and more mature than his years" and his sister at one point even 'OK Boomer's him. But all of that is just side content on generational commentary compared to everything to do with Gram who feels so similar to the generational racisms that a lot of younger people have to reconcile with their older relatives about. Gram has a sinister hatred for mundanes and believes they are beneath witches in every way and they should never be allowed to procreate with each other (Grandma Malfoy, basically). Which, once the twist is revealed and there are practically no consequences for dating mundane people, it just means that Gram's awful prejudices are simply just that - unfounded, unwanted prejudices. I think the book could have had some interesting things to say had Gram actually been confronted with her prejudices head on but since her character arc will presumably continue over over multiple stories, nothing ends up feeling resolved and this theme falls totally flat. And there's a missed opportunity here as well. Danica can never tell Titus anything about witches or break some secret code or whatever (that I know is probably 4th wall breaking to mention that that rule was entirely made up in the first place by the author...). It's uncomfortable that one of their last scenes in the book together has Danica just flat out lying to him about practically her entire life. I know partner's don't have to share everything with each other, but this is a HUGE part of her life, her friends, her family, her job. It honestly would have made sense for Gram to not want that life for Danica and the reason that she pushes her to date another witch would to spare her granddaughter the heartache of not having to live so much of her life in secret from the man she loves. It would at least give Gram an excuse other than just being hateful. I mean, I don't think that excuse is legitimate either for her behavior, but I would at least respect that she is thinking about her granddaughter's feelings in *some* way.
So yeah, lots of thoughts. I think the best thing I can say is that I really like the word "Mundane" to describe non-magic people and the idea that a bunch of witches hide out in a small town together and sustain that local economy is pretty cute and cozy as well. I think I probably got my hopes up too high for this and I feel like that may have colored my overall impression somewhat. So while I think my criticisms are valid, I don't know if I could 100% write this off entirely.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Well, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Ann’s books, so I was excited to get to this one…sadly, I’m a bit disappointed.
I liked Danica and Titus well enough. They’re both good people with good intentions; however, they are painfully bland. Danica’s cousin and Titus’s sister are delightful and so are the “book club” people.
Plot wise, there’s a lot going on. Threads of conflict were introduced and then never picked back up. Additionally, I just couldn’t get invested in their relationship and skimmed a lot more of this story then I meant to.
Overall, I wanted to love this, but it just didn’t work for me.
**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**
You know, what I loved most about this book was it explores in its own way Prejudice and how it stems out of fear and hatred and not being able to forgive. There is no secret that witches have always been Scapegoats for things going wrong. Those accused of witchcraft have historically been done so wrong and I like that this book explores the extent the older generation will go to protect the new generation. How they want them to “stay with their kind.” And in this book we have a witch who falls in love with a mundane aka a human who is such a good guy, total cinnamon roll. It’s so forbidden but she has to figure out if he’s worth it and what she’s willing to lose if he is.