I found out about this through a review on NPR. I was going through a reading and blogging slump at the time and wanted something quick and fun to read, and Black Witch Magic seemed like it would fit that bill. Plus, I liked the book’s title. I hardly ever come across a romance novel that focuses on a witch of color much less a Black witch, so I quickly bought myself a copy and got to reading.
Reading this got me hooked on contemporary romance novels for the foreseeable future, which is a huge deal because I hardly ever read romance. I mean, I read ton of them when I was in high school, but then I got tired of how formulaic the ones I read were and have avoided then for years, although every now and then one would sneak across my radar and I’d read it. But Black Witch Magic really kicked off a romance mood in me, so I’ve been reading mostly that genre ever since picking this up.
Contemporary Romance; Paranormal
Paranormal Hunters, book 1
Librarian by day, cursed witch by night:
Selene Blackstone spends her days camped out in library corners with her nose glued to books. In a town like Brimrock, where she’s an outcast, she prefers her book friends to her real-life enemies. They’re a lot less judgmental. The rest of town believes she descends from a family of witches—including her evil witch grandma, Luna. In this case, the truth is stranger than fiction. She is a witch, and she’s cursed for all of eternity. Good thing her to-be-read list is pretty long…
Prickly Paranormal Investigator Aiden O’Hare speaks two languages: sarcasm and more sarcasm. He travels the country—and sometimes even the world—investigating strange phenomena with his best friend, Eddie. Their investigations bring them to a cozy New England town called Brimrock, home to fabled evil witch Luna Blackstone. Armed with his dry wit, his bibliophilic love for books, and far too much free time, he’s determined to find out just what happened to Luna…
When Aiden meets Selene, he decides he must get to know her. When Selene learns Aiden is in town investigating her grandma, she knows she must stop him. He’s out to expose the truth. She’s out to keep it a secret. Neither expects to fall under each other’s spell, but sometimes love is supernatural. (Goodreads)
It was a fun read. I’ll give it that. But I think if I was in any other mood — if I wasn’t feeling slumpy and so was willing to try something new — I wouldn’t have liked it. The story is quick and has some fun moments, like when Selene whips up a potion to make Aidan forget about her because she realizes that he probably wants to feature her family on his show. But she includes an ingredient that Aidan is allergic to so not only was the potion not effective, but it also almost killed him. The way that played out was kind of funny to me.
I also liked the moments Selene spent with her best friend and her best friend’s mother (or aunt, can’t remember which), who are both witches, and her brief scenes in the library using her powers to shelve books was also nice, but the things that didn’t work for me outweighed the things that did, unfortunately.
The characters either annoyed me or didn’t fully ring true to me. I liked Selene and loved that she’s a bookworm, but I wish she was a bit more… witchy, I guess. The story does explain that because of how the town treats the Blackstones, Selene’s mother didn’t pass on much knowledge about being a witch to Selene, but still I wished for just a little more potion making and spell work.
However, Aidan and his best friend and co-host, Eddie, and Eddie’s family all annoyed me. Aidan is an asshole. He’s supposed to be sarcastic, but, to me, he mostly comes off as being an ass and quite disrespectful, ungrateful, and selfish toward Eddie’s family. But, on the flipside, Eddie and his family, especially his aunt, are so damn annoying that I understand Aidan avoiding them, lol! They are quite overbearing with all their holiday cheer and forcing family time on Aidan. (I just think that if you’re a guest at someone’s house, especially for the holidays, you should make some effort to spend time with the people housing you instead of always avoiding them and blowing them off, which Aidan does.)
Also the… denouement? (I call it the denouement — those parts after the climax but not quite the end; is that right?) Anyway, that part — the denouement — threw me off. I mean, I wasn’t loving the story, but I was okay with it until the climax, which didn’t make much sense to me because it seems to occur much too early in the story, so the denouement seemed to stretch forever before the end came along to conclude the story.
The climax threw me off because who the villain turned out to be was unexpected and I didn’t feel convinced that it was actually her. I kept expecting an “Aha” moment when someone else would pop up and say the person acting as the villain during the climax was a mislead. And then because this major battle occurs so early (it seems to me), it seems that the story took forever to end. Those final parts seemed to extend for way too long.
And I was further let down because some things still seemed a mystery to me despite the extra-long denouement. For example, Selene’s uncle. I expected to learn more about him since he’d sent her such a mysterious gift early on in the story. He’s a very minor character, but for some reason, I thought we’d learn more about him. And I thought the curse that’s often mentioned and has a huge influence on Selene’s life would have been more dramatically resolved. I also expected it to have more impact on Selene throughout the story, but that also didn’t happen. We are just told a few of its effects but don’t see it work, so I could have just thought instead that the whole curse thing is all in Selene’s mind and she’s just limiting herself.
A light, quick read about a cursed witch who finds love. I was eager to read it but although it was a fun read, some bits didn’t work for me, so I don’t think I’ll continue with the series.