Review and Blog Tour Courtesy of Valentine PR

Thanks so much to the author, Berkley Publishing, Netgalley, and Valentine PR for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and participation in this blog tour! { partner }

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Published by: Berkley Publishing Group

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal/Witches, Contemporary, Adult

Romance Trope: Enemies to Lovers

Page Count: 336 pages

Book Description from Goodreads:

An unlucky witch and her know-it-all nemesis must team up in the first of a new, hot romantic comedy series from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn.

Could it possibly get any worse than having absolutely no magical abilities when you’re a member of the most powerful family of witches ever? It used to be that I’d say no, but then I keep getting set up on dates with Gil Connolly whose hotness is only matched by his ego. Seriously. I can’t stand him. Even if I also can’t stop thinking about him (specifically kissing him) but we’re going to pretend I never told you that part.

So yeah, my life isn’t the greatest right now, but then it goes straight to the absolute worst hell when I accidentally make my sister’s spell glitch and curse my whole family. And the only person who can help non-magical me break the spell? You guessed it. Gil the super hot jerk.

Now we have to work together to save my family and outmaneuver some evil-minded nefarious forces bent on world domination. Oh yeah, and we have to do all that while fighting against the attraction building between us because I may not be magical, but what’s happening between Gil and I sure feels like it.

Review (3.5 Stars):

Thanks so much to the author, Berkley Publishing Group, Valentine PR, and Netgalley for the gifted advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and participation in this blog tour. { partner } All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

I was so excited to receive an early copy of this book to review! People who have seen my Instagram or my recent books on Goodreads know that I LOVE a cozy, witchy romcom. Honestly, if they could make up my entire reading list from September through November, I would probably be content. And while I haven’t read anything by Avery Flynn up until this point, I’ve heard really fun things about her books from my fellow romance readers.

All of that to say, that I had really high hopes when I started this book a few days ago. And I really did enjoy the book quite a bit, but there were just a couple of small things that kept it from being a 5-star read for me.

To get this bit out of the way, let’s talk about our characters. I thought that Tilda and Gil were really fun as our leads – they were interesting characters in their own right, and I enjoyed their chemistry together. What can I say – I’m a sucker for an enemies-to-lovers storyline. I also really think that the secondary characters shine in this story, obviously the group of The Misfits that we spend most of the book with, but also some of Tilda’s more colorful family members. (I’m looking at you, Griselda).

The one thing that I will say I didn’t love with this romance was that with enemies-to-lovers, a lot of what typically makes that work is the big conflict or misunderstanding in the two characters’ shared past that makes them both think that they were wronged, and it’s why they’ve hated each other for years, and blah blah blah. We didn’t really get any of that explanation or backstory in this case, and I do feel like I was missing it. It didn’t fully keep me from feeling invested in the relationship or anything that dramatic, but I want to know why you’re so opposed to being together. And we didn’t get that this time around.

Another quirk about this book is that with the dual POV, we also get both of the main characters breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to you as a reader. Think the style of a 90s sitcom, or the main character/narrator in a Disney Channel Original Movie. I think that this bit in particular will be a bit divisive with readers, and already is in some of the reviews that I’ve seen. While this doesn’t seem to have been a favorite for a lot of folks, I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was a fun way to get some of the characters’ (especially Tilda’s) sense of humor, but I can definitely see how this device wouldn’t be for everyone.

I will say though, while on the topic of the dual POVs, that I don’t know that the two characters had different enough voices. Every once in a while I had to flip back to the start of the chapter to remind myself whose head I was inside of, because I couldn’t really tell from the writing. This is something that could still change in the final edit, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

Oh okay, one last thing about the character voices and the writing. They say “fuck” a lot. Like, A LOT. And I am someone that swears pretty freely and frequently, so I definitely don’t mind some adult language in my books. But these characters used this one particular curse word about as frequently as a teenager trying to show how mature and grown up they are by swearing, you know? I don’t mind it being in there, but I think that it could maybe have been dialed back the tiniest bit. Even if only for one of the characters – another opportunity to make the POVs feel separate.

Okay, now on to the last point. The last thing that kept me from really fully loving this book. It felt a bit like the book was confused on what age it was being written for. Like I said earlier, at times it felt almost DCOM-like with the fourth wall breaking narration and some of the sillier shenanigans that the two characters get into together, so there was once or twice that I looked back at the listed genres to see if it was a YA book and I just didn’t remember. But then about halfway through the book the slow-burn romance turns to full on, spicy, sex on the page scenes, that definitely keep the book squarely in the adult column.
Again, I enjoyed the comedy that these narrations could provide, and it’s no secret that I’m not afraid of some spicy scenes in my books. But it just felt at times like these two aspects of it were meant for different books, and they just got unceremoniously combined in the editing phase.

Okay one more thing worth noting – this book is downright silly at times with the way the witchy world was built for the reader. We don’t get a ton of traditional world building that you would expect from a full blown fantasy novel, but we do get little glimpses into it. And from what I was able to gather, it is a witchy-version of our current world, where they still watch the Superbowl and Daniel Craig 007 movies, but they use Witchygram instead of Instagram.

All of that being said, I would still overall recommend this book to my friends and fellow readers, and I’m looking forward to the continuation of the series.
I don’t think that it’s perfect by any means, but not every book needs to be! It was still a fun, fairly light, quick read. But my words of wisdom would be that if you are going to read it, really lean in to the sillier sides! I think you’ve got to if you’re going to really enjoy it.

About the Author:

When Avery Flynn isn’t writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband, and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page, or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the internet, she’ll be your best friend for life.

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