I read and very much enjoyed Strange Love by Ann Aguirre (which is a highly amusing science fiction romance that made me believe insectoid-like aliens and humans could end up together – no really, you should check it out!) and that’s what made me pick up this book. It was a very good decision.
Completely unlike the aforementioned sci-fi romance, this one takes place down here on earth with a quiet, unassuming (but very attractive) baker (known to the women in town as the ‘CinnaMan’) who is down on his luck with partners (he’s bisexual) and has almost given up on finding love when he meets his friendly, neighborhood witch, Danica. Danica runs a fix-it repair shop, Fix-It Witches (a tongue- in-cheek shop name) with her cousin. Now, Danica and her cousin happen to use old-fashioned magic to repair things but nobody knows that as it’s strictly forbidden for regular humans to be aware of the fact that witches still exist and flourish (especially after all those nasty witch trials that made them go underground).
Our baker hero Titus needs an oven repaired and so he goes over to Danica’s shop and their witty banter leads to him actually contemplating asking her out – which he does, and she accepts, and they live happily ever after. The end.
Ha! Just kidding, of course that’s not what happens. They date but here’s the thing: Danica’s grandmother really doesn’t want Danica marrying a non-witch because her daughter (Danica’s mother) did and then lost all her powers (or so Grandma says) and she doesn’t want to see that happen to her granddaughter. So Grandma is insisting on setting Danica up with men from proper witch families. Meanwhile, Danica is seeing Titus on the sly (they are both happy with keeping things on the down low as Titus doesn’t want to get his hopes up that this relationship will last, so he’s trying to keep things casual). Danica’s mother, having followed her own heart and who is perfectly happy in her marriage wants Danica to be with someone she chooses, not someone chosen for her. Caught between her family members’ different opinions and the acknowledged difficulty of making a happy life with a human (without him finding out she’s a witch) Danica makes certain decisions that lead them to their black moment before they find a way to be together, and then yes – they do get their happy ending at last.
The author does a great job of combining humor, interesting and likable characters, swoon-worthy romantic moments, and some sexy love scenes with some touches of magic and fantasy that aren’t over the top. I appreciated the inclusion of bisexual characters (both Titus and his sister – with whom he runs the bakery – are bi), complicated family dynamics (not just for the witches), and creative worldbuilding. There’s a secondary storyline involving a witch hunter and Danica’s cousin that is sure to make the second story in the series just as much fun as this one. Overall, Witch Please is a really enjoyable paranormal romantic comedy that I’m happy to recommend.