Series Name: Fix-It Witches #1
Titus immediately wanted to marry her. Or maybe find out her name and buy her dinner either way. Maybe all of the above, in a more sensible order. But it would make sense if he started with an introduction, wouldn’t it. “I’m Titus Winnaker, by the way. Sugar Daddy’s down the block is my -”
“Oh my God,” she breathed. “You’re him.”
He blinked. “Him who?”
“The Cinnaman. Your cinnamon rolls are famous!”
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?
This book had a lot of potential for me, and started off strong, but fizzled out part way through. In my opinion, there was just too much going on. There were too many plot points and more secondary character development than was necessary.
Ok, let’s talk about the good stuff. Danica and Titus are delightful. They have an opposites attract vibe going on. Watching Danica try to resist her chemistry with Titus because she’s not supposed to fall in love with a non witch (a mundane as it’s called in their world) is very entertaining. Danica and Titus have an insta-love trope going on. I’ll admit, it’s not my favourite. When Titus meets Danica his first thought is “I’m going to marry her.” While I may have rolled my eyes at that, I did enjoy the tension that Ann Aguirre built around their “will they or won’t they” dance. Titus is a virgin, which is a part of the plot. However, once he gets it on, he has a very fast learning curve – there is no blushing virgin in Titus. The intimate scenes were fiery. Titus may seem like a sweet cinnamon roll type of hero, but get him naked and watch out – he will melt icing.
I also really liked Danica’s coven of witches – her sisterhood. They are a strong group of women with varied backgrounds. Queer representation is simple and straightforward in the book – lesbians and bi characters exist and are accepted without any strife or judgement. It was an unexpected but delightful layer in the book.
Here’s where the book fell apart for me: there were too many secondary details for me. There were two villains, neither with a strong sense of urgency: Danica’s grandmother will go to any lengths to ensure her granddaughter marries a fellow witch. It doesn’t matter what the witch is like as long as he has magic in him. And then, suddenly a witch hunter shows up. It’s not really explained what he’s doing there, other than he’s attracted by Danica’s out-of-control magic that is flaring out of her because she’s trying to resist sleeping with Titus. Danica’s cousin, Clementine, offers to get rid of the witch hunter, but seems to start an affair with him instead. It looks like her story is the second book in this series, so hopefully there’s more character resolution to come. Ann spends a lot of time describing characters actions and details. For example, we meet Titus’ dog, Doris. We learn about her schedule, when she likes to go to the washroom and how she likes to eat her breakfast. I expected her to be a major plot point because of the detail paid to her.
All in all, I loved the romance and chemistry between Danica, a magical powerhouse with a sharp tongue, and Titus a family-focused baker who makes the best cinnamon buns in town. I needed less backstory and more time to watch their relationship develop. I will most likely read the second book in the series as I am very interested to see how Clementine’s story develops and see more action with the witch hunter.
Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca for giving us the ARC in exchange for an honest review.