Review by Kayleigh

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“I figured out your problem. You’re…” I struggle to find the words. “You’re obnoxiously cool. It’s ridiculous. Of course you drive a beautiful rare car. Of course it smells like Earl Grey tea on the inside. Of course you’ve got stubble and corduroy and a white freaking henley on. It’s like a romance novelist dreamed you up.” I close my eyes and laugh. “Oh my God. Your name. Your name is Tennessee. You’re a love interest! Just like… Tyge and Xavier and Dexter and… God, I don’t know. Zane.”

This is the perfect witchy romance to curl up with as summer moves into fall. 

Legend goes that long ago a Flores woman offended the old gods, and their family was cursed as a result. Now, every woman born to the family has a touch of magic. 

Sage Flores has been running from her family—and their “gifts”—ever since her younger sister Sky died. Eight years later, Sage reluctantly returns to her hometown. Like slipping into an old, comforting sweater, Sage takes back her job at Cranberry Rose Company and uses her ability to communicate with plants to discover unusual heritage specimens in the surrounding lands.

What should be a simple task is complicated by her partner in botany sleuthing: Tennessee Reyes. He broke her heart in high school, and she never fully recovered. Working together is reminding her of all their past tender, genuine moments—and new feelings for this mature sexy man are starting to take root in her heart.

With rare plants to find, a dead sister who keeps bringing her coffee, and another sister whose anger fills the sky with lightning, Sage doesn’t have time for romance. But being with Tenn is like standing in the middle of a field on the cusp of a summer thunderstorm—supercharged and inevitable. 

This is a magical book: filled with a lot of emotions, grief, second chances and extraordinary discoveries. If you liked The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna (which was one of my favourite reads last year) then you must devour this book at once. They have similar vibes.

Sage Flores has been through a lot: abandoned by her mother, blamed for her sister’s death and then dumped and fired by the same man. Oh yeah, and her dead sister is haunting her. So Sage does what every 20 something woman does, and returns home, to her old house and her old bed and her old family strife. Witch of Wild Things had this very small town feel that I adored. Sage isn’t a perfect character: she makes mistakes, she lies and she hides things. It’s partially a defense mechanism and partly from the heavy trauma she’s carrying. I thought it suited her story and made her really raw and vulnerable. 

The story is told from Sage’s perspective, and we get to meet a whole cast of characters including her grandmother, great aunt and two sisters (one alive and hates her and one dead who seems to just want to spend time with her) – all who have a gift. Sage’s are talking to plants, which is a pretty cool gift to have, in my opinion. The magical system here is very soft and not the main focus of the book, which I liked. I adore books about life that happen to have magic in them. With a lot of Practical Magic vibes, this is a story about women and all of the fights and food and fellowships that happen between sisters, best friends and in between. I loved the focus on Sage’s relationships – including her romantic one (which we’ll get to soon). Due to some past issues she has a lot of relationships to strengthen, and we see her putting the work in. The sister dynamic in the book was one of my favourite elements. 

There is, also, a fabulous romance, that’s kind of a second chance. You see, Sage was on instant messenger many years ago in high school, and was absolutely in love with a boy at school: Tennessee Reyes. She was too shy to go talk to the cool and popular boy in real life, but through an instant messenger name, they developed a relationship, which we see through recorded chats. Tennessee breaks Sage’s heart in the past. Fast forward to the present day and they are working together, but Tennessee obviously doesn’t know who Sage is, or that she’s still in love with him. He wants her to help him find his mystery girl, for a whole bunch of reasons, and he promises to help her solve some issues with her sisters. It has a sweet You’ve Got Mail feeling to it as they figure out their dynamic. Tennessee is a top notch guy who any woman would swoon to be with. He’s caring, emotionally present, has fabulous arm tats, and is constantly feeding Sage. She isn’t used to having someone nurture and take care of her, and let me tell you, watching  a man cook for a woman is one of the hottest things out there, to me. And when Tennessee and Sage give into their blossoming feelings, well, there’s a lot of steam and chemistry. They are a couple that I was rooting for from their first meet cute. 

This booked scratched my magically witchy yearning. I desperately hope this isn’t the last we see of the Flores women.

Thank you Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.