BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bea Reviews The Witches of White Willow by Angela Addams

Series: A Witch Hospital Romance #1
Publisher: Weird Sister Press
Source: the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 20th, 2018
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks* |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Even destiny can't get in the way of what is meant to be.

Hazel Knight is a Promised One—a witch born with unique magic abilities. As a result, her future is laid out for her. She is to join the Circle and spend the rest of her life meditating, chanting and devoting her healing magic to bolster her fellow witches. It’s a commitment Hazel is proud to make, and she’s just one internship away from fulfilling her destiny.

But just because Hazel’s committed to her destiny doesn’t mean she can't have some fun before she takes the final step. For the past year, she’s enjoyed many clandestine nights with a man who has given her a lifetime of memories to take with her. A mysterious lover whose name she’s never asked, whose face she’s never fully seen.

Yet when her internship begins, she has no trouble recognizing Healer Duke Hart, the exquisitely sexy witch whom her mother has handpicked to serve as her mentor.

Hazel only meant to have a little fun before she devoted herself to a life of servitude, but Duke is bound and determined to prove that nothing, not even destiny, is written in stone

Bea's Thoughts:

Witches are one of my favorite paranormals and I was excited to see what Addams would do with them. In this entertaining romance, we meet human witches, who are the stepchildren of this supernatural world, and healer witches, among the the cream of the crop in this world's witch hierarchy. It's a new adult paranormal romance with a bit of suspense.

Hazel and her cohort are interns at the White Willow Hospital, completing their training as healers. As part of this training, they have to go out into the human world and answer a distress call from a group of human witches in Scotland. Hazel is eager for the experience, but less eager to spend time with her mentor and teacher, Duke, who was her secret lover for a year. One reason for that is their sharp disagreement over her future.

Watching Hazel grow up, learn some humility, and make friends was interesting. Her age seems to be about college age but she was essentially homeschooled and her mother tightly controlled her access to and interactions with other people so her social skills are lacking, to put it kindly. She means well but keeps tripping over herself. The others in the group are better socially but not all are willing to give Hazel a chance, to believe that she's as skilled as she, and many others, say she is.

"The Witches of White Willow" was entertaining, with an intriguing world and magic system, developed characters, and some hot sex scenes. While Hazel was a goody two-shoes, she did develop a bit as the book went, slowly loosening her mother's grip on her, developing friendships, and engaging in a more emotionally honest relationship with Duke. The witches were mostly good but all had flaws. Healer Bridget Rose (that name makes me smile, lol) is a good witch and healer but uses people and preys sexually on her students. She's also a thief though why was left vague. Duke was mostly a good person but one scene gave me pause:

Would she be so sick she'd look to him for some compassion? Some soothing touches? He'd be ready if she was. He hoped that she would be- sick that was, which was a horrible thing to think, right?

Yes, Duke it is. And you are a douche canoe and a slimeball for wanting her to be sick and for planning on taking advantage of her sickness for your own purposes. (I should point out that he did not, in fact, take advantage of her.) Honestly, I thought less of our 'hero' after that and was less invested in his getting an HEA. I wanted Hazel to get an HEA but maybe with someone more compassionate? Duke was capable of compassion and kindness but this one scene affected my perception of him, to his detriment.
I greatly enjoyed the world, the magic, and the characters. The romance didn't completely work for me in part due to Duke douche canoe tendency, and Hazel's blind adherence to her mother's carefully plotted future for her. I wanted to smack her because I just didn't understand the slavish devotion. Also, where was her father? Was her mother artificially inseminated? Given Mommy Dearest's love of power and her need for absolute control, I can't actually see her with a lover or partner, maybe a one night stand. But there was never any mention of him, no acknowledgment that she had one. It was an odd omission.

Despite those questions and problems, I had fun with the story and I'm looking forward to Bas's story in the next book. And now that I think of it, I don't recall any mention of him having a father, just a beloved mother. Huh. Maybe that's an aspect of the world that Addams will develop as the series goes on. Oh, and I want Healer Rose to a) stop preying on her students, b) redeem herself, and c) get an HEA.

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