Witch Please: A Charming Small-Town Paranormal Romantic Comedy, by Ann Aguirre
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 1728240166, 368 pages, September 2021

A sexy, funny, romantic tale of witchcraft? Witch Please, I just can’t get enough. Ann Aguirre has immensely brightened up my life with this book, which I just found hilarious. I will admit, it’s more of a romantic comedy with a backdrop of witchcraft than a supernatural tale, but regardless, it’s just what I needed for a light, entertaining read.

The premise is that main character Danica Waterhouse, a technomancer, is living her life, filled with the ups and downs of adulthood. While she has a successful fix-it business with her cousin Clem, she’s also still coping with ill feelings towards her former partner, who after years of “not wanting anything too serious” broke it off with her and was engaged in just a few months.

When the handsome baker in town, Titus Winnaker, also known as CinnaMan to her concern for his delectable buns, ahem, both in the bakery and in real life, if you catch my drift, needs repairs to his oven, Danica’s life changes forever. On his end, there’s instant attraction and he’s basically sure she’s the one from the first time they meet.

Danica too feels the attraction and literal sparks are flying as her magic goes haywire, but there’s family concerns that keep her from opening up to this love. Her mother chose to marry a mundane person, and as a result lost all of her magical power. This is not what Danica wanted for her life, and the path of no longer having her magic was certainly not how she intended to go.

Raised by her grandmother, who persistently badgers Danica to explore Binder (Tinder for witches) in order to find a mate and keep their bloodline pure, she has always considered mundane men off limits. Plus, after her last heartbreak, she made a pact with cousin Clem to stay single for life. With the love of her coven and her magic, she thought that would be enough to sustain her.

After just a few dates and some steamy moments with Titus, it’s clear the attraction isn’t dissipating. Even her spellwork can’t ward off this building attraction. Then to make this worse, her magic malfunctions have drawn a witch hunter to town. Now there’s just one more element in the mix adding to why she needs to break it off with Titus.

It’s nearly impossible not to adore Titus. He’s pretty much the perfect guy: sexy, romantic, reflective, and emotionally attuned to all of Danica’s needs. There’s a reason many of the women in town pop in to Sugar Daddy’s that goes beyond his irresistible pastries. However, Titus also has family problems going on that keep him preoccupied.

After his mother’s death, his father quickly remarried and moved to another state, leaving behind his grown children to essentially start a new life. Titus and sister Maya feel hurt at their father’s lack of a grieving process and are having a hard time accepting his new life. It doesn’t help to find out their new stepmother is expecting, further creating a rift between them and their father.

Needless to say, there’s enough going on in the book to make for a very captivating read. I especially love the way Aguirre wrote the book so that it alternates between Danica and Titus in narration. The internal dialogue of the characters is hilarious and really gives insight into their perceptions, intentions, and self-awareness. All the characters are relatable, and I liked each one very much. The context of the book is all very up-to-date, such as them watching Netflix and using modern slang.

This is also a fun read because of all the steamy parts. Phew! It got quite sensual and erotic. There were chapters where I was seeking out my husband like “Hello!” to relieve some of the steam 😉 So, for those of you who like the passionate, sultry moments as well, this is definitely a great read for that. It certainly added some spice to my life and got the juices flowing.

The only downside worth mentioning is that there were a few parts it felt like it was dragging on. While I was engaged the entire time, the pace isn’t the quickest. Keep in mind, the setting is a small Midwestern town where there’s not too much action. Even the witch hunter coming to town seemed to fizzle out into a very anti-climatic solution that honestly confused me greatly.

It was fun reading about Danica’s coven, but it seemed more like a book club, which is their ruse to keep it secret, than a coven to be honest. The women are more engaged in town gossip and venting about life than doing magic. Granted, each person had their own magical powers, but it seemed like mostly the vivamancers just tended to plant more than group spells. It is for this reason I think it’s more a fun, entertaining read than one really focusing on the reality of being a witch.

Also, all of this book is based on the idea of witchcraft being passed down secretly through bloodline, while Paganism, New Age, etc. are not real things and can be used merely as cover-ups so others don’t ask too many questions. I don’t find this offense in any way, but to some who are very prideful of their craft, it may feel like a slight, though it’s only fiction!

Overall, I really enjoyed Witch Please. It was hilarious, heartfelt, and a really fun premise for a book. By the end, it wove together in a really unique way that brought it all together and left me fulfilled. It also made me really want to go bake something with all the descriptions of eating sweets — mmm!!! I recommend this book to those wanting an easy, lighthearted read filled with romance, magic, and mishaps that make for a wonderful story. I’m sure it will have you chuckling and rooting for love along the way.