This was just a warm hug of a book. Honestly, I think anyone who loves The House in the Cerulean Sea or Practical Magic will fall head over heels for this gorgeous contemporary fantasy romance. Thanks to Berkley Pub for the gifted copy of this book.
A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family–and a new love–changes the course of her life.
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
The book is set in a modern-day England with everything you expect to see in a contemporary story. The only caveat is that witches are real and they live in secret amongst us. The story starts with Mika Moon, a 31-year-old witch, who’s off to meet with the other witches she knows within that part of England. They only meet once every three months in a different location each time. Why? Because witches shouldn’t gather too often as it would cause a lot of magic to condense into one area. So most witches stay away from each other, hiding their talents and blending into society. However, Mika’s a little bit different. Instead of hiding, she displays her witchcraft as a social media witch. Her followers believe it’s a performance, but what they don’t know is that Mika is sharing her real nature with her followers.
When one of her followers messages her with an opportunity to teach three young witches about their magic, she’s completely skeptical. How did they know she was a real witch? How do they know that witches exist and are these three girls actually witches? Well, Mika decides it’s an opportunity she wants to check out and what she finds is a home hidden away by magic with three little witches, a groundskeeper and his husband, the caretaker, and Jamie, the father-figure to these girls.
As you read on, you get to know more about all the characters. I think this is my favorite part of the book because each of them were so different and believable. You can imagine the steady-minded Ken raking leaves in the garden with his eccentric husband knitting his crazy rainbow scarves. You can feel the protectiveness Jamie has for the girls and each of the girls were so different from each other. I mean, one of them even plotted Mika’s death for most of the book.
The found family was just brilliant. I loved the entire household; Ian and Ken who just feel like complete opposites of each other, but complement one another so beautifully. Then you have dear old Lucie who is there to warm you with a cup of tea. And then the girls, Rosetta, Terracotta, and Altamira are kind and precocious and sweet girls that you just want the best for, even Terracotta who comes off a bit brusque and mean.
The romance is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. I can see a lot of the romance readers wanting a bit more action in the romance department, but in my eyes, it was the sweetest romance between a grumpy and sunshine. Jamie and Mika were the perfect characters. Mika is this witch who has been alone for most of her life coming to terms with helping a family of witches get better at their magic. Jamie is this single guy who isn’t related to these witches by blood, but comes home to take care of them. I mean, is there anything more sexy than a man who drops everything to take care of three little girls that he didn’t conceive? We all need more Jamies in this world.
Their romance does take its time, but I never mind a slow burn especially when there’s so much else going on in the story. It was such a warm hug of a book; the kind of book that sticks to the corners of your mind days after you read it. It’s the kind of book you wish existed in real life so that you can encounter the beautiful magic and mystery behind the entire world. I embraced this book with my whole heart and I was truly satisfied with everything about it.
Highly recommend it to those folks who aren’t big into romance novels and those who want something less spooky for the Halloween season. Trust me, you’ll be as enamored as I am.