Paranormal Hunters, Book 1
Heat Factor: They have extremely bad sex and are both absolutely mortified. This scene is excellent. (There is also a bit of good sex at the end.)
Character Chemistry: They’re both misanthropes who like reading. I buy it.
Plot: Selene’s family is cursed. And she’s a witch. Aiden is a paranormal investigator who definitely does not believe in magic and wants to do a show about her grandma.
Overall: Mostly fun
Here’s the basic set up: Selene cannot catch a break. She is living under a curse that means that she’ll be unlucky in love and life – plus she is physically unable to leave her small New England town of Brimrock. Pretty much everyone in town hates her. She lives in a creepy gothic mansion. And her best friend keeps setting her up on blind dates.
Aiden, along with his best friend, Eddie, have a show where they investigate paranormal activities. Despite his hatred for the holidays, Aiden agrees to accompany Eddie to Brimrock for Christmas, after which they’ll film their 50th episode, about the local witch who continues to haunt slash terrorize the town.
Aiden and Selene meet cute when a rideshare mix-up happens, and they end up sharing a car to the local fancy restaurant. They’re drawn to each other, even as Aiden secretly starts investigating Selene’s family. They go on cute dates. They tease each other. And Selene starts to think that maybe, just maybe, this time can be different, and her luck will change.
The real focus, however, is the shenanigans going on in town. Remember that blind date Selene went on? Well, he never showed up, and then was found in a coma in his apartment. Foul play is naturally expected, and since Selene is the local weirdo, she is the prime suspect. Eventually, Selene reveals her witchy moon powers (mainly telekinesis) to Aiden and the two of them team up to figure out what the heck is going on.
I thought the mystery was well done. I was genuinely surprised at the final reveal. But I also wouldn’t classify this as suspenseful – I wasn’t really on the edge of my seat. It was more like I was wondering in the back of my mind where the author was going with the story. I also thought that Aiden’s relationship with Eddie was well done. They’re best friends, but sometimes your best friend is resentful of your new relationship, especially when it feels like you’re being replaced. So maybe these guys aren’t extremely emotionally mature, but the hurt between them, and the conversations about that hurt, felt real.
However, there were a few things that threw me out of the story a bit. Eddie’s family, especially his Aunt Priscilla, are really insistent on Aiden participating in all the holiday gaiety, and the whole dynamic was really uncomfortable for me. On the one hand, Aiden is their houseguest and shouldn’t just show up to be fed and then peace out. That’s rude as hell. On the other hand, their insistence on him spending quality family time with them, even when he clearly wants to just hide in his room, was very off-putting. I just didn’t know what to think about this dynamic. (If Aiden wrote in to AITA on Reddit, the internet would probably agree that everyone in the situation is The Asshole.) There were also some discontinuities in the writing, and a few places where words were misused. Everyone waits forever to catch a ride, but it seems like the town is small enough that Selene usually walks everywhere?
Is Black Witch Magic a perfect book? No. But it was fun enough. I would recommend it to people who like cozy mysteries and want to branch out into low-key witchy romances.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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