Cover Image: Witchful Thinking

Witchful Thinking

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Member Reviews

A sweet romance with magic and fantasy layered in. I am a sucker for a book with magic and magical beings living in a small town and this one definitely fits the bill. 
I liked both main characters, but the second chance/childhood missed love isn't my favorite trope (so much angst). I also wanted a bit more of a wrap up for her cousin and sisters' subplots (but I am guessing they will be explored in a later book - it has the makings of a series). I do wish there was a bit more world building explanation (is just this town magical or is the whole world aware of magic), and I would have loved to see more about the town's interactions of different magical beings.  
Overall, a sweet romance with a beautiful setting and a sprinkling of magic.
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I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

I loved the idea of fantasy elements blended to modern day. Reminded me a bit of OUAT. I enjoy the second chance/childhood friends trope as well. A nice read that has a fun magic vibe.
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This book is such a great witchy read! I love the blend of fantasy elements into a modern contemporary, which made this feel like it would be such a great Halloween read!

Lucy and Alex are best friends in high school and despite wondering if there could be something more between them, Alex decides to leave Freya Grove to explore the world as a photographer. Now, ten years later, Alex is back in town and his parents have bought him... a house?

I loved the little scenes of Lucy and Alex spending time together and her helping renovate his home. I'm so glad they got their second chance and I loved how real they were with each other.

The wishes and the witch aspect of this book was so fun, as was Alex being a merman (which is so different, since I feel like most books typically feature merpeople as women) and I hope that we get to see more about her sisters and their wishes at some point! 

There were some points where things were mentioned that didn't actually happen on page which confused me a little bit, but overall I really enjoyed this book, especially the last 50%! 

Thank you so much for the ARC!
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Witchful Thinking is a debut paranormal romance by Celestine Martin. The ebook version is 352 pages.

Lucinda Caraway is the eldest in her generation, and the strongest witch among them. She teaches high school history in her hometown. She wonders if there's more to life than staying in the same place forever. Alexander Dwyer, a merman, was Lucy's biggest high school crush but is currently an adventurer and social media guru. He comes back to visit the homestead after a failed engagement, and their paths cross again. Mayhaps they need each other more than they think.

It was pretty obvious to me that this is the author's debut novel. I thought the worldbuilding was pretty cool, with a city in New Jersey where all types of paranormal creatures are comfortable to really be themselves. But the pacing was a bit off and some scenes jumped straight into some action when there really needed to be a bigger lead-up. I did receive an ARC, but there were a ton of words just missing from sentences or instances where a completely incorrect word was used. It really pulled me out of the story.

Tropes in this book include: witches, mermen, magic, wishes, friends-to-lovers, black love

Special thanks to Grand Central Publishing, Forever, and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I love how realistic the paranormal life felt in this book. In a world where supernatural beings are normal  and can live just like humans.

I was really excited for the setting of this book and think it was super fun! 

I loved learning all about Lucy and Alex and their cute story. I do wish for a little more world building and Insight into their magic. Overall something was just missing for me. In the romance, the place as a whole. Just needed a little more umpff for me!

Thank you next gallery for this mystical arc in exchange for an honest review
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I found this one to be a cute magical realism romance. It was however sent to me by Netgalley in an early stage so it needed a lot of polishing. The usual typos and verb tense problems anyone would have. But also hopefully the editor helped with pacing a bit and clearing up of some questions that were left. Overall I found the setting to be the most compelling part of it, and it was nicely immersive. The family was interesting and fun, as well as the witchy family legacy. I had some questions about the rules of magic and how the rest of the world perceived it. I liked the childhood friends to lovers aspect. I wish their Black heritage played more into the story, as there was nothing uniquely Black about them other than their skin tone and I was hoping for more. Overall this could be really cute, and a cute series covering the rest of the sisters/cousins once it’s polished up.
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This book was like grown up Halloweentown and I was here for it. I loved the plentiful references to magic and the paranormal, and of course Alex and Lucy’s steamy second chance love story! However, the plot and writing style felt a bit clunky and hard to follow. There were times where it felt like the story dragged, and there were other pieces of the story that were left unfinished. We were led to believe that the side characters books will be coming, based on their plot lines not being resolved in this book, but it frustrated me that this book left them like that.

I was given an ARC by NetGalley and Forever. All opinions are my own.
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I read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 
How to rate this one? I understand that being the first novel in what I assume, is a series, is difficult. The background is being set for future books, and so the main romance is often in the background. I feel like Alex and Lucinda didn't have many instances to show readers their true love. We saw in reflection the time they had spent together fixing up the house, but I'd hoped for more of their banter and angst.  
It had such potential, with the element of magic and the characters. Hopefully the next novel will explore that side of things more. 
3.5 stars
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I loved reading this book.

I loved how Martin incorporated the paranormal life into reality. So unique and out of the box. This is a world where supernatural beings are normal and they live like human beings. It is rare that you get to see a plot that has a setting like that and it was very interesting, fun and refreshing to read.

Oftentimes, if you're reading a book where paranormal/supernatural beings aren't secret, there is usually a class system or it is like the supernatural creatures are acting stereotypically like their title OR it is their only personality. This book isn't that. 

Alex is a merman (which kudos to the author you never see mermen in most supernatural books) but that isn't his whole personality. We get to see Alex express his hesitancy of being in a real long-lasting relationship and trying to figure out how to settle down without feeling like he's "settling down". Finding a place that makes you feel home is a good thing; it doesn't mean that it will be the end of an "adventurous" life.'

Freya is a witch who is just trying to figure out what to do with her life. She is really relatable to me. Torn between feeling like she is mediocre versus appreciating her life for what it is. She deals with battling comparison, self doubt and feelings of insecurity. She then takes a journey of pushing herself to try new things, appreciating what she has and taking a step back and analyzing her accomplishment to realize she is that witch (pun intended).

The romance was cute and sweet. I loved the nods to their merman and witch side---i thought they were fun. Overall this book was funny, romantic and oddly inspirational slash reflective. I enjoyed this read.

This book was a second chance romance which ended in a happy ending. I have to say seeing in the description that there was a merman drew me to this book. You don't see that often lol.

4/5 stars

I can't help but wonder what will happen with Ursula's story---i'm tuned in. I can't wait for your next book!
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The premise of this book sparked my interest, but it’s execution wasn’t quite what I’d expected. The town of Freya Grove and its magic is intriguing and I look forward to see if there will be more books about this place and its inhabitants. I could not, however, really connect with the central love story as the characters didn’t really seem to have much chemistry with one another on page.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.      These book was amazing if you love friends to lovers, witches, merman, shore towns this book is for you…. Once I picked it up I could not put it down…. It was just the perfect feel good read with a hint of drama…. A great summer read.
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Freya Grove is a magical place.  Literally.  Ghosts, gnomes, satyrs and vampires populate the seaside town, yet Lucy Caraway, a witch from a long line of witches, feels that her life is boring.  With her high-school reunion looming, Lucy casts a wish spell that brings plenty of excitement to her days of teaching and tealeaf reading.  Karaoke, croquembouche and a 10k run turn out to be the least of her worries when her high-school crush Alex, an adventurous merman, moves in across the road.  When sparks fly between the two, Lucy must figure out if it’s the spell working its magic, or if Alex is truly her soulmate.

There’s so much to like about this book. Magic, romance, mythical creatures, summer on the shore.  I particularly liked how the magic was just part of day-to-day life in this Jersey Shore town where mischievous gnomes in the yard are common, and lustful satyrs wandering the fairgrounds are the norm. 

The shifts between scenes are clunky from time to time, and I wasn’t always sure how much time had passed in the story.  As a result, I had to backtrack and re-read more often than I’d like.  Had that not been the case, I would have given the novel a higher rating.

Overall, it’s a fun story and it made for a relaxing weekend read.  The characters are interesting, and Martin has a great opportunity for further books featuring Lucy’s sisters and her cousin.

Fans of paranormal romance will find plenty to like about Witchful Thinking.

Thanks to the publisher, Forever, and NetGalley for the advance copy of this book.
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I’ll start with the positives of Witchful Thinking.  I liked the small-town setting.  There was really a feeling that these people knew and cared for each other.  I like the quirky magic like gnomes, tea leaves, and wishes that wasn’t so heavy fantasy.  I do wish the merfolk were explored more.  I was a little confused about how their magic fit into this world.  In one scene Alex and his brother were whispering like they didn’t want folks to know they were mermen, but in other scenes Alex is described as having visible scales.  The romance also didn’t do it for me.  It was missing something.  It felt childish the way they had all this history, but couldn’t have the simplest of conversations.  Also, something would happen between them and then the story would jump ahead a week and they would be doing something totally different and we would ignore the huge step they just took in their relationship.  The conflict with Ursula was confusing as well.  I didn’t understand what purpose it served in the story and it wasn’t really resolved.  Maybe it is something that will be addressed in a future book.  Overall, this was a miss but I was able to finish it quickly and it left me wanting to know more about a few of the other characters.  I would be interested in seeing what’s up with Phoebe and Horatio. 
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and Netgalley for an ARC of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was really excited to pick up WITCHFUL THINKING after seeing that it was set in a magical town in New Jersey, my home state. Then, when I found out within the first few pages that the town of Freya Grove is actually located in the same area I was born and raised, I was apprehensive about how the area would be portrayed, but cautiously optimistic. And, though I would have liked to see the town more fully fleshed out, what I did read paints the Jersey Shore in a pretty magical light.

Lucy, a witch stemming from a long line of witches, and her sisters and cousin are essentially tired of living the same-old routine lives and make huge wishes in order to live the lives they want. Cue Alex, Lucy’s merman friend from high school who she always had feelings for, returning to Freya Grove to receive a birthday gift from his parents in the form of a house—something that will ground him in the town and add more responsibility to his shoulders when all he wants to do is continue his nomadic lifestyle.

While I loved the scenes where Lucy and Alex spent time together fixing up the house and the lead up to them falling in love, I, again, wish things, like the intricacies behind their magic and their actual relationship, had been explored deeper.

Overall, I thought WITCHFUL THINKING was a fun, cute novel and I’m hoping the sisters and cousin (and maybe even Alex’s brother!) get their own books so I can send more time in Freya Grove.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and  by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

Cute, witty, fun read. A unique concept with delightful, unique characters.
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A cute concept and genuine characters. The setting could be expanded, so maybe there will be more books in a series. Good if you want a feel-good, cozy, and witchy read.
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🌠Magic is in the air🌠
Witchful Thinking is one of my quickest, enjoyable, most unputdownable reads! 
It was such a cute and delightful read! I had a really hard time putting this one down.
The entire story and its unique cast of characters held my attention from beginning to end. 
This is a very well written book with great characters.
I loved following Lucinda and Alex's journey. This book was full of greatness and the characters were just as charming. 
Ultimately uplifting and heartwarming, A touching and utterly enjoyable read this was!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.” 

Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.
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Witchful Thinking is about Lucy who has a boring life, her and her cousins come from a long line of witches.  They decided to cast a spell they found in their family book of shadows.  Lucy wishes for her life to be exciting and that's well all the chaos begins. After Lucy casts her spell  Alex, the merman, comes back into town.  Alex and Lucy were good friends in high school but he never took the step to make the relationship more than that.  Merpeople don't settle down, so he left right after graduation and hasn't returned to the town of grove in 10 years.  
 It has just about everything, family tension, broken hearts, college classes, and then redemption.  The author offers masterful descriptions of events, places, and romance scenes.  I like that she fleshed out the two main characters and gave them dimension and a background.  
This book is a nice summer read for people who like a little magic in their romances.
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Lucy Caraway is all about family, so when her cousin Ursula wants to perform a wish spell, she agrees, against her better judgement. The four Caraway girls do the spell, and almost immediately, Lucy's life starts looking up-- she's approached to bake a cake for the cake walk, she signs up to run a 10k, and Alex, her high school best friend/crush, is back in town. She wished for an adventure, and it looks like she's going to be getting one. There are just two problems: 1. the wish seems to be gaining momentum far beyond anything she imagined, and 2. Alex is a mermaid, and they're notorious for not staying in one place for too long. She's falling for him, but she can't ask him to stay, even if she's helping him renovate her dream home.

Witchful Thinking is a delightful book. It's cute and sweet, and I loved how casual all the magic is in this book. We aren't told rules about how the magic works, and aren't given a whole lot of backstory into most (if any) of the magical creatures; instead, it's all presented as if it's just a normal part of the real world, with only enough of an explanation to keep it from getting confusing. I also love that they're Black-- getting to read Black characters in a magical romcom was, in itself, a magical experience. And the characters themselves are interesting, lovable, and well-rounded. I really hope we get a book about Ursula next-- I need to know how that whole situation played out.
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Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin is a great contemporary and paranormal romance that has magic, witches, mermaids, and love all around. 

I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything by this author before, and I look forward to future books from her. I was definitely entertained.

The narrative was easy, relaxing, fun, flirty, and engaging. I enjoyed the alternative point of view chapters from the main two characters: Alex and Lucy. Both are likable, realistic (well as far as magic and mermen can be), and bring a complex past to the table. Both are now brought together on their hometown of Freya Grove and both are at pivotal moments in their lives…a crossroads of sorts. They are brought together by chance and magic, but they find that they compliment each other far better, and have more in common for the long haul than any magical spell and potion can create. 

I really liked the full character cast, and there are definitely enough engaging characters that subsequent books could be created. The Caraway sisters are fun! I enjoyed the nice balance between heat, romance, real life, and the paranormal threads. I also enjoyed the sweet ending.

5/5 stars 

Thank you NG and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 9/27/22.
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