Cover Image: Witchful Thinking

Witchful Thinking

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Member Reviews

Thank you for letting me have a copy of this ebook for review.

This is a small town cozy romance where magical creatures are the norm. Our story follows Lucy who is a homebody witch who feels her life is stagnant, and Alex the merman who is always on the go, never settled.  Lucy makes a wish for more excitement in her life, and somehow catches Alex in that wish. Alex has a curse that bounds him to the small town, and he can't just bolt off onto another adventure. 

Right off the bat this is an opposites attract kind of story. I was curious what the outcome would be, because no matter how you look at it the two will have to compromise to be together.  Was Lucy going to give up her small town and travel with Alex, or was Alex going to give up and stay with Lucy.

The story started off soo smooth up until the wishes were cast. Like SMOOTH. Sometimes I keep track of the story plot points in the back of my mind. Story beats are especially easy to follow in romances (which isn't a bad thing). But in this I didn't pick up on it right away.  That being said the downside was that these important beats (the wishes) are a structure I expected to see, but didn't. A lot of the scenes that were supposed to happen, as per the wish, were mostly afterthoughts. Rather than show these scenes the story skipped it and stated that they happened in the past. I felt cheated by the lack of scenes, because these were the scenes that would help show Lucy's character arc.  Character arc is  very important to me.

The next big thing that bothered me was that the two characters sexual attraction was clear, but not their compatibility. I can't tell if it's cuz I'm ace and I don't get it, but I just couldn't buy into their relationship. They were  ex-almost lovers who went separate ways after ten years. Lucy was broken hearted and despite herself she liked him immediately.  I dunno, maybe it's just me. I needed more convincing of their love for one another. Anytime we got a bit of them as lovers, like important romantic moments, the book time skips again. There's no watching the other two process the romantic events. 

This book is cleverly written and fun. It's definitely cute. I really appreciated the casualness of mythical creatures all living in a small town. It's cozy vibes all around. That being said, it didn't execute the two things I care about (character development, and romantic compatibility) very well.  

That's why I rate it 2.5.
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Witchful Thinking is an adorable but predictable novel. I loved the story's setting and thought the author did a fantastic job creating the magical town of Freya Grove. The love interests, Lucy and Alex were also very cute, but the plot itself didn't wow me. I would recommend this title to readers who don't mind predictability and who enjoy books with a little bit of whimsy!
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Absolutely adored this for a cozy small town Halloween novel!

I would have loved the world building to be a bit more developed but I also feel like it wasn’t necessary given the focus on romance.

Loved the second chance theme and this is definitely an author I will be reading more of in the future!
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I thought that this book was alright! Kind of gave me the witchy vibes and I liked that the love interest was a Merman. But i think i just couldnt stop comparing it to Erin Sterling's Ex Hex and Kiss Curse, and was looking for the same feeling I got when I read those... and it wasn't. But it was still a cute feel-good type of romance book!
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This book was so cute and the perfect read right before Halloween! I just finished it yesterday, just in time for Halloween. This book gave me all the cozy fall vibes.

I am a sucker for a friends to lovers and a small town romance, and the author did such a good job with it. This book features a witch heroine and a merman, which I found to be so fun. I thought they were so cute together, and I loved seeing where the story would take them. There’s a whole cast of fun characters, I would love to see books on all of them! If you’re still looking for the perfect fall read, I highly recommend checking this one out! It’s a quick and fun read.

Thank you Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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4.5 Stars

He swam the ocean depths. She avoided puddles.

Witchful Thinking is the first book in debut author Celestine Martin’s Elemental Love series. This is a second-chance paranormal romance between two people whom you will fall in love with immediately.

Lucinda “Lucy” Caraway and Alexander “Alex” Dwyer first met in high school, when Alex was the new kid. The two became fast friends but managed to keep their feelings for each other under wraps. Alex left Freya Grove, New Jersey mere minutes after graduation to travel and seek adventure. Lucy stayed in order to have a safe life, not that Alex asked her to join him. It’s now been 11 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, and 27 days since Lucy and Alex last saw each other. Lucy is now a high school teacher in Freya Grove and Alex is an award-winning photographer who travels the world.

Alex is to be back in town to celebrate his birthday with his family. On a whim, he goes to the Founder’s Day Festival and gets in line for the Madame Zora fortune booth. Coincidentally, he ends up behind Lucy whose fortune gets stuck. Pleasantries made the two part ways thinking this will be the last they will see each other. But Freya Grove is known for its magic and the magic gods have decided that these two belong together, even if they don’t know it.

I loved the story of Lucy and Alex and watching them come together. They share this easy banter as they reminisce about high school. Witchful Thinking is a slow-burn romance with flirty words and innuendos. I’m leaving out a lot about the book by design because I really loved reading about these two and the housing project they worked on together. The romantic gestures are definitely in abundance. I now wish gnomes were real. Just saying. Witchful Thinking does have what I’m going to call a villain. I don’t know if Celestine set out to make this character into that, but I definitely vote to cast a spell and turn this person into a donkey. Maybe that’s still too nice for them. Hmmm…  I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series. The possibilities of what will happen are endless.

~ Favorite Quotes ~ 

“You don’t know how deep a puddle is until you step in it.”

“You only live once. Live it up.”

“Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”

“Fine is just another way to say ‘feelings inside, not expressed.’”

“It doesn’t take an act of magic to be kind.”

“No good deed goes unforgotten.”

“You just look to the horizon and take a big leap.”

“If you have the courage to wish, you have the courage to act.”

“Open your heart to the possibilities of love. There are countless reasons to walk away. Find the reasons to stay.”
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I started this book and it wasn’t clicking for me. Thanks for the chance to review—it seems like a book that will be great for fans of witches and romance.
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This is the perfect fall/October read. Absolutely great for romance lovers who enjoy a little spooky season fun!

Let's start with the setting, it's so much fun to imagine a town like Freya Grove exists on the east coast. Just imagining a town where multiple types of magical people you daydreamed about as a kid walk around, go to school together, and just live their lives just immediately sets you off on this book in a good mood.  

Lucy and Alex are great characters and so engaging together. It could easily get a bit cheesy and too hard to believe to have a witch and a mermaid fall in love, when you put it like that it can be a lot to ask someone to suspend their disbelief if they aren't frequent paranormal romance readers. But both characters are so relatable and have issues and problems that are so common and easy to identify with that anyone can see themselves in them and feel for them. We all have some understanding of feeling the immense family pressure on us or that feeling of wanting to run and leave it all behind, so it really helps you to root for Lucy and Alex in this great friends to lovers romance.
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Witchful Thinking is a fun witchy romance read, perfect for October. Lots of world building and a second chance romance, this book will welcome you right into this quirky seaside town in New Jersey. I liked Alex and Lucy's relationship and look forward to reading more of Celestine Martin's stories.
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I struggled with this one.  There are some great points to the story.  This is a magical story set in New Jersey.  Lucy is a witch who feels like life is going nowhere when her high school crush moves back home.  Alex comes home for a visit only to learn that his family has bought him a house right across from his high school friend, Lucy.  These two come together in a friends to lovers romance.  The writing is really what got to me.  It just wasn't written well.  I often got lost and it felt clunky.  I think if that were improved, the other aspects that were a reach for me (like Alex being a Merman) would have been less of an issue.  Being from NJ, I loved the references but it also felt weird to have a witchy story set down the shore during the summer.  Overall, this is a cute, light hearted romance.  It sadly just wasn't for me but I'm sure others will love it.
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Lucy’s life feels stagnant - while she loves her magical community and her job, she can’t help wishing she had a more exciting update to provide her classmates with at her high school reunion. When she and her coven make a wish spell, Lucy finds herself unable to say no to anything - public karaoke, running a 10k, and especially helping Alex, her longstanding crush, unjinx his new house (which happens to be right across the street from her). But Alex is a merman, and won’t be tied down to one place - at least, he doesn’t think he can be.

The vibes were magical, and the love story was very sweet! I saw this more as Lucy seeing that she was capable of doing amazing things, even if she’s scared, and even if she’s not good at them. The romance was secondary to me because of that aspect, but it was still a great book.

I had a little trouble getting into the writing style, but after a couple chapters, I found my groove. I hope that some of the setup we see in this book means there will be a sequel, because I’m left satisfied overall, but need some answers! 

We need more stories of Black love to be published, and this is a good pick if you’re looking for one! I’m hoping I’m not wrong about a series following the wishes!
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While I enjoyed the relatable, but whimsically magical characters and the steamy scenes, there were too many loose ends and overused tropes for my liking. A fun read, but not one I would recommend.
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A good seasonal read, just was okay for me. I love a good seasonal read to for October and would recommend for that
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This was more of a 2.5 for me than a 3, but rounding up. For a town full of magical beings, the magic was missing! I really wanted more and it had so much potential. I’m guessing a series will follow with the other Caraway girls. 
The slow burn was way too slow.  It seemed all the action happened in the last 10%. It came together at the end, but too late for me. 
Releasing this in the fall, just because of magic, is a  bit misleading too, because for the most part the book takes place over the summer.
I have mixed feelings about this one. The potential of a merman and a witch falling I love! I wanted more! 
Thanks for the ARC!
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Okay, let me start by saying, as a person who has a home in one of the New Jersey Shore Points exits, I LOVED the beginning of the book! I wonder, if you aren't from New Jersey, would you even care? But I definitely enjoyed those descriptions.

I've been really into magical realism lately and this both hit and missed the mark.

Hit: Cute setting. An ages old spell book with the right spell at the right time! Tight-knit witchy family.

Miss: Merpeople - this might have been a bit too magical for me. And some clunky or awkward sentences that had me a bit confused. I also had a bit of a hard time buying into the romance of Lucy and Alex and their "love story" from high school.

Overall, this was a cute little witchy read. A perfect read for this time of year.
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I was so looking forward to reading this book during the Halloween season, but it missed the mark for me. It felt like the witchy aspect could have been better defined. It felt very general despite the wish spell being part of the story. The story pacing was also uneven with not much happening and then a huge amount in a short time.

Overall the characters and setting were interesting and I am curious about the next story that was set up, but this one was just ok for me.
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What a charming story! I'm firmly convinced that there's a quirky seaside town in New Jersey where humans live side by side with all types of magical beings (who doesn't love a playful - when well fed - gnome?), love blossoms, and shenanigans ensue. I want to go there. I want more stories set there! 

Perfect for the witchy season, Witchful Thinking brings readers a second-chance romance that checked all of my happy reader boxes. I loved the normalcy created by the author within the town of Freya Grove; how magical beings and the magic created were accepted as a part of everyday life. Witches casting spells? No biggie. Mermen transitioning into the frothy waves off the coast? Eh, you've seen one merman tail, you've seen them all. Oh, wait. That's not true. Turns out showing one's tail is quite a big deal...but you'll have to read the book to find out why. Wouldn't want to give away any spoilers. 

This is the first book of a series so there's some world building and character introduction at play in addition to Alex and Lucy's second-chance romance. Martin weaves it all together in an organic way that not only enriches the romance in book one but also creates interest in secondary characters and potential future stories. I loved the dynamic among Lucy and her sisters and the conflict with her bridezilla cousin. I'm probably most intrigued by what the future holds for her (the cousin) because, whoa, she's a mess, and I do love a good redemption story. It will be interesting to discover what Martin has in store for her - and if she truly is redeemed.

Alex and Lucy are so sweet together. I adored them, cheering them on every step of their twisty path to a happy ending. Sure, there are obstacles, and necessary self-reflection, plus emotional growth, but there's also fun, and mischief, sweet emotion, and a heartfelt happy ending. I loved it and am already looking forward to my next visit to Celestine Martin's magical Freya Grove. 

ARC received for fair and unbiased review
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This book is a damn delight. It is more a romance with a dash of magic, than a spooky season book. A gateway book, to the genre, if you will.

Honestly, I think I loved it because Lucy's struggles are very akin to some of my own struggles right now. With her 10 year reunion coming up Lucy is tired of copying and pasting the same boring life update, so she and her cousins cast a wish spell.

A lot of Lucy's internal anxiety as these changes actually occurred felt very honest and relatable. I think people forget, even very wished for changes are scary when they come to fruition.

I enjoyed that there wasn't some drawn out magic system explanation, it simply was, and was widely accepted. My only wish is it was utilized a bit more, as the spell and a tea leaf reading was our only real use of magic. We also met witches, mer-folk, and gnomes, so I'm curious what other beings exist.

This book also caught me off caught with how steamy it was. There was a lot of build up with kisses and near misses, so I thought it'd fade to black, but it absolutely proved me wrong. Also, I'm terrible at picturing stuff in my head. So, if someone wants to slide into my DMs with some NSFW art from the merman on the dock scene 👀, I'd be forever grateful.

Thank you so much to @readforeverpub for my gifted copy. All thoughts are obviously my own
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Lucy’s life includes teaching high school, spending time with her close-knit family, reading tea leaves, and perusing magical spells. But for the past 10 years this witch hasn’t had anything exciting in her life. When Alex, the dreamy merman she was close friends with in high school returns to Freya Grove, Lucy and her cousins cast a wishing spell that takes on a life of its own, causing chaos and excitement in each of their lives. 

This was a very cute witchy rom-com told with dual POVs. There was a healthy amount of flirtation, steamy scenes, and family drama along the way! I enjoyed reading it, and especially loved Alex’s open admiration for Lucy. This book felt relatively low-stakes, and the ending was very sweet!

Thank you to NetGalley, Forever, and the author for the opportunity to read and review this book!
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One of my favorite reads this year. What more can I ask for than a witch, a merman, and a wish spell. Such a beautiful story well written and I love these characters so much. If I can rate it more than 5 stars I would.
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