This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Xpresso Book Tours. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge
Series: The Spellwork Syndicate #1
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Ink Monster LLC
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ iBooks
For fans of Hex Hall,The Magicians, Practical Magic, and Food Wars!
Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spell books in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch in the suburbs, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Unfortunately, witches have a bad rep, and Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with each rejection letter.
Then her great aunt Agatha pops out of the woodwork with a sweet offer. If she signs on as Agatha’s apprentice, Anise can have all the training and ingredients she’s ever imagined, and she’ll inherit the family bakery.
The catch? Studying with Agatha means moving to Sedona—a dangerous otherworldly power center where her aunt is a key player in the magical community’s shady dealings. And the last apprentice? Assassinated.
Now Anise is next on the hit list. If she can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brulee.
Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?
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I am so excited that Deadly Sweet is available now and that I get to share the news! This blog tour also includes a review and a GIVEAWAY for a deadly sweet prize pack and a treat house 12 pack! So, if you’d like a chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
***Check out the Blog Tour Schedule and follow the tour.***
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If you are looking for some young adult foodie fiction with a pinch of fantasy and a dash of witchcraft then Deadly Sweet is exactly what you need to read! This book is the first book in The Spellwork Syndicate series and I think this is a promising series. Although there are witches and witchcraft in this book, my feeling is that this book is more along the lines of a cozy foodie fiction mystery and would definitely appeal to readers of all ages. I couldn’t help but get carried away by the baking passion that is felt from the moment I started reading Deadly Sweet.
Anise lives with her mother in the non-magical part of the US and spends most of her time trying to hide what she truly is, a witch. Her mother is a witch as well but she refuses to use her witchy powers. She also refuses to move to the area in the US where witches reside. Anise has never been clear on the reason for her mother’s refusal, but what she does know is that they have to keep moving whenever it is discovered that Anise has powers. She tries to control her powers but she does not do a very good job and her mother has helped as much as she could. It has become such an issue for Anise that she dropped out of public school and finished her school career being home schooled.
Anise wasn’t happy about her social isolation but it was what she has known all her life. What she also has known is that she wanted to be a baker. She just wanted someone to give her a chance to experience her dream but after receiving rejection letter after rejection letter, she has started feeling rather hopeless about her dreams. After receiving her latest rejection letter, she decided that she was going to do the one thing she had been putting off. She contacted her Great Aunt Agatha with hopes that if maybe she could just get her foot in the door she might be able to work her way up. After months though with no response to her request she gives up hope.
After an evening out with co-workers that went horribly wrong the last thing Anise was expecting as she was fleeing from a crime scene was to receive a phone call from Agatha telling her that she has accepted her as her newest apprentice. Given the serious trouble that Anise was in, she doubted that she would ever be able to make it to her aunt’s shop in New Mexico but with the help of her mother’s magic Anise was given the green light to move in with her aunt, who’s shop also happened to be in the witch friendly area of the US. A wish come true for Anise. Once she made it to her aunt’s bakery, Anise knew that it was everything that she ever wanted. She was entranced with the area, the bakery, and how the witches were so open with their powers. It was everything she had dreamed of.
Anise was eager to start but first she had to show her aunt her baking prowess, which turned out to be very disheartening for Anise. Her aunt was not impressed but she was still willing to give Anise a chance and that Anise had to attend course to help her “get the basics.” Despite feeling glum about her aunt not being wowed by her baking skills, things were looking up for Anise. She made some friends, met a boy, and was honing her baking skills, if it just wasn’t for the accidents that kept happening Anise would have felt that life was perfect. Life was not perfect though as it soon became clear to Anise that the accidents were meant to be something more insidious and that someone was out to harm Anise for some unexplained reason. As things became deadly for Anise it soon became obvious that she was snared in a trap that could have some deadly consequences if she did not figure out who was behind the attacks and quickly.
I found that I enjoyed reading Deadly Sweet and that I loved how passionate Anise was about her baking. I thought the idea of baked goods having spells attached to them was very cute. I could clearly see the bakery and image all the treats contained behind the counters. There definitely was a bit of whimsy weaved into this story. Now as far as the mystery goes, I was able to identify the whodunit pretty quickly. I prefer my mysteries to be a mystery, so that took away from the story for me. I also felt that the story was more middle grade fiction than young adult. The characters mostly struck me as younger than they were described as being. Overall though, Deadly Sweet was a fun and light read that would be enjoyable to all readers, especially fans of foodie fiction.
*Thank you to Xpresso Book Stores for this complimentary copy of Deadly Sweet*
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