I picked this up because I thought it was going to be about witches since the name of the series is Two Broomsticks Gas and Grill.
Now, yes, eventually it did have magic much later on in the book… but it was very sparse. I picked this up to use it for r/fantasy bingo Witches square and it just barely qualifies.
The main character is a flopped writer who just moved back home. She had a big book deal and moved away to the city… but that lead nowhere because her second book failed to sell. Her money ran out and she finds herself back where she grew up… in a rinky dink town in the middle of nowhere. A place where everyone knows everyone.
Ok, so far.
Someone ends up dead and the main character is the one who finds him stabbed to death.
The police officer who comes to investigate happens to be her ex who she dated in high school and maybe a year or so thereafter. This was like 12 years ago…
Now, here is where the problems for me started. Like, I do understand always having a soft spot for a high school sweet heart, especially if things didn’t end on a bad note, and more of a “what if” note. She moved away when she got the book deal and they broke up because of that, it wasn’t a nasty fall out. There’s more ‘tension’ here too because Hunter is in a relationship already and he’s trying to be a good boyfriend, etc.
Every. Single. Character. Around. Her. Tells. Her. To. Date. Hunter.
I mean every fucking scene change where there’s another character, they bring the conversation around to her and Hunter and ask why they aren’t dating yet. They tease her that they’ll be dating soon, they tell her how she feels about him, they tell her how he feels about her, and makes references to their time together in the past dating. Other people commenting on her relationship with Hunter must have taken up half the page time. It was excessive.
Meanwhile, there’s basically no magic for the majority of the book. A Ouija board went a little crazy at the beginning but is largely ignored as a weird fluke. The main character has some weird dreams… but that’s basically it until almost 3/4ths the way through the book when finally some magic shows up.
Once the inevitable downfall of Hunter’s hate-able girlfriend happens, the relationship between him and main character was a little melodramatic, but it was okay. It was a decent healthy relationship, and under different circumstances and written a little differently, I could have enjoyed this book. Hunter is mostly a good person… mostly. He can kind of be a dick though, honestly. He doesn’t treat his current girlfriend well, and I think maybe people wouldn’t necessarily care because she’s incredibly annoying and she’s a fan of things that are easily hate-able eg: The Kardashians.
The pacing was… slow for me. There just wasn’t much happening. A person was murdered early on, but the rest of the book is main character and Hunter sorting their shit out and the investigation process. This is not a book where lots of stuff happens, high stakes, or anything like that. This will be for people who enjoy rekindling past love, slow burn mysteries, small cast, country settings, and a very light touch of fantasy.
- Plot: 8/15
- Characters: 9/15
- World Building: 5/15
- Writing: 11/15
- Pacing: 10/15
- Originality: 8/15
- Personal Enjoyment: 2/10
Final Score: 53/100