Tag Archives: pwf

forty fabulous and fae banner

Book Review: Forty, Fabulous and…Fae?, by Melinda Chase

I borrowed an audio version of Melinda Chase‘s Forty, Fabulous and…Fae? through Hoopla.

forty fabulous fae melinda chase

No one expects their happily-ever-after to end at forty—but here I am one Prince Charming short of a fairytale.

Living back at Mom’s place with her and Gram is not how this ex district attorney intended to start the next chapter of her life, but I shouldn’t be surprised it’s where I ended up.

You see, my family is cursed. Literally.

At least that’s what both Gram and Mom claim. I’ve never given much thought to their ridiculous superstitions, but when three local patrons from my mom’s occult shop end up dead, even I’m a bit unnerved.

So, I decide to dive right into the crazy headfirst. And what I thought would be the end of my journey…may only be the beginning.

my review

Meh, this wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t fabulous either. I think it just needed another 100 pages—taking it from a novella to a novel—to carry it off. As it is, everything feels a little sketched out, none of the characters feel particularly well-fleshed, and the plot barely starts before the book ends on a cliffhanger.

I liked Shanna well enough, but she’s the only character you get to know, and barely even her. And notably, since this is supposed to be PWF, nothing about her or her situation feels 40+ years old. She could have been 25 and the book would have felt exactly the same. Her being a DA is literally extraneous to the plot. What’s more, I think given the lack of age-defining characteristics, mid-twenties would have fit the plot better. (I always wonder in such scenarios if the author just aged the character up to catch the PWF wave, but of course I don’t actually know.) Everyone else is either just a name or a card-board cutout not worth mentioning.

The writing is quite readable, though, the narrative has an appreciable tone, and the audiobook narrator (Traci Odom) did a good job. But I’m still pretty meh on the whole thing. I don’t think I’d bother with the next book. I’m just not invested enough to really care what happens.

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Other reviews:

midlife in mosswood

Book Reviews: New Witch on the Block AND Jealousy’s Witch, by Louisa West

I borrowed audio versions of New Witch on the Block and Jealousy’s a Witch (Midlife in Mosswood #1 & 2), by Louisa West through Hoopla.

New Witch on the Block

She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.

Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realises her life will never be simple.

A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.

And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…

She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.

my review

I generally liked this. I appreciated a heroine who had made mistakes because of youth and inexperience, but had grown and gotten herself out of a difficult situation. I like that the love interest is sexy to her, but isn’t described as uber handsome.

The plot is fairly simple and it takes a while for the magic to be introduced, but it’s enjoyable. I did think being the ‘Witch Queen’ as opposed to just a witch, even a powerful witch, was too much. It felt like the author just had to make her that extra little bit special.

The writing is perfectly readable and, as far as I could tell in audio (it is well narrated) the editing is clean. However, the book ends very abruptly with nothing concluded or wrapped up.

jealousy's a witch

She thought that her life couldn’t get any stranger. Boy, was she wrong.

Rosemary Bell’s ex-husband is now a turtle, she’s suddenly witch royalty, her daughter Maggie’s new best friend is an imaginary kangaroo hopping around the forests of Mosswood, Georgia, and her Witch King, Declan, isn’t making her life or her couch’s throw pillows any cushier.

Just as she’s starting to fall for Declan, a shocking confession leaves her reeling and Rosie wonders whether she is really meant to be the queen of anything. When a sexy bombshell arrives in town with her eyes set on Rosie’s King and crown, she will have to decide for herself what her destiny is – and soon.

Struggling between caring for Declan and caring for herself and Maggie, Rosie does her best to rise above the woman’s provocation. But when Maggie is kidnapped on All Hallow’s Eve, Rosie has no choice but to trust Declan and work together to get her daughter back. After an intense magical ritual brings her new powers full circle, Rosie finds out that jealousy’s a witch – literally!

my review

I still liked Rosie here in Jealousy’s a Witch, and I liked the addition of Maggie as a character. But I didn’t like this plot as much as the previous book. I think the jealous ex girlfriend/wife/etc as the villain is super over-used and cliched.

I respected the heck out of Maggie for immediately taking action when she saw red flags, but also her ability to not overreact (or maybe West’s willingness to not over-blow all the  emotions). I also appreciate that West subverted the ‘overheard conversation causes a misunderstanding’ trope by allowing an overheard conversation to smooth over a misunderstanding.

All in all, I’m enjoying the series and will likely continue it at some point. But I think I’ve had enough for the moment.

midlife in mosswood photo

Other Reviews:

Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Flora’s Musings



the accidental gatekeeper

Book Review: The Accidental Gatekeeper, by Carla Rehse

Carla Rehse‘s The Accidental Gatekeeper was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight. While I didn’t agree to review it as part of the tour, I did receive a free copy for participating. And since Paranormal Women’s Fiction is a genre I’m loving right now, I gave it a read.


Turning the big four-five isn’t a problem for Everly Popa—it’s everything else in her life that’s gone to hell in a handbasket.

It’s bad enough that Everly’s drug-selling husband is in jail and her adult daughter blames her for the situation. But now the FBI wants her to turn witness, while her husband’s criminal friends want to keep her permanently silent. With no other safe haven, Everly returns to her hometown. A place she hasn’t visited in twenty-seven years. And didn’t leave under the best of circumstances.

It’s not that Everly has a problem with her hometown, exactly, but since it sits next to Hell’s Gate, there’s bound to be a few issues. Like the archaic rules set by the angels who run the town. Or the fact that the townsfolk feel Everly abandoned her duties as one of the members of the town’s founding families. But between celestial politics or getting gunned down by a drug cartel, Everly decides to chance finding sanctuary back home.

After a little good-versus-evil stunt at the town’s border, Everly is let back in and for the first five minutes, things are great. However, soon all hell breaks loose!

Before Everly can take a deep breath and figure a way out of the mess she’s gotten into, an angel gets killed, humans go missing and the town shuts its magical borders. Now Everly is trapped inside with dying angels, rampaging demons, and a witch with a murderous agenda. The only way out is for Everly to learn how to use her newly acquired Gatekeeper powers. But with no handbook provided, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell she’ll figure it out in time.

my review

I feel pretty middle-of-the-road about this book. I didn’t actually dislike it, but I also didn’t finish if feeling bereft for having come to the end. I appreciate that Everly is a 45yo heroine and that she’s trying to do her best in a difficult situation (having not done so in the past). But I also feel like the book is go, go, go from start to finish, which gives the reader no time to rest or to get to know any of the character. I finished the book having developed no attachment to anyone, not feeling what might have been a romantic sub-thread (I’m not even sure), or not particularly invested in the mystery.

The writing is perfectly readable and the editing seemed pretty clean. I personally hate the pretend cursing. Either let a character curse or keep it clean, but don’t half-ass it with, “How, at forty-five f-bomb years old….?” But that’s a personal preference. I also thought that the “I gotta protect my daughter” was over played. What I love about so many PWF books is that they show women over 40 as having selves outside of their husband and family. I thought Rehse’s focus on Everly’s motivation being her daughter dimmed this aspect of the genre significantly. Of course she wants to protect her daughter, but what else is there of interest about her?

I think others who enjoy PWF will like this book. As I said, I didn’t dislike it. It’s just not the best I’ve read.

the accidental gatekeeper