Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ARC Review: A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford

A Spoonful of Magic
Author: Irene Radford
Publication: DAW (November 7, 2017)

Description: A delightful new urban fantasy about a kitchen witch and her magical familyDaphne "Daffy" Rose Wallace Deschants has an ideal suburban life—three wonderful and talented children; a coffee shop and bakery, owned and run with her best friend; a nearly perfect husband, Gabriel, or "G" to his friends and family. Life could hardly be better.

But G's perfection hides dangerous secrets. When Daffy uncovers evidence of his infidelity, her perfect life seems to be in ruins. On their wedding anniversary, Daffy prepares to confront him, only to be stopped in her tracks when he foils a mugging attempt using wizard-level magic.

Suddenly, Daphne is part of a world she never imagined--where her husband is not a traveling troubleshooter for a software company, but the sheriff of the International Guild of Wizards, and her brilliant children are also budding magicians. Even she herself is not just a great baker and barista—she's actually a kitchen witch. And her discovery of her powers is only just beginnning.

But even the midst of her chaotic new life, another problem is brewing. G's ex-wife, a dangerous witch, has escaped from her magical prison. Revenge-bent and blind, she needs the eyes of her son to restore her sight—the son Daffy has raised as her own since he was a year old. Now Daphne must find a way to harness her new powers and protect her family—or risk losing everything she holds dear.

My Thoughts: This book begins with a confrontation between a woman and a cheating husband. Daffy has been married to G for fourteen years and has adopted his son and had two children of her own with him. A "concerned" neighbor has emailed her photos of G with another woman and in their hometown of Eugene, Oregon, when he told her that he was out of town. G has been keeping secrets from her for their whole marriage. The biggest is that he is the Sheriff for an association of wizards.

Eugene has lots of eccentrics, many of whom believe in magic, which makes it a great city for those with real magic to hide. Now, a criminal that G thought was in a magical, escape-proof prison, has escaped and is targeting G's son Jason. It turns out that his first wife didn't die in childbirth but went insane with her magic and murdered many before being imprisoned and having her magic stripped from her.

G doesn't want to share this information with Daffy though he does tell her to watch the children closely. These children are all developing their own magical gifts. Jason, a gifted dancer, is also developing telekenesis. Belle is blooming from her middle school ugly duckling phase into a siren. And the youngest, ten-year-old Shara has never met a puzzle that she can't solve.

Daffy has a wonderful gift for baking and preparing herbal remedies but she has never considered herself as having magic. Raised by parents with a very restrictive religious faith caused her to repress her gifts. But now, after living with G and being surrounded by his magic and the children's magic, her gift is finally showing up.

I liked the magical belief system in this book. I liked the strong relationship Daffy has with her children. I disliked G's lack of marital fidelity and could understand why Daffy divorced him. I liked the thriller part of the story as G has to track down his ex-wife before she manages to kidnap Jason. I liked that Daffy was beginning to find out who she was outside of her relationship with G.

This was a nice start to a new urban fantasy series.

Favorite Quote:
I realized with mind-numbing shock, they were no longer my babies. They'd grown beyond needing their mother as the center of their universe. Right now, they needed to send out feelers into the big, bad, real world, and G was the one to help them master their talents. They needed to use them for good and be useful. And they need to keep their talents hidden for the good of the normal world.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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