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review 2017-11-13 14:53
ARC Review: A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford
A Spoonful of Magic - Irene Radford
A Spoonful of Magic

Irene Radford
Urban Fantasy
Daw Books
November 7th 2017
eBook
352
NetGalley

 

A delightful new urban fantasy about a kitchen witch and her magical family

 

 

Daphne "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.

 

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This is my first experience with Irene Radford. Sadly I’m disappointed in what I read. A Spoonful of Magic turned out to be depressing and a major headache.

 

I picked this one up; because I found the cover to be beautiful and the blurb to be intriguing. Even though the blurb mention’s that Daffy’s hubby G has been unfaithful I was hoping it was a misunderstanding and not true, especially since G’s a Sheriff for the International Guild of Wizard’s. Sadly it didn’t turn out that way.

 

G is a cheater. As soon as it was true and came to light I should have DNF’d this book, but nope I kept going. I new I should have stoped, but their was something that compiled me to finish. Maybe I was hoping for a turn around, I just don’t know.

 

Cheater’s are a no no for me. That scenario is one I don’t like to read about, one that bothers me greatly. Their is no excuses for cheating. Non. So why does he cheat on his wife? Well it’s his magic. When he uses a lot of magic he ends up having to much pent up energy and the only way to get ride of it is to have sex. Since he’s out being sheriff of his territory and never home or near his wife, he sleeps with other women (one night stands). This set up for the magic is wrong. What was even more unfortunate is that G, Daffy’s X-Hubby had no remorse about what he did to his wife, doesn’t change his way, and continues to lie, cheat, and manipulate throughout the story.

 

As for G and Daffy I never felt the love from G, but Daffy she loved him. G picked Daffy up to be a mom to his son and used his wife as a nanny. It was sad how G treated his wife, whom you can clearly see loved him deeply. He kept secrets lots of them, doesn’t talk to his wife now and then, nor does he tell her the truth, and when he does it’s not the whole story. As for Daffy she has magical powers, but they have been layton until now. She also doesn’t have the sexual urge like her X until they do a major power spell, but even then she doesn’t give in and finds other ways to work off the excess energy.

 

To wrap things up A Spoonful of Magic showed some promise with the plot that was fascinating at times, the lesser characters where appealing, but ultimately the unorthodox morality Radford created in her magical world was just to hard for me to consume.

 

Rated: 1 Star

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Berkley Publishing via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s): Pick Your Genre (UF) | New To Me (Author) | New Release (2017)

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/11/arc-review-a-spoonful-of-magic-by-irene-radford
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text 2017-10-14 06:00
not for me
The May Queen - Helen Irene Young

May knew there was safety in keeping her mouth shut when Ma got in one of her fits- cast often when the girls came in after curfew or had been out robbing eggs. Ma said when Pa came home May would get it. Sophie screamed she would leave and Ma said she figured Sophie would. Sophie is Ma’s older sister and had been banished from their home.

This book just didn’t make a lot of sense to me and it definitely did not hold my attention’ It was hard to figure out what was going on. I didn’t end up finishing this book just wasn’t for me. I am sure someone else will enjoy it just not me.

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review 2017-09-23 00:28
Review: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable, Vol 2
Gwenpool, The Unbelievable Vol. 2: Head ... Gwenpool, The Unbelievable Vol. 2: Head of M.O.D.O.K. TPB - Christopher Hastings,Irene Strychalski

Not nearly as strong as the first volume. The conclusion was pretty cool, but the journey was merely adequately executed. The jokes in this one felt a little thin, and I fear Gwen is in danger of actually learning something in the next volume. Still, I will try volume 3 in hopes of more good times and explosions.

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review 2017-09-20 15:10
Accessories to Die For: A Mystery (Irene... Accessories to Die For: A Mystery (Irene's Closet) - Paula Paul

Irene had been an Assistant D A in Manhattan but leaves NYC and the job at least temporarily supposedly. Irene left NYC and went to Santa Fe to make her mother Adele happy. Adele is spoiled woman but ran out of husbands and money. So Adele came to Sante Fe to find both but was feeling vulnerable and turned to Irene. Irene makes friends with Juanita who is an Native American and makes handcrafted jewelry to sell to the tourist as they like it.Irene thought she had left corruption and violence were behind her but she was wrong.  But Juanita is concerned about her son Danny who is a drug addict and has disappeared. Juanita is afraid Danny is dead either from drugs or  a man Louis Armand who gets historic relics one way or another. Then Louis goes to auctions to sell the relics. Juanita foretold Of Louis Armand’s murder. Then Louis  Armand is found dead and killed by a specially made bullet and Juanita is arrested. Irene is  .determined to prove her friend is innocent and also find Danny with help from P T Bailey- a criminal lawyer and Ange Irene’s shop clerk. Prize Native American relics are being stolen also in this time frame.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I liked the way the author gave us some information on some Native American beliefs and rituals. I really liked how the author described Santa Fe and its surroundings. This was a fast paced quick to read mystery. But sometimes it was hard to tell who’s POV was being used as the POV changed from Irene and Juanita and back. I would have liked more background and backstory on the characters. Sometimes this book  made no sense to me  like when Irene’s mother called her in a panic and the Irene turned her phone off. I didn’t like that I guessed who the killer was before the book was close to ending. But I did love Irene’s and Adele’s relationship and how they interacted with each other. I love the twists and turns of the story. As I said I had mixed feelings some things I liked and others not so much.

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review 2017-09-13 13:57
Suite Française by Irène Némirovski
Suite Française - Irène Némirovsky,Sandra Smith

"War … yes, everyone knows what war is like. But occupation is more terrible because people get used to one another. We tell ourselves, 'They’re people just like us after all,' but they’re not at all the same."

 

Irène Némirovski — famed writer, Russian emigre, and woman of Jewish ancestry — in the midst of World War II, and in the hands of the third Reich, began writing a novel. She did not live to see the end of the war or the end of the novel, but what she did write of that novel is what we have here under the title Suite FrançaiseNémirovski's work stands out from World War II stories I have read throughout my life, in particular those popular in America: It is not about America and it is not about the fighting of the war. The focus here is on the French civilians living in the shadow of war, people trying to survive and continue their lives in a world turned upside down.

 

Némirovski planned to write five parts for her novel, but only produced the first two before she was captured. The story starts in (free) Paris as news arrives that the French army is in retreat and the war is coming. We follow a handful of French citizens trying evacuate the city — specifically the wealthy Péricand family, working class Jeanne and Maurice Michaud, their son Jean-Marie, the author Gabriel Corte, and the rich Charles Langelet. 

 

Suite Française contains a very human story about the common choices we rarely hear about in the accounts of war. The characters of this book are neither heroic nor villainous in any grand sense. They make small choices that can have big consequences. they are sometimes brave, sometimes cowardly, sometimes decent, often petty. In many cases there is no easy answer at all. The good guys don't always act good and the bad guys aren't always terrible.

 

In this way, Suite Française feels immediate in a way few war narratives do. The horror of the story is not how alien this world is, but how familiar. Their choices are our choices but heightened. What do you do when you see someone in need? What would you do to others to protect your family? Or just yourself? You wouldn't have to kill someone, just steal gas, or pack your fine linens and drive past a line of people fleeing on foot. And on the other side, acts of kindness like caring for a wounded soldier in your home or helping reconnect children and parents after a bombing. There are many common decisions that suddenly hold the power of life and death in wartime and Némirovski never lets us forget that imperfect humans are the ones having to make these decisions. 

 

When we move into the second part, "Dolce," things get even more confusing. Invasion has given way to occupation and we get a look through the experiences of two households, each forced to house a German officer. "Dolce" takes place mostly in the summer two years after the invasion. Life is not back to normal, but it looks much more like it. Old grievances are renewed, people bicker and gossip, and we are told, despite numerous proclamations of French solidarity, that the townsfolk were reporting their neighbors to the Germans from the very start. "If we'd taken them all seriously, everyone in the region would be in prison," the German officer says.

 

Meanwhile, the officers are gentlemanly, polite, kind even and they live in these homes for months, and politeness in return is compulsory. Over months grudge melts into kindness, respect and even affection (thus the epigraph to this essay). We know what the Nazis (as a whole) stood for, what they perpetrated against Jews and other minorities, but one person can be complicated, a soldier, we are reminded several times, does not set the policies. As an abstraction, years later, Nazi's appear as pure evil, but as individuals, in the houses of the protagonists, the image is less clear. In fact, Germans in this town act much like American soldiers later in the war. They give sweets to the kids, offer to help carry groceries, and pay well at the local shops. In this way, Suite Française reveals our humanity both in the capacity to transcend, and our weakness to, the worst parts of ourselves, and in this book it is hard to even know which parts those are.

 

The tension in "Dolce" seems to pull tighter and tighter until you can't stop reading. The friendship between Lucile and a German officer seems to draw inexorably toward disaster. Némirovski writes at her best at these moments when her characters are torn between what they want and what they know is right and even possible. Quiet, impossible feelings spring up between people despite themselves. It's not a naughty affair, but a tragic affection expressed through a song on the piano, a look at a ring, blanched faces, or a startle when the real world reinserts itself into a quiet moment on the lawn.

 

Suite Française feels defined almost as much by what is included as by what is not. Hitler is not mentioned at all until very near the end. Jews and concentration camps aren't mentioned at all. This feels very strange if you do not read the appendix that is included with Némirovski's diary entries about the book. I have often skipped afterwords and appendices in recent years, but since this novel was so conspicuously unfinished I decided to read them. Now I wonder at what more this book could have become. Némirovski kept the horrors to the margins while she told us when it must have seem that way to citizens. She invites us to feel as conflicted as many may have felt at the time — and from her notes it appears she too was sympathetic to individual soldiers — before dropping hard truths in the next sections. The reality of the Nazi rule would intrude disastrously on our protagonists and they would find themselves colliding in different ways, trying to survive the new, even more insidious threat of occupation. The final two sections of the novel she never even outlined; they would depend on the outcome of the war.

 

Unfortunately, Némirovski, and her story, in Auschwitz on August 17, 1942. What remains is written with a rare heart and clarity, untainted by nostalgia, parades, or narratives of heroes and villains. It's a story of ordinary people living in turbulent, dangerous times, and Suite Française is especially charming, and haunting, for that reason. 

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