Sunday, November 1, 2020

ARC Review: Witch Under Wraps by E.J. Russell

Witch Under Wraps


When supernatural secrets collide, it’ll take more than coffee to brew the perfect love.

When Ky Hernández bonded with his familiar, Zuri, his life changed forever. Their connection turned him into a practicing witch and led him to his calling as a medimagical professional. However, it totally tanked his love life—what guy would settle for eternal second place behind a parrot? So Ky keeps his witchy nature under wraps and sticks to hookups with humans, which can never go anywhere. But the mouthwatering barista at the coffee shop next door makes him thirst for more than a caffeine fix.

The charms Ewan Jones uses to appear human are inconvenient, disorienting, and . . . necessary. Ewan and his siblings are achubyddion, metaphysical healers whose powers are coveted by unscrupulous supernatural beings. And let’s face it: all supes are unscrupulous, given the right incentive. He’s grateful for the protections that hide his little family, and for the barista job that keeps them housed and fed. He’s just so lonely. And his regular, Ky, the super-hot, commitment-averse EMT, seems like the perfect candidate for a one-night shot at intimacy. After all, humans are no threat.

It takes a clumsy coffee shop intern, a mysterious werewolf epidemic, and one snarky parrot to unravel their pasts—and give them a chance at a future.

Todd's rating:


Yay, another story in the same universe as Russell's "Fae Out of Water" series! : )

Thirty-six y.o. EMT and witch Ky wasn't looking for love, only ever having encounters with unwitting humans, since long-term attachments were limited by his bond with his familiar, a sassy African grey parrot named Zuri.

And after witnessing the murder of his entire clan a year ago, twenty-seven y.o. Ewan's life consisted entirely of hiding his achubydd nature from the Fae and supernatural worlds, while ensuring the safety of his sister and little brother. So yeah, romance wasn't exactly on the table for him, either.

After innocently flirting with one another for months at the coffee shop where Ewan worked as a barista, though, he finally agreed to go out to dinner with Ky, partly hoping that dessert would consist of getting rid of his pesky virginal status.

As one might expect, not everything went according to plan, leaving Ewan fearing for his family's safety, until a pivotal point where relying on Ky's help was needed to save one of his precious siblings.

I really enjoyed the story more once Ky had Ewan and his small family's trust, so that all of the secrets were no longer standing in the way of their developing feelings.

But speaking of feelings, I did find this one to be lower in the romance quotient than I prefer, mainly due to the plot's focus being heavily shared with a rapidly-spreading werewolf epidemic. When an entire race faces possible extinction, that tends to take up a page or two, you know?

The one thing that I kept anxiously awaiting was for David from "Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1)" to show up and discover that he was *not* in fact the sole survivor of his race, which didn't happen until the very end, but the wait was well worth it.

Along with David, this story seemed chock full of characters from Russell's previous books; however, as I'd only read 4 of her books from this universe, I did always have this "Should I already know this new person?" question annoyingly rattling around in my brain.

I did recognize Isaac from "Howling on Hold", though, and was thrilled to see that he was one of the main side characters. The young, clumsy, Frisbee-chasing, ADHD wolf made me smile from start to finish and I'd love to see him get his own book someday.

This sweet and fluffy story was pretty low on steam and mild on the angst, so if you're looking for a lighter paranormal read, I'd recommend this one -- especially if you've read any of Russell's previous Fae/supe books that might help with the abundant presence of the cross-over characters.

4.25 stars.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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