Candlelit Magic by Wendi Zwaduk

Candlelit Magic by Wendi Zwaduk
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (64 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Even love witches get the blues.

Havan’s magical potions bring couples together and give them the happily ever after of their dreams. Too bad her spells don’t work for her. In Erie View, the townspeople see nothing more than a witch. All she wants is to find that special man to embrace her quirks and love her. Will she be able to accept the blessings of the Goddesses or lose faith in herself?

Neil doesn’t believe in magic. It’s trickery for television and movies. No one creates a spell for people to fall in love. Hell, he doesn’t even believe in love. After a string of crappy dates and dead-end romances, he’s through with relationships. But a chance meeting at the grocery store changes his mind. Havan’s nothing like he expects—but is the blue haired witch enough to make him give romance another shot?

Candlelit Magic is Wendi Zwaduk’s take on a love witch, a fun and sexy story with charismatic characters and a world that could be any neighborhood, as long as that neighborhood included witches and such.

At Madame Scarlett’s, the shop Havan and her friend and fellow witch operate, Havan has brought love and happy ever afters to many couples seeking her special touch. Her spells and potions have helped many find that special someone, but still, she hasn’t found her own match. When the brother of one of her happy couples shows an interest in Havan, she fears she may have inadvertently captured his heart with a spelled candle, or maybe a love potion. Neil has never met someone quite like Havan before, but he is interested in getting to know her, and asks her to be his date at his sister’s wedding. Although interested, Havan can’t quite conceive that Neil would find her attractive without some magical inducement, and is hesitant to get involved. Can Neil convince Havan that what he feels is all them, not magically induced? Can Havan find the courage to accept what Neil offers? Can these two wounded hearts come together and heal each other?

I like this world, and the way Ms. Zwaduk has blended the mundane and the supernatural seamlessly, and I hope to see more of this world in the future.

Havan is a love witch, bringing love and happiness to couples in town. But due to past issues, she doesn’t believe in herself, and her self-worth is very low. When she first meets Neil, she is attracted, but fears that the candle and love potion he bought are influencing his attraction to her. I like Havan, although at times I just wanted to shake her to bring her out of her self doubt about Neil’s feelings. I like her quirky attitude and her unusual way of looking at life, both in general and in regard to herself. I enjoyed watching as she began to believe in herself, and decided that, just maybe, she could have her own happy ending with Neil.

Neil is handsome, caring and sexy as all get out. He wants to see his sister happy, and so he helps with her wedding, in spite of his past issues with romance. He has been hurt, and isn’t sure he is ready or willing to be hurt again. When he meets Havan, in fact even before he actually meets her (when he sees her at the grocery store) he feels an attraction, a special pull towards her. He sees past the blue hair and the hearse she drives, to the insecure and slightly wounded woman inside. He wants to see where this will lead, and is determined to get past Havan’s walls to the warm and loving woman he believes is there. I like Neil for his ‘never give up’ attitude, and his ability to see past the quirks to the sensitive woman behind it all. Although not a believer at first, Neil soon believes in Havan and her special brand of magic.

This is a charming and sexy story, just perfect for an evening of magic and romance. I like the secondary character in this, Havan’s best friend and partner in Madame Scarlett’s shop, Cian. She is Havan’s biggest supported and fights to convince Havan to reach for something more with Neil, to really take a chance at love and happiness. I recommend this for those who believe there is a bit of magic in every love story, and hope to visit this world Ms. Zwaduk has created.

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