Gingerbread Men and Toad’s Wart by Daniel Kamin

Gingerbread Men and Toad’s Wart by Daniel Kamin
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Life isn’t easy for a witch who bakes cookies instead of brews potions. It’s a lot harder for a single witch living with a cranky basilisk. But Cresella’s life is upended when a new client, Walter, comes looking for a batch of gingerbread men—and asks her to a Christmas party he’s throwing. He’s handsome, charming, sweet, but oh so human. Their worlds don’t mesh, so a relationship between a human and a witch is foolish. She’s also had bad luck in love, and with her floundering cookie business, does she have time for a romance that seems doomed from the start? But Walter offers her a tempting new world she finds hard to resist…

Christmas cookies can fix almost anything.

Cresella was such a sweetheart, and that’s not something I’d ever thought I’d say about a witch! She was the sort of character who would quietly perform a random act of kindness and then never tell a soul about it or expect any sort of reward. Knowing she’d made someone else’s life a little better was all she hoped to gain from that sort of experience. I adore characters like this and was thrilled to get to know her.

I would have preferred to see more time developing the romantic subplot of this novella. Cresella and Walter were memorable characters in and of themselves, but they would have benefitted from a few more scenes explaining why he was interested in her and why they’d make a good match. There were so many obstacles in their path that including those sorts of things would have made the plot stronger.

The world building was well done from the descriptions of the town where the main character lived to the explanations of how various magical beings and creatures related to each other. I also appreciated all of the references to the many ways in which Cresella defied social expectations of what a witch should be like. Not only did they endear me to this character, they made it easy to imagine what it would be like to live in her society.

Gingerbread Men and Toad’s Wart was a festive holiday read.

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