Love Potion #9.5 by Kat Holmes

Love Potion #9.5 by Kat Holmes
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (23 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Lucy Mixernight has a real problem. Thanks to a witch with a serious case of PMS half the people in her town have been cursed with an embarrassing, yet explosive dilemma. Naturally the witch can’t fix the problem so everyone turns to Lucy for help.

But no matter how many recipes she tries she can’t solve the problem. Then Tad, a hunky travelling merchant enters her shop and she’s not thinking about potions any longer. But he may just be the answer to her prayers, in more ways than one.

Few things are more frustrating than a problem that can’t be solved. This is even more true when your livelihood depends on figuring it out.
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The chemistry between Lucy and Tad is delicious. They can’t be in the same room without sparks flyings, and this electric connection between them makes for some amazingly hot sex scenes. These characters are a great example of how quickly strangers can find common ground if they click with one another.

Chemistry isn’t everything, though, and I would have preferred to see at least a few reasons why they could be compatible outside of the bedroom. A few scenes early on in the narrative could easily be rewritten in order to highlight other things that Lucy and Tad could offer one another. It would have only required the inclusion of one or two points of compatibility for this tale to have earned a higher rating.

I really enjoyed the references to classic fairy tales that are scattered throughout the plot. They made me feel like I’d wandered into the middle of a much longer piece. The author could easily write one or more sequels to address what has otherwise only been hinted at in these pages. While I don’t know if that’s something she is planning to do, Ms. Holmes has plenty of material to work with if she does decide to revisit Fairyville.

There are multiple grammar and punctuation mistakes in this story. While none of them fundamentally chance the meanings of the sentences that contain them, figuring out what the author actually intended to say was distracting. A large number of run-on sentences also made it difficult for me to stay focused on what was otherwise an engaging plot.

With that being said, the setting is absolutely perfect for these characters. What might have seemed a little colourful for a non-fantasy setting feels right at home in Fairyville. If anything, Lucy and Tad seem to be two of the more sombre members of their community. Figuring out the cultural differences between their world and my own was one of the highlights of reading this story for this reader.

Love Potion #9.5 kept me smiling until the end. This is a good choice for anyone who loves the otherworldly feel of the fantasy genre.

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