Paranormal Romance, Category Romance, Witches
Ebook $2.99 (149 pages, COVET)
Storie Bell has a little secret—she’s a witch. But magic hasn’t exactly kept her life from being a complete mess—her love life is non-existent and the town thinks she’s a total nutter. Plus there’s her neighbor Reid Malone who runs hot one minute and cold the next. Reid Malone can’t wait to escape Bloomington, Texas. Unfortunately, he’s stuck where he is unless he helps his father hide a very illegal secret. The only key to Reid’s freedom lies with the eccentric Storie…and he’ll do whatever it takes to get the information he needs from her. But Reid’s holding something back. Something big. And if he’s not careful, he’ll find out exactly what happens when you try to deceive a witch…
Author Site: misaramirez.com
An Instant Category Romance Classic (5 stars)
Reid Malone wants nothing more than to get out of Bloomington, Texas and never look back. But he's a good son, trying to right by his aging father—even if that means hiding his dad's highly illegal secret. If he could just get the last piece of the puzzle holding him in Bloomington he could light out for the big city without a care in the world. The trouble is, the one girl he's dreamed about since their almost-encounter years ago—the eccentric flame-maned Storie Bell—is getting in the way of his finding it.
When she left Bloomington, Storie didn't expect to come back but building a bookshop/cafe with her best friend in the old service station her father left her is good enough for her. Until Reid pops back up in her world and the magic she's always struggled with working starts becoming more troublesome. She doesn't trust Reid but she can't seem to cool off the electric connection that started before she left. Are his seemingly equal lusty leanings genuine or is Reid hiding something sinister? Storie's going to figure it out even if she has to get witchy to do so.
Insert a bit of googly-eyed fangirling here because I freaking LOVED this book. It isn't every day I read a first chapter and have a moment of 'whoa buddy' excitement I want to tell everyone about. Ramirez definitely knows how to lure a reader in and fortunately she keeps the excitement going. This is one sexy story and yet it's quite heartfelt too. Storie is a character that anyone who's ever felt like the oddball can relate to and she pulls herself up by the bootstraps pretty well which makes her a strong heroine I think most PNR fans will love. Reid is tongue-on-the-floor smooth in all the right ways without it being unbelievable. I was rooting for these two from the get-go.
Meanwhile, there are giggle worthy moments and secondary characters that pepper DECEIVING THE WITCH NEXT DOOR with realism that manages to ground it. While the paranormal is definitely on the light side it's a key element in the storytelling and I wanted so much more of it, that I hope Ramirez writes another in this world. I sensed mild potential for secondary characters to have their own books but haven't seen anything to indicate that for sure.
Overall, this one has everything I expect from a category romance and a just-right paranormal thread to make it fun but not overwhelm readers with a lot of world building. This is one I would definitely reread if I ever stopped finding more books I want to read long enough to do it. A definite recommend for readers who need a shorter read for a place ride or sick day that's sure to stimulate on many levels.
Jaclyn on Goodreads
Notes: Review copy received via publisher.