Black Witch Magic by Mila Nicks
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Paranormal Mystery - Contemporary Romance
Representation: Full figured Black lead, diverse cast, queer bestie, interracial romance
Selene Blackstone spends her days camped out in library corners with her nose glued to books. In a town like Brimrock, where she’s an outcast, she prefers her book friends to her real-life enemies. They’re a lot less judgmental. The rest of town believes she descends from a family of witches—including her evil witch grandma, Luna. In this case, the truth is stranger than fiction. She is a witch, and she’s cursed for all of eternity. Good thing her to-be-read list is pretty long…
Prickly Paranormal Investigator Aiden O’Hare speaks two languages: sarcasm and more sarcasm. He travels the country—and sometimes even the world—investigating strange phenomena with his best friend, Eddie. Their investigations bring them to a cozy New England town called Brimrock, home to fabled evil witch Luna Blackstone. Armed with his dry wit, his bibliophilic love for books, and far too much free time, he’s determined to find out just what happened to Luna…
When Aiden meets Selene, he decides he must get to know her. When Selene learns Aiden is in town investigating her grandma, she knows she must stop him. He’s out to expose the truth. She’s out to keep it a secret. Neither expects to fall under each other’s spell, but sometimes love is supernatural. - Mila Nicks Website
Black Witch Magic is at the intersection of Romance, Paranormal/Sci-Fi, and Mystery! I loved the characters and twists in the story. This is the first of the Paranormal Hunter series and I'm excited to read the others. Selene is a lovable witch who is unfairly ostracized by her town and her employer. No one knows that she's a witch for sure but they still treat her like the walking embodiment of the chicken pox and it sucks. It was wonderful to read that Selene looks like me! From my natural curls to my glasses and nerdy vibes. She's introverted, bookish, and not exactly fashionable. I related with her a lot (except for her love of dogs over cats!!!) Her bestie and bestie's grandma were my favorite characters aside from Selene. Their coffee shop sounded heavenly and they were probably the most fun and creative part of the town. These three characters are Black witches. The rest of Brimrock seems hella boring, so I understand why Aiden isn't too keen to partake in the Christmas festivities with his friend's family.
I had a little issue with the way Nicks described Selene's work at the library. This will probably seem silly to most people but as a librarian, I thought I should address it. Selene often organizes and puts away books, which is usually something that library assistants do not librarians. The book also describes her putting away books alphabetically but most libraries in the US have systems like the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress Classification. Both of these organization systems use groupings like genre. As I mentioned before, this isn't really a big deal, but it did distract me a bit as I read.
Another reviewer (Bethany) for this book made some really good points on how this book had "lots of subtext on racism and microagressions" and I agree! Check out her review if you want more on that.
I'm hoping the next book will reveal more about Selene's upbringing/family while investigating more paranormal activities!