Thursday, November 30, 2023

This Spells Love by Kate Robb

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars 
Pages: 352 pages
Published: December 2023

This Spells Love is a debut, friends-to-lovers romcom authored by Kate Robb, and I snagged an early release copy from Book of the Month in November, but the book officially releases in December 2023. I think the punnyness of the title won me over. 

The focal point of the story is Gemma Wilde who is grieving over the end of her long-term relationship. To help her recover, her sister, Kiersten, her aunt Livi, and her best friend Dax McGuire meet up at aunt Livi’s for some margarita therapy where they decide to perform a love-cleansing spell that will make Gemma forget all about her down in the dumps love life. The spell is sealed with a kiss from her platonic BFF, Dax. Much to her surprise the spell works, and she wakes up the next morning in a parallel universe where her life is flipped upside down and Dax knows nothing of her other than they work on the same street in Toronto. For the remainder of the book, Gemma struggles to decide if the life she’s been given is one she wants to keep, or if she needs to reverse the spell before the next waning gibbous phase of the moon, which will happen in about a month. But to reverse the spell, she must duplicate all the steps, including kissing Dax. 

The book moves at a fast pace, sometimes too fast for my liking. Some of Dax’s behaviors just seemed incongruent with how men and relationships work in reality. Overall, the plot is predictable and provided an easy read that I finished over the (U.S.) Thanksgiving holiday. I think it was a fair debut for this author. After finishing the book then reading her acknowledgements in the back, I learned she is a part of a so-called SmutFest 2.0 community that she deems “her people.” Had I known this, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have picked up a copy because that’s just not my genre. I guess when it comes to romance, I am more of a Hallmark girl. But to each his own, not every book is for every one. 

My other struggle with this book were some of the under-developed plot holes. Like, why didn’t it work out with her long-term boyfriend? Robb alludes to it when Gemma encounters him in her parallel universe (where he doesn’t know who she is either), but she never fully explains the reasoning. Also, did Aunt Livi know what would happen as a result of the spell. Again, the author alludes to it, but there’s never any resolution. And it all left me wondering. 

Recommendation: If you’re into the hot and heavy, this may just be the book for you. While I would classify it as chick lit, I must offer the disclaimer that it’s best read by fully-cooked chicks. There are many, steamy sex scenes and graphic details about male body parts that I’d rate R on the motion picture scale. Other than that, I’d select this book if you’re looking for some mindless entertainment over a long weekend. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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