Book Review – Witch Under Wraps by E.J. Russell

Mythmatched story universe #9
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages: 235
Characters: Ky/Ewan
POV: 3rd
Genre: Paranormal, Series

When supernatural secrets collide, it’ll take more than coffee to brew the perfect love.

When Ky Hernández bonded with his familiar, Zuri, his life changed forever. Their connection turned him into a practicing witch and led him to his calling as a medimagical professional. However, it totally tanked his love life—what guy would settle for eternal second place behind a parrot? So Ky keeps his witchy nature under wraps and sticks to hookups with humans, which can never go anywhere. But the mouthwatering barista at the coffee shop next door makes him thirst for more than a caffeine fix.

The charms Ewan Jones uses to appear human are inconvenient, disorienting, and . . . necessary. Ewan and his siblings are achubyddion, metaphysical healers whose powers are coveted by unscrupulous supernatural beings. And let’s face it: all supes are unscrupulous, given the right incentive. He’s grateful for the protections that hide his little family, and for the barista job that keeps them housed and fed. He’s just so lonely. And his regular, Ky, the super-hot, commitment-averse EMT, seems like the perfect candidate for a one-night shot at intimacy. After all, humans are no threat.

It takes a clumsy coffee shop intern, a mysterious werewolf epidemic, and one snarky parrot to unravel their pasts—and give them a chance at a future.

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I fell in love with this story from the first page and had to keep reading to find out what happened next. Once I’d finished I bought more in the series as I’m totally hooked. The world building is fabulous, and the characters a wonderful mix of personalities.

I loved Ewan’s vulnerability. He’s trying to do the right thing by his family and yet the blockers he’s taking to keep himself and his family safe have left him with a bland kind of half life. He’s a very strong character, and I thought his reaction to finding out what Ky is, and what’s next door to his so-called safe job was the perfect mix of emotion, especially as he’s not able to walk away from helping someone in need. Wonderful Mug is a great name for a café. I loved how Ky feels an instant attraction to Ewan, yet doesn’t push him. He’s wonderfully caring, yet not afraid to step outside boundaries to help those in need. I love his relationship with his brother and the banter with his friends. This story has a great feel of community, which I really like.

Although this story is Ky’s and Ewan’s, Zuri the parrot, and Jordan the werewolf need a mention. I loved how Zuri knows what is going on, and how Ky misinterprets her few words at every step, although she’s totally spot on. Jordan is fun, and I loved his mix of naive and eagerness to please, and how he approaches everything with enthusiasm. I hope he gets his own book in this series.

The world building is very detailed, and well thought out. I loved the idea of the supes living alongside humans who for the most part have no clue, and the Secrecy Pact. I liked how their world is changing, and how allegiances have shifted even within the past year, which gave it the feel of a rich history, and tapestry of different races working together. I also like how the idea of the calon and how the presence or absence of one is an identifier as to whether someone is supe or human.

I liked how the characters and plot wove together, and how there’s a twist to the cause of the epidemic. I thought the way it was resolved was very clever. Although this is part of a series, so I had the sense that other characters had their own stories, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this one, or leave me feeling as though I was on the back foot, having come in late. It stands on its own, yet left me wanting to explore the other stories in this world.

More please.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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