Pros: Sassy characters with a lot of personality; enjoyable, interesting, and moving story
Cons: Sometimes the dialogue is way too dominated by pop-psych or lessons on magick; one cat-in-a-car scene
Rating: 3 out of 5
Storm Cartwright is one of three triplets—all of whom are psychic witches. Whenever she gets near Aiden McCloud, she hears a baby crying in her head, smells apricots and baby powder, and craves Fruit Loops with chocolate milk. She’s sure it’s his child, and that her destiny is to help him find the child that needs him. She’ll turn on every wicked charm she possesses to get him on the road and making his way toward the girl, even if she has to cuff him to the bed in his mobile home to do it.
Aiden finds Storm far more attractive than he ought to, particularly since she keeps talking insanity about hearing his baby in her head—when he definitely doesn’t have a baby. He has plenty of reasons, however, for not wanting to get caught in her snare. He doesn’t have much of a choice, however, when she kidnaps him and takes him to find the baby she’s hearing, whether he agrees or not! Along the way things heat up between them like a volcano, Storm starts rescuing missing children, and she makes a few discoveries related to her own family…
Most of my negatives regarding Annette Blair’s Gone with the Witch are issues of tone. Either they’ll be the sort of thing you just won’t enjoy, or you likely won’t notice them much, depending on your preferences. The raunchy, erotic sex-talk gets pretty over-the-top at times; in my opinion this is deliberate, enjoyable, and done for fun, but not everyone would like it. Also, with psychic witches at the heart of the story, it probably isn’t too surprising that the dialogue sometimes gets overloaded with pop-psychological discussion or explanations of animal totems, crystals, and spells. It spilled over into the realm where I sometimes felt like I was reading a lesson rather than information that had been well-integrated into a narrative, but I also suspect this won’t be as big a deal to most of the people this book’s premise and genre will appeal to.
The characters have a ton of personality and are wickedly sassy. The male lead isn’t the stereotypical glowering frowny-face that all too often shows up in the romance genre—instead he more than holds his own in the wicked jab and entertaining innuendo department. The side-characters are wonderful too, including the brief appearance of Winkie the clown, the baby Storm keeps hearing, the family-related discoveries I alluded to earlier, and the baby’s grandmother. All of them have bright, shining personalities that stand out from the pages.
The story is also fantastic. I love Storm’s emotional and psychic journey as she learns to trust the sounds she hears, and Aiden’s as he learns to trust her. I very much enjoyed watching the relationship between Storm and Aiden develop, and seeing the twists and turns that occurred.
I do have one last negative. The idea of anyone leaving a cat in a car for a time while they go to a carnival, regardless of cracked windows, fresh water, and a supply of vanilla ice cream, made my blood boil. Cars are rather like solar-powered ovens, even with the windows cracked, and can cause death or irreparable brain injury to an animal in short order. And a whole dish of vanilla ice cream could make a cat very ill. I don’t care if this is fiction—I can’t get with the ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ program when I’m imagining a kitten broiling and having diarrhea all over the car.
The characters and story are top-notch and absolutely worthy of this author’s ‘best-selling’ status. The tonal issues are somewhat a matter of reader taste, although I fall into the camp of finding the mini-lectures annoying. I just wish that last cat-related issue hadn’t made an appearance, because it definitely ruined the mood.