Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Review: Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

34970554Title: Deadly Sweet
Author:  Lola Dodge 
Publisher: Ink Monsters LLC 
Publishing Date: January 16th, 2018
Pages: 265
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Series:  The Spellwork Syndicate #1
Source: Kindle
Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad no one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

Why I wanted to read this book? Let me count the ways... Gorgeous and haunting cover, witches, baking, and deadly situations. Yup sounded good to me. I really couldn't wait to read this book. That cover will stay in mind forever. I think it's one of my favorite covers ever... at least up there high in ranking. This book wasn't what I needed it to be. I liked it okay. It was just okay. It felt like a cozy mystery and there wasn't as much of the deadly situations I really wanted. BUT... I think I liked it enough to keep on with the series in hope it will get better for me. It was just a little flat at times. The ending it got really good but for the beginning and middle it lacked oomph. 
Anise is a baking witch. In the world she lives, witches are a known and feared being. So when she tries to get into cooking schools, they all turn her down on the count that she is a witch. Bummer. Her life changes one day when she receives a letter for a Great Aunt who owns a bakery and invites Anise to be her apprentice. Unfortunately this comes with some dangers. The prior apprentice went missing, there seems to be a warlock hanging around, and she has to have an aloof and kind of rude bodyguard follow her everywhere. Of course he makes himself useful when danger starts to follow Anise around town. 

So now that I have stared at the cover for a bit of time now I can get on withe review. Yes I just love that cover!  This book wasn't what I expected and though it was interesting at times, it just didn't give me what I craved. 

There was witchcraft...not enough. There was baking... maybe too much.... There was danger... not enough... there was the start of some pretty awesome characters.. but I wasn't able to connect to them all the way. 

I can't say what it was exactly. I just don't think I was expecting what I got. It felt like a cozy mystery and though I love me some cozy mysteries, generally in these books I connect to the main character on a grand level. That is what makes cozy mysteries so much fun. The characters. The characters in this book had a good start. I liked their personalities but they didn't shine like I needed them too. The main character Anise had some good qualities. She was a go getter, she was independant, she had a good head on her shoulders, she didn't fear much. She just wanted to bake. She was all these good things but I couldn't connect. 

I really liked the bodyguard Wynn, but he didn't seem to have enough page time. I was really needing more banter between him and Anise. I think this would have made such a grand difference in my reading enjoyment. 

There was some romance but really not a whole lot. It was just starting when all hell broke loose. So I didn't have the romance or the connection to the characters or some good banter. If any of these things would have been there I would have really loved this book. 

The mystery was good, the background, the world building I enjoyed . I loved the different magics and learning who did what and the specialties of the shops. I liked the warlock business and what mad them bad. I loved the magic fight scenes. 

By the end of the book I was starting to see a spark with the characters. I finally started to connect and it was over, but it gave me hope for the next book because I really loved the world Anise lived in. So I will continue with the series and see if the next book has more character development. I have a feeling it will. 

I enjoyed the story, the mystery, the world building enough that I enjoyed the book for the most part. I think it could have just had a bit more. 

An interesting read with good world building.. If you like magic and witches and sweet treats check this book out. 

Lola Dodge
Lola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on K-dramas and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.


  1. Sounds like a fun read! I saw it on NetGalley and I wanted to requested JUST because of that cover insta-cover-love! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  2. Even though it didn't wow you, it does sound like an entertaining book. I also LOVE that cover!


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