Title: The Single Witch’s Guide to Online Dating (Vanessa Kinley, Witch PI Prequel)
Publisher/Author: Celia Roman
Pages: 76pp
Price: $2.99 / free

A former police detective and now a private investigator, Ness is also a witch — or at least half witch. Abandoned by her mother, she was raised by the loving if flighty Auntie Ophelia. Having virtually no magic of her own, except for one stolen rune spell, Ness uses her wits, her training, and her knowledge of Atlanta’s underground supernatural community to work any cases that come her way. When her date with arson investigator Duncan Seavers is interrupted by a call from the site of a suspicious fire, Ness decides to tag along — and discovers that the fire has more than mundane origins. Even worse, the destroyed site belongs to none other than Seth Rhone, the alpha of the local werewolf pack. Seth has lots of enemies and a long, complicated history with Ness, both of which come back to haunt her after she agrees to investigate ….

I found Roman’s prequel to her Vanessa Kinley series as a freebie through bookfunnel in exchange for signing up for her newsletter (the book can also be purchased through Amazon). I love urban fantasy, so this looked like fun, and I quickly downloaded it.

Overall, I quite enjoyed it. Ness is a fun character: smart, spunky, and determined, but also deeply wounded by her mother’s abandonment. She loves Auntie Ophelia, but feels like a perpetual outsider; close enough to touch and taste the magic, but not powerful enough to use it. Virtually everyone else in the supernatural community is bigger and badder than her, so she has a lot to prove — and a lot to lose.

My only real complaints are that the book needed a more thorough edit (there are multiple typographical and grammatical errors, some of which threw me right out of the story) and the final showdown with the villain felt rushed. Another page or two would have upped the tension and made it much more satisfying.

That being said, The Single Witch’s Guide is a lot of fun. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Recommended to fans of Roman’s other books, as well as fans of By a Silver Thread by Rachel Aaron, Caged by Scott Walker, and Wicked Games by MJ Scott.

[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]

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