Review: Casting Spells (Sugar Maple #1) by Barbara Bretton

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Casting Spells Book Cover Casting Spells
Sugar Maple #1
Barbara Bretton
Paranormal Romance - Mystery
November 4th 2008


Welcome to Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple may look like your postcard-perfect Vermont town but that’s where the similarity ends. Our librarian is a beautiful Norwegian troll. The funeral parlor is run by a family of vampires. The Sugar Maple Inn is owned by Fae while the werewolves keep our hardware store well-stocked. For centuries we have been home to house sprites, witches, selkies, spirits, shapeshifters, and elves.

And who could forget Forbes, our lovable Mountain Giant?

I’m Chloe Hobbs, the half-human/half-magick owner of Sticks & String, the most popular knit shop in New England, where your yarn never tangles, you always get gauge, and the knitter sitting next to you only comes out after dark. And did I mention that I’m almost thirty, single, and with no prospects in sight? My friends and neighbors have been casting spells to help me find Mr. Right but so far their efforts have been all wrong.

Who'd have guessed I'd find my soulmate in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple's very first murder? Bad news is he's 100% human which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like me--in love, in danger, and in way over my head.


Casting Spells is book one in the Sugar Maple series by Barbara Bretton.

I went into this one think it was a cozy mystery, but it focused on the romance more then the mystery and so this is a paranormal cozy mystery romance. It had a verity of paranormal elements with a dash of mystery and spark of magic.

I liked the portal the author did on the picture-perfect town. It’s a sleepy New England town, but everyone who lives in it is magical – supernatural. It’s a haven for supernaturals. A place for them to live protected from the outside world. 

Chloe is the last of her line. Her family cast a spell to protect the village a long time ago and as long as their is a female descendant inhabiting the village the town is protected. 

I enjoyed the story. I liked Chloe’s backstory and her knitting shop, but I was surprised with the towns people. They where all against her, blame her for something she has no control over at least at this point in her life, but what really got to me was her friends. They kept telling her that the man she has sparks with isn’t the one for her, even though she clearly has magical sparks with him. It was sad to see her friends not support her and it was upsetting to see the town not have faith in her. 

The side mystery on who killed one of the visitors to the town and who is out to get Chloe was ok. I I had a feeling on who the evil villain would be. 

As for reading on in the series I’m not sure I will. I read the blurb for Book 2, Laced with Magic, and I am not a fan of ex’s returning whether their ex-wife or ex-girlfriend. That trope is a turn off for me and irks me.

Rated: 3 Stars

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Challenge(s) (2018): Library Love / Try Something New




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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

8 comments on “Review: Casting Spells (Sugar Maple #1) by Barbara Bretton

  1. Hmm. I wish you had liked it better but I’m glad to know about it. I love witches and knitting. So Maybe. Thanks for the review. Anne – Books of My Heart
    Northwoman recently posted…Audio: Exit Strategy by Martha WellsMy Profile

    • I’m not sure how I found this book or series, but I did. The only thing I new going in was it was a paranormal mystery I wasn’t expecting the romance. I wish I had liked it better, but it just turned out ok. Not sure if I’ll continue on, but I gave it a try.

  2. I’ve enjoyed other books by this author so this could be a good one for me. That cover is so wonderful. And it would fit in perfectly for my Cozy November feature.
    Laura Thomas recently posted…31 Days Of Thrills and Chills #14 ~ SnowbeastMy Profile

    • I love this first edition cover. Now the covers are different and don’t show as much. I will say I found the cover cute and it helped to pull me in. That’s great you have enjoyed other books by this author. I’ll have to see what else she has written. I had a good enough time with Casting Spells. I was disappointed in the town and friends, which does take away for me. You want a character to have a good support system and friendships.

  3. Great review angela! Shared on all my socials!!??

    • Thank you!!

  4. Oh I do not think I’d like that town or her friends. I’ve read ones like that before where I enjoyed the main characters but everyone else made me real mad.
    herding cats burning soup recently posted…4 stars– It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor #7) by Jill ShalvisMy Profile

    • The town and her friends weren’t nice. I couldn’t believe how against her they are especially since her family is THE family that protects the town. It was upsetting. The main character wasn’t bad.