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Author: Amanda M. Lee
Publisher: Amanda M. Lee
Series: A Two Broomsticks Gas & Grill Witch Cozy Mystery
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars

Can you tell that I’m enjoying the series already since we’re now on book two?

Yes, we’re back with Stormy Morgan, new witch in the small town of Shadow Hills, Michigan. Well, technically, make that only witch in Shadow Hills since her great-grandmother moved away to Florida years back. Which means that she’s navigating this new power all on her own, while she tries to keep it fairly quiet from her family, the town and her not-quite boyfriend, Hunter.

Overall, the writing is cute and I’m enjoying the characters and continuation of the story and what’s going on with Stormy. Book two actually opens up with a Prologue set in Hemlock Cove, a town over from Shadow Hills with Bay and Thistle Winchester. From reading other reviews, of the first book and this book I had already picked up that this was a series set in a much bigger universe from her other series. This prologue, for those who haven’t read any of her other series, pretty much confirms it. I did a little digging to link that the Winchesters are from her ‘Wicked Witches of the Midwest’ books, of which there are currently nineteen out. Something I might tackle later because I can’t say I’m not interested in reading Bay’s story from the beginning.

Spoilers weaved in and out of my review ahead, so read at your discretion.

I did like this book a little more than the first, though I think part of it is because while it’s frustrating Stormy, Hunter is trying to actually do the right thing by not just jumping into a relationship with Stormy so soon after his breakup with Monica. Stormy as a whole is worried that it’s because she’s not sure if it’s due to Hunter having second thoughts, but he does confirm it’s because he knows he was in the wrong with how he treated Monica and wanted to give it some time before the relationship was more or less rubbed into Monica’s face.

While the town might still be gossiping about them, I actually appreciate him trying to do the right thing and not give the town MORE to gossip about or throw in her face.

As well, Stormy is starting to come to terms with her being a witch, with her friend Sebastian dragging her off to Hemlock Cove to the Winchester’s store in an effort to get her to kind of feel out the family because it’s a well-known not-secret that they are in fact witches.

The speed at which the murders are happening in town since Stormy came back is a little concerning though. We’re only a few weeks after the conclusion of the first book, where someone was murdered behind the family restaurant when one drops dead as she’s leaving from breakfast – the ultimate conclusion for death being poisoned. So again, another murder. (And I’m already partway into book three, which takes place only a few weeks after this one, and again, a new murder) So we’re talking like, three murders in the span of like a month and a half – two months? That’s a LOT, especially for a small town. It asks for a lot of suspension of disbelief – it’s easier to believe the speed of murders were it in a larger town, because more people, but in a town where everyone knows everyone and the largest gossip outside of the murders is that Hunter’s truck was parked behind the restaurant so everyone knows he spent the night at Stormy’s apartment – it takes a decent amount of disbelief for ‘reading reasons’ to wonder why people haven’t fleed this town ages ago if this is how fast people are dropping.

The book had a similar feel of book one, where we’re focusing on Stormy and her magic, or Stormy and Hunter a lot and sometimes it does feel like the murder and the mystery of it get pushed back a little for the other things. I like that magic is starting to take a bigger roll in the books as Stormy is learning about it and of it, though I also feel like if there was a little more time between each book (and murder) there’s some hand waving, Stormy has been learning and so we can speed up the rate at which she’s learning to use it a little more. However, I do feel like we had a little more sleuthing about the murder and into why it happened than the first book, so the conclusion of the who, how, and why came a little more in flow with the rest of the book.

I’d definitely still recommend it if you’re looking for a cute, cozy mystery to read with a hint of paranormal/witchy flare. And I will say with the cameos from the Winchester family, I am curious to read their story from their perspective – or well, Bay’s perspective mostly. Their appearance makes me wish I knew of them before picking up this book, and you can tell there’s a large family dynamic going on among them, but at the same time, I think they were handled well in that I don’t feel that I was missing anything from not reading their books that affected how they interacted with Stormy and her story as a whole.