Books & Literature

Book Review: The Christmas Witch, by Carla Caruso

Misfiring spells. A gorgeous new boss. Looks like this Christmas will be magic… A fresh, funny story of love and the chaos and joy Christmas can bring.

This Christmas, let Mina Rosso cast a spell on you!

Hanging out for a little bit of Christmas magic? Then look no further than Carla Caruso’s latest romantic novella, The Christmas Witch. In this popular author’s latest offering, Mina Rosso is somewhat of a bah-humbug, but that’s only because, as a direct descendant of La Befana, Italy’s Christmas witch, Mina is cursed with both a secret identity (a good witch) and the knowledge she’ll be forever unlucky in love.

She’s been good at repelling romantic advances from potential suitors until now, even if she still harbors a secret longing for her first love, Arlo, now a married father. But then Mina’s boss of the little antiques shop in the small town of Hillsforest takes a tumble and his sinfully sexy son, Jadon, becomes Mina’s temporary employer. It’s not enough that he’s arrogant from recent work in Milan coupled with a stunning face and body, he’s also intent on changing everything Mina loves about the rustic shop. The stock doesn’t like it anymore than Mina does — she knows because it tells her so!

It’s not just furniture that communicates with Mina, she also has a special affinity for plants and is somewhat of a ‘plant rescuer’. On top of this, Mina’s ‘good witch’ tendencies see her selling spells online to help flailing marriages, reignite the flames of passion and what not. But then, some of the spells she’s sold start to go wrong and Mina must ask herself if she’s really the good witch she thinks she is. Throw in a gang of wickedly sexy ‘bad’ witches who love causing chaos, an unconventional family including a witch nonna in the early stages of dementia, and you’ve got a recipe for a hilarious, sexy, Christmas rom-com.

Caruso is known for her talents in weaving romantic stories with comic elements and this quirky take on the traditional Christmas romance is pure fun. Mina is immediately likeable as an underdog who can help others but (other than a monthly ‘nose correcting’ spell) can’t help herself. The dark hero of this book provides a strong foil for Mina’s eccentricities and watching the romance between them unfold is addictive. In addition, Caruso’s writing style is precise, elegant and conjures such vivid visual imagery that it’s easy to get lost in the greenery of Hillsforest and the magic that courses through the town’s streets, shops and bars. Ultimately, there’s the question of whether Mina can break her witches curse and ever find her happily-ever-after and if you think the answer is predictable, this reviewer predicts you’re wrong.

At a compact 190 pages, The Christmas Witch makes a perfect bite-sized read for the holiday break, or any time you feel like dipping into a story that has it all – quirk, humour, magic and love. An absolute must for fans of fun romantic tales. Available as an e-book, Mina will cast a spell on you this Christmas!

Reviewed by Stacey Carvosso

Distributed by: Harper Collins Australia
Released: November 2019
RRP: $3.99 eBook

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