Published by Berkley Romance on September 12, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I started my spooky season reading with vampires and now it’s time to bring some witches into the mix. I chose Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland as my first witchy read of the season, in part because of that gorgeous cover and also because it features elemental magic, which I love. It also features a romance that is complicated by secrets, as well as a family dynamic that is complicated by grief. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that all of those elements are like catnip for me!
At the center of this story are the women of the Flores family. Legend has it that many years ago a Flores woman offended the old gods and caused all of her female descendants to be cursed with magical powers. Sage Flores is the protagonist of the story and her magical abilities are tied to plants. Nicknamed the “Plant Whisperer,” Sage can identify any plant and not only that but she can actually communicate with them. Sage’s sister, Teal, has powers that tie her emotions to the weather — extreme emotions equal extreme weather conditions. Lastly, younger sister Sky’s magic allowed her to communicate with animals.
When the story opens, we meet Sage as she has just been fired from her job and is headed back to her hometown. Sage is not looking forward to this because she has been estranged from Teal ever since the death of Sky eight years earlier. Teal holds Sage responsible for their sister’s death and wants nothing to do with her. What we also learn about Sage in these opening scenes is that Sky is actually haunting her, following her around and leaving her gifts of coffee. Sky is trapped here and wants Sage to find a way to mend fences with Teal, in hopes that will allow her spirit to move on. Needless to say, emotions run high between the two remaining sisters as they come face to face after so many years apart.
Sage isn’t just being haunted by her sister though. She’s also being haunted by her past, in the form of Tennessee Reyes, a boy she had a crush on in high school who broke her heart. When Sage takes a job with the Cranberry Rose Company to hunt for unique plant specimens, she ends up partnered with Tennessee. Being with Tennessee brings back so many memories for Sage and as she starts to grow closer to him all over again, she knows she has to tell him a secret that she has kept from him for nearly a decade. I loved how the author has their relationship unfold, through the use of both present day scenes and through flashbacks from their high school days.
I really loved everything about this book. The story grabbed my attention from the opening scenes and I flew through it in just a couple of sittings because I was so invested in Sage’s journey. She’s a messy and flawed character, but she grows so much throughout the course of the book, both in terms of her relationship with her sister and her relationship with Tennessee. The writing was also just so gorgeous. I loved all of the nature vibes and the descriptions of the magic. It was truly an enchanting read!
Thanks so much to Kristin Cipolla and Berkley Romance for the opportunity to take part in the blog tour to promote Witch of Wild Things! It’s available now so be sure to pick up a copy!