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  • Writer's pictureSarah Henne

Book Review: Ritual Income by B.L. Brown

Witch of the Demesne Book I

Enemies-to-Lovers Urban Fantasy

Milla is a witch who just wants the world to forget her, leaving her to attend her demesne in St. Augustine and her antique shop. Damaged and grieving after the lose of her mentor, Milla’s wallowing is interrupted by C.R.O.W who not only send her a new apprentice but also an AIA agent to monitor her.

The story starts off innocently enough, but in a bid to make amends with her Stich Witch roommate, she agrees to sell some of the tacky ICYMI clothes (think cheap and ugly Lululemon). Not to mention she almost had a quickie with a random stranger who turned out to be the AIA agent. But nothing is really as simple as it seems.

I was cruising along, there were many questions left open to keep me curious: What’s going on with her magic, what actually happened to her mentor, what’s the deal with her apprentice, and what is the DEAL with these weird clothes? What the author did so well, was either make us think we knew the answer (and we were Oh So Wrong!) or we learn a bit more, dig a bit deeper and realize we know nothing. Little insights kept us reading along and I was never prepared for the full truth and I loved that. There was so much more intrigue and depth to every facet that kept me reading - which is saying something as this was pretty long for an UF (571 pages when typically UF is about 300-400)

World Building: One thing that always makes a book great to me is well done world building. One of the things I loved about this book is that it is clear through the story how rich the magical world is, but it’s not told/explained to us but we see it through the narrative. It was also so unique and different from every other UF I have read, pulling from many cultures which made it feel so vibrant and real. The magic was like nothing I had ever read before, each persons magic felt specific and clear even if we didn’t see them use it much. Love the specific abilities they had and the consequences for using magic.

The only negatives I had was first the random hook up in Ch 3(?) it threw me and was very happy that wasn't how the rest of the romance went. My second was the resolution of the story felt a tad rushed, it felt a bit flippant to what had just gone down, but I am guess the fallout will happen in the next book.

Will it make you cry? Good chance. There is some emotional trauma our FMC needs to work through.

Romance? Y.E.S. While at the start I was a bit iffy about the romance, I did enjoy it mostly

Spicy? This one is pretty spicy (at least for me) - While I’m not usually one for spicy books, these ones worked will with the plot line and their are two explicit scenes.

Humor? Bits. More sarcasm than anything, but the book has some good wit.

YA/NA? I’d put this as adult. Our FMC is 26 and has been through A LOT in her short life, so their is an emotional maturity to her, and what she is going through.

Fight Scenes? Yes, we do get a couple of magical fights.

Soft/Hard magic? Hard. Each type of magic has their specific way it works (or their Way as it’s called) and its limitations.

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