Listen, best friends to lovers, mysterious magic,… of course, This Spells Love intrigued me a lot and I was very happy when I was approved for this ARC.
Have you ever had a break-up so bad you wish the whole relationship had never happened?
Well, Gemma’s wish has come true. After one too many margaritas lead to her mystical aunt reading out a drunken spell, she wakes up in a parallel world where she didn’t give years of her life to the wrong man.
But you know what they say – be careful what you wish for… Because not only is her boring ex out of the picture, her extremely attractive male best friend also has no idea who she is.
And in this world, Gemma and Dax don’t have years of friendship history keeping them from becoming something more…
Book: This Spells Love | Author: Kate Robb | Publisher: Penguin | Release Date: 07.12.23 | Pages: 384 | Genre: Romance
I absolutely loved the essential question of the book: What would you do if you and your best friend’s entire history was deleted and you could have a fresh start? How would you act? Would you do anything differently?
That’s what happens to Gemma and Dax. In a drunken, fateful night Gemma wishes to wipe her ex, Stuart, from her mind. She’s been heartbroken over him for too long and she is angry and sad and fed up. What happens is that she lands in an alternative dimension, where a lot of things are the same but the things that make her life hers are very different.
Gemma has to navigate this new dimension where she made her lifelong business dream come true but she lives in a dark, slightly weird cellar and worst of all, her best friend is not her best friend. They don’t even know each other, so when she stumbles in his life, there is a lot of confusion on both sides. But also attraction.
Gemma starts seeing Dax in a whole new light and realizes that there is so much more to their relationship than she ever thought of. I really liked seeing how their relationship unfolds. There is the constant comparison between the dimensions and how both have advantages and disadvantages. While Dax from the other dimension (Dax 2?) is still Dax, he discovers Gemma without any romantic involvement on her part, with no past history and friendship on the line. He is allowed to act differently and Gemma falls in love with him quickly. But while she loves Dax 2 she comes to realize that Dax 1, her best friend, is also the man she has loved forever even if she didn’t see it. She is constantly torn between her old life and the new one which opens her eyes to so many things she has been blind to before. Not only her love life, but also when it comes to her family and her work choices.
I liked the ways in which Gemma comes to see her life differently and how she grows with each interaction she has. The book has amazing secondary characters that push the plot and the MCs forward and help them on their journey but are also separate and realistic characters that I could imagine very well.
I was annoyed with Gemma at many points, though. I get it, this is her story. But she is also so very egoistic, demanding help of her loved ones left and right to get her things in order while not seeing how everyone else might need her, too. And how can she not realize some basic stuff going on with the other characters? Gemma is supposed to be quite smart, yet she is very unobservant and always stuck in her own head.
I did like that This Spells Love explores that as well but not as much as I would have liked. There were way too many instances where I just wanted to shake Gemma out of it and open her eyes to other people’s problems.
Another thing I had a hard time with were the spicy scenes. This is a very personal thing but the metaphors used to describe the sexual activities were just too funny to me and made me laugh out loud.
Generally speaking, This Spells Love is an enjoyable read with an amazing premised that is explored in an interesting and surprisingly fresh way, yet had a protagonist that didn’t really grow on me. It was a solid story that I might have expected more of but still liked a lot!
YOU MIGHT ENJOY THIS SPELLS LOVE IF YOU LIKE…
friends to lovers | alternate dimensions | strong sibling relationships | he fell first | Canada settings | just a touch of magic | what if…? stories | weird and maybe magical old ladies | sweet romances
Do you plan to read This Spells Love? What place do you want to see in a romance novel? What’s your favourite friends to lovers romance? Have you ever wished to change something in your past?
Until next time.