Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate, #1)
Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad no one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate, #1) Details

TitleDeadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 16th, 2018
PublisherInk Monster, LLC
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Witches

Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate, #1) Review

  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    January 1, 1970
    I give this book 4 out of 5 Magical Stars! I really enjoyed this paranormal/fantasy that was mixed with a bit of mystery as well!😍 From the beginning I felt at the edge of my seat with Anise being sought out by an assassin! I really enjoyed the main character and seeing her escape so many sticky situations was quite fun! The mystery was fun as well and enjoyed going through this story figuring out who was who. The only drawback for me was that I wish there was too much deserts and baking and not I give this book 4 out of 5 Magical Stars! I really enjoyed this paranormal/fantasy that was mixed with a bit of mystery as well!😍 From the beginning I felt at the edge of my seat with Anise being sought out by an assassin! I really enjoyed the main character and seeing her escape so many sticky situations was quite fun! The mystery was fun as well and enjoyed going through this story figuring out who was who. The only drawback for me was that I wish there was too much deserts and baking and not enough witchcraft like I have hoped. I still really enjoyed this read and will be looking forward to the next one in the series!4 Star Review at touchmyspinebookreviews.com for The Xpresso Book Blog Tour!!!📚💖📚💙 Thanks so much for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge is the first book in the new Spellwork Syndicate series. This one is a bit of a young adult/new adult fantasy/paranormal read mixed with a bit of mystery. The main character is a young kitchen witch who bakes spells into her goodies but after moving to a new town finds herself the target of an assassin.This was a nice enough opener to this series introducing readers to Anise who is a witch and wants to attend pastry school but keeps getting rejected. After a witchy acc Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge is the first book in the new Spellwork Syndicate series. This one is a bit of a young adult/new adult fantasy/paranormal read mixed with a bit of mystery. The main character is a young kitchen witch who bakes spells into her goodies but after moving to a new town finds herself the target of an assassin.This was a nice enough opener to this series introducing readers to Anise who is a witch and wants to attend pastry school but keeps getting rejected. After a witchy accident she learns of a great aunt that will take her to a more witch friendly town and teach her to bake. The only problem is this puts Anise on a hit list with many attempts on her life. I didn’t find the mystery too particularly difficult to figure out in this one as the story went on. Also, what I kept wishing for while reading this one was a bit more into the magical side of things. I think the story focused a bit more on dessert than magic most times which left me wanting to know about the powers and witchcraft. But even with being a tad on the predictable side and not going very deep into the magical world it was still a light and fun young adult read.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
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  • Inge
    January 1, 1970
    No, I have nothing better to do than review a book on Christmas Day. #imsodedicatedDeadly Sweet had lots of fun elements, but turned out kind of underwhelming as a whole.PROS+ Baking. I always love books that are filled with cake, and characters who love baking always feel more homey to me. Anise is a witch with baking magic, so there's a lot of baking in this, and I was down for all of it. So comforting!+ Witchery. A witchy fantasy book usually means that there are a lot of badass women around, No, I have nothing better to do than review a book on Christmas Day. #imsodedicatedDeadly Sweet had lots of fun elements, but turned out kind of underwhelming as a whole.PROS+ Baking. I always love books that are filled with cake, and characters who love baking always feel more homey to me. Anise is a witch with baking magic, so there's a lot of baking in this, and I was down for all of it. So comforting!+ Witchery. A witchy fantasy book usually means that there are a lot of badass women around, and Deadly Sweet was no exception. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I'm always here for reading about magic.+ MC is not a special snowflake. Despite her unusual name, Anise is a very ordinary girl. She loves baking, worries about making friends, gorges on food at sleepovers, and falls in love with an idiot. There's plenty to relate to here. On top of that, she doesn't try to play the martyr and go after the bad guy alone. She knows she's not the most powerful witch out there, so she enlists the help of the entire Syndicate of witches (lots of badass women basically). Without them, she would be very dead.CONS- Villain. The villain was kind of a knucklehead, not to mention completely obvious? Their identity was supposed to be a big mystery, but I'd identified them right away. I also didn't find their motive very believable, certainly not worth killing for? Maybe that's just me. *basks in innocent Hufflepuff aura*- Meh? You know, there are so many things to love about this book. But I just never fell in love with it, which I'm sad about. There wasn't much at stake, and the action scenes kind of lacked that pizazz.Overall, not the most impressive story, but if you like magic, baking, and magic baking, I'd say it's still worth a try.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*A pleasant, though slightly predictable, tale of a young, inexperienced magical baker trying to find her place in a new town where she can finally use her gifts freely. The book itself is a bit more magical-realism rather than full-on magical hijinks, and also focuses far more on baking than magic. So if you are a foodie or you enjoy foodporn this is might be for you. Though if you are hungry, this may not be the best t *I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*A pleasant, though slightly predictable, tale of a young, inexperienced magical baker trying to find her place in a new town where she can finally use her gifts freely. The book itself is a bit more magical-realism rather than full-on magical hijinks, and also focuses far more on baking than magic. So if you are a foodie or you enjoy foodporn this is might be for you. Though if you are hungry, this may not be the best thing to read because you will just be envious of the delicious baked goods that are described but that you cannot have. In terms of writing, the book was simple and rather straightforward. I found the first half to be a bit slow in terms of plot development, but it did pick up around the 50% mark. The surprise reveal was not much of a surprise for me. Because I placed my bets on who the villain was going to be pretty early on. (view spoiler)[ Also, it finally happened guys. For once, I did not fall for the nice boy act. Finally learned my lesson with these book boys. Because I have been betrayed too many times! (hide spoiler)]Overall, I liked the book but I did not find it was anything particularly new or memorable about it.
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    There was a whole lot of food talk for me in this one! Given the blurb and the cover, I should have been expecting this! But still!!
  • Mayumi
    January 1, 1970
    3 STARS This book had so many candy references it almost gave me a toothache - or maybe that was from me devouring too many cookies while reading this so I didn't feel left out... Okay so I need to get this out of the way - even though the main characters are supposed to be around 17-18 years old I felt like this book belongs under the juvenile fiction category because of the way it was written. It was a bit predictable and really PG, but also a quick, fun read.Our main character Anise Wise is 3 STARS This book had so many candy references it almost gave me a toothache - or maybe that was from me devouring too many cookies while reading this so I didn't feel left out... Okay so I need to get this out of the way - even though the main characters are supposed to be around 17-18 years old I felt like this book belongs under the juvenile fiction category because of the way it was written. It was a bit predictable and really PG, but also a quick, fun read.Our main character Anise Wise is a witch. 'A w-w-w-witch, no. Witch, yes.' A very misunderstood witch, atleast to mortals. She loves baking and has a talent for it but can't seem to get far with her tertiary education in order to pursue her dream of opening her own bakery. When Anise runs into trouble after failing to control her growing powers, estranged Great-Aunt Agatha steps in with a chance to apprentice at her bakery. Little does Anise know that the road ahead isn't as easy as it seems to be. I liked Anise, she was constantly working hard to prove herself, she was resilient, and she was kind. I liked watching her make friends after being alone - with the exception of her mom - for so long. I liked watching her hone her baking skills. I liked watching her bicker with her bodyguard, Wynn. But, I didn't love her. Maybe it was because I found her actions predictable, but I just couldn't seem to care  that much about her? I really liked Great-Aunt Agatha though. She was pretty badass, like that really cool grandma you've always wanted, except with some powerful magic. And even though she mostly came off as strict, she was a patient mentor to Anise. "Enough." 'Agatha legit Force-choked him, lifting him by the neck from across the room with tongues of purple lightning.' The supporting characters were entertaining too. I loved how Anise's mom's friends stuck together through everything, and how Anise's growing relationships with their daughters seem like they'll have a similar outcome. Wynn and his constant rudeness and protectiveness over Anise was amusing. The only character who was semi-important but I didn't care about was Seth. I just found his story too cliche, and once again way too predictable so I couldn't bring myself to care about him. Finally we have the candy references. I loved it. There's so many dessert related puns, insults, compliments, and even descriptions of the baking processes. I. Loved. It. I'd give an entire star just for this to be honest.  'I was pulling out my notebooks and lining up my pens when someone slid into the seat next to me.Him. My chocolate mousse.The one who knocked Wynn straight out of my brain.His short-sleeved hoodie showed off more of his tattoos today - a whisk on one forearm and a knife on the other. A bad boy chef? ...A bad boy baker?  I couldn't be that blessed.' My Overall Opinion I wasn't too impressed by this book but did find it entertaining. Deadly Sweet is a quick, fun read for those who like baking, witches, with a tad of teenage drama. ★ Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC ★
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  • Sarah Marie
    January 1, 1970
    Deadly Sweet by Lola DodgeFirst book in the Spellwork Syndicate series3 starsAnise Wise is tired of hiding from the humans of the world. It doesn’t that matter that witches are a well-known magical species, humans hate and fear them. All Anise wants to do is bake and create cakes that could allow her to have a bakery one day. The problem is that she keeps getting rejected from colleges and she and her mother are barely scraping by. When an incident arises and Anise finds herself in Taos to be an Deadly Sweet by Lola DodgeFirst book in the Spellwork Syndicate series3 starsAnise Wise is tired of hiding from the humans of the world. It doesn’t that matter that witches are a well-known magical species, humans hate and fear them. All Anise wants to do is bake and create cakes that could allow her to have a bakery one day. The problem is that she keeps getting rejected from colleges and she and her mother are barely scraping by. When an incident arises and Anise finds herself in Taos to be an apprentice to her great-aunt Agatha. The catch? Agatha’s last apprentice went missing and Anise finds herself the target of a powerful and out of control warlock. Dodge’s newest series opener is a lot of fun. This is a fun witch novel that takes an interesting approach by making witches common knowledge to regular humans. This incites fear, but it also creates the dynamic of witches being seen as tourist attractions. It makes the story a little bit more complex than the run of the mill witch story, but this story doesn’t go beyond that. It is a very simple story and it can be a bit predictable. While the story is predictable, Dodge attempts to make Anise’s passions the centerpiece of her magic- baking is at the story’s centerfold. The baking makes this story unique and fun. Dodge isn’t the best urban fantasy writer, but the story is fun and I’d definitely recommend it to fans of witch stories and characters who bake.Whimsical Writing Scale: 3The main character is Anise. She isn’t the most original character, but her love and passion for baking made me love reading her PoV because she had a purpose outside of hunting a big bad guy like most UF heroines. It made her dynamic. She isn’t the most fleshed out character, but her passion is so strong that it makes her story fun to follow. Mainly, I’m just rooting for her because I want to see her bake more deserts.Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3.25There are two potential love interests in this story. One is a huge character, but I don’t know if their relationship will blossom into more, but I’m betting that it will in later novels because of this guy’s role in her life as a protector. The other well, he isn’t a love interest anymore, but for the sake of not spoiling this incredibly short novel, I’ll leave it at that.Swoon Worthy Scale: 2The Villain- I called this one from the moment this character was introduced. Mainly because (view spoiler)[Dodge seems to depict all men with tattoos as villains. At the beginning of the novel, Anise is nearly assaulted by an older man covered in tattoos. The villain is covered in tattoos. (hide spoiler)] It made the story arc incredibly obvious and I wasn’t surprised in the least.Villain Scale: 3The characters are all just kind of there. None of them feel concrete and I didn’t feel attached to any of them and I feel like it is because there are so many characters being introduced and mentioned that the few that should’ve been fleshed out were briefly touched on, but not further expanded upon. I’m sure Dodge will expand upon the friendships that Anise made in the next novel, which I really hope she does because the character friendship could be a lot of fun.Character Scale: 3This is a fast, quick story that I definitely recommend if you are in the mood for a quick read to past the time that doesn’t require a lot of concentration and thought. Magical baking is really what sealed the deal for me when it came to this story and I think it will be a lot of fun for readers, especially younger readers who are getting into the paranormal genre.Plotastic Scale: 3.25Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. It’s purple and the cake looks scrumptious. I’m a definite fan of it.Thank you, Netgalley and Inkmonster, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nora
    January 1, 1970
    Deadly Sweet surprised me with how much I really enjoyed it and how much I just wanted to keep reading. Anise is a baker through and through and that was quite interesting to read about. I didn't know it would be possible to talk about baking so much no matter the topic, seriously in at least every other sentence there is some reference to baking. And more so surprised me that I wasn't annoyed by that in the slightest. I loved it actually. It made the book so cozy and wonderful. It is certainly Deadly Sweet surprised me with how much I really enjoyed it and how much I just wanted to keep reading. Anise is a baker through and through and that was quite interesting to read about. I didn't know it would be possible to talk about baking so much no matter the topic, seriously in at least every other sentence there is some reference to baking. And more so surprised me that I wasn't annoyed by that in the slightest. I loved it actually. It made the book so cozy and wonderful. It is certainly the strong point of this book. Now, the plot wasn't anything new, it was quite predictable and I knew fairly quickly who the villain was, nevertheless I enjoyed her journey. Again, it's not the plot that keeps you reading, it's the feeling you get while reading, the atmosphere.The world of the witches is quite interesting and I'm actually really curious to learn more about it in the next book. We didn't get to see that much of the magic in this one. I'd love to know more about Blair's magic and about Anise's mother as well. I loved that all the woman were so supportive of Anise and really tried to genuinely help her. Now there were some dramatic, higher action, higher stakes scenes, but I didn't found them to be really dramatic. That might sound negative. But it is not. At least not for me. That wasn't what this book was about in my opinion. This is more in the cozy mystery style with magic mixed in. Deadly Sweet is the perfect book if you don't have much time, or not the mind to read a long and heavy book. This is fun, cute and original. But be prepared to be hungry after reading this!
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  • Lili Marcus
    January 1, 1970
    Told from a first POV of a young witch name Anise (such a great name), I was introduced into a whole new world of magic, of witches and of weirdness. Like in all other witch stories, Anise has a problem with mortals. Though it is a general knowledge that witches exist, still she can't just be who she is. She's misunderstood, along with the whole population, to put it lightly. But all she wanted is to study culinary and then succeed in it. But rejection after rejection of college applications, s Told from a first POV of a young witch name Anise (such a great name), I was introduced into a whole new world of magic, of witches and of weirdness. Like in all other witch stories, Anise has a problem with mortals. Though it is a general knowledge that witches exist, still she can't just be who she is. She's misunderstood, along with the whole population, to put it lightly. But all she wanted is to study culinary and then succeed in it. But rejection after rejection of college applications, she turned to the person she should be associated with - her great aunt, Agatha Wise and is owner of the most magical bakeshop in the world. As if fated, Agatha needs an assistant, and so Anise went to her after a little mishap with mortals. Now here comes the magical world. Taos, New Mexico, where witches live - peacefully? Arriving in the bakeshop, her Aunt tested her skill and said she's not on the level she wants her to be so she got to go to school. Seemed like a dream come true, right? But no, bad, mysterious, dangerous things start to happen. Anise also learned about the disappearance of the previous apprentice. Suddenly, her life is in danger and achieving her dream is not really that easy. Like always in her life. Though I enjoyed reading this and found that I love many aspects of the book, there is always an annoying BUT in the tip of my tongue.I love the MC Anise she seems really cool and definitely not a quitter.BUT sometimes, I do see her as weak and lame. I don't actually know how to explain this better. All I can say is that, she was too uninformed about many things in the book, maybe it added to the mystery of the whole but Anise is not doing anything about NOT-KNOWING. Like accepting that she has a bodyguard, yeah, she somehow complained a little but that's it. And when others don't allow her to know more about the situation, she didn't repulse or something. AND SHE has the right. Even after several danger happened to her, she's still uninformed about many things. That makes her seemed controlled. A character should be the one in control of the story/plot not the other way around. That makes that character weak and lame as she just get along with the things happening in the book.I love the characters, most of them seemed believable and this is a magical story so that's a plus point. BUT I also find them cliche or stereotyped. (Shame on you Steff)I love the world/magic. The idea was just brilliant and has really huge potential. I mean in Anise's world, the witches and magic are somehow legal. Not totally accepted but legal. BUT even though there are many interesting aspects of the magic, upon finishing the book, I still don't understand the foundation of the it that the author is trying to introduce to me. There is this vortex that not everyone can get near and God knows why. And the magical, useful jewels. How do they work exactly and how are they made?Maybe I just missed that part.And the Shields and Servants and Hands. If they were explained more , maybe the foundation of the Anise's world aren't filled with plot holes in my mind. For example, they get to bake sweets with magic and people just eat them? Ahm, no. Is it safe, really?I just really wish Anise could be more curious about everything so I, the reader, know more. But no, like I said, Anise seems to just accept everything and ask less because that's what people told her. I know she's still naive and new, and inexperienced but still. In the end there was no definite character development too.I'm still gonna read the next book but hopefully I get more than I get from this first instalment. I guess the main problem here is the MC. She lacked the will of real heroine. I'm not saying that all heroines should all be strong but this is told in her POV, so everything that the readers know depends on what she says and how she acts. If she would've been more driven to know about everything, maybe there will be no plot holes, maybe I already understand the foundation of magic, maybe I'd be more excited the next book because I already know the world I'm jumping in. Like I said, she just get along.Overall, I still recommend this book especially to those who love baking (because there's too much of that in here). Also this is a clean YA, so definitely recommendable to younger YAs.Thank you for reading until here. :)   
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  • Eve (Functioning Insanity Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    https://functioninginsanity.blogspot....I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review.Rating: 5 Cherry Pies Deadly Sweet is about baking, witches, and everything in between. Anise loves to bake and using her magic in it but being a witch is a bit hard outside of certain areas where you have to hide what you are. So when Anise ends up with a chance to study under a long-lost relative who owns the only magic bakery in the US, she is more than excited for the chance. Upon arriving for her d https://functioninginsanity.blogspot....I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review.Rating: 5 Cherry Pies Deadly Sweet is about baking, witches, and everything in between. Anise loves to bake and using her magic in it but being a witch is a bit hard outside of certain areas where you have to hide what you are. So when Anise ends up with a chance to study under a long-lost relative who owns the only magic bakery in the US, she is more than excited for the chance. Upon arriving for her dream apprenticeship she learns that it won't be as simple as she thought. She has lots to learn from pastry school and oh yeah the last apprentice went missing under mysterious circumstances and there may or may not be a reason for her to have a full time security detail. But for a dream job what's a little danger? This book appealed to me on so many levels. First witches and intrigue are always fun but when you add in baking….magical baking. I'm all for it. I love to bake and as I read I may or may not have wrote down some new treats I want to try in the near future. Also the kitchens described may or may not have stirred up a lot of kitchen envy as well. There is a clear love for baking in the writing which comes through vividly and made me connect to Anise. She wants this with all that she is and is willing to go through hell to make it happen. Aside from making me hungry and itch to bake (and seriously step up my decorating game) I enjoyed the way magic was woven in. There are different types and levels to work with. I loved how the little things could impact the overall product. There are still many questions to uncover in this world for sure but it is so full and vibrant. I love the contrast from growing up moving around to keep their secret and the open town that everyone human and witch are out and about normal as breathing. I loved seeing Anise adjust from one norm to another and what being open meant for her not only as a witch but as a teenager. To be yourself and be able to make friends, honest friends, was amazing. A little assassination attempt here or there is hardly worth giving that up. The characters really lit up the page. I could see Wynn scowling even before I read it after a few encounters. He is very…mysterious. There is a lot more I want to know about Wynn and what drives him; more about Shields in general as the series continues but still as little as he said I totally feel I know him. Same could be said for her new friends and the other ladies of the Syndicate. It is a small town vibe to it and I enjoyed the way Anise was both welcomed in and accepted while on the same side thinking they know you based on the family name. I found that very true of a small town. Overall this is a great start to a new series and I will be adding it to my auto-buy list for sure because I need to know what happens next. So much has happened in one book but there are so many characters and stories to explore yet. Power to be learned and many many more goodies to be baked! I highly recommend this book…and maybe something for the sweet tooth this will activate!
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  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.The number one thing that drew me to this book was that cover. It is sickly sweet and yet there seems to be this sinister feel to it. I had to know what this was about. Turns out it is a magically baking book. Just what I needed. Do not read this book if you are already hungry. There are so many delicious baked goodies in this and the descriptions and the love of our main character for baking are so go Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.The number one thing that drew me to this book was that cover. It is sickly sweet and yet there seems to be this sinister feel to it. I had to know what this was about. Turns out it is a magically baking book. Just what I needed. Do not read this book if you are already hungry. There are so many delicious baked goodies in this and the descriptions and the love of our main character for baking are so good. I wanted to go bake or at least I wanted to eat all the baked goodies mentioned. I mean I am lazy. I’d like an Anise in my life who would bake all the things for me. While most of this focuses on the magical baking as that is the talent of our main character and the world that she is taken into, there is a lot more to this world. There are various talents out their like necromancy. I felt that this was not developed enough in the background. There seem to be little talk about rules. There seem to be a lot of different talents but little shown of how they work. I just wanted to know and see more of that. We got to see so many witches and yet I got such little idea. The same of this goes for the guardians and their contracts. However I have gathered this is an element of the next book. I have to say that the plot wasn’t very special. Of course there was a villain that was after Anise. It was also way too obvious who that was going to turn out to be. With this idea of magical bakeries there was just so much more that could have been done I think. Even so I liked Anise who was really just an ordinary girl who had to work hard to gain any approval. I am glad she made friends but it was kind of sad this was through her mother’s friends to be honest. It would be great to see her make a friend that she made out of her own strength. Her interactions with her guardian were amusing but I did find her angry at him was misdirected. It wasn’t like he had a choice at being her guardian. He was assigned.
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  • The Reading Otter
    January 1, 1970
    Review:3.5 Stars/b>http://pagestoexplore.blogspot.com/20...
  • Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    True Rating 3.5 stars!If you are looking for some young adult foodie fiction with a pinch of fantasy and a dash of witchcraft then Deadly Sweet is exactly what you need to read! This book is the first book in The Spellwork Syndicate series and I think this is a promising series. Although there are witches and witchcraft in this book, my feeling is that this book is more along the lines of a cozy foodie fiction mystery and would definitely appeal to readers of all ages. I couldn’t help but get ca True Rating 3.5 stars!If you are looking for some young adult foodie fiction with a pinch of fantasy and a dash of witchcraft then Deadly Sweet is exactly what you need to read! This book is the first book in The Spellwork Syndicate series and I think this is a promising series. Although there are witches and witchcraft in this book, my feeling is that this book is more along the lines of a cozy foodie fiction mystery and would definitely appeal to readers of all ages. I couldn’t help but get carried away by the baking passion that is felt from the moment I started reading Deadly Sweet.Anise lives with her mother in the non-magical part of the US and spends most of her time trying to hide what she truly is, a witch. Her mother is a witch as well but she refuses to use her witchy powers. She also refuses to move to the area in the US where witches reside. Anise has never been clear on the reason for her mother’s refusal, but what she does know is that they have to keep moving whenever it is discovered that Anise has powers. She tries to control her powers but she does not do a very good job and her mother has helped as much as she could. It has become such an issue for Anise that she dropped out of public school and finished her school career being home schooled.Anise wasn’t happy about her social isolation but it was what she has known all her life. What she also has known is that she wanted to be a baker. She just wanted someone to give her a chance to experience her dream but after receiving rejection letter after rejection letter, she has started feeling rather hopeless about her dreams. After receiving her latest rejection letter, she decided that she was going to do the one thing she had been putting off. She contacted her Great Aunt Agatha with hopes that if maybe she could just get her foot in the door she might be able to work her way up. After months though with no response to her request she gives up hope.After an evening out with co-workers that went horribly wrong the last thing Anise was expecting as she was fleeing from a crime scene was to receive a phone call from Agatha telling her that she has accepted her as her newest apprentice. Given the serious trouble that Anise was in, she doubted that she would ever be able to make it to her aunt’s shop in New Mexico but with the help of her mother’s magic Anise was given the green light to move in with her aunt, who’s shop also happened to be in the witch friendly area of the US. A wish come true for Anise. Once she made it to her aunt’s bakery, Anise knew that it was everything that she ever wanted. She was entranced with the area, the bakery, and how the witches were so open with their powers. It was everything she had dreamed of.Anise was eager to start but first she had to show her aunt her baking prowess, which turned out to be very disheartening for Anise. Her aunt was not impressed but she was still willing to give Anise a chance and that Anise had to attend course to help her “get the basics.” Despite feeling glum about her aunt not being wowed by her baking skills, things were looking up for Anise. She made some friends, met a boy, and was honing her baking skills, if it just wasn’t for the accidents that kept happening Anise would have felt that life was perfect. Life was not perfect though as it soon became clear to Anise that the accidents were meant to be something more insidious and that someone was out to harm Anise for some unexplained reason. As things became deadly for Anise it soon became obvious that she was snared in a trap that could have some deadly consequences if she did not figure out who was behind the attacks and quickly.I found that I enjoyed reading Deadly Sweet and that I loved how passionate Anise was about her baking. I thought the idea of baked goods having spells attached to them was very cute. I could clearly see the bakery and image all the treats contained behind the counters. There definitely was a bit of whimsy weaved into this story. Now as far as the mystery goes, I was able to identify the whodunit pretty quickly. I prefer my mysteries to be a mystery, so that took away from the story for me. I also felt that the story was more middle grade fiction than young adult. The characters mostly struck me as younger than they were described as being. Overall though, Deadly Sweet was a fun and light read that would be enjoyable to all readers, especially fans of foodie fiction.This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Xpresso Book Tours. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Find this review and more at The Genre Minx Book Reviews
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  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    January 1, 1970
    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyDEADLY SWEET's back copy immediately hooked me. I love cooking shows (there's something profoundly soothing about sitting down and watching someone bake a cake), so combine that with magic, and I couldn't wait to start reading.DEADLY SWEET kept me enthralled throughout an entire three hour airplane ride. I read it straight through and would have immediately downloaded the sequel if it were available. Anise is a delightful character with a cheerful but r Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyDEADLY SWEET's back copy immediately hooked me. I love cooking shows (there's something profoundly soothing about sitting down and watching someone bake a cake), so combine that with magic, and I couldn't wait to start reading.DEADLY SWEET kept me enthralled throughout an entire three hour airplane ride. I read it straight through and would have immediately downloaded the sequel if it were available. Anise is a delightful character with a cheerful but realistic voice. All of the cooking scenes were comforting. While DEADLY SWEET did have some flaws, I'll be picking up the next book when it's released at the end of the year.Most of DEADLY SWEET is well-mixed, but there were some elements that didn't work for me. The villain and their goal will be immediately obvious to readers, even though Anise and her allies couldn't figure out who was trying to kill her or why. Details about the witch world were introduced but never fully explained (such as the rules of their magic), which came across as half-baked. While I'm sure those crumbs will be expanded on in the future, I craved more depth in the introduction to Anise's world.Sexual Content: None
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  • Elley Murray
    January 1, 1970
    I have a really hard time rating anything that makes me immediately go looking for the next book (and yelling "NOOOOO!" like I just found out Darth Vader is my dad when I find out it doesn't come out for almost a year) as anything less than 5 stars. So BAM! 5 stars!I really enjoyed Deadly Sweet. There is an element of romance but I have a hard time calling it a YA Romance. There's an element of fantasy (witches and magic and familiars) but I have a hard time calling it YA Fantasy. Actually, the I have a really hard time rating anything that makes me immediately go looking for the next book (and yelling "NOOOOO!" like I just found out Darth Vader is my dad when I find out it doesn't come out for almost a year) as anything less than 5 stars. So BAM! 5 stars!I really enjoyed Deadly Sweet. There is an element of romance but I have a hard time calling it a YA Romance. There's an element of fantasy (witches and magic and familiars) but I have a hard time calling it YA Fantasy. Actually, the main character (Anise Wise) is early college age, so I have a hard time calling it YA (but I don't think it's NA because that seems to be YA with sex scenes...) The only thing I don't have a hard time calling this book is AWESOME.The Goodreads blurb on this book is horrible. Anise is a witch with a talent for baking enchantments in a world where witches exist but aren't terribly common or accepted. I kept thinking of witches kind of like cosplayers while reading this book. If you see someone in full cosplay randomly in public (in your school, working at the bakery at your local grocery store) they're super out of place and they definitely get the side eye. But there are places (ok, conventions mostly, but humor me) where there are LOTS of cosplayers gathered together, and then it's just par for the course. Non-cosplayers still tend to gawk a bit, take photos and things, but there is a community of like-minded people there and you're way less likely to have some jerkwad come up and start harassing you for the way you're dressed.Except cosplayers are witches and can do magic, which may or may not be scary to people, especially when Anise feels cornered and threatened and burns down her county fair. Basically Anise and her mom move a lot, while Anise pretends to be "normal" and tries to hide that she's a witch, and when people do find out they move to another town, and Anise starts over at the bottom of the totem pole decorating cakes at the local Grocery-Mart bakery. Oh, and gets repeatedly rejected from community college baking programs because they don't accept witches. The blurb says Anise loves baking and potion making, but what she actually loves is baking enchantments into her pastries. (There aren't really any potions involved... but there is magic infused vanilla!) It's cute how she adds a pinch of anise to her bakes as her sort of signature. Anyway, after she accidentally burns down the county fair, Anise's great aunt Agatha finally answers an email Anise wrote her a year ago begging for an apprenticeship in her magical bakeshop (creatively called "Agatha's Bakeshop"). Little does Anise know, Agatha's Bakeshop in Taos is located on what is known as a vortex, a super magically charged area around which whole communities of witches spring up. Suddenly Anise goes from having to hide what she is and fly under the radar as much as possible, to living in a community full of other witches. She starts making some of her first ever real friends, meets people who have known her family for generations, and learns there are all sorts of things about the witchy world she had no clue about. Including the mystery of what happened to Agatha's last apprentice, Hayley. (Seriously, they need to rewrite this blurb. She moved to Taos, not Sedona; Agatha is part of the Spellwork Syndicate, 13 matriarchs who keep the town safe and are not shady at all; Agatha's last apprentice is missing, not assassinated...)I enjoyed the world building in this series, and appreciate how witches have particular areas of magic in which they excel, like Anise is good with kitchen witchery, Blair's family runs towards necromancy, Paula has a healing/cleansing magic that is apparently very herbal based, etc. I love Agatha's familiar, Fondant, and need to know more about her. I love Anise's Shield, Wynn, and need to know so many things about him, like where is he from? what does his contract involve? why does he sleep so much? The budding friendship between Anise and the daughters of her mom's old friends is great. OH! I need to know all the things about Anise's mom's past! What happened there? I'm really hoping these answers will be in the next book. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO WAIT ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR FOR THE NEXT BOOK?!?! I need it NOW!!This book does NOT end on a cliff hanger, and could be read as a stand alone, but it definitely left me wanting more and I can’t wait to see what develops for Anise in the second book, Sugar Spells.*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Katherine Paschal
    January 1, 1970
    Review found on https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ I cracked the lid and gaped at the hodgepodge. There was one bottle of water— brown water—along with bunches of herbs, a tube of crackers, jars and jars of pills, a block of chocolate , plastic bags, wet wipes, gauze, earplugs, and a glass of tiny red toads and grass with holes cut in the lid. I must’ve interrupted Lonnie’s scavenger hunt. Otherwise, why? Anise wants nothing more than to go to culinary school to bake delicious treats infused Review found on https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ I cracked the lid and gaped at the hodgepodge. There was one bottle of water— brown water—along with bunches of herbs, a tube of crackers, jars and jars of pills, a block of chocolate , plastic bags, wet wipes, gauze, earplugs, and a glass of tiny red toads and grass with holes cut in the lid. I must’ve interrupted Lonnie’s scavenger hunt. Otherwise, why? Anise wants nothing more than to go to culinary school to bake delicious treats infused with her brand of kitchen witchery- but all she has gotten is rejections. Fearing that she will be forever forced into hiding her witchiness and working in a grocery store bakery, Anise sends a last chance email to an estranged family member who owns one of the most successful magical bakeries. When she hears nothing back, she accepts a rare offer to hang out with coworkers, her night ends up in epic disaster- but Anise also received an invitation she has waited her whole life for. ​Anise and I had a really rocky start for me predominantly due to her lack of confidence. She was a quiet, shy creature, most likely due to her upbringing and most recent rejections, but I just wanted to shout at her to stand tall and be herself. I was as proud as a momma-bear when she learned her own powers and talents as the book progressed, figuring that she would be herself and others could accept her as is or go away. There, my friend, is some woman power!To be perfectly honest, Wynn, aka Sleeping Beauty, was my favorite character! No he is not the narrator or particularly a main character, but an incredibly important side character who stole my cold heart. He was mysterious, prickly, judgy, suspicious and ever so protective- such a strong, self assured person, pretty much the opposite of Anise really.​I highly recommend reading this book with some sort of sugar concoction because I can 100% guarantee that you will​ crave cake, pie, candy...any and all baked goods, really! Lola was able to describe the treats so amazingly that not only could I see how drool worthy they are, but I could practically taste them and feel the sensations they were enchanted with. Seriously, I need some cake, STAT! If Anise was a real person with a real bakery, I would be her best client...and probably weigh 500 pounds. Just read a snippet of the description and tell me you don's desire this: There were piles of baklava dripping honey and happiness. Massive meringues puffed up with prosperity spells...When I managed to suck in little blobs of air they tasted like toffee, mocha, caramel, and fresh strawberry. Every sweet looked like a piece of art, decorated with black gum paste flowers or precision-placed sprinkles. This is actually my first book by Lola even though I have been eyeballing the Shadow Ravens for a long time and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to jump into her writing with such a fun, yummy adventure! Deadly Sweet is just the start to this world and I am excited for more.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book
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  • Rebecca Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Lola Dodge’s Deadly Sweet is a really great and unique first entry in The Spellwork Syndicate series. It’s a quick but fun read with a decent plot and great diverse characters. Our protagonist is teen baker and kitchen witch Anise Wise who has spent her life hiding her magic. She dreams of going to pastry school but is constantly rejected because people are terrified of witches. After her powers cause a disastrous accident, she escapes to New Mexico to apprentice in her great-aunt Agatha’s magic Lola Dodge’s Deadly Sweet is a really great and unique first entry in The Spellwork Syndicate series. It’s a quick but fun read with a decent plot and great diverse characters. Our protagonist is teen baker and kitchen witch Anise Wise who has spent her life hiding her magic. She dreams of going to pastry school but is constantly rejected because people are terrified of witches. After her powers cause a disastrous accident, she escapes to New Mexico to apprentice in her great-aunt Agatha’s magical bakery. After years of seclusion, Anise is finally surrounded by an exciting world of magic. However, there’s something brewing. Agatha’s former apprentice mysteriously disappeared, and now, someone wants to kill Anise!This book is so unique! Dodge does a great job of shaping this magical world. I know a lot of other readers want more details about the magical world. However, the book is well-balanced and there is enough information to keep me interested but not too much to weigh down the plot. While the plot is a little predictable, the book is fast-paced and entertaining. The delicious descriptions are wonderful and I really appreciate the cute dessert puns. Anise is a wonderful and well-developed protagonist. I like how relatable and realistic she is. She tries to solve the mystery without going overboard and I really like that she makes mistakes because, after all, she’s just a teenager! I love that there is little romance in this book. Instead, Anise learns about herself and her magic and tries to fit into this new world. Too often, young women’s storylines are reduced to romantic relationships while downplaying personal growth and platonic relationships and I’m really glad Dodge avoids this here. I really love that most of the supporting characters are strong and fascinating women. I’m so happy that Deadly Sweet has women of colour playing major roles because YA lit is usually sadly very white. However, I would have liked more depth to certain characters like Anise’s new friend, Gabi, who seems to have a fairly major role but appears too sporadically. However, I do wish the mystery was better crafted. The villain is obvious and their intentions could have been clearer. Additionally, certain aspects of the mystery are vague and didn’t seem to fit together very well. Deadly Sweet is a deliciously entertaining and quick read filled with interesting characters. While the plot could have been a little stronger, I still love this book. Although this is a YA book, I think this book is perfect for both teens and adults who love cute and easy reads filled with fun, baking, and magic. I would definitely recommend this book and I cannot wait for the sequel!Thank you to NetGalley and Ink Monster LLC for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Taiwo Balogun
    January 1, 1970
    I got an e-ARC of this book from Xpresso Book Tours ( www.xpressobooktours.com ) in exchange for a honest review.First of all, look at that cover! Isn’t it gorgeous!!😍😍😍 That cake looks so good… The flasks at the bottom look delicious too infact 😂😂😂Anyway, I should have had a review up two days ago but I had no idea I was even in a blog tour. My emails are so many that the important ones get lost in the pile. So, I had forgotten the summary and I had no idea what this book was about. I started i I got an e-ARC of this book from Xpresso Book Tours ( www.xpressobooktours.com ) in exchange for a honest review.First of all, look at that cover! Isn’t it gorgeous!!😍😍😍 That cake looks so good… The flasks at the bottom look delicious too infact 😂😂😂Anyway, I should have had a review up two days ago but I had no idea I was even in a blog tour. My emails are so many that the important ones get lost in the pile. So, I had forgotten the summary and I had no idea what this book was about. I started it yesterday with no expectations and I think that really helped because this book didn’t let me down!😏I intentionally didn’t add fantasy to the genres because I thought that would make this book seem like the kind with battles, action, amazing sorcery and the rest but this book is far from that. This doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. It’s surprisingly really good.The main character, Anise was a lovely girl. She was very ordinary and an added bonus is that her “ordinary-ness” wasn’t hammered upon. She wasn’t the kind to dwell on her beauty or her skin or body. She only cared about her safety, those she loved and her baking. She was also very sensible, a trait that is really lacking in many female MCs. She was the sort of person I would want younger girls to mentor.I also really loved the elements of female power, female friendship and togetherness that were rampant throughout this book. This book is one of the very few I’ve read that champions these.Here’s an example where a friend of Anise’s mum helped Anise without even knowing her:“The warmth of her power–Like sisterhood. Like love and acceptance. All of it settled into my skin along with the outer shield of protection, which I doubted a crossbow bolt could pierce. Tears pricked my eyes. ‘I don’t even know you.’ “This is what I like to read in novels. Not unnecessary and irritating hate of women on women.A couple of reviewers on Goodreads complained that they knew the person that was trying to kill Anise. Personally, I didn’t. I don’t read mysteries and I’m hopeless at solving crimes so I didn’t even guess the identity of the person. When it was revealed, it made me really sad😔My only problem with this book was Anise’s bodyguard–or more correctly, Shield– Wynn. He was brusque and curt to the point of meanness and he was very fond of dragging her around. Maybe he didn’t like his job but it gave him no right to treat her like that. The author tried to make him seem nice sometimes but I was very angry with his behaviour and I think nothing warranted it. His predicament (whatever it was–it’ll be told in the second book) wasn’t Anise’s fault and he had no excuse.In summary, I really liked this book and I’m sure a lot of people will too.Notice: This book has a lot of food language and it will make you very hungry.I've got more reviews and other bookish stuff at my blog www.stuffedshelvesite.wordpress.com
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    In DEADLY SWEET, Dodge crafts a fun tale about all things baking, finding yourself, and striving for your dreams, with a little bit of magic sprinkled on top. Though unfortunately its mystery is underbaked and its characters bland, the first in the SPELLWORK SYNDICATE series still whips up enough charm to satisfy.(Do I regret the use of baking puns? Nope.)This shop gave people so much magic, seeing it wrecked was like watching a meteor wipe out Disney.This book reminded me of UNDERCOVER PRINCESS In DEADLY SWEET, Dodge crafts a fun tale about all things baking, finding yourself, and striving for your dreams, with a little bit of magic sprinkled on top. Though unfortunately its mystery is underbaked and its characters bland, the first in the SPELLWORK SYNDICATE series still whips up enough charm to satisfy.(Do I regret the use of baking puns? Nope.)This shop gave people so much magic, seeing it wrecked was like watching a meteor wipe out Disney.This book reminded me of UNDERCOVER PRINCESS: Bad, almost terrible, in execution, but still full of whimsy and charm that you end up enjoying it anyway. I so wanted this book to be better, plot-wise, but DEADLY SWEET so woefully lacks in areas.Its mystery was extremely predictable. The end villain is so obvious that you almost want to throttle Anise for her blind ignorance, and because of this, the book’s stakes are simply not high enough. Why would I feel invested in the situation when the person causing chaos is so obvious to me?The climax ended up dragging too, with lacking descriptions of Anise vs. the villain involving… a river? When you think the book has hit peak, it tries to drag out the momentum, and I couldn’t really say what was going on. I ended up half-skimming.The other main criticism is that the supporting cast are one-note. Mostly, Gabi, Blair, Agatha and the rest of the Syndicate. One word can be used to describe them, and none of them undergo any character development. Gabi in particular is just… there? She could’ve been removed from the story and nothing would’ve changed.Though Wynn was the best in the cast. He didn’t have much development, and I shouldn’t really be a beggar choosing, but he eventually warmed up more to Anise than he did at the beginning of the story. His backstory is interesting enough to whet intrigue about his character, and the reason why he’s so aloof and stoic.Anise herself wasn’t so bad either, albeit infuriatingly naïve. It was easy to relate to her plight, to her doing anything to achieve her dreams of working at the bakery. Her voice was unique enough and filled with so many baking metaphors that it wasn’t a chore to read from her POV. Her instant attachment to the villain is what, unfortunately, gave away the ending, but alas, one of the better protagonists I’ve read.The writing isn’t the best, but, like I’ve said, its quirky and fitting for the tone. Maybe less of the swear words would’ve sold it for me, since swear words seemed so… misplaced? Like we’d get this cute metaphor about baking and then the s-bomb is dropped. Overall, though I don’t think it was perfect, it ultimately got the point across. WILL I READ ON? Yes! The magic is fun and hopefully, with more screen time, the characters will flourish and develop. I'd like to know more about Wynn too, and I suspect he and Anise will become an item in this series, so we'll have to wait and see...
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  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    Mix delicious cakes and frosting with spell-binding magic and adventure, add a pinch of intrigue and this is a treat readers won't want to miss.Anise carries the perfect name—she wants nothing more than to be a baker with her own shop. Too bad, she's a witch and is shunned by anyone who notices. Colleges won't accept her, bakers don't want her. . .the only place she finds a job is decorating sheet cakes. When her silly magic gets the best of her, and she's about to end up in jail, a long silent Mix delicious cakes and frosting with spell-binding magic and adventure, add a pinch of intrigue and this is a treat readers won't want to miss.Anise carries the perfect name—she wants nothing more than to be a baker with her own shop. Too bad, she's a witch and is shunned by anyone who notices. Colleges won't accept her, bakers don't want her. . .the only place she finds a job is decorating sheet cakes. When her silly magic gets the best of her, and she's about to end up in jail, a long silent aunt comes to her rescue. Anise escapes to an all witch area and finds her dream job as an apprentice in the town's most successful cake shop. But things aren't all sweets and dreamy spells as death knocks on her door and someone wants to kill her.This author is slowly becoming one of my favorites as she adds yet another terrific tale to her list. Unlike the last one I read from her, a compelling science fiction series, this dive into flour and whisks has an entirely new flare. . .and sits. It's a delight to be submerged into a baking world and experience Anise's enthusiasm for cakes. (Who can blame her?) Her disappointments and mistakes make her human, while her excitement and determination make her easy to root for. She does make sometimes bad, gut decisions which aren't always thought out, but then, this is a YA novel.Although there is action and scenes full of tension when Anise's life really is on the line, it's balanced out with a playful spirit of fun. There's never a boring moment and Anise has to fight for every success, big or small. Her group of friends is a little odd, and it's fitting to the scene. The witches are strange to Anise and presented that way to the reader. Trust isn't instant, but friendship is true and blue. It's just a matter of figuring out whose intentions are good and whose are not, which is not an easy task.There's a special spice with Anise's bodyguard, and the relationship is refreshingly different. Lots of secrets still need to be exposed in this area as well as many others. In other words, book two promises to be just as intriguing.I received a complimentary copy through Netgalley and enjoyed it enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
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  • Reads & Reels
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book but I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. The concept is fantastic, but I wish there had been more focus on the magic aspect and a little less on the sweets.Anise is a young kitchen witch with a magical affinity for baking. She has a lot of raw talent but due to societal prejudices she can’t get into any pastry schools in order to hone her craft.After a magical mishap that could have devastating consequences, Anise goes to live with her great-aunt Agatha who is a gifted bake I liked this book but I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. The concept is fantastic, but I wish there had been more focus on the magic aspect and a little less on the sweets.Anise is a young kitchen witch with a magical affinity for baking. She has a lot of raw talent but due to societal prejudices she can’t get into any pastry schools in order to hone her craft.After a magical mishap that could have devastating consequences, Anise goes to live with her great-aunt Agatha who is a gifted baker and maybe more importantly, a powerful member of the “Spellwork Syndicate”. Once she arrives, Anise thinks her dreams have come true. Unfortunately, bad things start happening to her and she learns there is something more sinister at play than a jealous co-worker at a magical bakery. As I mentioned, there is a heavy focus on baked goods. Anise is OBSESSED and it’s not a bad thing, I just wish there was a little less about the goodies and more about the “Syndicate”. Particularly, the very powerful witches who make up its membership.As this is the first book in a series, I think this will be developed more in the next book and I look forward to that. I really enjoy Lola’s books, so I do hope this series gets better with every new installment.Overall, it was a good book and I hope the storyline continues to develop and become a little more “deadly” than “sweet”.Rating… C+ (3.5 Stars)*Thanks to Ink Monster, Lola Dodge, and Netgalley for my copy of “Deadly Sweet” in exchange for my honest review
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    This came off as a quick cheesy read, there is nothing wrong with those I enjoy them quite a lot. I was so completely wrong though. This book had ups, downs, sideways, and any other way you can think of. The idea that Lola Dodge got to put witches into "groups" (i.e. cooking, death, herbs, jewelry, etc) is simply amazing. She kept the story line going while keeping you interested in the side characters. I actually read the entire book in one night and went looking for more books in the series on This came off as a quick cheesy read, there is nothing wrong with those I enjoy them quite a lot. I was so completely wrong though. This book had ups, downs, sideways, and any other way you can think of. The idea that Lola Dodge got to put witches into "groups" (i.e. cooking, death, herbs, jewelry, etc) is simply amazing. She kept the story line going while keeping you interested in the side characters. I actually read the entire book in one night and went looking for more books in the series only to find out it will not be out till October. That was a major sad face.This book (Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate Series #1)) will keep you reading and hungry for more. I have not read any other series or book by Lola Dodge but I can assure you that she is now added to my favorite author list. Even if the description doesn't sound like something you would read, I would give it a chance. It really is quite good and the characters are very well developed along with the story line.One other thing? If you read this let me know if you figured out who the villain was before Lola Dodge tells you. I almost missed my guess (by two pages) and I am curious if I was just off on my clues or if Lola Dodge is that good.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Anise escapes to Taos where she can finally live out her dream after an incident in New York. She is a witch living in a world that is terrified of witches and so she did what she could to blend in until everything blew up in front of her and she had to leave town. Things fall into place once she becomes an apprentice to her great aunt’s magical bakery in Arizona, but reality is too good to be true and soon Anise discovers that her years of baking is horrendous according to her aunt, she must le Anise escapes to Taos where she can finally live out her dream after an incident in New York. She is a witch living in a world that is terrified of witches and so she did what she could to blend in until everything blew up in front of her and she had to leave town. Things fall into place once she becomes an apprentice to her great aunt’s magical bakery in Arizona, but reality is too good to be true and soon Anise discovers that her years of baking is horrendous according to her aunt, she must learn how to bake from scratch by attending college, her fellow coworker who hates her guts happens to be her baking professor, she somehow has to have a bodyguard follow her around 24/7, and apparently her life as at risk every time she leaves the house.This novel was magical from the world building to the characters and plot, but unfortunately this isn’t a standalone, so many questions are unanswered by the final page. I had many theories about Wynn’s role as bodyguard and why he seemed to sport a permanent cloud of rain over his head, but we didn’t learn much about his character. I picked out the warlock from the beginning so that wasn’t a shock. And I found it annoying and childish when Anise would go on and on over Seth’s appearance. It got to the point where she was comparing him to chocolate mousse and other baked goods. She sometimes made stupid decisions and let her “chocolate mousse” of a crush cloud her judgement to the point where she became careless, but at least she acquired her senses back after a bit.I received an ARC of Deadly Sweet from NetGalley.
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  • Karissa
    January 1, 1970
    I got a copy of this book through NetGalley to review. I enjoyed this YA paranormal book about a baking witch who is trying to find her place in a society that spurns witches. At least one more book is planned in this series; Sugar Spells is expected to release in October of 2018.There was surprising amount of action in this story and I loved the descriptions of baking and magic. I enjoyed the world created here and the characters in it.The book is well written and engaging and makes for a fun a I got a copy of this book through NetGalley to review. I enjoyed this YA paranormal book about a baking witch who is trying to find her place in a society that spurns witches. At least one more book is planned in this series; Sugar Spells is expected to release in October of 2018.There was surprising amount of action in this story and I loved the descriptions of baking and magic. I enjoyed the world created here and the characters in it.The book is well written and engaging and makes for a fun and cute read.There are a lot of unanswered mysteries at the end of this first book; especially around the Shields that protect the witches and how their contracts are enforced. I am hoping some of that will be explained more in upcoming books.Overall this was a cute, fun, and quick read about a world where witches are real and specialize in very specific areas. I loved all the baking magic, the fun characters, and the light tone to this book. If you are looking for a fun and light paranormal YA read then I would definitely recommend this book. I plan on continuing with the series.
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  • Sameena Jehanzeb
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so much fun to read! If you have a sweet tooth you'll love all the baking in it. I really don't know how I will survive waiting for book 2 of this series. Some parts of the story are very predictable but it didn't bother me because I liked our stubborn and yet mostly reasonable Anise a lot - despite her stupid decisions now and then - and even more I loved Wynn. I so so so want to know his secrets and see him more fleshed out in the next book. The small hints we are given about him This book was so much fun to read! If you have a sweet tooth you'll love all the baking in it. I really don't know how I will survive waiting for book 2 of this series. Some parts of the story are very predictable but it didn't bother me because I liked our stubborn and yet mostly reasonable Anise a lot - despite her stupid decisions now and then - and even more I loved Wynn. I so so so want to know his secrets and see him more fleshed out in the next book. The small hints we are given about him seem to hide some sad truths and I felt sorry for him without even knowing the least bit of his contract.Deadly Sweet is one crazy cool book if you are into modern witches and bakery stuff - with a hint of romance. It's not flawless but I enjoyed myself so much my cheeks turned red with excitement.*** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.***
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  • Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    I received an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book kind of reminded me of a cooking show with witches and assassins thrown into the mix. It was interesting but im not sure if i would read it again.
  • Laura Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    Grab yourself a drink and something yummy to eat as you'll find yourself getting hungry while reading this magical story as there's a lot of baking going on within its pages. The world building is really good but I found that what truly drew me into the story's plot were the amazing female characters who continuously take care of one another.I do hope that the author adds more witch elements in the next book as I look forward to reading it! -YA/NA Book Divas{I requested a review copy via NetGall Grab yourself a drink and something yummy to eat as you'll find yourself getting hungry while reading this magical story as there's a lot of baking going on within its pages. The world building is really good but I found that what truly drew me into the story's plot were the amazing female characters who continuously take care of one another.I do hope that the author adds more witch elements in the next book as I look forward to reading it! -YA/NA Book Divas{I requested a review copy via NetGalley and made no guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}
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  • Nancy (The Avid Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    All Anise Wise wants is to be a great baker. Anise is a witch who puts a little magic into her baking. Her dream is to go to college and learn to bake and then one day maybe own her own bakery. But with every rejection letter from the colleges she has applied for it doesn’t look like her dreams are going to be coming true. After an accident in her home town leaves her with no option but to leave town Anise hits it off luckily when she receives an offer from her great aunt Agatha Wise to be her a All Anise Wise wants is to be a great baker. Anise is a witch who puts a little magic into her baking. Her dream is to go to college and learn to bake and then one day maybe own her own bakery. But with every rejection letter from the colleges she has applied for it doesn’t look like her dreams are going to be coming true. After an accident in her home town leaves her with no option but to leave town Anise hits it off luckily when she receives an offer from her great aunt Agatha Wise to be her apprentice in her bakery.Upon arriving at her aunt’s bakery she learns that Agatha’s last apprentice is missing or dead and Anise could be next on the killers list. Why is someone going around knocking off bakery apprentice? Deadly Sweet was a fast great little read that will keep you turning the pages trying to figure out whodunit. Not to mention all the magical sweets she was always baking sounded so delicious I was like oh I got to have me some of that. The sweets is not the only thing that sounded delicious a couple of guys did as well. Deadly Sweet is filled with lots of twist and turns with a whole lot of mystery thrown in.I would recommend Deadly Sweet to anyone who loves a good witchy mystery. I can’t wait to check out the next book in the series Sugar Spells.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge is the first book in the Spellwork Syndicate series, and my first book by this author. Anise Wise wants to attend pastry school, but she has been rejected because she is a witch. With no way to further her love of baking she goes to Taos and lives with her great Aunt Agatha. Aunt Agatha owns a magical bakery where witches openly use magic. What a great book, I really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I recommend this book to all who enjoy Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge is the first book in the Spellwork Syndicate series, and my first book by this author. Anise Wise wants to attend pastry school, but she has been rejected because she is a witch. With no way to further her love of baking she goes to Taos and lives with her great Aunt Agatha. Aunt Agatha owns a magical bakery where witches openly use magic. What a great book, I really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I recommend this book to all who enjoy paranormal/fantasy and mystery books.I was given a copy of this book for a fair and honest review.
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  • Kerstin
    January 1, 1970
    "Deadly Sweet" is the first book about Anise Wise, a young witch that would love to make baking her job, but can't find work or go to pastry school because most people are afraid of magic users and shun them. When she gets the chance to be an apprentice to her great aunt Agatha, a powerful woman who owns a magical bakery, Anise is happy to grasp this opportunity with both hands - at least until she finds out that her predecessor went missing and nobody is quite sure what happened to her. And she "Deadly Sweet" is the first book about Anise Wise, a young witch that would love to make baking her job, but can't find work or go to pastry school because most people are afraid of magic users and shun them. When she gets the chance to be an apprentice to her great aunt Agatha, a powerful woman who owns a magical bakery, Anise is happy to grasp this opportunity with both hands - at least until she finds out that her predecessor went missing and nobody is quite sure what happened to her. And she appears to be the next target...I was curious to read this book, mostly because the idea of "baking with magic" intrigued me - even more so since magic is often only used for big stuff like fighting battles or protecting some important person/artefact. This is of course fine, but I like it when magic is a central part of witches or wizards' lives and they use it for little things as well. Because of that, I couldn't wait to see what magic system the author would use. As I expected, I enjoyed this aspect of the story very much. It is fascinating to see magic being used to make cakes or to see what has to be considered to make a truly magical pastry, but I have to say that I wish there had been more about magic itself. The spells that are crafted are very interesting and I loved to see what powerful witches could do, be it small things like making cupcakes that can cause happiness or bigger matters like keeping someone safe. Still, the focus of "Deadly Sweet" is the baking, mainly because the protagonist just began her training and has to start from the bottom up. The descriptions of the delicious pastries Anise was creating (or helping create) made my mouth water and it was nice to get all the details about it, but I hope book 2 will have more background on the magic system since I'm still not totally sure how everything works.Most of the characters in this book are female, which is kind of to be expected in a book about witches, and I enjoyed that there are lots of strong women who were ready to protect one of their own in trouble. Anise herself is a nice enough protagonist; sometimes I thought she was terribly naïve, which was sort of understandable considering how she grew up, but it still annoyed me a bit when she was inconsiderate of the very real danger that surrounded her. I DID like that she never wanted to give up, her determination that she would succeed, no matter what and her immense will to prove everyone that she was worthy of the opportunity she had been granted. All in all, she has a well-rounded personality with strengths and weaknesses and I can't wait to see how what happened to her in this book will influence her in the future. I'm also curious about the different background stories of secondary characters and hope that the future instalments will give us more information.The plot kept me engaged from the first page onwards and provided a nice mixture of dangerous moments and the peace and quiet of baking which worked well for me. I have to say though that I found it easy to discover who the opponent would be and in the end, I'm not sure if his motive is totally convincing to me. Another point of criticism would be the inclusion of a love story. It bugged me a bit and it seemed to distract from the main plot, even more so since I just couldn't see why Anise was interested in the guy she was falling for. Therefore, I detracted 0.5 stars, but I will definitely read the second book to see what happens next.3.5 stars________________I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. Thank you!
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