*I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*
Prophesied to be the most powerful witch, Mariel Spark feels far from such a glorious title, especially as a descendant of the famed Spark family. She prefers the comfort of her kitchen and greenhouse over the magic in her veins. When a summon goes wrong, and instead of flour to bake, Mariel accidentally called a demon, and to make matters worse, unknowingly enters a soul bargain with him.
I love randomly requesting books on Netgalley because I find gems like this. A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon was an utter delight. Never thought I would find myself so heavily invested in the life of a witch and demon fake dating to hide the fact that she summoned a demon onto Earth from her overbearing mother.
Mariel is a charming woman with a whole lot of love to go around, but to her family, it means nothing if she can’t wield the magic within her to a more respectable use than tending to her garden. Her mother is a textbook narcissist who is convinced that Mariel simply isn’t trying hard enough and threatens to cut off financial support for her education if Mariel doesn’t improve soon. And as she is in the middle of baking, Mariel tries her luck to summon flour but summons a demon instead. In comes, Ozroth (or Oz), who is in a similar situation where he must regain the respect of the demon elders, which means taking Mariel’s soul back with him. A witch’s soul is their magic, so Mariel isn’t planning on parting with it so quickly. So he’s stuck on Earth until he can figure out a way to get it from her. But that also means he can’t leave her side, which is becomes a problem explaining his presence to her mother. Rather than admit her spellcasting failure, Mariel blurts out that Oz is actually her boyfriend. As Mariel struggles to combat an ongoing development that will threaten the wildlife in her town, Oz has a limited time to make a deal, and as the two struggle to maintain their fake relationship, a real one happens between them.
I always adore an excellent reluctant friends-to-lovers story, and Mariel and Oz’s chemistry was hilarious and heart-warming. Who wouldn’t want a fake demon boyfriend who defends you against your shitty family? Although it falls victim to the typical third-act miscommunication trope, which definitely could’ve been done better, Mariel and Oz are hilarious. I found myself laughing through all their interactions. Considering Mariel summoned one of the worst demons you could call upon, she keeps her head straight despite Oz’s cheeky attempts to take her soul; both are equally loveable.
A Witch’s Guide is Hawley’s debut, and I was immensely impressed at her ability to craft hilarious and relatable inner monologues for both Mariel and Oz. An entertaining paranormal romance which makes me super excited to read its sequel, which surprisingly follows a secondary character I had not expected.
I drew fanart too!!!! This scene was hilarious, and I knew I had to draw it immediately!