Sugar Spells by Lola Dodge// Release Day Review

This is a review of the second book of the Spellwork Syndicate, there are a few minor spoilers of the first book, so if you have not read the first book and don’t want it spoiled, read my (spoiler-free) review of the first book HERE

I received this book and the first book (in January) to review by Netgalley. I would like to thank the publisher, Lola Dodge and NetGalley for approving my requests.

Title: Sugar Spells Sugar Spells

Series: Spellwork Syndicate

Author: Lola Dodge

Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: October 30th, 2018

My Description: This is the second book in the Spellwork Syndicate series. If you would like to read my review of the first book, Deadly Sweet, click here!

Anise is a witch who dreams of one day opening her own magic bakery. When an estranged aunt invites her to work for her at the only magic bakery in the country, Anise thinks all her dreams are coming true! But nothing can ever be that easy and Anise somehow keeps getting herself in the middle of trouble!

Goodreads Description:

After her run-in with a jealous warlock, apprentice baker Anise Wise can’t wait to get back the kitchen where she belongs. But thanks to her brush with death, the land of the living isn’t all cupcakes and marshmallows.

Anise’s magical mojo is way out of whack and her evolving powers are stirring up trouble. As the town buzzes with news that Anise can bake deathly spells, unsavory characters start lining up for a taste. They’ll stop at nothing for the chance to use Anise and her witchcraft to further their own plots.

She plans to hole up researching magic recipes until the attention dies down, but then she discovers the horrifying terms of her bodyguard’s contract. Wynn has saved her life so many times, she can’t leave him trapped. But doing the right thing will mean risking death or worse—being cast out of her dream job.

For this witch, justice might not be as sweet as advertised.

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars!

Characters: 4.5/5 stars! I really enjoy the characters in this book. They aren’t complicated people but also aren’t annoying. They are all realistic characters and people I could imagine myself being friends with. I still love Anise, the main character. And this book even gave us more of Wynn’s personality! In the first book, he was more mysterious, magic bodyguard and now he is on his way to being a friend! (and maybe more??)

Setting: 4/5 stars! We got to see more of the town in this book! We got a look at a magic veterinarian place and a pocket dimension. The last book was set mostly at the college but we didn’t go to the college this book because Anise’s magic was out of whack.

Plot: 4/5 stars! It is hard to rate the plot of this book because I usually review books with more complicated plots but these books are simple, easy to read witchy mystery books! They are so quick to read and keep you interested until the end but don’t leave you with a book hangover. This book felt too quick. It felt quicker to read than the 1st one which sucks.

Relationships: 4.5/5 stars! I still love the friendships! The familial relationships are still distant since Anise’s aunt isn’t a very maternal figure and doesn’t really interact with her much in this book and her mom is actually physically distant. Buuuuuuuuut, We got some hints at romance this book! Not really but kind of. In my review of the first book, I said I kind of shipped Anise and Wynn even though there was 0 indication of anything there BUT there were some hints at something in the future in this book! I do enjoy that Dodge decided to wait until they were on an even level of power. This is definitely a better foundation for a healthy romance! I can’t wait!


Cover (Not factored into final rating): 5/5 stars! I love the covers for these books. Sweets and Magic? My dream.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? I love these series, honestly. I look forward to them. I can’t wait until the 3rd book comes out! What trouble is Anise going to get into? Who is going to try and kill her in the next book? What delicious treats will she make!

Critiques? Disappointments? It felt shorter! Like last book was a decadent cream cheese frosting and this book was a whipped cream frosting! I still enjoyed it but I wish there had been a little bit more. Now I have to wait probably a year!

Conclusion: I am going to repeat my conclusion for the 1st book because it still applies.

Sugar Spells  “was a fun “witchy” mystery that everyone can enjoy. Cute characters, light mystery and no strong romance in this book for anyone not looking for that kind of thing. I love this world that Lola has built and I hope to be introduced to more of it in the next book of the series. I’m not sure if the Spellwork Syndicate is planned to be a short or long series, personally, I think it would work as a longer series of books because it is light enough to stay interesting for a good amount of books.”

Should you read it? If you want a cozy mystery series, read it. If you want a light witchy novel, read it! If you need something fun and uncomplicated to read in between all the heavy dystopians and such, read it!



Have you read this series? What do you think?

Thanks for reading!


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