A Wicked and Beautiful Garden
by Katie McGarry
The first book in the Witches of the Island series, self published May 5, 2021
Twenty-eight year-old Cassie Strega can’t escape fate. All she wants is to live a normal, quiet life delivering the babies in her small town. But when she discovers she comes from a lineage of witches, her life becomes extraordinary—in the gravely dangerous type of way. Then, she’s reunited with her first love. Orion, the sultry Fae warrior who broke her heart years before, is searching for a baby. Not just any baby, but the queen of the Fae who will one day lead them in their final battle against the demons determined to rule the world. The same baby who has been calling to Cassie for help in her dreams. Fighting the intense attraction of their former blood bond, Cassie and Orion work together to find the child. But when the heartbreak that nearly destroyed Cassie nine years before looms once more, she’ll have to decide whether getting involved in the supernatural war is worth losing everything, including her life.
I adore Katie McGarry. I’ve been reading her writing since Pushing the Limits. Her very first book.
However, all of her books thus far have been young adult contemporary romance. Her last book: Echoes Between Us, had a little bit of paranormalcy sprinkled in. A Wicked and Beautiful Garden is her very first adult fantasy romance and she dove in with both feet.
Cassie is as strong as all of McGarry’s other women characters. The paranormal aspect was amazingly written. The love interest was beautifully written. The character growth involved was perfection.
I mean McGarry showed off the fact that she can transcend genres and ages. McGarry is also writing a true series for the first time and she set it up so perfectly, I can’t wait until the second book.
Y’all are probably asking yourselves:”Raquel, aren’t all series true series?” And to that I say no.
You see McGarry’s other “series” Pushing the Limits or the Thunder Road series I don’t consider true series because the following books didn’t need the preceding book in order to prop itself up. They were, for the most part, self contained.
Now, if you had read the previous books would you delight in knowing that the other characters that had appeared throughout the book were getting their own story told? Yes.
Did that mean that if you hadn’t read the previous books, you would not understand a lick of it? No.
Either way, Cassie was an amazing character, I adored her so much. She knew herself and was able to take a look back at her past and better herself. McGarry played off the fact that a lot of people in current society are claiming to be witches and showing it off by their massive plant collections and honestly…yes. Orion was a bit of a red flag but he didn’t really follow through with any of his red flag thoughts and I think that’s what makes it ok to make a space for him in my book boyfriend collection. It is definitely more of a mixture between plot and character-driven than her other books and she blended it perfectly. I really can’t wait to see the twists that McGarry puts in the second book.
Let me know what you think!