Book Reviews

Portals and Puppy Dogs (Dreamspun Beyond, Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club 2) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Magic / Wizards & Witches / Romance
Reviewed by Roger on 12-April-2021

Book Blurb

Sometimes love is flashier than magic.

 

On the surface, Alex Kennedy is unremarkable: average looks, boring accounting job, predictable crush on his handsome playboy boss, Simon Reddick.

 

But he’s also a witch.

 

Business powerhouse Simon goes for flash and glamour… most of the time. But something about Alex makes Simon wonder what’s underneath that sweet, gentle exterior.

 

Alex could probably dance around their attraction forever… if not for the spell gone wrong tearing apart his haunted cul-de-sac. When a portal through time and space swallows the dog he’s petsitting, only for the pampered pooch to appear in the next instant on Simon’s doorstep, Alex and Simon must confront not only the rogue magic trying to take over Alex’s coven, but the long-buried passion they’ve been harboring for each other.

 

Book Review

This is the second book in the ‘Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club’ series, and the events pick up two weeks after where the previous book left off. This time, we’re following coven member Alex Kennedy, an accountant working at Reddick, Lockhart, and Baldwin Accounting who has been hopelessly in love with his boss, Simon Reddick, for the past two years. The crush has now become so unbearable that Alex has put in for a transfer to get away from the man. The kicker is that Simon is also crushing on Alex and lets him know about it, begging him to stay at the company. Alex agrees, and each man then takes a few tentative romantic steps toward the other.

So by day, Alex is a shy accountant, but by night, he works with his coven, desperately attempting to undo the catastrophic spell they cast a couple of weeks prior, resulting in the disappearance of two members of their friendship/coven circle, both of whom are now trapped in kind of an in-between world. The coven has since been locked in an exhausting cycle of performing a spell every sunset and sunrise in order to keep the malevolent forces of the neighborhood at bay.

Alex then draws a surprised and wide-eyed Simon into his friendship circle, and slowly, Simon learns not only about Alex but also about witchcraft, their unfortunate spell, and the other coven members. It’s also clear that Magic itself is intervening to bring the two men together, and through the process, Alex’s truest desire is revealed (during the disastrous spell in the first book, each coven member had to write down what they desired most). At first glance, it appears that Magic’s aim in the series is to find love for each of the single coven members. Whether this is the case remains to be seen.

What was fun about this story, is how really, the witches are more or less winging it. They don’t know what they’re doing most of the time, and more times than not, they create magic without even knowing it. What I love is how devoted they are not only to their craft but also to each other.  There’s a deep, heartwarming friendship and familial loyalty between them, and it’s clear they would do anything for each other.

Initially shocked by the existence of magic and witches, Simon subsequently decides he wants to help figure out a way to return their absent friends, so he offers his assistance. It was a lot of fun watching Simon and Alex move closer together and find out how each of their preconceptions about the other were slowly destroyed. These two are very much in sync, so much so that I had no trouble in seeing that they belonged together right from the beginning. There was phenomenal chemistry between them, and I enjoyed how they grew more and more in love the more they discovered about the other.

I also love how this enchanting story combines the sweetness of love and attraction with the deep bonds of friendship and created family. Brewed together, they make a beautiful and moving story—an ode to family in every sense of the word.

What’s also fun is witnessing the inner growth and insight of each of the characters, a challenging but beautiful process. Lovable characters, a fully developed setting, and plenty of witty banter and dialogue are the highlights of this series, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment… and who will be magic’s next target!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

 

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 213 pages/55718 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-February-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/portals-and-puppy-dogs-by-amy-lane-11812-b