Running With the Devil (ARC review) – Unicorn t-shirts are vintage, love is not


The following review is part of my being in the author’s review team, which ensures that you can read it before the book comes out.


The following review is the first of as many as I can write before Aged to Perfection, a 19-novella anthology featuring everything over 40, will be released, and likely more afterwards. Paranormal Women’s Fiction in its best form: as many as you can get!

What the story is about

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Running With the Devil

Book: Aged to Perfection

Author: Mandy M. Roth

Date published: 15 February, 2022

Synopsis:

When a gubernatorial candidate comes through the doors of a small magic shop, claiming he was mystically framed for murder, a witch has to decide if she can put their past behind her and help.

You can’t escape your past

Kerri and Patrick had all their lives in front of them. Middle School sweethearts, she is a witch and he is human, but they did not care about that difference. However, after Patrick just up and left her, Kerri did everything in her power (pun intended) to forget about him, even erecting metaphorical walls around her heart to protect herself from more heartache.

But could she?

When Patrick comes to her shop to ask for her help hiding him from officers searching for him for a murder he swears he hasn’t committed, Kerri realises that no matter how high the walls, your past is not something that you can escape, and deep feelings cannot remain buried forever. After all, 16 years can be an eternity as much as only a few seconds when true love is present.

Ah, those pesky in-laws!

Who needs enemies when they can have bigoted in-laws? Be they current or, in Kerri’s case, ex, they can cause a world of trouble in order to, simply, have more and more power, something that Patrick was apparently wanting as much as his family, if his current gubernatorial run is any indication. Something that his family has been working at for many generations.

Vintage clothes, real feelings

Kerri might love her vintage clothes, but her feelings, be they for Patrick or for her friends, are true and run deep, much to our enjoyment.

The ladies, in particular, from Roni to Heather, Holly, and Sutton, are what makes the essence of what Kerri has become, where she can let her walls down completely: her family. In fact, the female non-competitive and true friendships is what I like best about most anything PWF, and this story is no different, even if Heather has a knack of triggering my personal impatience (but she is like a lovely non-lethal fungus and does grow on you).

First of a new series

Yes, this novella is the first of Mandy M. Roth’s new Paranormal Women’s Fiction series, Shadow Ridge, set in a small town that used to be Chicago, once upon a time. Which means that we will have more of these amazing magical ladies, much to my pleasure, I must say.

My verdict

If there is one negative thing to be said about Running With the Devil, it is that the novella is way too short! I would’ve taken so much more of Kerri and Patrick! However, knowing that it is a new series, I know that I will see them again, which makes me deliriously happy. Another homer from Mandy M. Roth, and much deserving of

Five stars full of unicorns!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Other reviews from this anthology

My Big Fat Hairy Wedding (Robyn Peterman)
Merely Mortal (Michelle M. Pillow)
The Bargain (Christine Gael)
Weaver’s Web (Yasmine Galenorn)

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