ARC Review: A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey

ARC Featured Image - A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey

Hello, fellow bookworms. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts about a light paranormal novel A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey. My thanks to the publisher BHC Press (via Netgalley) for the advanced eBook in exchange for my candid opinion.

Quote from A Witchly Influence

(There were lots of great scenes with Carmen (our protagonist) and her three best friends. It was hard to choose just one!)

I [Carmen] started coughing as the wine caught in my throat. “You’re a Muse. You’re born a Muse, not made into one. How in the hell could Tess work with you?”

“She could be my assistant,” Siobhan replied.

“What kind of Muse needs an assistant?” I asked, incredulous.

“Sometimes I might not be able to leave a client for lunch and I need someone to get it for me.”

Enid rolled her eyes. “You’re a witch, woman! Magic is your assistant.” She took a long swig from her glass. “Needs someone to get her lunch. The nerve,” she muttered.

“You could work with Enid,” I suggested.

“Enid’s job is boring!” Tess said. “You have to learn history and stuff.”

“Better to have knowledge in that brain of yours instead of air,” Enid said, laughing.

“Is that a redhead joke?” Tess asked.

“It might be,” Enid answered.”

My Overall Rating: 2/5

Plot: 1/5 – Flow: 2/5 – Character Development: 2/5 – World Building: 3/5

What’s A Witchly Influence about?

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ARC Review: A Witchly Influence by Stephanie GreyMy Rating:
Title: A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey
Series: Standalone Novel
Published by BHC Press on 1 October, 2020
Genres: Light Paranormal
No. of Pages: 262

Get ready to have fun and be influenced!

Fate can show up as anything… As a freshly minted divorcee, witch Carmen Devereaux returns to her hometown in North Carolina. With this decision comes another change in her life: Fate has decided that she is to become an Influencer, someone who guides others onto the path that they were meant to take.

When she’s assigned to Abby Windsor, a young schoolteacher, as well as her own stepbrother, Finn Cleary, she soon encounters several obstacles, including getting stuck in her own past.

A quirky, fun, and lovable cast of characters, including Lenny the Snowman—a grumpy, old snowman who really loves trashy reality shows, especially ones about real housewives, Egbert the Lobbyist Pencil—a pompous pencil who lobbies on magic and loves tasty cuisine, and Muse Siobhan Waters, who is thoughtful and down to earth, help guide and inspire Carmen whenever she gets stuck working on her assignment. Along the way, Carmen learns to influence others…and herself.

Humorous and light-hearted, A Witchly Influence is the perfect feel-good book of the year.

Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: eBook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦*

Read: 28th September – 22nd October 2020

What did I like about A Witchly Influence?

I made a request to read this book for several reasons. Firstly, the front cover caught my attention. What? I love paranormal and this looked like a light-hearted read with something to do about witches. Need I say more. 😉 The blurb drew me in. It sounded like the Kirsten Painter books I love so much – fun, engaging entertainment. I loved the idea of a new start for the protagonist and that she’d have supporting characters around to help. Finally, I’m always on the hunt for my next favourite author. Aren’t we all? 😉 I love finding new-to-me authors, especially those who write standalone novels in my preferred reading genres.

Ms Grey’s writing style is light-hearted, humorous, and easy to read.

Nothing too heavy or thought-provoking; a perfect fit with the cosy genre. Her prose is appropriate for the story and she’s obviously an intelligent woman. The world-building was good and added to the story rather than bog it down.

I loved Carmen’s girlfriends.

Siobhan, Tess and Enid each had different personalities but were fabulous and exhibited the traits that I love. The scenes of friendly banter between the four women was hilarious. They were supportive, loyal and had some brilliant ideas to help Carmen out. Just what besties do. There were lots of characters I really liked in this book and liked to hate. 😉

As a self-contained novel, the fact that every story thread was concluded to a satisfactory is also a HUGE plus. I hate loose ends and cliffhangers. 😉

Was there anything I didn’t like?

You can tell by the 2-star rating that this book didn’t grip me. It was OK but there was a lot about it that niggled. I’m not going to list everything; however, I will highlight my main grumbles.

The way magic was portrayed in this book isn’t very sophisticated and it was overused. Think the old 1960s US sitcom Bewitched: no need for spells, potions, or equipment. Just a wiggle of a finger and anything you want just happens. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that show. However, it annoyed me that the characters in this book relied on it ALL THE TIME. Any threats or difficulties in the plot were easily dealt with. This meant that there wasn’t any tension or stakes in the story; there wasn’t anything to grip me on the edge of my seat.

However, my biggest gripe was with the plot. I found myself rolling my eyes and huffing in disbelief and frustration. There were several big twists and elements to the plot that just jarred. Stuff that felt so surreal that it jolted me out of the story with disbelief. I accept that imagination is the only limiter when writing fantasy, however, we’ve still got to believe what we’re reading. It’s the job of the author to create that credibility, to set up the story so that the fantastical is acceptable.

Basically, what I’m saying is…

A Witchly Influence is OK but it’s not my cup of tea. I’m always reluctant to write reviews for books that I don’t enjoy reading as much. However, I feel it’s important to share critiques from both sides of the fence. This novel turned out to be too Nickelodeon and YA-esque for my tastes. It’s a cosy paranormal with that’s already received lots of 5-star ratings from happy readers.

Has my review of A Witchly Influence encouraged you to find out more? It just might be your next favourite read. Click on any of my links to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.

About Stephanie Grey

Author - Stephanie Grey

Stephanie Grey is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism. Writing has always been her passion, and she enjoys exploring different genres. Her debut novel, The Immortal Prudence Blackwood about an immortal hunting serial killers, earned rave reviews from readers and is quickly becoming a cult favorite.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, visiting museums, reading, and playing with her cat. One day she may even turn into a crazy cat lady because nothing in life is interesting without a little bit of crazy.  

Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my thoughts about A Witchly Influence. Have you read this one or any others by Stephanie Grey? Drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

Before you go, check out the amazing authors on my Favourites’ Page. You know how much I love adding to your towering TBR pile. 😉

Bye for now

Flora x

book cover for A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

(6) Comments

  1. Ellie Rayner says:

    Great review! It’s a shame you didn’t enjoy this one more, but I get where you are coming from, and I think I’d be in the same boat! Better luck next time! 🙂

    1. Flora says:

      I know, I was a bit disappointed, Ellie, but that’s the way it goes, right? On to the next book!

      1. Ellie Rayner says:

        Yeah, hope the next one is better Flora! 🙂

        1. Thanks Ellie. x

  2. I would be drawn in by the cover too! It looks like it would be a cute story. I’m sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea.

    1. Flora says:

      I know, I’m quite disappointed. Oh, well. it was still OK, just not a book I’ll re-read.

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