What a great find! Cupcakes, Trinkets, and other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge is a delightful little read along the same lines as Barbara Bretton’s Sugar Maple series; Casting Spells and Laced with Magic. “Cupcakes, Trinkets, and other Deadly Magic” is a short little ebook at 230 pages, it makes for a great afternoon read. [goodreads review]
Jade is a half human half witch with very little witch in her. Unable to do more than find bits of magically imbued trash on hikes, Jade takes to cooking and opens up her own bakery in her little town selling sugary cupcakes to her loyal customers. When one afternoon a vampire shows up on her doorstep looking for answers involving a string of werewolf murders, Jade needs to make a choice. Wait for her Gram to come home from vacation to rescue her, or learn to believe in herself and practice a little magic she didn’t know she had in her.
This was so enjoyable to read. Jade is a well balanced heroine with character flaws and strengths. She is fun and family loving and needing yet is often a push over, especially when it comes to her family. She's not overly needy and for the entirety of the novel grows into herself and her confidence. By far, the best personality trait Jade has though, is her passion and that is most evident when she’s in her shop. Jade's bakery was a character in itself and she treats it as part of her family. Some of the best scenes in the story were located in the bakery where Jade seemed to be the most comfortable.
My main sticking point for this story was actually the pacing. At some points the plot seemed to stagnate and in others it rushed by too quickly for me to keep up. Part of that was probably due to the entire story taking place in three days. The tragedy that this family goes through in the last chapter of the book is glossed over and within half a nights sleep Jade has moved on with her life. Absolutely not and unfortunately I lost a bit of love for Jade because of it. The entire outcome was extremely predictable, though at one point I did find myself thinking I was incorrect, but I wouldn’t say the predictability was a negative.
One last critique was around the two main men of the story and how similar they were written. Their personalities, mannerisms, and actions were all basically the same and it made both characters less effective. Neither was any more important than the other and I felt myself frustrated at how little I cared for either of them.