Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky

This is the first book in a series about a librarian who discovers a room full of books on witchcraft, and then learns that she has magical ability. 

The Girl's Guide to Witchcraft is from the Red Dress imprint, which is Harlequin's "chick lit" line, so this book has a combination of chick lit along with the urban fantasy/ paranormal elements that you'd expect from the title. Our heroine Jane Madison juggles problems with finding a decent boyfriend (her ex for many years turned out to be a huge jerk who was cheating on her with several people), while trying to figure out her magic. Jane stumbles on her talent when her first spell woke her familiar – a cat statue that turned into a snarky, gay man (Neko). This brings another man to her door – her warder David. Meanwhile, Jane has a crush on an assistant professor named Jason who often researched at her library who she calls her Imaginary Boyfriend.

Overall: It was a pleasant read, but I did find myself putting it down and doing other things before coming back to it later, so it had a sort of sedate pace. I enjoyed it, and I liked Jane so I'll probably read the next book soon. The strength in the writing is really the relationships Jane has with her friends and family, with a couple of magical hijinks Jane gets herself into, her man trouble, and the return of her estranged mother to add interest.

Jane really does seem to have a "good girl" personality – she loves her work at the library and tries to help it with it's financial problems, she has a good relationship with her grandmother who raised her, and she has routine girl's night with her long-time best friend Melissa. She's a typical single woman juggling work and family while also looking for someone to share her life with. The only problem is that Jane isn't always as aware as she thinks she is, especially about relationships with men. Her taste isn't great and I felt that she was rather blind sometimes. I have the feeling that Jane is going to remain oblivious to the fact that David, her warder, is someone who she fits with a lot better than who she goes after for the length of this series. The question as to who Jane will finally get together with (I predict David despite both their denials in this book) will likely not be resolved until the final book, but I'm not sure how many books are in this series. 

Excerpt of this book.

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