Book Review: Perfect Pending by Lucía Ashta

Posted August 13, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Perfect Pending by Lucía Ashta

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Perfect Pending by Lucía Ashta
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
Published by Amazon Digital on June 30, 2021
Pages: 328
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Magical Mayhem

First in the Witches of Gales Haven paranormal fantasy for women series and revolving around Marla and the downhome yet powerful Gawama family. The focus is on Marla Gawama’s homecoming to Gales Haven.

My Take

That inciting incident was a good one . . . quite original.

Mom sure is sneaky, not telling her kids the truth about telecommunications. Nor is she telling the truth about herself, that or Ashta forgot some of what Marla said earlier. Coming into town, and later, Marla whines on about how weak her magic is. But then she’s also telling Nan that she knows she’s powerful. And she seems serious . . . Huh?

We know all about this because Ashta uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Marla’s perspective.

There’s action and some romance which adds color but isn’t a main theme in Perfect Pending; it’s primarily soul-searching on Marla’s part. Some useful and some so lame that I wanna smack her. I do NOT agree with what Marla “concludes” at the end. I can totally see why she’d still leave Gales Haven nineteen years ago.

Oh yeah, getting older does make you care less about what others think, lol. Marla is also good at affirmations. “I was a goddess capable of birthing new life.” I also liked that you have to believe you can achieve something before it happens and “without faith, and the courage to trust in that faith, you’d never reach your highest potential”.

That Mindy sure is a cheeky little thing! Marla’s eventual reaction to her snark was a crack-up and well done. That attitude must be catching. That Humphrey Hugh is too, too cute.

I want the Gawama Mama House: It can create whole new additions to the house as needed! Hmmm, I wonder if it self-cleans . . . Ohhhh, and that revelation about the object spell! YES, YES, I want it!!

That Delise!! What a character . . . and fortunately, Maguire seems to wise up. She’s also one of those loose ends as Ashta leaves us in the dark about Delise’s “contributions”. She’s one scary woman!

It ticks me off when authors don’t provide last names for important characters. Okay, I know that Devin isn’t an important character for the action in the story, but he is/was important in Marla’s life. And I’m sure his kids have his last name. And, as irritating as it is to not find out someone’s full name until much later in a story, it at least isn’t an info dump. In Devin’s case, his last name could have been said early on without any problems. Argh.

Perfect Pending is definitely a cozy read that I enjoyed . . . and it’s time to goddess up!

The Story

Only people with magic can see Gales Haven. Only people with magic can enter. Marla is terrified, as she returns to her hometown, that her children won’t have enough.

Well, Macy and Cody have enough, so much that they break the barrier spell that protects the town.

It’ll take a town . . . and the unknown powers of Macy and Cody to fix it, if they can.

The Characters

The newly divorced Marla Gawama has magic that senses the emotional state of animals. Macy is her seventeen-year-old daughter, and her powers finally came out a few weeks ago . . . quite disruptive. Cody is her fifteen-year-old son, and his powers haven’t yet appeared. Devin is Marla’s jerk of a husband who’s already shacked up with a younger woman.

The Gawama Mama House is . . .
. . . home base; they were given their new last name by the six-year-old Jemima (the current generation’s great-great-grandmother) when the town was founded. Nan, Bessie Gawama, is the head of the family and Marla’s grandmother; Grandpa Oscar, with a gift for nudging nature to do what he wanted, had been a good influence in Marla’s life. Nan’s daughters had been four: the serious Jowelle is an amazing cook who can sense a person’s mental body; Shawna‘s magic lets her connect to a person’s spiritual body; the free-spirited Luanne senses a person’s emotional body; and, Neorah‘s, Marla’s mom who ran away, power related to the physical body. Together, the four sisters could heal most everything.

Gales Haven is . . .
. . . a town composed entirely of magic users and founded in 1803. There are few rules and very colorful people. The town is ruled by a council of five, made up of the original five founding families: the Gawamas (Nan), the Adamses (Darnell is the only wizard on the council), the Lamonts (Irma, whose magic allows her to transport people), the Egertons (Stella), and the Smates (Tessa has Taser-like abilities). Noreen Bradley is the council stenographer.

Quade Contonn, whose magic is like Grandpa Oscar’s, was Marla’s eight-years-long boyfriend — back in the day before he backed away. Harlow is Quade’s amazing daughter who can assess another’s magical power level. The self-absorbed Delise Contonn, Quade’s nutjob mother, is desperate to be on the council. Her magic allows her to insert thoughts into the mind of others. The too-agreeable Maguire is Delise’s husband.

The pig-tailed Leonie can join with Harlow to assist with repairing the barrier. The joyful Wanda Mathers had been Marla’s best friend. Ginger. Scotty‘s magic allows him to see spells. Jelly can predict the future. Mo Ellen can tailor a spell for the individual. Jadine Lolly is extremely forthright, lol. Kama and Everleigh can weave spells.

The kids love the store names: Maggie Magpie’s Monster Mania — Maggie is the town vet; Cars, Clues, and Canaries; Fabulous Feisty Flavors is the ice cream shoppe; Gifts, Gags, and Gaggles; Shoes for Shiny Suckers; Hair for Hotties and Hatties; Troy’s Toys, Trinkets, and Tinies; Bab’s Bopping Boopy Bakery; Cock, Coffee, and Cocoa Café; Bailey’s New and Rare Books; Mabel of Mabel’s Medicinal and Restorative Herbs for Healing and Relaxation has a plant she calls Happy Times, which lives up to its name; and, yep, this town likes to have fun . . . all the way, lol.

Mrs Cranston teaches calculus. Jett and Billy, individually!, are making happy with Luanne in the bedroom. Hale is Jowell’s long-term boyfriend. Bill and Judy Johnson and their six kids were a magic-less family who got through the barrier. The Gales Haven Registry records power development and deaths.

The in-charge Mindy is married? mated? to George, both hedgehogs with some cute kids. Penny is the porcupine. I think Fred is a frog. Bob is a meek bull elk. Humphrey, er, I mean Hugh, is a cheeky little mouse.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a chaotic blend of purples, pinks, and blues providing an atmospheric background for the snow globe in the lower middle with its huge bubbling tree in a vaguely defined forest. In front of the tree is what appears to be a tall wooden chest of drawers with a lit lantern on top. At the top is a script font in white for the title. Below this and still above the globe is the series info in a deep sky blue. Below the globe is the author’s name in white.

The title comes from Nan’s comment about this being the perfect new beginning, a Perfect Pending in store for Marla.

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