Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Showcase- Not Your Crush's Cauldron by April Asher

Today I'm showcasing April Asher's next installment in her Supernatural Singles series, Not Your Crush's Cauldron which is Olive Maxwell's story. And check back because this is high on my tbr shelf.

ISBN-13: 9781250808035
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 02-13-2024
Length: 336pp
Supernatural Singles #3
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound



In April Asher’s next Supernatural Singles novel, Not Your Crush's Cauldron, a buttoned-up witch takes a stroll on the wildish side, sparking an alert that lands her a familiar Guardian Angel.

Olive Maxwell much prefers teaching about the Supernatural world to taking part in it and leaves the magical shenanigans to her two sisters. After assigning her college students a project designed to nudge them outside their comfort zones, Olive realizes she’s never once stepped a toe out of her own . . . and it’s about time that changed. Her first trip into the unknown? Moving in with her longtime crush and friend . . . tattooed, motorcycle-riding, and pleasantly pierced Baxter Donovan.

Bax Donovan, Guardian Angel not-so-extraordinaire, has acquired so many black marks on his record it looks like a Scantron test. He’s been given one last chance to keep his Guardian wings—a high-profile Assignment he knows all too well. Olive is usually as low-risk as it gets. Hell, she wrote the safety manual. But something landed her on the Guardian Angel Affairs radar, and he guesses it has something to do with the heart-pounding stunts she’s determined to check off her Dare I Docket list.

Keeping Olive out of trouble is about to be his toughest Assignment. He’s at real risk of shattering the only Guardian Angel code of conduct rule he’s yet to break: Don’t fall in love with your Assignment. And he isn’t so sure that’s a bad thing.

Read an excerpt:

1Super Soakers & Nipple Piercings

Committing a felony had never looked so appealing to Olive Maxwell. It wouldn’t take much. With a little hustle in her bustle and a flick of the ignition, her witchy behind could be on the Sunrise Highway before anyone questioned “What happened to Olly?”

Hell, if luck was on her side, that wouldn’t happen until she nabbed the ferry to Block Island, changed her name to Petunia, and embraced beach-hermit living with a bonfire burning every single high-heeled shoe shoved in the back corner of her cramped closet.

People teleworked all the time, and if the college didn’t support the transition, she’d gladly sacrifice her job as NYU’s Supernatural Studies department head to ensure this day never happened.

Okay, so not really. Giving up a position at a prestigious law firm to become the youngest department head at the well-known university hadn’t happened without a hell of a lot of hard work and sacrifice—specifically to her social life. No way could she let it go that easily … but a witch could fantasize.

Olive slowly relinquished her hold on the driver’s side handle and sighed, her shoulders dropping along with her chances of escape.

“I have the keys, so unless you’ve taken up pickpocketing in your spare time, this is happening.” Rose, walking to the rear of the rental moving truck, flashed her triplet a knowing smirk.

“No keys or pickpocketing required.” With a quick call on her Magic, Olive snapped her fingers. An immediate golden-green flame flickered just above her pointer. “This is my ticket to ride.”

And hide …

“Uh-huh. Sure. Then why are you standing in the middle of the road, glaring at the driver’s side door, instead of riding your way into the sunset?” Rose reached out, snuffing Olive’s Magic with a gentle, supportive hand squeeze. “Because buried deep in your gorgeously gifted brain, you know this is for the best.”

“Then it must be buried earth’s core kind of deep because I’m still not convinced this isn’t an impending apocalyptic-grade catastrophe.”

“A catastrophe is sleeping in your office for another night. It’s not a sustainable life choice, Olly.”

“I didn’t always sleep there,” she muttered defensively, pushing her glasses up higher onto the bridge of her nose.

“You sure as hell didn’t sleep at your old place, either.” Rose gifted her a Grandma Edie–worthy look.

Point made.

Ever since Olive’s old roommate combined her love of herbal-remedy entrepreneurship with a twenty-four-hour pickup option, Olive had ceased getting a solid eight hours. Anything more than three was cause to set off fireworks and quite possibly notify the Guinness World Records. Sheer Maxwell determination—and Red Bull—were the only two reasons she’d lasted this long.

“Think of it this way,” Rose prodded into her internal mope-fest. “If the zombie apocalypse does happen, you’ll have your very own Guardian Angel able to literally fly around the city scavenging for water and other supplies. You won’t succumb to the horde right away like Vi. You’ll probably last, I don’t know, an entire week.”

Rose chuckled at her own joke and the mention of last week’s zombie apocalypse survival conversation.

While Olive didn’t put Baxter Donovan at the exact same danger level as a zombie horde, it was a hell of a close race. Much closer than Rose and Vi, her trip-witch sisters, believed.

Nothing about the tatted-up Guardian Angel screamed rest and relaxation. Panty-melting bad-witch fantasies? Absolutely. R&R? Not in the least.

Her law school education evaporated the second his impressive biceps twitched while in close proximity. Now she’d live with those colorful, vein-bulging arms.

And with the abs.

And with the double nipple piercings she was 75 percent certain he had thanks to a summer BBQ and Vi’s game of Shoot the Guys with Super Soakers.

Olive pulled her knit cap off her head and fanned her suddenly warm face. Where was a good zombie horde when you needed one?

“Olly.” Rose tucked a box into her hands. “This is happening. Enjoy it, and this adorable Astoria, Queens, neighborhood, and get your ass moving. These boxes won’t move themselves.”

Rose’s half-demon veterinarian hottie, Damian Adams, stepped out of the building and headed their way. Her sister’s eyes instantly lit up as she soaked in the sight of her soul mate.

Olive smiled. Of all the rampant changes for the Maxwell triplets over the last few months, the most satisfying one was Rose and Vi both finding their perfect matches. Vi, after thinking Magic had abandoned her for her entire life, now stood center stage in the magical community, preparing to take over as the Prima—witch leader—from their grandma Edie.

And Rose, who’d been groomed for the role since she lost her first tooth, had stepped down to find her own thing. A few failed jobs and a run-in with the law later, she’d found that thing in Supernatural bounty hunting … and Damian.

Everything had changed. Everyone evolved.

Except her.

Her fine dirty-blond hair still refused to hold a curl—or hair dye—and her astigmatism made going without her thick glasses a high-risk life choice. She had the same job, which she loved, and was still convinced olives were the byproduct of an evil mastermind. And despite the occasional attempt in masking her five-foot-three-inch stature with heels, she was still vertically challenged and had inherited what her grandma called extra cushion for the pushin’.

Packing up her meager belongings and switching New York City boroughs was the most exciting thing to happen to her in years.

“She didn’t make a run for Jersey yet? Easiest twenty bucks I’ve ever made. I should’ve doubled my bet,” Damian murmured against Rose’s lips as he pulled her in for a quick kiss.

“Bet? What bet?” Olive’s gaze shot back and forth between the two lovebirds.

Rose grinned sheepishly. “That would be—”

“The one on whether or not you’d steal the truck if we left you out here alone long enough,” Bax supplied. The Guardian Angel—and her new roomie—stepped out from the building with a smirk on his face, as he’d obviously overheard part of their discussion.

Loose basketball shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt showcased his full-sleeve tattoos, and his caramel-colored hair, bunched in a low, messy man-bun, made an on-a-dry-spell witch such as herself wonder what those long tresses felt like between the legs.

The man was the visual definition of sex and sin … the kind that would be oh so bad in a really, really good way.

As if sensing her detour into Naughtyville, Bax lifted his scar-sliced left eyebrow and threw her a sexily suggestive wink. Muscles, tattoos, and motorcycle aside, the real threat to libidos everywhere? Those eyes.

Born with heterochromia, Bax possessed one gorgeously gray iris and one hazel that leaned heavily into blue, and they possessed the ability to stare straight into a witch’s soul and caress it as if it were a purring kitty cat.

And damn it if she didn’t want to purr right then and there.

“Just so you know, Damian and I had faith you’d stick around.” Bax reached for another of her boxes. His arm brushed hers, the touch sending an immediate zap to all her bits.

She dragged her attention away from Bax to shoot her sister a gentle glare. “So much for sisterly solidarity.”

Rose shrugged unapologetically. “You know me. I always hope for the best, but I’m a pragmatist. Flight had the best odds … but I’m super proud you stuck around. Vi will be, too, when I tell her we lost the pool.”

Bax chuckled, tucking a large box underneath his arm. “Damn, angel. More books? Not that I couldn’t embrace a nudist lifestyle under the right conditions, but did you bring any clothes?”

She tugged a large duffel from the back and slung it over her shoulder, nearly hitting him in the head. “Here. Clothes. Happy?”

“More like disappointed,” Bax quipped with a wink.

Ignoring Rose’s and Damian’s chuckles, Olive tucked another smaller box beneath her chin and headed to her new second-floor apartment. Bax’s inclination to keep his angel domain private meant she’d only been there a handful of times. That’s why his offering her his second room had come as a shock.

Their friend group had multiple hangout spots. Potion’s Up, their version of Central Perk but with alcohol, provided late-night meetups of the fruity-drink variety. Vi’s cozy studio apartment had been used for movie marathons, but now that she and Linc—her True Mate and the Alpha of the North American Pack—had moved into Linc’s adorable brownstone, they not only hosted movie nights, but barbeques and game nights as well. Basically anything that required elbow room and privacy.

The group had even given Damian and Rose’s place at the animal sanctuary a trial run, but Olive’s allergies and her eyes’ tendency to swell shut with the slightest speck of pollen and dander ensured that had been a onetime event.

But Bax’s place? Nope. Not even a single debut. It was basically the Eighth Wonder of New York City, if not the world.

Not long ago updated, the cozy two-bedroom apartment sported a modern, clean white theme, its only other color coming from the gray hardwood flooring and stark black fixtures. But despite its lack of color—or personality—it was a huge upgrade from her previously microscopic dwelling with its faulty heating, sucky water pressure, and crapshoot cell signal.

The kitchen opened into the small living room area, and Bax, a huge movie buff, had hung a big-screen TV above a massive fireplace she couldn’t wait to light up. The protective glass screen was so clean she doubted it had ever been used.

Bax headed into the wrong bedroom with her third box of books.

She quickly followed him, freezing in the doorway. Surrounded by brown boxes, the full bed already sported her familiar patchwork quilt made of old band T-shirts and her pale beachy-green sheets. “Wasn’t this your room?”

He stacked the box he carried onto the others. “It was, but now it’s yours.”

She opened and closed her mouth a few times. “But … why? I thought I was just sliding right into the spare room?”

“But then I thought about it more. This one has the balcony, which I never use and thought that you would. There’s enough space out there for a chair and maybe one of those little tables. You could use it to read … or people-watch … or whatever.”

She blinked behind her thick glasses. “I can’t take your room, Bax.”

“It’s not my room anymore. It’s yours.” He turned toward her, crossing his tattooed arms over his chest, and walloped her with his soul-searing gaze until she was forced to put down her own boxes or risk dropping them on her toes. “Are we about to have our first roomie fight, angel?”

“Are you going to keep insisting this is my room when we both know that we already agreed to me taking the spare?” She met him stare for stare, locking her knees so they wouldn’t knock together like she was a freaking cartoon character.

The longer the silence continued, the more Olive resigned herself to the fact she wasn’t winning this argument.

His small smirk indicated he’d realized the same. “It’s not a big deal. I’m not here much, and when I am, I’m usually sleeping. For all I know, the sliding door is nailed shut and doesn’t even open.”


Bax slowly ate up the distance between them, each step not only shrinking the gap but sending her heart rate into a frenzy. He stopped a scant few inches away, close enough that one deep breath would push her chest against his … well, abs, considering their massive height difference.

“Don’t make it a thing, angel.” His deep voice and close proximity tilted her head up reflexively. “Take the room. Please.”

She gulped, wincing at its loudness, and nodded.

A bump, followed by a sisterly giggle, floated in from the dining room and broke the tense moment. “Damian … be careful.”

Olive thanked the Goddess for a reason to excuse herself from Bax’s close proximity, but quickly changed her mind at the scene in the other room. “Gah!”

Slapping a hand over her eyes and nearly smacking her glasses off her face, she turned away from the image now burned into her retinas and walked nose-first into Bax’s chest. “Don’t look! Save your eyes. Save your eyes!

His arms caught her before she bounced off him like he was a trampoline.

“Isn’t it the new tenant who’s supposed to break in the new digs, not the visitors?” Bax’s chest rumbled with laughter.

“Please don’t paint the picture,” she pleaded, burrowing herself further into his shirt with a groan.

As a large hand skated through her hair to cup the back of her head, she nearly groaned for another reason.

Not only did his fingers feel damn good gently caressing her scalp, but pushing against her cheek was a definite telltale bump. Call her Nancy Drew because she had just solved a mystery.

Bax definitely sported some cool metallic hardware right around the nipple level.

Copyright © 2024 by April Schwartz

About the author:
April Asher, aka April Hunt, was hooked on romantic stories from the time she first snuck a bodice-ripper romance out from her mom's bedside table. She now lives out her own happily-ever-after with her college-sweetheart husband, their two children, and a cat who thinks she's more dog—and human—than feline. By day, April dons dark blue nursing scrubs and drinks way too much caffeine. By night, she still consumes too much caffeine, but she does it with a laptop in hand, and from her favorite side of the couch.

From the far left cushion, April Asher pens laugh-out-loud romantic comedies with a paranormal twist, but when she’s not putting her characters into embarrassing situations with supernatural entities, she also writes high-octane romantic suspense as April Hunt, her thrill-seeking alter ego who has written the Alpha Ops and Alpha Security series.


  1. Ah, a bad boy guardian angel and a cautious witch do sound like a fun twosome.