Review: The Witch’s Familiar (Familiar Mates #1) by T.J. Nichols

Rating: 3.75🌈

Somehow I missed this series when it began so I’m catching up now. T.J. Nichols Familiar Mates series has nine books to date and The Witch’s Familiar is the one that launches it all.

It’s a entertaining story, full of romance, magical characters, and thrills. I did find it lacking in world building, especially when we land into electro mage Jude Sullivan’s predicament with a paranormal ruling council, The Coven. He’s in real trouble, again, this time he could be stripped of his magic.

Now, it’s assumed and understood through some of the dialogue that the human world and magical exists together, the mundane hasn’t a clue about the paranormal side, and obviously it should stay that way. But as to all the rest of the structure and who the Coven is? Nothing.

Except all the serious stuff that’s implied in bits and pieces throughout the rest of the book. Nichols has left a hole here and hopefully each book will continue to fill in more of the series foundation.

Jude Sullivan is given a mission as a test, complete it successfully and keep his powers or fail and have them removed. Seems a bit excessive. Plus there’s a obvious enemy on the Council.

At the small town where the killings are occurring that Jude needs to investigate is a lone bear shifter, Rob Mackenzie. He’s the town mechanic.

I adore this character. Mack is exactly what you’d want in a bear shifter. His personality suits the regional location and his temperament.

The manner in which Nichols has the two men meet is a tad odd because who jumps to such wild assumptions without any research or clues. It made no sense. It was just one of those “narratively directed” choices that always seem so out of place.

Especially when the later combined dynamics and growing relationship indicates anything but character driven actions.

The creatures, their magical history were amazing, and the investigation/hunt to capture the mystery animal was a great feature. Including Mack’s reaction to everything.

I really enjoyed the romantic aspects of their relationship, but wish they had gone further with the familiar/mate part as it seemed so serious with big ramifications, but we got none of that.

We also had two characters , Jude’s enemy on the Council, and Mack’s ex, each of whom promised more drama. They faded out at the end.

Those are the issues that nagged at me.

The Witch’s Familiar (Familiar Mates #1) by T.J. Nichols is a quick read. Light, suspenseful with a terrific couple. If you can set aside those issues that I mentioned above, you will find this a very satisfying paranormal romance.

I’ve listed the entire series below. I’m onto the next. A vampire with a familiar!

Familiar Mates series:

✓ The Witch’s Familiar #1

◦ The Vampire’s Familiar #2

◦ The Rock Star’s Familiar #3

◦ The Vet’s Christmas Familiar #4

◦ The Fire Dancer’s Familiar #4.5

◦ The Detective’s Familiar #5

◦ The Siren’s Familiar #6

◦ The Soldier’s Familiar #7

◦ The Billionaire’s Familiar #8

◦ The Firefighter’s Familiar #9 › showThe Witch’s Familiar (Familiar Mates #1) by T.J. Nichols – Goodreads


He can hold lightning in his hand, but will love slip through his fingers?

Jude Sullivan has one more chance to prove he isn’t a danger to the paranormal community. If he fails, he’ll be stripped of his magic, a painful process to make a witch human. As a test, the Coven sends him to Mercy South, Colorado, to stop a creature that’s been mutilating cows and scaring the locals. Jude hates cows and small towns. The Coven should’ve sent a nature witch.

Rob Mackenzie is the local mechanic and bear shifter. If the locals knew his secret, they’d run him out of town. He wants someone to really know him and not be afraid. With several chewed-up cows and some other weird happenings, he’s wondering if he’s no longer the strangest creature in Mercy.

After meeting Mack, Jude thinks he’s found the cause of the trouble. But the trouble is only just getting started when Mack realizes he’s Jude’s fated mate. As the cow-mutilating creature starts hunting in town, Mack and Jude will have to stop fighting their attraction and each other, to stop the creature from killing again.


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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