Book Review: Small Miracles by Olivia Atwater

Small Miracles
Publisher: Starwatch Press
Pub Date: 6 May 2022
Genre: Adult Paranormal Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)


A little bit of sin is good for the soul.

Gadriel, the fallen angel of petty temptations, has a bit of a gambling debt. Fortunately, her angelic bookie is happy to let her pay off her debts by doing what she does best: All Gadriel has to do is tempt miserably sinless mortal Holly Harker to do a few nice things for herself.

What should be a cakewalk of a job soon runs into several roadblocks, however, as Miss Harker politely refuses every attempt at temptation from Gadriel the woman, Gadriel the man, and Gadriel the adorable fluffy kitten. When even chocolate fails to move Gadriel’s target, the ex-guardian angel begins to suspect she’s been conned. But Gadriel still remembers her previous job… and where petty temptations fail, small miracles might yet prevail.

Olivia Atwater explores love, grief, and the very last bit of chocolate in this sweet modern fantasy, full of wit and heart. Pick up Small Miracles, and enjoy a heavenly faerie tale from the author of Half a Soul.


Death of parent, grief, religion

TL;DR: What a delightfully charming story! This was my first book by Atwater and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style. Her words are infused with a warm sense of cosiness, comfort, and wit, which kept me well entertained as I read. This was a fairly low-stakes story about fallen angels, debts, sins and virtues, petty temptations and of course, small miracles. While there was a slight lull in the middle, the ending had me tearing up, grinning happily and left my heart feeling full! I would recommend it if you don’t mind a few cheeky footnotes and a great story about healing, acceptance and indulging in a bit of sinning by indulging in a lot of chocolate!

Told in alternating perspectives, the story mainly focuses on Gadriel, the fallen angel of petty temptations, do-gooder Holly, and her snarky niece, Ella. There’s a small cast of side characters such as Barachiel, chief of guardian angels, and Holly’s friend, Sally, as well as Ella’s school friends, Beatrix, and even Millie, who helped bring this story to life with their quirkiness and relatability. I really enjoyed Gadriel’s voice and learning about the different celestial rules, even if they did come in the form of footnotes! Yep, footnotes—after a while, I admit I didn’t read them until the end of each chapter and while most of the footnotes are tallies of sins and virtues, I did enjoy the sometimes snarky but always humorous stories, anecdotes and bits of celestial history that were shared. It was entertaining to watch Gadriel try to tempt Holly to commit small sins, such as indulging in chocolate or cutting out early at work, and through it all, I loved seeing them get to know Holly and Ella, and slowly come to love and be part of their little family unit. There is also a romance that develops and I personally thought it was sweet, but I’m also glad that it didn’t take over the story. I really enjoyed their HFN (happy for now) ending though!

I will say that I felt that the eventual main antagonist appeared somewhat out of left-field, at least to me, and although it did give the story a stronger direction once we got to that point just after the middle mark, I also felt a little confused by it initially as it was really unexpected. This wasn’t really a bad thing, it just took me by surprise but ultimately, I did think it was necessary as it boosted the stakes just that little bit!

Overall, I found this story heartbreaking, funny, realistic, cosy and 100% whimsically charming—at least, it charmed me completely! I’m so glad that this book was recommended to me by Timy @Queen’s Book Asylum for my 12 Book Challenge and now that I’ve dipped my toes into Atwater’s writing, I’m even more excited to get to her other books in the (hopefully near) future.

Have you read Small Miracles or is it on your TBR?

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Small Miracles by Olivia Atwater

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one! I don’t think I have ever seen a review for it but I also haven’t seen it mentioned a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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