Payback's a Witch Cover
Title: Payback's a Witch
Author: Heat: Re
Genre(s): Romance Contemporary Paranormal
Tropes: Small Town
Tags: queer lgbtq bisexual f-f sapphic return to hometown revenge pact competition witches
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Synopsis from the Creator:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling New York Times bestselling rom-com by Lana Harper.

Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn't been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.

But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She's determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.

On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in?

But most concerning of all: Why can't she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?

Review: Payback's a Witch, by Lana Harper

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 17, 2021 11:22:41 AM / by Suzanne

Payback's a Witch is the book I was hoping for or at least expecting when the crop of witchy contemporary rom-coms was announced. (I reviewed The Ex Hex and Witch Please previously.) It's fun and witchy, with more world-building and more use of magic and a bit of danger. The sapphic romance at the heart of the book is also more compelling than the romances in the other two, so that's a big plus.

Emmy returns home to fulfill her witchy duty in a once-in-a-generation magical contest between the founding families of Thistle Grove. She's been avoiding town for years for a few reasons, but the primary one is the man who broke her heart, Gareth. Gareth is such a piece of garbage that he doesn't even recognize Emmy when they run into each other at a bar her first night back. Talia is the scion/heir of another family in town--necromancers--and she's the sexy gothy witch I wanted her to be.

If a Hallmark movie was sexy, full  of chemistry and actual magic and had a generations-old witchcraft competition instead of a baking contest, this would be it. There's focus on family, on coming home, on remembering why the small town life is not as bad as the protagonist remembered.

There is, however, too much of Gareth. Turns out Talia and half the other women their age were also mistreated by Gareth and it turns into a pact to take him--and his wealthy butthead family--down.

At least we got two bi women leads! In my experience, bi women find each other and I always like when fiction reflects that.

In all, this is was a fun read and I recommend it, but there are some minor plot holes and Too Much Man.

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I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher for review.