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