Cover Image: Payback's a Witch

Payback's a Witch

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Member Reviews

This one was a DNF for me. I tried really hard to get into the storyline for this, but it just didn’t hook me. I will update my feedback if I proceed in the future.
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It took me a while to get into the story. It felt like it moved pretty slow and the romance seemed a little rushed. I think more needed to be developed on the romance side.
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This was fun!! The witchy tournament was fun to read about, and I quite liked the romance and the characters :) Would definitely recommend reading this during autumn.
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I wish I could say I loved this story, but it just wasn't for me. 
The moment i read the synopsis I knew I HAD to read this book. The synopsis was giving me all the fall, spooky vibes so I obviously added it to my tbr. I was sooo hyped to read it. 
Y'all i tried. I really did. I tried like three separate times to read this book and fall in love with the characters and story, but it was just a big fat no. But it's one of those situations where there's nothing terribly wrong with the book, it just wasn't was I was expecting. 
Thank you to the publisher for my gifted eARC.
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All the witchy romances! What a fun read! Perfect for October. Loved the LGBTQ rep! 

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?
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I really enjoyed this story. It was such a fun seasonal read for October/Halloween. I really liked most of the characters and it was nice seeing a witch story with more recent pop culture references. The romance was also cute and believable. I did not know there was going to be a sequel but I plan to read that when it comes out.
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I wasn't sure what to expect Full of sass, sexy, and humour, Payback’s a Witch tickled me from both ends and I mean that in a very good way. The writing was slow at first and after the rush of The Ex Hex, that could be understandable. The Ex Hex throws you headlong into the story and there are no actions spared

Not so much with Payback’s a Witch and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We meet Emmy Harlow as she comes back to town for once in a generation tournament between the four witch families in Thistle Grove after a self-imposed exile in Chicago. In Chicago, she has not only become what she believes is herself but also her magic has waned and doesn’t fuck with her life like it does in Thistle Grove. But once she finds out that the man-boy who broke her heart has also broken the heart of two other witchy friends, hell is about to get loose.

But I must discuss what most reviews seem to want to not discuss: the hot sex, slow, and steamy build of a sexy relationship between Emmy and Talia. Harper builds this delicious slow and sexy world between Emmy and Talia that you can feel the spark from the page. You want to be either Emmy or Talia (it doesn’t matter much who) and be a part of that coupling. You do, you really do.

I’m not sure why the queer romance between Emmy and Talia is rarely mentioned in reviews as the book has gotten starred reviews around the publishing world. It’s not gratuitous. Emmy doesn’t come back to Thistle Grove “OH HOO I IZ A LESBIAN” and Talia isn’t stereotyped either. They are just hot (and fall in love) with each other and that’s what most important. I’m so, so thrilled that while we’re not given much of Emmy’s past relationships and that falling for a girl was just as natural as drinking coffee. Representation is important.

I also really liked how the world felt real. The witchy behaviour and the paranormal lives didn’t feel artificial or over the top. That’s always a concern for me when I read paranormal books that the world isn’t believable. Does magic exist? Sure, why not. There is no real reason why it can’t exist. There is so much about our world we have yet to understand or seems magical so that if people can cast spells and make inanimate things talk, why not?

From Bad to Cursed, book #2 in the Thistle Grove Witches series, comes out in May 2022 and I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty impatient. I read the first chapter and I was like, “Goddammit!” when the sample ended. I hope to god the ARC shows up on Netgalley or there will be hell to pay.

The tl;dr: Read it. Read it for the fun. Read it for the HEA (which Harper dangles at first in front of us). Read it for the romance. Just read it.going on having not read this author before but I loved the slow burn between Emmy and Talia was a positive delight. I felt like I was on of them, both of them, i
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This book was everything I was looking for in a queer spooky romance! The atmosphere of it was really perfect for this time of year and I'm glad I got to read it! 4/ 5 stars!
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Payback’s a Witch is the book I’ve been waiting for all my life. A sexy, funny, charming romp of novel that scratches that witchy, autumnal itch just right. I read this story in one breathless, giggling sitting, and at the first fall nip in the air, I know I’ll be reading it again. One of my favorite reads in years.”—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read 

As you can see, Emily Henry is a fan, and I ended up really enjoying this one once I got into it. Dubbed “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word,” it’s a bit campy at times, but it was a great accompaniment with a mug of chai and an open window on an autumn afternoon. I saw that it’s book 1 of 2, so I’ll look forward to revisiting Thistle Grove for Isidora Avramov’s story.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sharing this book with me. All thoughts are my own.
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Perfect. Charming. Adorable. Sapphic and witchy and suddenly my “if you could live inside a book, which one would you choose?” decision is even harder. I love it.
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This is a must read if you are looking into a witchy rom-com.

I did like this book and I do recommend it.
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"Payback's a Witch" is a witchy sapphic dream come true! Harper's novel is full of humor, drama, and magic. Her characters are well developed, interesting, and worth investing in.
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Such a fun book - like a cross between sweet hole Alabama and Harry Potter and the goblet of Fire…on Halloween! I linked my full review on Instagram below
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To be honest, I didn’t finish this one. The story had so much potential (Witches! Small town! Magic! Drama!), but the characters fell a bit flat and the plot seemed oddly paced. I wanted to love it. Really, I did. I’m a sucker for witchy romance—but I just didn’t buy Emmy and Talia’s relationship. I couldn’t make myself read all the way to the end, but I assume they end up together.

I certainly wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from picking it up. If you’re looking for a sapphic romance (with witches!) and all the fall vibes, then this fits the bill.
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Payback's a Witch is a wonderfully fun sapphic rom-com with all the fall/spooky vibes one could want around Halloween. Emmy Harlow is a witch, although not very powerful. This has always been a sensitive topic for her. Despite her love of her magic and her town, she has not been home in 5 years. Upon arrival home for the once-every-50-year spell casting tournament between the four founding families, she runs into Talia Avramov and her best friend Linden Thorn, who have both recently been wronged by town player Gareth Blackmoore. Gareth broke Emmy's heart 9 years ago, and the three wronged women decide to team up and try to get revenge on Gareth by compromising his chance at winning the tournament-which he is expected to win.

I loved the atmosphere of this book, as well as the wonderful relationships between the characters.
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This was much more enjoyable than I'd thought! I was pulled into the book from the very first page. The middle was a bit slow for me, though, and I felt my attention wavering at certain points in the story, but towards the ending the pace picked up again, and I couldn't put it down! Overall, I can highly recommend it.
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Thank you NetGalley for sending this arc for an honest review! 

Now I’ve recently been having this obsession with badass witches and I honestly don’t know if it’s because October slapped this year. So many of my friends spoke spectacular things about this book and I kid you not when I say they definitely promised what they said this book would have. Like come on hot lgbtq witch romance? Now that’s not something you see evreyday!
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Thank you so much for a copy of this book! I really enjoyed this book as a light, easy romance read. My only things I wished were different was if it was noted that the book was a LGBQT book in the blurb, also was hoping for a bit deeper display of emotions but I know it is a romance that's probably suppose to be light so maybe not.

Really found this book enjoyable and perfect for spooky vibes!
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3.5 stars. This is a cute novel but nothing as exciting as the premise tempts it to be. I enjoyed it, and it was a fun read, but I think I overhyped this book in my head from the summary and was slightly disappointed when it was just that: a simple, fun read. 

The book but well written, and I loved how developed the world was though I think it could definitely be expanded on in future books. Some questions remain, like what is the rest of the magical world like? Are there other pockets of witches? Were there natives on this land before these settlers? What happened to them? If witches from this town cannot do magic the farther they go, how did they get their magic before settling? All of these questions I hope are answered in future novels. 

I enjoyed the queer aspects of the novel, with both the main character and the romantic interest being bi without it becoming the whole story. Their romance was very sensual but very fast, with they seeming to want to get together without us, the reader getting to know them first. 

Overall it was an enjoyable book with some great aspects but not as developed as it could be.
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while I think this book works for any time of year better than something like the Ex Hex, it definitely was the perfect book to finish this weekend.

John Tucker Must Die but make it witchy magic was an A+ decision and I loved that it went beyond broken hearts to how the families and towns were affected. the Gauntlet and the romance were woven together so well and I loved it all.

but for me, the true highlight of the book was Emmy’s processing of and conversations about getting out of and coming back to Thistle Grove. there was just something so beautiful about the way she described leaving and finding this whole other world outside of her hometown but also the (figurative) magic about the place and people who have known you your whole life. watching her find that balance moved me in a way I wasn’t expecting.
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