Cover Image: Payback's a Witch

Payback's a Witch

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Member Reviews

I DNF’d at 50% but let me just say that this reads like a badly written YA. The characters are one dimensional at best, and even the “witchy” aspect of this book doesn’t even involve the main characters. I wanted to really like this because if the pitch but if I wanted to read YA, I’ll just read YA, not a water down adult version.
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Payback's a Witch is Lana Harper's debut adult novel, and it is a total witchy smash! It follows Emmy Harlow, a twenty-something young professional who lives in Chicago, and is returning to her hometown of Thistle Grove for the first time in almost a decade to oversee the town's tournament of magical families. Emmy left on the heels of a bad breakup with John Tucker-like warlock Gareth Blackmoore, and comes back to find that her best friend and her most unattainable high school crush, Talia Aramov, were both mistreated by the same man. When they all agree to join forces to take down Gareth in the competition, Emmy feels herself coming back - or is it the attention of Talia that's causing Emmy to feel drawn to Thistle Grove again?

This was the BEST October read I could have asked for, filled with quick wit and banter, and some very swooning over Talia - I couldn't put this book down! While this book closely follows Emmy and Talia, it simultaneously makes for an excellent ensemble read, with all of the magical families bringing such dynamics to Thistle Grove. I was even more excited to learn that Lana will be coming out with a sequel; I cannot wait to spend more time in Thistle Grove!

If you loved - The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin, The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary, One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston or Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl - you'll be bewitched by Payback's a Witch!
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The writing was good, the description well done, and it’ll be a story I recommend, it just didn’t capture my interest.
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This book is a great fall read. The romance was well written and I enjoyed reading Emmy’s journey of self discovery. I thought the magic system was a little vague, and I would have liked for there to be an actual conversation with Garrett that fleshed out his character  more. However, I enjoyed the book overall and will recommend it to anyone looking for an lgbt romance with a little magic thrown in.
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Payback's a Witch is a perfect read for those who enjoy magical worlds. The tournament among the founding families of Thistle Grove reminded me a bit of the Triwizard tournament at Hogwarts, and I loved it! Lana Harper's three main characters are strong women who work together to achieve their goal. The best part of the novel for me was the positive LGBTQ writing. Such a strong positive book--I look forward to From Bad to Cursed!
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Cute, quick read which resembled Charmed.  I thought the plot was a bit dull and was more invested in the characters than the actual outcome of the tournament. It’s predictable, adorable and light. A lighter read with witchy vibes.
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This book was unputdownable; it’s the perfect paranormal, romantic comedy, fall read I was hoping it would be. I thoroughly enjoyed it the whole way through! Lana Harper does an incredible job of bringing Thistle Grove - and all of the characters - to life. I absolutely love how smooth and descriptive the story was - It was as if I was watching a movie in my mind as I read. The author immerses you in the story by using all five senses in her writing - which I think allows this book to read in such a unique and enjoyable way. I really can’t wait to read the sequel ‘from bad to cursed’ and revisit this world and the characters again!
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Just in case anyone was wondering, I won’t be available for the rest of the month because I’ll be busy doing witchy shit in Thistle Grove. 

This book was so good! It was really funny and the story kept me guessing the whole time. I had no idea what was going to come next. 

This book is told from Emmy’s POV and it’s about so much more than just the romance between her and Talia, it puts a big focus on friendships and family relationships as well as Emmy figuring out what she wants in life. 

This book was like watching a movie. The descriptions and details were so vivid that I felt like I was right there watching it all unfold and the last 100 pages or so literally had me on the edge of my seat! 

I totally recommend this book of you need a last minute spooky season read!

I received an eARC of this book from Berkley and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and I also bought a physical copy for myself. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5
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Thank you NetGalley, Berkley Publishing, and Lana Harper for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! I absolutely LOVED this book and it's the perfect witchy romance for Halloween!

This book is about Emmy, a witch who moved away from her hometown of Thistle Grove, causing her to lose much of her magical abilities. This move had quite a bit to do with Gareth, her past love interest, who has caused much trouble in the town while she was gone. We get to see her reunite with her best friend and Talia, an old acquaintance, as they plan to get revenge on Gareth. 

This revenge has to do with a spellcasting tournament between the three most powerful families in town. While presiding over this, Emmy realizes what she missed about Thistle Grove and begins growing into her powers and falling for Talia. I loved the setting; Thistle Grove is truly the perfect spooky town that I wish I could visit. I also loved the slow-burn romance between Emmy and Talia. The romance felt very real and the two characters had great chemistry.

I highly recommend this one, especially for Fall! 5/5 stars for this witchy read that deserves so much more hype.
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A delightful f/f fantasy Halloween-y book set in a witch town with John Tucker Must Die vibes. Three spurned witches, a set of magical obstacles and a magic town make for a very fun read!
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This book was very disappointing as a Romance. It was more about magic than love, with a relationship that was not central to the plot.  A big no-no in the Romance world. 

I covered this book on my podcast Learning The Tropes. So for a more in-depth review, see the link below.
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This book is a perfect escape into witchy romance. And, it's funny too! I immediately connected with the characters, and I was invested in the competition. It's a perfect October read.
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Man, I wanted to love this one more than I did. Witches, LGBTIQA+ rep, and some John Tucker Must Die vibes - on paper it was everything I wanted in a book. Unfortunately, I found the romance to be a little too insta-love skewing for my tastes. I was waiting for the build up but Talia and Emmy's relationship just kinda happened quickly. Another aspect I was excited for was the tournament - I was expecting higher stakes and more excitement but it was just ... predictable. I also wanted a bit more drama from the Gareth plot. The book wasn't bad, it just didn't quite live up to the potential it had.
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An epic, witchy competition between the four founding families brings Emmy back home after years spent away trying to establish a new life for herself.  There is so much to love about Payback’s a Witch! 

Throughout the story we see Emmy struggle with her place in the town, wanting to get back to her life in Chicago, and figuring out how to uphold her family legacy.  When Talia enters the picture, things become even more difficult.  Talia is one of the three champions of the founding families and is, without a doubt, my favorite character in the book.  She is an absolute badass! Sparks start to fly between Emmy and Talia and, with the help of Emmy’s childhood friend Lin, they develop a plan to end the Blackmoore’s winning streak.  

One of my favorite parts of the story was the setting.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to visit/live in a town steeped in magic?!  All of the little details, like the lake, the haunted woods, and the singing flowers created a dreamlike ambiance. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Emmy and Talia.  They challenged each other, supported one another, and the steamy scenes were worth waiting out the slow-burn. 

The only thing I didn’t love about the book was the pacing.  There were several sections where it felt like it dragged.  The competition pieces were exciting, but I wanted to see more.  The second half of the book was much more engaging than the first, but it felt like it took so long to get there.  Once it picked up, I was hooked.  

I felt quite content with how everything wrapped up, and there were a few little surprises in there I wasn’t quite expecting! If you’re looking for a story with badass female MCs, strong friendships, magic, romance, I’d bump this one up your tbr!
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Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for a digital ARC of Payback's a Witch!

This is both a sapphic romance and has vengeful witches in a magic competition. I mean, what more could you want for spooky season.
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A cute F/F rom-com set in a small witchy town called Thistle Grove. Mix in a magical competition and a revenge plot and you have a pretty entertaining story even with the moments of cheesiness. Recommended. Perfect for this fall cozy up season.

Thank you Netgalley for an e-arc of this book.
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Super into queer romances right now and it's a bonus that this one is seasonally appropriate. The plot was a bit predictable, but I enjoyed the characters overall.
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This book was so much fun! A queer <i>John Tucker Must Die</i> with witches was truly the spooky season read I never knew I needed. I loved the relationship between Emmy/Talia and also the friendship between Emmy/Linden. At times, I thought it got a bit too bogged down in the mechanics of the tournament, but otherwise I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend.
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While I wasn’t in love with this title, I can see why many others are. I would suggested this to anyone looking for a great revenge story or something with a fun Halloween vibe.
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PAYBACK’S A WITCH is hilarious, whimsical, and tightly written. Immediately enchanted by Thistle Grove and Emmy’s world (and not to mention Talia, the sexy tundra wolf-esque love interest), it was impossibly to put this one down. A perfect autumnal read.
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