Book Review – Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

Title: Payback’s a Witch (The Witches of Thistle Grove #1)

Author: Lana Harper

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: October 5th, 2021

340 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling 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?


“Her pale eyes glittered like something out of a Billie Eilish song”

Lana Harper, Payback’s a Witch

I heard some mixed reviews coming in when this book was released, and there were an unusual amount of similar looking/seeming books releasing at the same time (which makes sense because Halloween, duh). But I frankly read all of those similar books and Payback’s a Witch was definitely my favorite of the bunch. It involves witching families in a specific, magical town, a traditional competition, an ex-boyfriend problem, and a sapphic romance.

I liked the world created in Thistle Grove, and the families/magic. Each has some mystery attached and have their own powers but Emmy, our MC, gave it all up to live in the non-magic world after being hurt by her ex, Gareth Blackmoore. She is adamant about returning after she fulfills her duty in the competition, but will the beautiful Talia have an impact on that plan? Read on to see…

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the magical contemporary romance. There was a hint of steam and spice at one point during the book and I truly love reading sapphic romances, especially after recently coming to terms with my own sexuality.

Happy reading, folks!

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