Payback’s A Witch by Lana Harper

Flatlay - the cover of Payback’s A Witch on kindle, three orange crochet pumpkins and one paper cups. The paper cup is black and says drink up witches on with a broomstick in silver, which has purple paper tassels. It is all resting on a mustard yellow jumper.

Emmy Harlow is a witch in exile. She hasn’t been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years, which 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, casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.

But when a spellcasting tournament 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?

This book is billed as a cross between The L Word and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but I honestly didn’t think it was that dark. Initially I didn’t like the writing but I got used to it even though at times I felt there was an excessive use of metaphors. The writing style was definitely easy to read.

I really loved the world building and the idea of a little magical community hidden away in plain sight. Tourists visit but don’t realise that magic exists in Thistle Grove. I think it explored the idea of being judged and pigeon-holed by your last name really well and I liked all the characters. I think everyone can relate to feeling like you have to meet expectations placed on yourself by either you or your family and the main character definitely goes through a journey with this.

There were definitely issues with pacing for me, some parts really dragged but then something would happen to pique your interest again. I liked the romance, it was a fun read and a solid three stars from me – I just didn’t love it as much as These Witches Don’t Burn. Read for your sapphic witch fix!


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Trigger Warnings: Sexual Content, Infidelity, Toxic Relationship

Rep: Lesbian, Bisexual

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