Review of Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper
I had so much fun with this! This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I’m happy to say that it was just as good as I hoped. The vibe was The Other Woman/John Tucker Must Die with some the Goblet of Fire, but with sapphic adult witches. It was really enjoyable and a great read to get you in the mood for Halloween.
I was really impressed by how good Harper’s writing was. Her style is very smooth and nice to read, plus her details are really on point. Not only do you know what this magical town run by witches looks like, but you even know what it smells like. It seems to me that authors don’t use taste and smell very often anymore, but Harper did and it just really brought this story to life. I live in New England, actually only a couple of hours from Salem, Mass., and I can’t tell you how magical the month of October is around here. The gorgeous colors of the leaves changing, the sunny days that are just cool enough to keep the bugs away, and the smells of pumpkins and apple cider in the air just make it special around here. The way I feel about New England in the fall is the same way Harper described the town of Thistle Grove (minus the witchey magic of course) and I could not help but fall in love with her setting. While this is her first book under Harper, it’s not a debut as she writes YA under Lana Popovic.
I was really happy with the characters, especially the two main leads. This is first person, in the head of Emmy Harlow, but the other characters are so well done, especially Natalia Avramov, so that you feel like you know her and she even steals a bit of the spotlight from Harlow. Natalia has this really sexy presence, mix in some darker necromancer magic, and she just has a bit of a bad girl vibe, but with a heart of gold, that made her into a crush-on-able book character. I have to also mention that I was really happy with the romance. The characters have great chemistry and you just can’t help hoping they will somehow end up together.
I was pleasantly surprised that while this book had a good romance, the magical fantasy parts were well done too. I find a lot of paranormal romances to either have too much romance and not enough paranormal, or the opposite. I think this book was perfectly balanced and that it will appeal to fans that love magical and paranormal books, but it will also work well for romance fans that are more dipping their toe into this category for Halloween reads.
TLDR: I absolutely recommend this one to readers looking for good Halloween books. I think this book will have a wide appeal to many different readers and it was good fun too. I really enjoyed the writing and I hope Harper will write more sapphic stories, in the future, as I would love to read them. This was really enjoyable and I hope this will be out on audio as I think the writing style would transfer very well and I would definitely buy it. 4.25 Stars.
A copy was given to me for a review.