What the Hex
Author: Jessica Clare
What I’m Talking About:
Willem is a warlock who has been banned from having a familiar and is stuck doing small spells while hiding out from a previous master. Penny, Secretary for the Society of Familiars, is facing a grim future of never being selected to work with a witch. But when mutual friends put them together for some illegal, under-the-table magic, sparks fly.
What the Hex is the second book in the delightful Hex series. Having established her fascinating world of magic and introduced the characters in the first book, Ms. Clare is able to jump right into Penny and Willem’s story. The pair is like oil and water when they first meet. He’s been around the block and abused by a previous master. He likes his gray, orderly world. Penny is all sunshine and optimism, and the thought of being trapped as an unselected familiar scares her enough to break the rules. Both desperate to cast magic and a bit lonely, each is willing to bend a bit to fit with the other.
Due to the secret nature of their relationship, they pretend to date and be in love: FAKE RELATIONSHIP (my favorite trope). I love that the pair finds a kinship and trusts the other fairly quickly. This allows the pair to join forces against a common foe. Playing lovers while keeping a secret and growing into close friends, brings romantic feelings to the surface.
The story is filled with humor and cartoonish villains. It is campy and a lot of fun. But despite the silliness, both characters experience some hefty emotions and process previous turmoil. I enjoy the balance of the light and more serious moments.
Ms. Clare’s Hex series is a lot of fun, and I hope the author continues to pen romances set in the world.
My Rating: B+
About the Book:
Penny Roundtree wants nothing more than to be a familiar to a witch. She’s been a member of the Society of Familiars ever since she was old enough to join the Fam. There’s just a small problem–no one’s hiring. Witches and warlocks are so long-lived that there are far more familiars available than witches to train them. So when an unorthodox arrangement to apprentice under the table to a forbidden warlock presents itself, she takes it.
Willem Sauer is banned from having a familiar due to past transgressions, thereby limiting his magic-casting abilities. Unfortunately for the surly, Prussian warlock, he has no choice but to work with enthusiastic Penny as a familiar. They immediately clash like dried roan horsehair and honeycomb gathered by moonlight (it’s a terrible spell combination, ask anyone).
Casting spells has delightful perks Penny never could have dreamed of, but also greater dangers. Someone is targeting Penny. Willem and Penny must work together to catch their enemy, and if their ploy requires a little kissing on the side, who is to question the rules of magic?
Release Date: April 4, 2023
Series: Hex #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Rom-Com
Format(s): paperback (336 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)
Reviews in the Series:
Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare (Hex #1)