WHAT THE HEX by Jessica Clare 

The Hex Series, Book 2

From the publisher:

One of Amazon’s Best Romances of April!

Enemies-to-lovers has never been more enchanting in this witchy romantic comedy from the 
New York Times bestselling author of Go Hex Yourself.

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?

“Fans of Clare’s Go Hex Yourself will be happy with this follow-up in which Willem and Penny continue the enemies-to-lovers arc, with their own twist. Hand to readers who love witty banter, the fake-dating trope, and couples who fall hard fast.”—Library Journal

“Clare makes it easy to see why these two characters work together—and Penny’s feisty pet squirrel adds some laughs. Series fans will be pleased.”—Publishers Weekly

“Clare continues her delightful Hex series, introducing Penny, who is ultra-girly in “ruffles and pink,” with a “bubblegum and glitter” energy and an overwhelming desire to become a familiar for a witch or warlock…Willem’s iciness and aloof nature are belied by how he cares for Penny with cookies, milk, and great sex.”—Booklist


I really enjoyed Go Hex Yourself, so I was ready to love this next book in the series, and I did! The publicist had told me that the books stand alone, and she was right. You don’t need to read the first book to thoroughly enjoy this new one, but it was so good that you should probably read it anyway.

This one is an opposite attracts romance. Willem is a curmudgeon for sure, and Penny is a ray of sunshine. All Penny wants is to become a familiar, like her parents. But those jobs are really hard to come by, so she is working in a shop that sells ingredients for spell casting while she waits. When her good friends ask her if she would be willing to work as a familiar, but in secret, she jumps at the chance.

It seems that Willem has had some trouble in his life, and his punishment is another decade of no spell-casting or familiars. But he has work to do and decides to ask his friends for a recommendation. It’s all hush-hush, but these are people who know how to keep a secret and while Penny is way too flashy and outgoing for him, Willem knows his options are severely limited. If they get caught, neither one of them will escape the wrath of the witches’ council.

Penny loves her new job, but because it is a secret, she must keep working her other job. Spell casting is exhausting work, and Willem isn’t thrilled that he has to work around Penny’s schedule, but he has no other options. There is an interesting side effect to his spells, and Penny doesn’t know if it’s normal or not and keeps it to herself.

Meanwhile, they have to come up with some sort of ruse as to why they are spending time together. Willem has a reputation as being standoffish, to say the least. He is not well liked by his community, but doesn’t really care what anyone thinks. On the other hand, Penny is going to have to somehow convince her friends that she has fallen for the aloof warlock, and that’s not easy either. But the more time they spend together, the more they start caring about one another.

There is enough drama to keep things interesting in this steamy romance, and of course there’s a very happy ending. This was a fast, fun read and while I am not always enamored of paranormal romances (in fact, I rarely read any) I am thoroughly enjoying this series.

Note: New York Times bestselling author Jessica Clare writes under three pen names. As Jessica Clare, she writes erotic contemporary romance. As Jessica Sims, she writes fun, sexy shifter paranormals. Finally, as Jill Myles, she writes a little bit of everything, from sexy, comedic urban fantasy to zombie fairy tales.

5/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

WHAT THE HEX by Jessica Clare. Berkley (April 4, 2023). ISBN:‎ 978-0593337585. 336p.





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