Payback’s a Witch

Berkley. (Witches of Thistle Grove, Bk. 1). Oct. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9780593336069. pap. $16. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
In a new series by Harper (pen name of Lana Popovic, author of the YA series “Lady Slayers”), Emmy Harlow is reluctant to go home to Thistle Grove, but she must become the next arbiter for a magical tournament that pits its founding families against each other. Emmy’s heart was broken years ago by Gareth Blackmoore, and she finds upon her arrival that her best friend, Linden, was seeing Gareth at the same time he was with Talia Avramov. In retaliation, Talia teams up with Linden’s brother in the tournament to beat Gareth and the Blackmoore clan, who almost always win. Originally, Emmy wanted nothing more than to get back to her nonmagical life in Chicago. However, the more she regains her magical abilities, which are tied to the town, and the more she gets to know the incredibly sexy yet spooky Talia, Emmy wonders if leaving means giving up what she wants most.
VERDICT With a satisfying end to the tournament, and smart, funny characters who support one another, Harper’s series is off to a fantastic start. Highly recommended.
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