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Book Review: Hex Appeal by Kate Johnson


“Hex Appeal,” by Kate Johnson is a lively, sometimes funny, always witchy ride. Pay attention witch fans reading this: “Hex Appeal” will likely appeal to you.


The story has two main characters, Essie, whose been around way longer than she looks, and Josh, an American lawyer who’s just inherited some tumbledown property in Essex County, England, from his super-rich estranged father. Both characters are well realized and readers will root for them as a couple. (Note: things getting pretty steamy between Essie and Josh.)


There’s more than one house in this story, and a heck of a lot of witches with gnarly powers like the ability to summon winter, knit the future and make magical food and potions. Then there’s Beldame House, a place that flickers in and out of visibility and is a constantly changing, living thing.


Oh, and there’s time travel, and a fascinating connection to and battles with Matthew Hopkins, the real-life witch finder general in 17th century Essex County and its environs. Hopkins is a contemptible figure who has messed with the wrong witches in this story.


There’s an intriguing cast of characters in this tale, especially Avery, a witch who explores the concept of being non-binary in a way I’ve never seen before—thought provoking. Siena, Josh’s sister who is about to become a mother, does so on one crazy night, and I’d like to know her better. Perhaps a sequel?


One part chick lit (which I love), one part witch tale, and always fun, this story held my interest and entertained me. It’s a great pick for those of us who love “Practical Magic.”


Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book for review.


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