This review was originally posted on The Geeky Waffle and has been reposted here with permission.
I’ve mentioned before the trend of witchy romances that seemed to sweep the romance genre over the last year. With her latest novel, Go Hex Yourself, Jessica Clare adds another notable entry to their ranks.
When the compulsively-organized Reggie answers an advertisement for what she believes to be an assistant position at the company that makes her favourite card game, she quickly learns that the job is something else entirely. The eccentric, elderly Drusilla Magnus is looking for a “familiar” to aid her in her witchcraft, and is willing to pay handsomely for it. Which is all fine and dandy, except Reggie doesn’t actually believe in magic.
Eager to get rid of her is Ben, Dru’s dark and broody nephew, torn between feeling equal parts attracted to Reggie and annoyed by her refusal to believe that magic is actually real. The inevitable growing pains and road bumps take a turn for the serious when it becomes clear someone is targeting Dru, and Reggie and Ben have to work together to figure out who it is before it’s too late.
With witchy romances, I find the tendency is for the story to either lean hard into the witch side of things or into the romance. Go Hex Yourself is more of the former, with Clare building a rich and immersive, heavily-researched magic system based on old Roman beliefs. Given that that isn’t something generally explored in mainstream romance fiction, I appreciated it here since it set Go Hex Yourself apart from the other similarly magical romances I’ve read over the past year.
So what about the romance? It has all the hallmarks of a good, slow-burn enemies-to-lovers, with Reggie and Ben’s interactions going slowly from hostile to cordial to affectionate. On a personal note, I must say I am a huge sucker for the “guy who is massive grump is a sweetheart for exactly one person” trope, and dark wizard or no it was very endearing to watch grumpy Ben Magnus be completely won over by the sweet and cynical Reggie.
While I’m here I feel I should mention Go Hex Yourself’s suspected origins in transformative fanworks. Many of the hallmarks of AU fanfiction – specifically, Reylo – are present here. This is not a detractor for me in the least, as I am a huge fan of the ship. There are certain winks (Reggie’s last name, the descriptors used for the leads) that are obvious to those in the know. I do not, however, think that familiarity with Reylo and its associated fanfiction is necessary to enjoy this enchanting love story.
Go Hex Yourself is out April 19, 2022.
Special thanks to Berkley for an advance copy for review purposes.
This website is a labour of love. If you’ve enjoyed this review, consider buying me a coffee to help keep it going?