Sunday, April 17, 2022

Review: Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare

Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Go Hex Yourself cover
ISBN: 9780593337561
Release Date: April 19, 2022
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

When Reggie Johnson answers a job ad in the paper, she’s astonished to find that she’s not applying to work at her favorite card game, Spellcraft: The Magicking. Instead, she’s applying to be an actual familiar for an actual witch. As in, real magic.

The new job has a few perks - great room and board, excellent pay, and she's apprenticing to a powerful witch. Sure, the witch is a bit eccentric. And sure, there was that issue with the black cat Reggie would prefer to forget about. The biggest problem, however, is warlock Ben Magnus, her employer's nephew and the most arrogant, insufferable, maddening man to ever cast a spell.

Reggie absolutely hates him. He's handsome, but he's also bossy and irritating and orders her around. Ben's butt might look great in a crystal ball vision, but that's as far as it goes. But when someone with a vendetta targets the household, she finds herself working with Ben to break a deadly curse. Apparently, when they're not fighting like cats and dogs, things get downright...bewitching.

When Reggie Johnson answers a job ad, she thinks she’s applying to work for her favorite card game, not be a familiar to a witch. Magic isn’t real, of course, but Dru is paying her more than she could ever dream of and she’s a sweetheart, if slightly delusional. The only downside to this new job is Dru’s nephew, Ben Magnus. The man is insufferable and though it’s sweet he loves his aunt, the fact that he’s feeding into her believing in magic is just another mark against him.

Except magic is real and her employer is really a two-thousand-year-old witch. And her nephew? He’s a five-hundred-year-old warlock who’s an outcast even among their own kind. But when a curse strikes the Magnus home Ben and Reggie will have to work together. And close quarters means it’s harder for both to pretend they’re not falling for each other.

Go Hex Yourself is an enjoyable paranormal rom-com. Other reviewers have pointed out that it feels like thinly-veiled Reylo ff (Rey/Kylo Ren fan fiction) and I definitely can see that. That being said, the Reylo vibes were my favorite part of the book. Ben is an outcast even though he’s an incredibly powerful warlock. Beneath the fearsome surface, however, is a lonely man with deep wounds. Reggie sees past the layers to the protective, caring man beneath. Ben’s pretty easy to become attached to; he’s grumpy, yes, but desperately in need of love and it’s hard not to be drawn to him. He’s there when Reggie needs him and bonds with her on a number of levels.

Reggie had a hard childhood and the only person she can depend on is her best friend, Nick. Because of said childhood, Reggie has an obsessive need to organize and control her environment. She doesn’t believe in magic when she answers Dru’s ad, but unfortunately the first half of the book drags something awful because it takes so long for her to become a believer. Go Hex Yourself hits its stride when Reggie finally realizes magic is real and spells, curses, etc. can be discovered through her eyes. Her romance with Ben has a good amount of tension and when things heat up, Jessica Clare delivers on steam. I was rooting for these two every step of the way, even when things were hard for them.

A cast of quirky supporting characters rounds out Go Hex Yourself. I enjoyed the world Clare created; witches and warlocks who are thousands of years old have a way of behaving that is sometimes unpredictable. I would love to learn more about the familiars (aside from being their master’s battery source and pupil) and Penny, Reggie’s new friend, in particular. I had mixed feelings about Go Hex Yourself because the first half of the book didn’t grab me, but ultimately I enjoyed the resolution and I hope Clare plans more books set in this world.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.