It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus…
Essie Winterscale lives in a huge and ever-changing house in the village of Good Winter, in deepest, darkest Essex. She lives with various witches of various ages, one of whom is still a bit salty about having been burned at the stake in 1635, one who keeps accidentally casting fertility spells, and one who knits things that create the future.
All Essie ever wanted was to have a normal life but in the end she found herself drawn back to Beldam House because she just can’t stop her witchiness (although the ability to instantly chill wine is pretty awesome, even she has to admit).
Into this coven of chaos stumbles gorgeous, clueless Josh, their new landlord – and he’s just discovered his tenants haven’t paid rent since the 1700s! As Josh is drawn further into the lives of the inhabitants of Beldam House, Essie is determined to keep him at broomstick’s length. That is, until a family secret, lying hidden for centuries, puts Josh firmly under her spell…
I wanted something fun and seasonally appropriate and this book gave me just that. It was fun!
I am a sucker for a witchy story involving a found family. I adored the found family vibes from this book, all of the witches were just such good characters. I liked them all, even Essie’s mum who could be a bit…abrupt but it sort of felt a little justified under the circumstances.
The magical world felt really well explained. I understood the rules and the stakes. I feel like that is so absolutely imperative in a magical book, I need to know if there are repercussions.
Essie was a wee lamb. She deserved way better than Josh who was limp lettuce personified. You know, the old bag of salad leave at the back of the fridge that was Josh. He was boring, he was unbelievably passive, and he was annoying. The time to ask questions is not when you’re facing death, make a mental note to ask later. After survival. I hated Josh, he was such a strange love interest as he had almost no personality but he had a cool sister. I know I hated Josh but the other characters more than made up for him being super dull.
The twists were really enjoyable and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen. You know it’s a good book when you want to keep going. I read this for some reading sprints because I was not going to bed without closure.
The setting of a quaint little village in England was such a perfect setting. I loved Bedlam House, I love an almost sentient building. That’s a bit of a scamp and likes to join in with the fun
There was a moment, half way through the book where I felt that it was going in a specific direction. In the direction of one of my most hated tropes and I would have been so disappointed if it did…but a twist happened and it didn’t go where I thought it was going.
This book had spice. I thought it was a clean romance book at first, which it totally fine. Although, around the 70% mark, that all changed! This was no longer the sweet romance I thought it was. It got steamy and as is tradition, I performed a dramatic reading of the sexy bits to my partner who struggled to make out the words through my cackles.
This book make me cackle with laughter which felt right for an October read. It was fun, it was lovely, I whizzed thought it and it was really enjoyable. This book made me very happy. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.