An entertaining witchy rom-com, ideal lighter reading for the spooky season. There is also an author’s note which gives some background to the historical elements of the book.
The story is about Essie Winterscale, a witch who dresses in dungarees and whose skill at bringing frost has led to some unfortunate incidents in her love life. She lives in the magically concealed Beldam House in rural Essex with some other witches, including Blessing, who specialises in fertility; Avery, who is non-binary and whose talent is manifestation; Essie’s mother Lilith, who lives in a portrait painting and travels through time; Maude, who knits the future; and an assortment of creatures. When a young American lawyer, Josh, turns up to collect the rent from Beldam House after inheriting a lot of property in the village, he and Essie are instantly attracted to each other. However, there are obstacles in their way, not just as pairing of a witch and non-witch who have hang-ups from their pasts, but there is an ancient monster stirring and if they can’t defeat it there will be no winter, no witches and definitely no Essie and Josh.
I liked this story, which had memorable characters, a sharp humour and not overly graphic romance scenes. The writing style was not especially elegant and sometimes I had to re-read sentences I didn’t quite understand. The inclusion of a real character from history, the notorious General Witchfinder of Essex, added a sombre depth to the story which made it more than simply a fantasy rom-com.
In summary, a ‘hex’-citing book ‘witch’ will keep you entertained.
Published by One More Chapter, 2022.