Payback's a witch

Lana Harper

Book - 2021

"The witch is back and ready for revenge with a little help from her friends in this fresh, sizzling rom-com by Lana Harper. Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one-in part because she hasn't been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoor, heir to the most powerful magical family in town a...nd casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams. But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She's determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago. On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov-an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts-who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoor. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden-unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in? But most concerning of all: Why can't she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?"--

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FICTION/Harper Lana
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Harper Lana Due Oct 19, 2022
Series
Harper, Lana. Witches of Thistle Grove ; v. 1.
Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Published
New York : Jove 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
340 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780593336069
0593336062
Main Author
Lana Harper (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In the bad beginning to her first visit home to Thistle Grove after leaving for college and career, Emmeline Harlow runs into her nemesis, Gareth Blackmoore. After he broke her heart, she gave up her magic and left the town, family, and friends she loved. Thistle Grove was founded 300 years ago by four witches who decreed that every 50 years the scions of the Blackmoore, Avramov, and Thorn families would compete in the Gauntlet to determine which family would preside over all things magical for the next half-century. The Harlow scion serves as arbiter of the competition. The Blackmoores have won every time but once, enabling them to build a witch-themed tourism empire, while the other founding families falter. Emmy finds herself powerfully attracted to Talia, the glamorous Avramov scion. They team up with Rowan, the Thorn scion, in an effort to beat Gareth. YA writer Harper's first adult romance offers an imaginative and intriguing portrayal of magic, and a bisexual female romance between Emmy and Talia, and launches the promising Witches of Thistle Grove series. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

In the bad beginning to her first visit home to Thistle Grove after leaving for college and career, Emmeline Harlow runs into her nemesis, Gareth Blackmoore. After he broke her heart, she gave up her magic and left the town, family, and friends she loved. Thistle Grove was founded 300 years ago by four witches who decreed that every 50 years the scions of the Blackmoore, Avramov, and Thorn families would compete in the Gauntlet to determine which family would preside over all things magical for the next half-century. The Harlow scion serves as arbiter of the competition. The Blackmoores have won every time but once, enabling them to build a witch-themed tourism empire, while the other founding families falter. Emmy finds herself powerfully attracted to Talia, the glamorous Avramov scion. They team up with Rowan, the Thorn scion, in an effort to beat Gareth. YA writer Harper's first adult romance offers an imaginative and intriguing portrayal of magic, and a bisexual female romance between Emmy and Talia, and launches the promising Witches of Thistle Grove series. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In a new series by Harper (pen name of Lana Popovic, author of the YA series "Lady Slayers"), Emmy Harlow is reluctant to go home to Thistle Grove, but she must become the next arbiter for a magical tournament that pits its founding families against each other. Emmy's heart was broken years ago by Gareth Blackmoore, and she finds upon her arrival that her best friend, Linden, was seeing Gareth at the same time he was with Talia Avramov. In retaliation, Talia teams up with Linden's brother in the tournament to beat Gareth and the Blackmoore clan, who almost always win. Originally, Emmy wanted nothing more than to get back to her nonmagical life in Chicago. However, the more she regains her magical abilities, which are tied to the town, and the more she gets to know the incredibly sexy yet spooky Talia, Emmy wonders if leaving means giving up what she wants most. VERDICT With a satisfying end to the tournament, and smart, funny characters who support one another, Harper's series is off to a fantastic start. Highly recommended.—Eve Stano, Ball State Univ. Muncie, IN Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In a new series by Harper (pen name of Lana Popovic, author of the YA series "Lady Slayers"), Emmy Harlow is reluctant to go home to Thistle Grove, but she must become the next arbiter for a magical tournament that pits its founding families against each other. Emmy's heart was broken years ago by Gareth Blackmoore, and she finds upon her arrival that her best friend, Linden, was seeing Gareth at the same time he was with Talia Avramov. In retaliation, Talia teams up with Linden's brother in the tournament to beat Gareth and the Blackmoore clan, who almost always win. Originally, Emmy wanted nothing more than to get back to her nonmagical life in Chicago. However, the more she regains her magical abilities, which are tied to the town, and the more she gets to know the incredibly sexy yet spooky Talia, Emmy wonders if leaving means giving up what she wants most. VERDICT With a satisfying end to the tournament, and smart, funny characters who support one another, Harper's series is off to a fantastic start. Highly recommended.—Eve Stano, Ball State Univ. Muncie, IN Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Harper makes her adult debut (after YA novel Blood Countess, written as Lana Popovic) with a queer rom-com that bewitches from the very first page. Almost a decade after Emmy Harlow fled small-town Thistle Grove with a broken heart, she returns home. Once a generation, the four magical families of Thistle Grove gather for a tournament to decide the strongest family, and the Harlows have always been the unbiased arbiter. This year's competition becomes complicated when Emmy is drawn into a plan to help her best friend, Linden Thorn, and the alluring Talia Avramov seek revenge on the man who double-timed them, Gareth Blackmoore—who also happens to be the heartbreaker who drove Emmy from her home in the first place. Talia, Gareth, and Linden's twin brother will all compete in the tournament while Emmy must remain impartial—a task which proves difficult as her anger toward Gareth grows, though not as quickly as her attraction to Talia. This magical joyride manages to feel both vibrantly current and timelessly mystical while avoiding the typical queer rom-com stereotypes. Combining John Tucker Must Die with a helping of an adult Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and a dash of Charmed, this addictive concoction begs for adaptation. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Oct.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Emmy Harlow's return to her hometown to participate in the Gauntlet, a spellcasting tournament, is initially the direct result of her parents guilting her. Upon her return, she runs into Garett Blackmoore, who she lost her virginity to and who broke her heart when he declared her not a powerful enough witch. As the Harlows are the traditional Arbiters of the contest, Emmy realizes that they are seen as the administrative family, rather than having access to the stronger abilities and powers of the others. After all, that was the reason why she left to start a life of her own. When she discovers that Garett has in fact had relationships with both her best friend, Linden Thorn, and the stunning, powerful Talia Avramov, all three witches realize the time and opportunity has come to show him that his actions have consequences. Harper provides a setting and characters that readers will enjoy, without ever giving them a predictable or easy outcome, including an unexpected HEA. The characters are related to famous witches, and their contest will keep readers involved. VERDICT Readers are given an enjoyable story with an attempt at revenge while Emmy herself discovers a greater meaning in magic after having lost it, and begins to have feelings for Talia.—Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Lib., Canada Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Returning home to the magical town of Thistle Grove after a self-imposed exile, witch Emmy Harlow runs into badass Talia Avramov, who just broke up with Emmy’s crush Gareth and wants revenge, and Emmy finds herself drawn to Talia instead of Gareth when she agrees to help.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"The witch is back and ready for revenge with a little help from her friends in this fresh, sizzling rom-com by Lana Harper. Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one-in part because she hasn't been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoor, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams. But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She's determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago. On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov-an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts-who is fresh off a bad breakup...with Gareth Blackmoor. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden-unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in? But mostconcerning of all: Why can't she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word in this fresh, sizzling New York Times bestselling rom-com by Lana Harper.Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn't been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams. But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She's determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in? But most concerning of all: Why can't she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?