Review by Veronica

Josh would never be able to describe Beldam House. It was large, and if he was pressed, he might use a descriptor like ‘gothic’ or ‘scary as hell’. The roofs were high and steep, and there were definitely multiple roofs. Thickets of chimneys. Turret, too. Gabled windows, black beams, those leaning top storeys that some of the older houses had around here. 

It looked like a fairy-tale palace drawn by a drunk depressive. 

Hex Appeal is a fun, wack-a-doodle witchy rom-com. 

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 have been super excited to get my hands on this book ever since I read the synopsis. It just screamed a fun romance story, and bookworms, that is precisely what it is. I ended up devouring this book on a blustery Saturday morning, and I was so sad that I had read it in one sitting because I didn’t want to leave the world that Kate created. Hex Appeal is a quirky fast-paced magical romance story with characters that are so easy to love and a house that is so enchanting. I ate up the magical world that Kate created; it was captivating and well thought out. She really does put her own wonderful spin on this witchy world she created. The Beldam house is so interesting and really can be considered its own character. The Beldam house changes constantly depending on the character’s moods or needs. The things that happened in the house were bonkers at times, and I lost count of how often I just laughed out loud. There were plenty of unexpected twists and turns, and the story went in a direction I wasn’t expecting, which I loved. I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. It just swept me off my feet.  

Essie is delightful! I fell in love with her bravery, sarcasm, and kindness. Essie is just a fun character to hang around with. It was so enjoyable exploring the magical world she lives in. She does go through some growth in this book when it comes to learning to open her heart to the possibility of romance. I found myself rooting for her and wanting her to get the happily ever after she deserved. I liked Josh, he isn’t my favourite book boyfriend, but he was a good fit for Essie. One unexpected thing about his character is that he has a lot of insecurities, and his behaviour is pretty skittish at times. Without giving anything away, there are reasons why he behaves the way he does, and the scenes where he opens up to Essie are heartwarming. The secondary characters are amazing. I hope that Kate writes more books focusing on the other witches that Essie lives with. 

Essie and Josh are great together as a couple. Their romance is this perfect blend of sweet and spicy. I wasn’t expecting the spice in this book; I thought this book was going to be more of a cutesy clean romance story. The spice does work with the story, and it fits with how Essie and Josh’s relationship grows. It was great watching their relationship unfold while at the same time battling this unknown evil entity. I loved the beginning of their relationship when Josh is trying to wrap his mind around what is happening in Essie’s house and all the bizarre things he sees. It was rather comical. 

I would highly recommend reading Hex Appeal if you are looking for a book that will make you laugh. 

Thank you, HarperCollins Canada, for the copy in exchange for an honest review.