Penny Roundtree wants nothing more than to be a familiar to a witch. She’s been a member of the Society of Familiars ever since she was old enough to join the Fam. There’s just a small problem—no one’s hiring. Witches and warlocks are so long-lived that there are far more familiars available than witches to train them. So when an unorthodox arrangement to apprentice under the table to a forbidden warlock presents itself, she takes it.
Willem Sauer is banned from having a familiar due to past transgressions, thereby limiting his magic-casting abilities. Unfortunately for the surly, Prussian warlock, he has no choice but to work with enthusiastic Penny as a familiar. They immediately clash like dried roan horsehair and honeycomb gathered by moonlight (it’s a terrible spell combination, ask anyone).
Casting spells has delightful perks Penny never could have dreamed of, but also greater dangers. Someone is targeting Penny. Willem and Penny must work together to catch their enemy, and if their ploy requires a little kissing on the side, who is to question the rules of magic?
Like the prior book, Go Hex Yourself, Jessica Clare has created a fun and romantic ride in What the Hex. The book starts with an interesting premise, a reasonable reason for both the main characters to interact and get to know one another. The clash between the two only creates a romantic tension that flavors the relationship and the intrigue of the novel. The language and differences between Penny and Willem makes for lively dialogue, romantic interludes, and an intriguing plot.
Just like in Go Hex Yourself, there is more to the plot than just the romance and the pair have to figure out how to work together to resolve who is targeting Penny and why. What I loved the most is how much power and dynamic Penny has in figuring out the solution and how much the pair end up supporting each other. Willem doesn’t just swoop in and save Penny. They work together and that is the key to why this romance is so successful. Penny gets her own motivations and her own power.
If you like dynamic female characters, romance with a ton of spice, and an intriguing plot, I suggest this light but powerfully written novel. It is fun and romantic, with touches of fluff and a whole lot of carnal exploration.
Rating: 5 out of 5 spells.