Blog Tour Book Review: What the Hex? by Jessica Clare

About the Book:

Title: What the Hex?

Author: Jessica Clare

Series: Hex #2

Page Length: 336

Publication Date: April 4, 2023

Publisher: Berkley Books

Synopsis: 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?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

What the Hex is the charming and romantic second book in Jessica Clare’s Hex series. The story follows Penny and Willem, who were introduced in the first book. This pair has total grumpy-sunshine vibes, so when they end up living and working together, things don’t go smoothly.

Penny is a bubbly and happy ball of sunshine. From her clothes to her personality, she is optimistic and vibrant. A bit of an extrovert, she is the opposite of the moody, broody, and introverted Willem. Since Willem is banned from having a familiar and practicing magic, he and Penny work together secretly. And to keep up the guise that they are not doing anything magical, they pretend to be dating. A grumpy/sunshine, fake dating, romance with magic? Yes, please! lol

Penny and Willem have amazing chemistry and the best conversations. They are the perfect example of how opposites attract and work. I like how Penny and Willem become a team. Living and working together, they spend a lot of time together. They become friends, and they develop a trusting and real connection. Some of their chats are laugh-out-loud funny, especially since they are so different in age and personality. Other scenes and conversations are super romantic, especially when Willem starts to open up and become more vulnerable. His feelings for Penny are so swoon-worthy, and the fake dating aspect of their relationship ratchets up the sexual tension. Their sexy times are pretty steamy! I didn’t expect it, but I am definitely not complaining.

The story also has a unique magical world, danger and intrigue, and a bit of suspense as Penny becomes the target of an unknown antagonist. And when Willem is wrongly arrested and incarcerated, the stakes are even higher. Penny, of course, won’t stop until she clears Willem’s name. It makes for an interesting and suspenseful plot, which is balanced well with the lighter aspects of the story. The magic system is intriguing too, and Penny’s pet squirrel is adorable!

I thought this was a great read. It’s fun and funny, suspenseful and romantic, and the messages about love, friendship, and fighting for those you love are strong. Though it’s the second book in the series, you can totally read What the Hex without first reading Go Hex Yourself. That being said, I’m definitely going back to read it because the protagonists from the first book are in this book, and I need to read their love story!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Books for providing me with a copy of What the Hex. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The magic.
  • The humor.


  • grumpy/sunshine
  • opposites attract
  • fake dating

6 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Review: What the Hex? by Jessica Clare

  1. Ooo…I bought What the Hex but didn’t know it was a second. Now, I guess I’m off to order Hex Yourself. Excellent review! Can’t wait to read it!

    1. Thanks, Tessa! I didn’t know it was part of a series either when I first got it. But you can totally read it without reading Go Hex Yourself first.

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