Katie's Halloween Romance Recommendation

Happy Spooky Season to my fellow Fall lovers!

To me, October marks the beginning of the best time of the year. Looking forward to the 3 month run of Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas is truly what keeps me going. I am a firm believer of being as intentional as I can be to make the most of each holiday’s season and as an avid reader this directly translates to what I am reading. Now I love Halloween as much as the next person, but as an absolute scaredy-cat I tend to stray away from anything too spine tingling or ghastly in my book picks. Think Spooky Season lite. This has caused me to search out new subgenres for my ghoulish lit. Thus began my obsession for Witchy Romances. 

My most recent reads and current favorites that I have been recommending left and right, is The Witches of Thistle Grove series by Lana Harper. This series is an absolutely delicious combination of dazzling romance and witchy excellence. Reading these books feel as if you are dancing in a moonlit forest while the leaves are changing color in the crisp air around you. Very much Practical Magic and Gilmore Girls vibes (which is ideal tbh).   

Book one in our series is aptly titled Payback’s a Witch. We are introduced to the wonder of Thistle Grove, a Stars Hollow-esque town alight with magic, through our protagonist Emmy Harlow. Now Thistle Grove’s underground society of witches is made up of 4 distinctive families: the Thorns, the Avramovs, the Blackmoores, and the Harlows. Through generations, each family has passed down their unique magical affinities and traditions but every fifty years a Gauntlet is held to determine which family will have special control and access to the town’s magic. Emmy has returned to Thistle Grove for the first time since high school to serve as her family’s representative and Arbiter of the Gauntlet. Emmys first night in town she just so happens to run into Talia, the dark and elusive stunning Avramov scion. As the challenges and hijinks of the Gauntlet begin, Emmy and Talia start growing closer, causing Emmy to question her choice to stay away from Thistle Grove and wonder what her future may look like if she decides to stay. 

Emmy and Talia’s story was such a fun and gripping tale. It was a beautifully sultry and enchanting queer romance that I would recommend even out of the confines of Spooky Season. Lana Harper did such an excellent job of intertwining the romance with the magical intricacies and history of the town. This was the perfect first novel for the series and while I adored Emmy and Talia, the possibilities of future couples were teased just enough to have me racing to pick up the next one!

Now while book one was great, book two was……..EXCELLENT! From Bad to Cursed is our first sequel and it blew me out of the water. This book follows Isidora Avramov, Talia’s younger sister, and Thistle Grove’s resident spontaneous demon summoner. An evil magic has reared its ugly head, threatening the lives and magic of witches in Thistle Grove and Isidora is appointed to investigate with her arch-nemesis, Rowan Thorn. This book was giving forced-proximity enemies-to-lovers and I was LIVING for it. As Isidora and Rowan continue to work together (surrounded by major tension I might add) they begin to realize they may not be so different after all.              

Now book three, Back in a Spell, comes out on January 3rd of 2023 and I cannot wait. This is the perfect amount of time for y’all to read through the first two and be waiting with bated breath with me for the new year. What we know so far is that this book will star Nina Blackmoore, an uptight and recently spurned lawyer, and Morty Gutierrez, our non-binary fan-favorite bartender. January simply cannot come soon enough! 

I just know y’all will love these books as I do and please feel free to come downtown and chat with me about them! We will have Payback’s a Witch and From Bad to Cursed at both our downtown and Caldwell locations and Back in a Spell is now available for preorder!

- Katie <3