Wednesday, August 3, 2022

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Always Practice Safe Hex by Juliette Cross

Title:  Always Practice Safe Hex
Series:  Stay A Spell #4
Author:  Juliette Cross
Format:  Kindle (377 pages)
Published:  May 24, 2022 
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Reviewer:  Linda
Source:  Author
Rating:  5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Livvy Savoie is a people person. Not only does she have the magical gift of persuasion, but her natural charisma charms everyone she meets. She hasn’t met a person she didn’t like. Until her annoyingly brilliant competitor walks through the door. No matter how hard she denies it, loathing isn’t the only emotion she feels for him.

Grim reaper Gareth Blackwater is rarely, if ever, moved beyond his broody, stoic state. But the witch he’s partnered with in the public relations contest is destroying his peace of mind. He’s convinced that the flesh-melting attraction he feels for her is merely her witchy magic at work.

But forced proximity proves there is more than magic sparking between them. Livvy learns this enigmatic grim’s abilities are beyond any supernatural she has ever known. And when Livvy becomes the obsessive target of a dangerous warlock, Gareth proves just how powerful he truly is. Because no one is going to hurt his Lavinia.


Linda's Thoughts:

Always Practice Safe Hex is the panty-melting hot fourth book in Juliette Cross’ Stay a Spell series. Each installment has focused on one of the witchy Savoie sisters. This go-around, it’s Lavinia “Livvy” Savoie’s and Grim Reaper Gareth Blackwater’s time to shine. They were “prequeled” in the anthology Walking in a Witchy Wonderland but you do not need to have read the anthology to fully enjoy Always Practice Safe Hex.

As this tale opens, we learn that Livvy and Gareth have been chosen as two of the three finalists in Garrison Media Corporation’s prestigious PR competition making them rivals. The three finalists will need to work closely together. They each will present and “sell” a cause near-and-dear to their hearts, and, if their cause is selected, it will be publicized and funded making a win-win for both the finalist and his/her cause. 

This is the first time that Juliette has featured a Grim in a romance. I have wondered about them and Juliette fills in some juicy details. Gareth is a sexy, grumbly, broody, nerdy, powerful, protective, dominant alpha. He’s introverted and secretive – especially about his magical abilities. He’s been a loner all his life. Gareth doesn’t trust Livvy and suspects that Livvy is using her magical influence on him to drive him crazy with want, but, as they spend more time together, he comes to realize that she’s not – and that it’s just their compelling chemistry that he feels. All Grims contain an evil monster within them. Because of their inherent darkness, Grims can sense evil in others. Gareth can sense evil at Garrison Corp and knows that the evil has its eye on Livvy. In the beginning, Gareth doesn’t understand why, but he somehow knows that Livvy is important to him and to his monster. Gareth vows that he won’t allow her to be harmed.  

In contrast, Livvy is an extrovert and exudes charm and persuasion – both naturally and magically. Livvy has been surrounded by family all of her life. Livvy seems to be Gareth’s polar opposite. They certainly butt heads at every turn at first. Livvy tells herself that she’s not attracted to him and that she’s not turned on by his smoldering looks or his blatant desire. She is the only person in her circle that doesn’t see the sparks. Livvy has only ever dated people she could dominate and control. She is afraid she’ll lose herself if she loses the upper hand and falls for Gareth. She tells herself that the chemistry between them is only temporary. But, once they finally start talking, they find that they have a lot in common after all. AND they start building a trusting, strong emotional connection. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention the villain. The warlock villain is forceful, despicable and cunning. Livvy’s powers are nowhere near his. Knowing he was lurking waiting to strike was suspenseful and scary. I found myself on the edge of my seat too many times to count. 

Fans of the series will be excited by a few updates on previously featured couples who play supporting roles in this book. Family is big herein and all the Savoies and their mates are present. It was heartwarming the way they gathered around and encouraged and cared for each other. 

WooHoo! We now know who the couples will be in the next two books. Next up is Jules Savoie & Vampire Ruben. I’ve been waiting for their book from the beginning! I may be wrong, but I feel that Ruben may have some big-time groveling in store. AND, in this book, we can see that there’s obviously something going on between Clara Savoie and Grim Henry. Another romance with a Grim! Their story will be after Jules’ & Ruben’s. I can’t wait!

Please know that this book may be read as a stand-alone since it primarily focuses on one couple. However, you would miss so much with the previously featured characters and their stories especially since they were all in this book! Your reading pleasure will be exponentially increased if you read these books in order. It’s such an amazing series. You won’t regret it.

Here are a few of my favorite teasers from Always Practice Safe Hex:

She smiled wide with a lascivious look. "You had me at werewolf wet t-shirt contest.” 

“You look like a naughty waiter," I remarked with a smile.
"You look like my delicious dinner.”

“Also, loquacious?" I arched a brow. "Trying to impress me with your big vocabulary?"
"Since you're unwilling to check out my big cock, I thought it second best.” 

“He was a grim. An unknown. And his aura made me want to be very, very naughty. With him. My desire was so blood-burning, throat-choking intense that I feared what would be left after that kind of love affair was all over.” 

IF you are looking for a sweet, clean romance – THIS IS NOT IT! There’s a lot of dirty talk and wonderfully spicy times. Gareth’s demon is a Dom – so you can expect some roughness too. (I want to be clear that Livvy is 1o0% in.) Juliette’s books are always hot, but I don’t remember another of her books being THIS sinfully delicious. Oh, and there’s plenty of perfectly placed comic relief. AND a delightful satisfying ending which still makes me smile weeks after finishing the book. Bottomline: This book is great and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves fun & ultra steamy paranormal, slow-burn romances.

Suggested Reading Order: 

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