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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
*received for free via early reviewers giveaway on LibraryThing*

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to find out what happens in the next instalment! The premise of witches in this book was so fun to read and learn more about. The world-building was so seamlessly interwoven with the story that there weren't any breaks of information dumping or points where you sat there questioning what the hell something meant. I love the concept of a family of sisters all with different specialities and powers. I can't wait to see all the other types of witches and get into their details as we meet more characters!
 
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rowanwalker | 10 other reviews | Jul 20, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Perhaps my favourite thing about this book was the worldbuilding - some fascinating hints of different types of magic, most granted by birth/blood, not disciplines you can simply learn and hop between. And sonofawitch being a specific Thing, not witch (or warlock) and not mundane human? Quite interesting!

Honestly, the book felt a lot like a YA in style and characterisation - an aged-up YA, with lots of sex and some more grown-up problems, but still handled and feeling very teenager. Especially Laurel felt very . . . fictional take on a trying to be edgy teenage girl, at times.

Also, while I expected - as it is - the feel of one of Those Series of romances, where each novel follows a different sibling or member of a group as they find love, and possessed of an overarching storyline but not necessarily deeply entwined, this one . . . did not feel like the first in the series. It was perfectly understandable, but it felt like a later book in one of those series, with the extras that make more sense or give more layers if you've read prior books. Only there aren't any prior books.

Truly, though it didn't wow me, I enjoyed the book overall!

That YA feeling? There were several points at which the very much adult characters were making decisions that felt very . . . adolescent. Also some decisions that were head-tilt inducing; not so much the ones where you (not in the situation, with a better grasp on it) can see are unwise, but ones where even in-story the decision seems ???

Such as Laurel's refusal to ask Owen's family for help - any of his family.

The book also seemed to flip back and forth frequently on how soulmates are with one another - how much that means, how much it jumpstarts relationships, whether the rapid recognition should be held back against and worked on to build a proper relationship and understanding or just given up to. . . And personally, Laurel and Owen being all over each other sexually even in the middle of tense, we-don't-know-each-others'-buttons fights - and, indeed, in general - felt a little 'really?' to me.

Also, the curse Amee put on Flavie, and Morana desperately wanted Laurel to remove . . . Laurel was so horrified by it - given the curse was enacted on the woman who purposely set her up to be burned alive, among other things, it didn't feel unjustified, and definitely not like an abuse of power, to me?

I'll admit, the wrap-up felt a little quick and easy, especially after the amount of tension and searching to find the identity of the mystery threat and further (any) information about her. And the ending after that felt even quicker and more hand-wavey. I'm curious about the cliffhanger and I may try and check out the next book in the series, but we'll see.

Oh, and the set up for the next romance? A quick note that was rather amusing in the middle of that speedy wrap-up of drama.
 
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Kalira | 10 other reviews | Jun 29, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Hedge Witch is a story about 5 magical sisters living on Star Island where they are soon to meet their fated soulmates. One of the sisters, Laurel, finds her soulmate but also runs into trouble from another mysterious witch.

Overall, the story was enjoyable. It took 1/3 of the book to get rolling as the initial start was a little repetitive and not much happened, but once it did I was hooked and wanted to know more about the mystery and the sisters’ powers and dynamics. I enjoyed the island setting and magical world building. However, it was hard keeping the 5 sisters straight as they all had floral/herbal names and most of the characters felt one dimensional throughout the story. The author definitely sets up for more books, so maybe this was a deliberate choice.

One of the main plot devices, the soulmate/fated mates, was a little cheesy at first. I do wish we had a little more backstory on WHY witches need soulmates and how that works as it would help it feel more plausible. As the story progresses, you get into it though and root for the love story and those characters. Laurel and Owen feel demisexual coded, which was great.

The ending left a little to be desired - the third act conflict between the couple felt unnecessary and unnatural. The climax of the story was short and you see some growth of the two main characters, but it was missing depth and felt a little too easy. It leaves you partially on a cliffhanger, so you’d want to pick up book 2 to continue the story.

Overall, this was a fun quick read, and if you like the fated mates trope and a magical mystery this would be a good choice.

Thank you to Library Thing and City Owl Press for the free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
1 vote
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book.maven397 | 10 other reviews | Jun 24, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.

I'm hoping The Hedge Witch is the first of a series because I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Laurel Bay and her witchy sisters. The story was fast paced and the romance was hot. I would love to read more about the other Bay sisters and their lives on Star island.½
 
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belladonna624 | 10 other reviews | Jun 23, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I won this book in the Early Reviewers Book Giveaway. Reminds me of Practical Magic. I enjoyed this book. It's not high-fantasy--which I appreciate. Just good ol' witchery and magic. It's easy to read, and the characters seem developed and interesting. The story isn't complete (it's the first in a series) and that's ok. I do like the cliff hanger but I don't feel the need to keep reading.
 
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postsbygina | 10 other reviews | Jun 22, 2024 |
This is the first book in The Witches of Star island series. The 5 Bay sisters see in the Beltane ritual that they will all meet their soul mate in the next year. Laurel, the middle sister, has a vision in a jump through the hedge that marks her as the first. Owen Davies, meanwhile, has a vision that leads him to Star Island and Laurel. Together, the sisters and Owen must battle a curse on the Bay family and a witch out for revenge on Laurel for events in her past life. This paranormal romance will appeal to those looking for a summer beach read. There are some fun, witchy tidbits interspersed with some time travel elements and a lot of romance. If you’re expecting A Discovery of Witches you’ll be disappointed. If you’re wanting a kind of Bridgerton paranormal, you’ll a fun trip to Star Island, with several more tales to come as the other sisters find their soul mates.
 
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margaretirene | 10 other reviews | Jun 22, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a cute and fluffy book that feels a lot like Practical Magic. A family of witchy sisters live together on a small island off the coast of Maine. This book tells the story of Laurel, the middle sister, who is a true Hedge witch and tarot reader. It is a fun love story with a bit of spice, but the book feels very uneven. Lots of attention is given to describing the scenery in some parts, but character development feels lacking for anyone beyond the two POV characters. Also, as someone who speaks just a touch of French, the French in the book isn't quite correct, which is a bit jarring. There are a few other factual errors like this that just caught my brain. The story overall has fun magical vibes for the most part and is a nice quick read. This is also clearly the first book in a series, with little hooks being set for further stories.
1 vote
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Silverlotus | 10 other reviews | Jun 11, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was certainly fun! To really enjoy it though I think it needs to be read at the right time with the right expectations - this book is silly and fun and should not be taken too seriously, is it by no means a high fantasy. Most of the book felt like watching a movie with a lot of the stuff happening fast and I found that I wished this book was double the length with more character development as I felt the two main characters (Owen and laurel ) barely knew each other and us as the reader barely knew them. This book has great potential for a series and with a little bit more detail and length I think this series could really be a hit.
 
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haleychannell | 10 other reviews | Jun 4, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Once I got into it, I really liked it. It is a 18+ book, for violence, sex, and language. It has a good storyline and is obviously going to be a part of a series (which I will be looking for because I NEED to know what happens next. It is a pretty quick read and moves at a good pace story wise. Reminds me of Practical Magic the movie. Reads similar to a YA book with a bit more spice for an adult. I like these type of reads that are a good distraction from reality.
 
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oriocookie | 10 other reviews | Jun 2, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A good story filled with three magical families, time travel, bountiful lists of herbs and flowers, lots of graphic sex, and with a cliffhanger ending encouraging you to purchase the next book in the soon to be published (written?) new series. (I will not be purchasing) There are several hundred reviews published on Amazon and Goodreads. The protagonists are likeable the evil witch is dreadful.
Thank you to LibraryThing and CityOwlPress for the free eBook.

 
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JoRob01 | 10 other reviews | Jun 1, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is entirely fit for someone who's not me. Even very early on in the book, the writing style and storytelling came across less as sophisticated and more as "turn-your-brain-off" entertainment, to me. I noticed an almost juvenile tone to a chunk of the writing, particularly early on, and the occasional references to pop culture that appeared felt pasted-in and random, with no elaboration, as though the reader already knows the interpretation the author means to convey. The plot isn't especially interesting, and no characters other than the main three get much depth -- and even those three feel like pastiches, as the classic female romance protagonist, hot male love interest, and almost comically-evil antagonist with a vendetta against the protagonist having anything good. The most interesting part of the book was the interaction of the present with the past lives, but I frankly didn't find it lengthy enough to captivate my attention, nor was it written interestingly enough for me to have any desire for more.

In all honesty, my two-star review is not meant as a patch on what the book is, for those who want it -- there are plenty of people out there who will enjoy a shorter, smutty romance, with a tad of magic and without demanding too much in-depth analysis. It's an easy read and it knows it, but it's not a book for me.
3 vote
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VerixSilvercrow | 10 other reviews | May 30, 2024 |
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