Penny has been waiting to become a familiar for ages. Unfortunately, because witches and warlocks live so long, there are more prospective familiars than openings for them. Willem has been banned from taking a familiar as a punishment which greatly restricts his ability to cast magic. Which is a problem since his former master holds a grudge and is currently gunning for him. When Penny agrees to be Willem’s familiar under the table, they fake a relationship in order to explain why they’re now spending time together. Unfortunately, the pair get along about as well as oil and water. But with Penny now in Stoker’s sights, the two of them will have to work together to end the threat for good.
This book lost me about seventy pages in. I did finish it, but yeah, I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy it then. I think I mentioned how in the first book while at first Ben did want Reggie to get fired, he didn’t cross the line in regards to his treatment of her. Willem did with Penny. Yes this is enemies to lovers, but the way Willem treated Penny was not okay. It was more like she was a servant or a pet than a partner, and the fact that he was like “I don’t know how to be nice. You have to tell me when I overstep.” really rubbed me the wrong way. And while he did get better, it took time, and I was no longer invested in the romance between them. He improved, but he never completely regained my good opinion that he’d lost enough for the romance to really work for me. Penny is an absolute BAMF and carries just about everything. Yes, Willem is the one with the magical knowhow, but Penny’s the one who figures things out and makes things happen, including taking down the bad guy. She’s also the one who is most at risk throughout things. She totally deserved better. It also bothered me that Willem despite knowing that Stoker was a threat to Penny didn’t warn her about that upfront or even after she starts working as his familiar.
And the fact that Willem using her magic made her orgasm both kind of jumpstarted their physical relationship when they still didn’t actually like one another and felt a little icky to me. Again, they did get to the point where they’re both into each other, but part of me wonders if it would have happened as quickly if the magic didn’t effect Penny so much. This was probably the spicier of the two books in the series, but the because the relationship between the two love interests fell flat for me, it didn’t really enjoy that, though the scenes were well written. I did enjoy Penny as a character and a lot of the supporting characters. And the world is great. If the author writes more in this series, I’ll probably read them, but this was a disappointment for me. Two out of five stars.