~ Book Review: Bewitched (Bewitched #1) (ARC) ~

Published: April 18, 2023

Author: Laura Thalassa

Come to me, Empress …

At age twenty, Selene Bowers desperately hopes to be accepted into Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches. Since one of the requirements for entry is to connect with her powers via a quest through the wilderness, Selene books a trip to South America. When a nefarious supernatural force tries to drag her plane from the sky, Selene’s magic awakens to save her life―at a cost. Using her powers devours her memories, one by one.

Worse, when Selene braves the jungle and discovers the source of the attack, she finds herself awakening an ancient evil, Memnon the Cursed, who mistakes Selene for his long-dead wife. The wife who betrayed him. Selene manages to escape and begin her studies at Henbane, but when Memnon turns up at the coven and witches are found dead across campus, Selene becomes entangled in a dangerous plot. Accused of the murders on the basis of her memory loss, Selene must rely on Memnon’s help for answers―and his plans for her will change everything.

Bewitched is the first novel in a series of the same name.  This story follows Selene Bowers (early 20s) who goes on a quest to gain entry to the Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches. On the quest, she discovers Memnon, a warrior king who was cursed into eternal sleep by his wife, Roxilana. He believes that Selene and Roxilana are the same, which leads to a huge push-pull romantic tension between them along with a mystery to search for the truth. Not only did Selene become connected to Memnon in her quest, but she also lost her memories after using her magic. This leads to a whole mystery surrounding Selene and her memories.

Selene was an interesting character where she is innocent and determined where she struggles with her attraction to Memnon. I do wish, though, that she did not seem to lose her senses when it comes to Memnon’s physique. There is a lot of emphasis on his perfection, which is nice when trying to have the reader picture him in their minds, but it did become a little repetitive. He is a morally grey character, but there is still a lot to learn about him. Since this is the first novel in a series, the pacing starts off slow and increases little by little to get to the cliffhanger ending. While I prefer not to have cliffhangers as its difficult to wait for the sequel, it was expected at least. The story itself took a bit for me to become hooked, but by the end I was anxious to get my hands on the sequel. Overall, this was an enjoyable story with a lot of potential to be amazing as a series. I look forward to reading the sequel in the future!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bloom Books, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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