Book Review: As You Witch by Erin R. Bedford

Title: As You Witch
Author: Erin R. Bedford
Genre: Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Witches
Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
When Max gets a magic amulet that makes nearly every desire come true, she’ll learn the truth of be careful what you wish for.
However, magical hijinks aren’t all that Max has to worry about. With her hard-working parents strained to pay her tuition, Max’s only chance to stay in Winchester Academy is to win the scholarship at the big school fair. Of course, to win, she has to beat her bully of a rival, wow the entire school, and juggle four guys vying for her attention.
Nothing a few wishes, a little magic, and a lot of luck can’t handle … she hopes!

I previously reviewed the first book in the series, Witching on a Star. That wasn’t a success by any means – I rated it 2,5 stars, and while I had high hopes for a reverse harem set in a witching academy, my hopes fell flat and the book was a bit of a dissapointment.

Still, I picked up book two, As You Witch, because I wanted to see if it would get any better. The series has a lot of potential, it just never executes it well, so I thought that maybe some of those kinks would’ve gotten fixed in book two. Alas, no such luck, and I even liked this one less than the first one.

This book was filled with unnecessary drama from the start until the end. With a million possible options to pick villains when your book is set in a witching world, the author keeps on using the mean girl as a villain. It’s dull and predictable. The dialogue is so bad that I had to roll my eyes at every other sentence. Max is immature, childish, entitled, and the guys she’s supposedly in love with are so bland and boring even I wouldn’t be able to keep them apart.

There is no conflict. There’s nothing really at stake. The relationships are too perfect – these four guys are instantly OK with all of them being with the heroine, and none of them is trying to win her for themselves. Of the four guys, only two have a hint of a personality, and the other two are basically just thrown in so this would be a reverse harem and not a love triangle. Either give them more personality or focus on the two that do have developed personalities and that a reader can root for.

Look, I know I’m one of the few who isn’t fond of this series, and it has really high overall ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. So, don’t take my word for it, this is after all just my opinion. But as far as reverse harems go, I’ve seen a lot better than this one.

Book Review: Witching on a Star by Erin R. Bedford

Title: Witching on a Star (Academy of Witches #1)
Author: Erin R. Bedford
Genre: Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Witches
Rating: 2,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon

All her life Max knew she was destined for more, but when she graduated high school, she never expected to find out she was a witch.
Now Max isn’t headed to the ivy league college of her dreams but to the Witch’s Academy, where the spells are real and the classes just might kill you.
If Max hopes to survive her new destiny she’ll have to put up with mean girl cliques, way too sexy for their own good bad boys, and a popularity contest she didn’t expect to win.
Turns out, wishing comes with consequences and all magic has a price, especially at Witch Academy, but Max may find she’s more prepared than she thought to handle it all.

Last week, I was in the mood for a reverse harem romance. Reverse harem, for those who don’t know, is where one girl has several love interests…and actually ends up with several or all of them! It might be a bit of a strange concept if you’re not used to it, but the last year it’s really gained some fraction in the reading community and more and more people are picking up this genre of books (with more and more writers starting to write in this genre as well). Reverse harem is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, so I’m glad to see its success growing over the past year.

Anyway, on to this book, Witching on a Star, one of the first reverse harem books I’ve picked up in a while. We meet Max, our heroine, who never expected to find out she was a witch after she graduated high school. But lo and behold, not only does she have powers, her family is actually pretty famous in the witching community, and her grandparents are swimming in cash.

Witch Academy could be fun and exciting, but on the first day, Max already makes enemies out of the current queen bee of the school, and bumps into several guys who each have their unique, interesting personality traits. There’s the typical division: smart but somewhat shy, sexy bad guy, and then two more who don’t make that much of an appearance in this book and weren’t quite that memorable to me. In fact, personality-wise, basically the only one I could tell apart from the others was sexy bad guy. The others are so bland and indescriptive that they might as well be the same person.

So far, the book seems to have everything you’d expect in a reverse harem, right?

Well, it does, but it’s all kind of cringy. The romance is cringy. Everyone Max meets instantly falls in love with her, even willing to put morals and jealousy aside to be with her; they don’t mind if she’s dating multiple guys because she’s Max, the most special snowflake to ever walk this earth.

Max’s special-snowflake behaviour is so annoying. She goes from having no powers to being overpowered in a matter of pages, without actually needing any training. She scarcely spends any time in classes, more often than not hanging out with boys instead.

The villain is a mean girl. Yes, in a world of magic where you could conjure up about any type of villain, the villain Max has to stare down is Sabrina, typical mean girl who used to be queen bee until Max came along, who promptly stole Sabrina’s boyfriend (ex-boyfriend since he dumped Sabrina previously, apparently for cheating on him with his brother… which is exactly what Max ends up doing from the start, out in the open, and he makes no comment about it whatsoever…double standards much?).

The best friend is just filler, and only shows up when Max needs her to, conveniently disappearing at any other moment. The world-building is OK but I’m curious to find out more about this wizarding world and its many families. So far, the school and world feel really, really smal. I would also like to find at least one guy in this series who is NOT instantly falling for Max.

I also picked up book two just because I wanted to see if it would get any better, as despite the mean-girl clichés and Max being a Mary Sue, I am intrigued by the guys and if they will keep swooning over Max or if more drama will come their way. Stay tuned for my review of book two soon.

Book Review and Giveaway Once Upon A Princess Duet


Title: Once Upon A Princess Duet
Author: Deborah A. Bailey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The Once Upon A Princess Duet

In these two sexy paranormal romance “fairy tales,” two princesses find that love with a shifter hero is not without complications – but there is always a happily-ever-after. Includes two complete short novellas.

“Heart of Stone”

In the ruins of a country destroyed by a curse. Princess Leesa goes looking for a way to help her people. Desperate to find an item of value to trade for supplies, she trespasses into an abandoned palace.

There, she finds more than she bargained for when she encounters a lonely Gargoyle who offers to provide her with everything she needs, for a price.

If she’s willing to pay it, she may find the love she’s been looking for. Or she may lose it, forever.

“Beauty & the Faun”

Kayla, a poor young woman runs away when her rich uncle and aunt arrange her marriage to a shifter prince from another land. Her uncle needs gold to settle his debts and the king is offering a great reward if he can obtain a willing bride for his son.

But Kayla’s plans to hide in the Great Forest hit a snag when two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a very sexy faun shifter who is ready to teach Kayla a thing or two about life and love.

Once Upon A Princess Duet is actually a collection of two books: “Heart of Stone” and “Beauty & The Faun”. Both of the books are fairytale romances, meaning they’re paranormal romance but read like fairytales.

In “Heart of Stone,” Princess Leesa is desperate to find a way to help her people, and on her quest to find a valuable item she can trade for supplies, she comes across an abandoned palace. There, she finds a gargoyle, Willem, who is willing to give her everything she needs, for a price. Is Leesa willing to take this risk? I really liked this novella, in particular the gargoyle, who has a quirky, funny personality. I also liked Leesa and how she was willing to sacrifice everything for her people.

The second novella, “Beauty & The Faun” was my favorite of the two. Kayla is a young woman who is, against her will, pushed into an arranged marriage by her aunt and uncle. Desperate to escape, Kayla hides in the Great Forest, where two mischievous fauns find her and deliver her to a faun shifter, who has some plans of his own with her. I really liked Del’s personality, how caring he was and how charming.

Both paranormal romance novellas are excellent, but the second one was my favorite. The writing is excellent overall, and I would recommend this duology to fans of fairy tale romances.

 

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Book Review: Sacred Legacy (Branded Trilogy #3) by Kat Flannery

Title: Sacred Legacy (Branded Trilogy #3)
Author: Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical / Western / Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchantge for an honest review.

Tsura is a Chuvani, and with that comes great power…

Desperate to escape the memories that haunt her, Tsura Harris returns to Jamestown, the very place her mother forbade her to go. A gifted Chuvani, Tsura has sworn off all magick, thus making her vulnerable to the Renoldi clan, who wish to kill her and take the pendant that is the key to her power.
Red Wolf is hell-bent on living his life on the sea, until he runs into Tsura on the docks. His pride wounded from her rejection years before, he hoped to never see her again. But when the evil Corsair, Romulus Black, demands to know where she is, Red Wolf must protect her, as is his duty.
But is duty and honor his only reason, or does Red Wolf still carry a flame of love in his heart? And will Tsura finally discover her destiny?

In this third and final part in the Branded Trilogy, author Kat Flannery goes above and beyond the expectations set forth in the first two books, and delivers a strong, suspenseful story that will put readers on the edge of their seat. I previously reviewed Lakota Honor and Blood Curse, the first two books in the trilogy, and really enjoyed them so needless to say, I was looking forward to reading Sacred Legacy. The book certainly didn’t dissapoint.

Tsura Harris is a gifted Chuvani, a person who can wield magick. However, she has sworn off all magick, which makes her vulnerable to the Renoldi clan who have every intent of killing her. Against her mother’s wishes, Tsura returns to Jamestown. There, she runs into Red Wolf, a man who she rejected years ago. Red Wolf hoped to never see the woman again who wounded his pride in such a terrible way, but when he sees Tsura and learns she’s in danger, Red Wolf knows it’s his duty to protect her.

The story is once again set in a historical setting, and the magick Tsura uses has ties to Native American magick and culture. I really liked the Native American theme throughout in this series. Not a lot of books focus on that setting or culture, and it’s intriguing to learn more about it. As usual, though, the real spotlight is on the characters. They’re complex, intriguing, they have their own quirks and personalities, and they feel like real, living, breathing, people.

I really liked Red Wolf too. He’s a gentle and caring soul, and cares far more for Tsura than he wants to admit, and this made me feel sympathetic towards him.

Readers interested in paranormal romance with a historical setting should definitely check out this book. Even if you haven’t read the previous books in the series, all the stories are stand-alones, so you can just pick one up and dive into the fascinating world author Kat Flannery has created in the Branded Trilogy.

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Book Review and Giveaway Blood Curse

Title: Blood Curse

Author: Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical / Paranormal Romance / Western
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Four years after the Blood Curse, Pril of the Peddlers vows to protect her child against the evil men who hunt her. With her clan unaware of the branded girl among them, Pril has to keep the identity of her daughter a secret. When her child is kidnapped, she is forced to ask Merchant runner, Kade Walker, for his help.

Kade Walker needs to find the gypsy child. Blackmailed and pushed beyond his own moral code, he is determined to do whatever it takes. When he comes across the Peddler clan, he is sure the girl is there, however all hope is lost when the gypsies capture him. Time is running out—until Pril makes him an offer he cannot refuse.

Amidst greed, lust, revenge and love, Pril will need to trust Kade. But as the evil nears and doubt creeps in, will she discover that the enemy has been standing next to her all along?

Even if you haven’t read Lakota Honor, the first book in the trilogy, you can still pick up Blood Curse and enjoy it, because it focuses on a different set of main characters. Pril is a gypsy who lives in Virginia, and who cares for her child – a child who is branded, and possesses strong magic. Others want the child destroyed, but Pril will risk her life to save her. However, saving her might involve more than just risking her own life; she’ll also have to trust Kade Walker.

While Kade vows to protect Pril and the child, this goes against his original plan and when he develops feelings for Pril, they’re not entirely welcomed. He has to focus on his task… Although it’s becoming increasingy harder as he can no longer deny the attraction between them.

The story was solid and well-researched, and the characters were amazing, in particular Pril. She was strong and capable, and extremely brave. The writing was excellent and immediately, I felt like I was part of the story. Fans of paranormal romance and historical romances will love this book.

 
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Book Review: Lakota Honor (Branded Trilogy #1) by Kat Flannery

Title: Lakota Honor (Branded Trilogy #1)
Author: Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical / Western / Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn’t know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.

Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

In Lakota Honor, Nora Rushton lives in the small town of Willow Creek in a historical setting. Nora spends most of her time hidden away in her home. The reason she can’t go outside? Her healing powers that often tend to generate accusations of witchcraft. And her father does his best to protect her, yet at the same time he also resents her, making for a toxic combination.

Nora comes across Lakota native while wandering through the nearby forest. His name is Otakatav and he’s a bounty hunter who, as it turns out, has been hired to kill any people with healing powers – like Nora. Will he be able to fulfill this quest?

Nora has a strong personality and her love for others shines through and makes her come across as very sympathetic. She’s willing to risk herself to put others first, and she has a very admirable personality. I really liked her, and I also really enjoyed the book. It was a fast read, and once I started, I didn’t want to finish.

 

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Book Review: Cry Wolf by Greta Stone

Title: Cry Wolf

Author: Greta Stone

Genre: M/M Urban fantasy

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Everything you know is a lie.

Peter is a kitsune. Chaos follows him wherever he goes. Good intentions, bad intentions—it doesn’t matter. Even mimicking the howl of a friend he hasn’t seen in over a decade turns out to have disastrous consequences.

The wolf doesn’t have a name. For now, he goes by Luca. He has no past, and as an escaped slave, if he can’t stay hidden in the shadows, he’ll have no future. When someone steals his howl, he’s drawn to investigate, and ends up saddled with a mouthy fox who insists they used to be friends once upon a time.

Petty problems and a dubious reunion are pushed aside the longer they’re stranded together. The Underwood is a dangerous place.

They have two choices: work together or die.

Join Greta Stone in a dark paranormal MM romance retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and David P. Mannix’s classic novel, The Fox and the Hound.

In Cry Wolf, Peter is a kitsune, a fox shifter, who has chaos following him wherever he goes. Luca is a wolf who has no past and likely no future either, if he can’t stay hidden in the shadows. When someone steals his howl, he’s forced to investigate, and that leads him to Peter, a fox who insists he and Luca used to be friends, once upon a time.

Reminiscent of the story of The Fox and the Hound, and set in The Underwood, a dangerous yet fabulous place with fabulous world-building, this is an excellent story for people who enjoy dark paranormal romance, fables, and MM romance.

The suspense was there from the first page, and the pacing was high from the start, and never slowed down. This is an excellent book and I can’t recommend it enough.

 

Book Review and Giveaway Trolling by Emma Brady

Title: Trolling

Author: Emma Brady

Genre: Romance / Urban Fantasy

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Lily Faye-Richardson thought her bad luck was ending when she and her sisters inherited her uncle’s house. Finding a green man chained in the basement changed that. Now she must trust this sexy troll to take her into a magical kingdom and rescue the only family she has.
Theno woke up with missing pieces to his memory but an angel saving him. When her sisters are kidnapped, he is willing to do anything to help her in return. The problem is, if he can’t remember who he is, how can he trust himself not to hurt her?
Together, the two of them will go to the land of Tammara to bring back the other Faye girls. They will have to face an Evil Queen, who wants to find the door and cross over into the human world. There is also the matter of an intense sexual attraction between them and the need for Theno to discover his identity. Does a troll get to have a happy ending?

In Trolling, Lily Faye-Richardson and her sisters inherited her uncle’s house. For Lily, it’s a sign her bad luck is finally turning around… Until she finds a green man chained in the basement of her new home. Turns out he’s a troll named Theno. When Lily’s sisters are kidnapped, he’s willing to risk everything to help her find her sisters back.

Together, Lily and Theno head to the land of Tammara to bring back Lily’s sisters, all the while trying to deny the growing sexual attraction between the two of them…

Lily and Theno were great. They had instant chemistry which only intensified as the story progressed. However, what I enjoyed even more than the romantic interaction, was the world-building. You don’t often see trolls in fantasy literature (people tend to think of trolls as ugly) so that was an original twist. I also enjoyed getting to know the land of Tammara and its inhabitants. The story is creative and imaginative.

Lily was my favorite character. She was willing to do anything to save her sisters, and I really admired that.

I would recommend this book to all fantasy of romance and fantasy fiction.

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Book Review: Deathly Unloved by Annee Cooper

Title: Deathly Unloved
Author: Annee Cooper
Genre: YA LGBT paranormal romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Being raised as a nephilim has its drawbacks when you’re only quarter angel. Now it’s getting dangerous.

Rune’s always known about the angel blood that runs through her veins. A gift—or a curse—from her halfling mother. She thinks she knows who she is. She’s wrong. After a kiss with a stranger completes a sacred ritual, she’s forced to accept the other side of her heritage. And the lust for souls that comes with it. Now this gorgeous seductress is on a hunt to find others like her and discover the truth about her past. But with her hunger growing insatiable, does she have more to worry about than making friends?

 

   Rune has angel blood running through her veins. It’s a gift, or a curse depending on your point of view, from her halfling mother. Rune thinks she knows who she is, but she doesn’t know the secret side of her heritage until a kiss with a stranger completed a sacred ritual. Now she’s on the hunt to find others like her, and discover the truth about her past and who she truly is.

Rune is amazing, and I love how she’s not half angel (which you see quite often) but only one fourth angel, and her other heritage is equally as interesting. I don’t often read LGBT books for young adults, not by choice but because the majority of the books out there for the YA audience isn’t LGBT.  I enjoyed reading this kind of book, in particular how while it features this theme it also has a solid background story and excellent worldbuilding.

I would recommend this book to all YA fans who also love fantasy.

Book Review: For Love and Fear by L.D Carson

Title: For Love and Fear
Author: L.D. Carson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome to Pathoca, a land whose gods and magic rule over the realm of emotions and thought. But don’t be fooled, the mortals are not the only ones susceptible to their pathos.

After a brutal war destroyed everything he held dear, the god of fear has disappeared into hiding. But the persistence of one mortal may be the key to bringing him back to power. Are they both willing to make the sacrifices it will take?

 

In Pathoca, gods and magic rule of the realm of emotions and thoughts, but they’re not immune to either of those. The god of fear has gone into hiding after a brutal war destroyed everything he’s once loved. But one mortal’s persistence may be the key to bringing him back in power, if they’re both willing to sacrifice everything.

The god of fear, Frykstra, never expected anyone would be willing to serve him again. But one faithful night, he meets Bakrin, and she’s willing to become his worshiper. In fact, she insists on it. The two of them form an unlikely match, but it’s intriguing to see the relationship between them develop. Frykstra is cold and detached at first, but he gradually warms up to her.

The writing was solid, and the pacing very fast. The book was just slightly over 100 pages but a fast read I could easily finish in one sitting. The world-building was interesting, with the gods and myths, and the characterization worked well too. Recommended to fans of paranormal romance.