Book Review: Kedesha by Ohad Pele Ezrahi

Title: Kedesha: A Timeless Tale of a Love Priestess
Author: Ohad Pele Ezrahi
Genre: Middle-Eastern, Ancient World, Historical Fiction, Romance, Historical Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sacred sexual rituals bring Tara’s soul to the ancient Temple of Astarte

Tara is a young American who travels to Jerusalem, where she meets Yoni, a handsome Israeli who is a sexual shaman. Yoni and his wife Hagar take Tara on journeys of deep self revelation, using ancient rituals and sacred sexuality, that link her soul to the ancient Temple of Astarte, which stood in Jerusalem before the monotheistic revolution of the 7th century BC.

A priest of Yahweh is pitted against the ancient temple priestesses

In a parallel story, a sexually frustrated priest of Yahweh vows to destroy Astarte’s temple and her sexual rites. An ancient sacred scroll surfaces containing orders to wipe out any form of worship other than that of Yahweh.

Ancient and modern religions merge at the nexus of spiritual sexual secrets

Who wrote this early tome that so deeply influenced the history of religion and of the world? How did the Love Goddess priestesses respond to attempts to destroy their path? With magical vibrations, the author weaves together ancient history and modern fiction and sweeps the reader into secret chambers where sexuality and sacredness meet in awe. This book will change the way you see the history of the world, religion, culture, and sexuality.


In Kedesha, young American girl Tara travels to Jersulam where she meets Yoni and his wife. Both of them, and in particular Yoni, take Tara on a journey of self-discovery, of growth and of  acceptance, using ancient rituals and sacred sexuality–and accepting her own sexuality, which was long banned by religion that saw female sexuality as something demonic.

The story is a postivie one, with a deeply influential message and a journey of growth, of one’s mind and spirit. In this book, the author relays that it’s okay to enjoy oneself, that it’s all right to derive pleasure from the joy of feeling alive, from the pleasures that life – and in particular, sex – can give. Our body is not just a body, it’s part of us, of who we are, of our soul and spirit.

This book is not for everyone and if you’re not very open about sexuality, some parts of this book could definitely make you blush or feel a little awkward. Despite that, it’s definitely worth reading and quite an eye-opener.


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: Fields of Gold Beneath Pairie Skies by Suzanne deMontigny

Title: Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies
Author: Suzanne deMontigny
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

French-Canadian soldier, Napoleon, proposes to Lea during WWI, promising golden fields of wheat as far as the eye can see. After the armistice, he sends money for her passage, and she journeys far from her family and the conveniences of a modern country to join him on a homestead in Saskatchewan. There, she works hard to build their dream of a prospering farm, clearing fields alongside her husband through several pregnancies and even after suffering a terrible loss. When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are stricken by a long and abysmal drought. Thrown into poverty, she struggles to survive in a world where work is scarce, death is abundant, and hope dwindles. Will she and her family survive the Great Depression?

Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies tells the story of the author’s grandparents and their struggles during the grand depression. Frnech-Canadian soldier Napoleon proposes to the love of his life, Lea, during World War I. He promises her fields of gold (wheat) beneath the prairie skies – hence the title of the book. Lea believes him and journeys away from her family, away from modern conveniences, to join Napoleon on a homestead in Saskatchewan. Prairie life is not what Lea imagined it would be and although she works hard to build her dream of a prospering farm, life is far from fairytale-perfect. When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are hit by a long, terrible drought, and Lea and her family are thrown into poverty. Can they survive the Great Depressoin?

God, life on the prairie put me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I felt joy for the small victories Lea and her family had, and for the loving, caring moments they cherished. Sometimes I had to hold in my tears as I saw how tough life was for them, how impossible the odds seemed, how they had to deal with tragedy and loss.

The writing was excellent, and made the setting and characters come alive on the pages. I really felt as if I was transported back in time, as if this family became my own family during the duration of the book. Fans of historical novels should definitely pick up this book.



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Book Review and Giveaway: To Dodge a Duke

Title: To Dodge a Duke
Author: Naomi Boom
Genre: Historical Romance / Regency
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

When a duke gets a chance to pursue a lady as someone else, he would be a fool not to take it.

Logan Eastworth, the Tenth Duke of Waking, returns to England to find a woman to marry. When Miss Eleanor Ashford assumes he holds the title of baronet, he does not correct her error. Instead, he plays on her misconception and arranges a house party where he can make her fall for him and not his title.

Miss Ashford desires a marriage of convenience to an earl or higher. Not to some low-life baronet with an estate in the far reaches of England. She has no time for love, even if the green-eyed baronet with a charming smile tries to convince her otherwise.

Miss Ashford has a choice to make. To wed a duke or the baronet setting her heart aflame. Her choice might not be as simple as she believes.

While this is the second book in a series, the Entangled Nobility series, I had no problem following the story or connecting with the characters despite not having read the first book. This makes me believe all books can be read as stand-alones, and probably focus on different characters.

Anyway, on to To Dodge a Duke. Logan Eastworth is the tenth Duke of Waking. However, upon his return to England, Miss Eleanor Ashford assumes he’s a baronet rather than a duke, and he’s not keen to correct her error. In fact, Logan is more interested in getting her to fall for him rather than his title.

Eleanor, on the other hand, wants a marriage of convenience. Rather than a baronet, she’s aiming for someone with the title of earl or higher… Until she starts developing feelings for a certain baronet, and all the things that once seemed crystal clear become hard choices she has to make. Will she marry for convenience, or for love?

The chemistry between Logan and Eleanor seemed very real, and both characters were realistic and intriguing. I particularly liked Logan, he had a certain dashing charm about him. The writing was fluent, and the settings were described well enough that I could picture myself there.

Recommended to fans of historical romance.

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Book Review: Scent of the Past by Erin Marie Bernardo

Title: Scent of the Past
Author: Erin Marie Bernardo
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Scent of the Past by Erin Marie Bernardo
A secret diary. A forgotten past. Another time.

When people think of time travel, they think of the clichéd manufactured kind. Of giant electronic machines with flashing lights and buttons calibrated to shoot you into the past with one press. But it doesn’t work that way. You need a reason, a connection, and—most important—a link. But you can’t choose when and why you go. That would be too easy, and we’d all be snapping our fingers in hopes of seeing lost treasures of yesteryear. It must choose you.
Close cousins Addison and Elissa live in present day New York City and lead somewhat ordinary lives. When uncertain circumstances surrounding a set of antique perfume bottles sends them back to eighteenth-century France, they must uncover the truth behind their travel.

Disaster strikes when Addison finds herself in a nearly identical situation to a mishap she experienced in the present—the witnessing of a murder and release of a secret. Only this time the truth could destroy the entire French monarchy. With Addison’s head on the line, the young women search for answers before Addison suffers her unlucky fate twice. It is only when they discover the haunting connections to life in the present, that they understand why they both were sent, and why a repeating past…may not always be such a bad thing.

Scent of the Past isn’t an average time travel story. It focuses on two cousins with a rather unique bond, Addison and Elissa. They both live pretty ordinary life in modern day New York City. Elissa and Addison coudln’t be more different, yet they share an unique connection and they get along really well. When a set of antique perfume bottles sends the cousins back to eighteenth-century France, they must find out why they’ve been sent back in time, and what their puposes is, here in the folds of history. When the cousins discover haunting connections to life in present day, they start to understand their true purpose of having been sent there…

My favorite parts were the historical parts. The author described the setting well, and made me really feel like I was part of history. Obviously, a lot of research went into creating this book, and it shows.

There’s also some romance, and that too is intermixed with the time travel element, rebirth and past lives, and I really liked that, it made me think about things I hadn’t considered before when reading time travel book.

Along with engaging characters and a believable historical setting, this book also offers solid writing. Escape into the past for a while, and enjoy reading.
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Book Review: Rahab and Joshua – A Biblical Love Story

Title: Rahab and Joshua: A Biblical Love Story
Author: Rivka Gonen
Genre: Biblical, Religious Fiction, Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

An ancient riddle waiting to be solved

The story of Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, and the Israelite spies she hid in her home is well-known to readers of the Bible. Nevertheless, readers are left not knowing who Rahab really was and why did she betray her own people.

Rahab, the harlot of Jericho: A tale of survival, courage, and loveRahab and Joshua – A Love Story

follows the story of Rahab, who was raped when she was a young girl and had to spend her life as a concubine and a prostitute. Growing up among a clan of Hebrew shepherds near Jericho she had always felt a connection to her religious heritage. A dramatic encounter with Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve spies sent by Moses to Canaan, challenges this special bond. Will this primordial cord help create an allegiance between Rahab and her clan of shepherds and their fellow Israelites?

A dangerous promise and an epic love story

When Rahab and her father, on a pilgrimage to their ancestral tomb of Abraham at the Cave of Machpela in Hebron, meet Joshua and Caleb, the old Hebrew bond rekindles. Rahab’s father makes a promise that will jeopardize the safety of his entire family. Against all odds, Joshua and Rahab fall in love during the encounter in the cave. In the face of the risks of hiding in Jericho and during the bloody conquest of the city, will the promise be kept? Will their love endure? In Rahab and Joshua – A Love Story, the Biblical story comes to life in a beautifully written and lucid prose.

In Rahab and Joshua: A Biblical Love Story, as the title suggest, we get a retelling of the story of Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, and the Israelite spies she hid in her home. I’ve only read this bible story once or twice, and I didn’t remember much of it, but I liked that this book dove deeper into the story and expanded it, turning Rahab into a genuine person with a background story, ambitions and desires.

Rahab was raped as a young girl, and since then, spent her life as a concubine and prostitute. She’s always felt a connection to her religious heritage, a bond that is severely challenged when she meets Joshua and Caleb, two spies sent by Moses to Canaan. Rahab’s father pormises something to the spies that could jeapordize the safety of Rahab’s entire family. Rahab and Joshua fall for each other… But is their love strong enough to withstand the conquest of Jericho?

The story is well-written, multi-layered and complex. The only part I wasn’t convinced about was the love story. I’m not a fan of insta-love, and don’t really find it very credible, so I wasn’t too convinced about it here either. The editing could also be a little tighter throughout the book.

Nevertheless, it offered an interesting background story for one of the most unique characters mentioned in the Bible, with a solid historical setting and decent writing.

Book Review: No Quarter: Wenches (Volume 1) by MJL Evans and GM O’Connor

Title: No Quarter: Wenches – Volume 1

Author: MJL Evans and GM O’Connor

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

Volume 1 of 6 begins in 1689 Port Royal, Jamaica, where Atia Crisp is imprisoned, awaiting trial, while refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation seek their new home. Guided by Capitaine la Roche, they face pursuit by the pirate hunter Big Dick and the perilous terrain of Bocas del Toro. Their future home of Sérénité hangs in the balance, complicated by the outbreak of war with France.

Series Description:

The adventures from No Quarter: Dominium continue with wenches! In 1689, Atia Crisp finds herself imprisoned in the wickedest city on earth, Port Royal, Jamaica, while the refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation in the Blue Mountains are on the run and seeking a new home, deep in the Caribbean. Captain Jean-Paul la Roche must get them to safety and find a way to liberate the woman he loves while waging a war against the English with the pirate Laurens de Graaf.

While besieged people suffer and starve, a group of women form a secret and illegal society deep from within the bowels of the city called: WENCH. A network that deals with smugglers, merchants, cutthroats and thieves. Dragged into the struggle for supremacy of the Caribbean, the women are divided and find themselves engulfed in bloodshed. The pirates of Port Royal and former enemies may be their only hope of escape.

Hell hath no fury like a cross wench!

A few months ago, I reviewed No Quarter: Dominium (Volume 1) by MJL Evans and GM O’Connor. I really enjoyed that book, so I was curious to read this new book in the series. However, it was a bit confusing to me where exactly No Quarter: Wenches fit into the series. Was it a sequel to Dominium? Was it a new series? It did feature the same characters… So after some digging around, No Quarter: Wenches is a follow up of Dominium, but not exactly a sequel. The book I read has several volumes following it (Dominium has six volumes total), and is then followed by Wenches.

So, if you want to read the series in order, which I plan to do once I get some spare time, you have to read all six volumes of Dominium first, and then pick up Wenches. Wenches too, exists of several volumes. If I’m not mistaken, Volume 1-3 are out there, and volume 4-6 are still to be written. The series order is a little complicated at first, but now I’ve got the hang of it, I’m actually quite fond of the format. It reminds me of a TV series, with each volume being an episode, and each subseries (Dominium and Wenches) another season.

Anyway, back to the book at hand. The book takes place in Port Royal, Jamaica in 1689, September. Atia Crisp, the heroine we’ve known since the previous book, is awaiting trial in prison. At the same time, refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation in the Blue Mountains are on the run seeking a new home, guided by Captain La Roche.

The book is impressive in how well it combines historical conflict with fiction and romance. On the one hand, you have Atia, Captain La Roche, and their troubles, but this is all against the backdrop of war between pirates, the French, English and Spanish troops. Everyone is practically an enemy of everyone. While Atia is imprisoned in Port Royal, the city is under siege by the French for example, who are attacking it with their ships.

I really enjoyed the connection between the characters, their depths and motivations – although there’s a large cast, all characters feel three-dimensional and realistic. I hope some of the characters get more depth in the following books, and we get to know them better, but I already felt like the authors did a good job making them seem like real people. The historical setting works well too, and the writing is fast-paced and engaging. Fans of pirate stories and series like Black Sails (and the more light-hearted movies like Pirates of the Caribbean) will love this series.


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Book Review: Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O. Howard

Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.

But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.

Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.

The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.

Lalin Bonheur is an extraordinary book. Set in New Orlean in the 1800s, it’s the story of Lalin, an extraordinary woman in an extraordinary era. Lalin is a healer, a voodoo priestess, a girl who can shapeshift and who knows things she shouldn’t know. Lalin meets Etienne Legendre, a French aristocraft who becomes her protector.

When Etienne’s wife dies under mysterious circumstances and he’s charged with murder, Lalin helps him scape from jail. Unfortunately they run from one danger into the next, and Lalin needs to use all the magic she knows to protect them both.

This was an intriguing book, not just because it focuses on a mixed-race relationship, but also because of its focus on voodoo and magic. I’ve always been intrigued by voodoo, and I enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about it.

The writing and storytelling was excellent, and the author managed to describe the historical period well, making me feel as if I’d actually transported back in time to New Orleans in 1830. Fans of magical realism and paranormal mysteries will enjoy this book.

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