Charmed (The Donovan Legacy #3)

Charmed

Summary:

Her legacy had been as much a curse as a blessing, so Anastasia Donovan had learned to keep it hidden. But when single dad Boone Sawyer swept into her heart, she longed to reveal everything despite her fear of the consequences. Then fate stepped in… (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This was my least favorite in the series, which is surprising because Jessi is adorable and Boone is an intriguing character.  I think I didn’t feel as swept away by this one because Anastasia’s gift is much more ambiguous.  While Anastasia can calm and soothe, she isn’t as flashy or clear as to what she is doing.  Unlike Sebastian and Morgana who are willing to explain to those who are interested, Anastasia lets herself stay closed off after being hurt once in the past.

The fun thing was seeing how things developed for the other couples and seeing them settle into their relationship.  I also adored the moments getting insight into Anastasia’s garden.  Reading about gardens like this always makes me want to get into some planting.  Still recommended to those checking out the series!

Warning: Contains sexual content.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Romance fans who like the flair of subtle fantasy thrown in.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Captivated (The Donovan Legacy #1)
  • Entranced (The Donovan Legacy #2)
  • Enchanted (The Donovan Legacy #4)

The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island

 Summary:

Five Union prisoners escape from the siege of Richmond in a balloon, are blown off course and crash on an uncharted island. They must learn to rebuild a society for themselves while awaiting rescue. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

What is so great about Verne’s books are that he seems to almost never run out of natural phenomena to explore.  Although I find it hard to believe that Smith’s crew has exactly the skills required to survive and even flourish in such a landscape, it does make it a fantastic story.  (Then again folks were much more resourceful than their modern counterparts these days.) The mystery of the island is incredibly subtle and I love how it slowly unravels throughout the book until culminating in the last few chapters.

I think this is a book that you could read and re-read many times over and still find something new to observe of understand.  Much like “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” you have to enjoy the book for challenges that the characters work through in of themselves rather than rushing towards the ending of the book.  If you’re one who wants a quick-fix, this won’t be an enjoyable read.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of adventure, slow build and an adventure for adventure’s sake.

The Sworn Virgin

The Sworn Virgin

Summary:

Dukes’s gripping historical novel tells the tale of a desperate Albanian woman who will do whatever it takes to keep her independence and seize control of her future…even if it means swearing to remain a virgin for her entire life.

When eighteen-year-old Eleanora’s father is shot dead on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Albania, Eleanora must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Meria.

Nearing starvation, Meria secretly sells Eleanora into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Intent on keeping her freedom, Eleanora takes an oath to remain a virgin for the rest of her life—a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household and can work for a living as well as carry a gun. Eleanora can also participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed—unless she forsakes her vow, which she has no intention of ever doing.

But when an injured stranger stumbles into her life, Eleanora nurses him back to health, saving his life—yet risking her own as she falls in love with him… (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins where I voluntarily chose to write a review

Review:

This was a very intriguing book in that I’m not sure that it was like anything else I have read.  That being said, I found it very difficult to relate to Eleanora and was frustrated by her decisions to be extremely selfish at times.  It was tough, because Eleanora was trying to be an independent and strong woman, but really tripped up multiple times throughout the book.  She is quite young, and does manage to grow throughout the story.  I was expecting the book to go in a different direction based on the description, but instead we follow Eleanora over two years in her life and she is forced to decide if she'll reject or embrace her cultural heritage.

What I did enjoy about the book was the imagery and exploration of a culture and geography that I know nothing about.  In 1910, it’s interesting to hear how Albania balanced the old and new ways of life, like so many other countries at the turn of the century.  

Warning: Contains repeated violence and sexual content.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Anyone interested in historical novels.

Melting Stones (Circle Reforged #2)

Melting Stones

Summary:

Evvy, a young stone mage in training, is accompanying her mentor, Rosethorn, and another dedicate from Winding Circle while they investigate mysterious happenings on the island of Starns. Her job is to listen and learn, but, being Evvy, she can't just keep quiet and do nothing. With the help of Luvo, the rock being she befriended at her home in Yanjing, Evvy discovers the source of the problem — a long-dormant volcano. Now she and her friends must save the islanders from impending disaster — if only Evvy can use her talents to avert the certain destruction that looms ahead. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

Although I know that Evvy is supposed to be a victim of post-traumatic stress, I found her a fairly unlikeable character.  Considering she was one of my favorites in the Circle Opens quartet, that was surprising.  Rosethorn was even fairly subdued and didn’t seem like her old self.  I am planning to read “Battle Magic” where we learn what happened to them (and perhaps will make me more understanding), but after this one I feel meh about continuing the series right away.

This book had a decent premise, but since Evvy is a character we don’t know as well as the original quartet her interactions with everyone also felt a little unclear and one-dimensional.  All around the book was an ok read, but nothing that’s a must read.  I will eventually read “Battle Magic” and perhaps after that I’ll feel more connected to “Melting Stones”.

Warning: Contains violence.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of the overall Circle of Magic stories only.

Want to read the whole series?

  • The Will of the Empress (Circle Reforged #1)
  • Battle Magic (Circle Reforged #3)