Review of Star Witch by Helen Harper

Star Witch
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Book 2
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 334

Date Started: November 18, 2017
Date Finished: November 19, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Ivy Wilde, the laziest witch in the West, is still entangled with the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. That’s not a bad thing, however, because it gives her plenty of excuses to spend more time with sapphire eyed Raphael Winter, her supposed nemesis. And when he comes knocking because he needs her to spy on the latest series of Enchantment, she jumps at the chance. Hanging around a film set can’t be hard … or dangerous … right?

Review:
The relationships in this novel were spot on! Not just Ivy and Rafe, but the interactions between all the characters were realistic and believable. Seeing Ivy thrown into an uncomfortable situation and need to adapt while Rafe stays nearby, their reactions to each other gave as much entertainment as the reality show bits they were supposed to be enthralled with.

I didn’t see this coming, her going on the television show that had been hinted about in the first book, but once more was learned about the television show, how it was essentially survivor meets people needing to use magic, it sounds like something I would also want to watch. Because of this reality television section, the mysteries were multiplied, and I am not ashamed to admit that I hadn’t figured out who it was before the reveal.

Like any book series, I do have a favourite character. While I empathize with Ivy, wanting to get results without work (who wouldn’t want to do that?!) I LOVE Brutus.

I loved this second book, and I couldn’t wait to read the next in the series! It’s a great series, and one I highly recommend!

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

Review of Slouch Witch by Helen Harper

Slouch Witch
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Book 1
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 342

Date Started: November 14, 2017
Date Finished: November 18, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Hard Work Will Pay Off Later. Laziness Pays Off Now. 

Let’s get one thing straight – Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she’s probably the last witch in the world who you’d call if you needed a magical helping hand. If it were down to Ivy, she’d spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart’s content.

However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she’s yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order’s noses.

It doesn’t exactly help that she’s been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy’s concerned, he’s a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.

And if he makes her go to the gym again, she’s definitely going to turn him into a frog.

Review:
I put off reading this book. It was recommended to me by a good friend that previously recommended a series I really didn’t care for. This time, he was on the mark, and I am in love!

Laziness can only get you so far in life, that is, unless you develop your own hacks to make life that much easier. When suddenly stuck with a workaholic, Ivy is forced to get up and move a lot more than she’s used to.

This novel has some great characters, one of which is Brutus, a cat. While I won’t spoil anything, most will find that Brutus is probably what their own cat must be like. Cats are definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Getting to explore Ivy’s past while she works with Wintry was well done without any parts that were simply thrown in–Ivy never tells Wintry what happened in the past, allowing him to either believe the lies spread, or figure it out himself.

I love one of the messages of this story– you may take a different job, but you can’t change who you are.

If you like magic with a dab of mystery, this book was made for you. I absolutely love it!

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

Review of The Mermaid Bride by Lidiya Foxglove

The Mermaid Bride
Fairy Tale Heat 6
By Lidiya Foxglove

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 164

Date Started: October 27, 2017
Date Finished: October 29, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
I was never a conventional sort of mermaid. I’ve been a scavenger and a thief. The surface world has always called to me, and now I’m not the thief, but the prize; my memories lost, my tail turned to legs. In this strange new land, my protector is none other than Prince Wrindel of the high elves. They say Wrindel is a playboy, but he feels so familiar to me. He says he is saving me from a witch, but he can’t tell me anything more. Is he my savior…or did he steal me from the sea?

When I am in his arms, I hardly care. Every sensation of my newborn body is like nothing I’ve felt before, and the more he shows me of his world, the more I never want to return to the ocean. I just can’t shake the nagging feeling that I left something—or someone behind. How did I get here? Who is this witch? And if she is my enemy, why did she deliver me into the arms of a handsome prince?

I’m not the first mermaid to live at the Palace of Waterfalls. The pools and fountains of this famous palace of water hold dark secrets, and if I don’t unlock them, we might never find happiness. But unlocking the secrets might also mean giving up my newfound legs, and I will have to choose between losing the man I love or being his willing captive…

The Mermaid Bride is a standalone fairy tale combining elements of The Little Mermaid and the mermaid/selkie bride tales of Ireland, for those who like an unabashedly adorable happily ever after with a side of serious steaminess! 

Review:
Oh my goodness. Ms. Foxglove has hit her mark, and I believe this to be her very best of all that I’ve read from her so far.

The combination of The Little Mermaid and selkies is excellently done, adding an extra element and depth to the mermaid’s story that wasn’t there before. What was even more awesome, was that all of the side characters were well developed and fun too. I enjoyed her sisters, and the sea witch– oh the sea witch. The Sea Witch was phenomenal. Is she good? Is she evil? What is she exactly? Read to find out.

The romance is stunning. While Prince Wrindel may have been a playboy it’s difficult for our heroine to care, given how dedicated and attentive he is. Together, they have quite the mystery to solve, while he teaches her the mysteries of her own body.

This book was short, but it was every bit as long as it needed to be absolutely amazing.  If you like fairy tale retellings and romance, this book will be absolutely perfect for you. It’s my favourite by Foxglove so far.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Lidiya Foxglove likes her fairy tales to be very naughty indeed. She grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore and fantasy and loves the swoon-worthy romance and happily ever afters, but thinks the best fairy tales also have the thrill of forbidden desires. If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Come hang out with her on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/Lidiya-Foxglove-1702249670069437/
Contact: lidiyafoxglove@lidiyafoxglove.com

Review of Fausta Borja’s Beauty and the Beast by Fausta Borja

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 296
Season Read: Fall

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
Folks wonder what sort of woman I am, that I would sell myself to The Beast.

Cursed with a hideous form, the mysterious La Bête never leaves his enchanted castle. No matter: his riches are as endless as the steady stream of women willing to serve him. Those women say his appetites are as monstrous as his visage.

I may be young and innocent, but I am also practical. Five chests of gold for one year of servitude seems fair. Especially when my family is desperate for money.

When La Bête needs a new woman and offers for one of my father’s daughters, my family accepts his terms.

I am the willing sacrifice.

But La Bête is unlike any man I’ve ever known.

And I am about to learn what it means to love a beast.

Review:
Beauty in this novel comes from a very large family, that isn’t doing so well. With a couple of sisters and a couple of brothers, as the eldest sister she’s expected to do her part to help gain the family fortune. Despite what she’s willing to do for her family, it is obvious that they see her as many see others–the ends to a means, which is, for what they can get from her. This makes for an interesting dynamic as she meets and gets to know the Beast.

I do like that Beauty is smart, and has interests, however, there was quite a bit of backstory shoved in with the regular story. In some parts, it is told in a way that flows well with the story, but in others it is haphazardly thrown together in more of a tell instead of show way.  While the past is very important, it did feel as if she was reciting the same things again and again, which while that may be a realistic thing to do, it got grating after a while.

I loved the beggar woman she met in town. She was well done, and it was neat to have one person on Beauty and the Beast’s side. The other secondary characters, unfortunately, were mostly stock characters.

The reason the Beast became the Beast was interesting and well thought out, and I thought it flowed well with the rest of the story.  Getting to learn the tale was quite satisfying after reading for so long–it did not disappoint.

Overall, I thought this was a fairly decent book. It was over a bit soon, the conflict resolved a bit too easily, and some character depth for secondary characters would have been nice, but altogether it was a good tale.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
There is no info on Fausta Borja on Amazon.