Review of Veiled Threat by Helen Harper

Veiled Threat
Highland Magic Book 3
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 244

Date Started: November 26, 2017
Date Finished: November 28, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Integrity Taylor has regained possession of her ancestral lands – and inherited a whole host of new problems. The spectre of what really happened to her parents is casting a shadow over everything while Fomori demons are being sighted up and down the Highlands. It doesn’t help that Aifric Moncrieffe still seems determined to see her dead and emerald eyed Byron remains stubbornly blind to his father’s true nature.

Integrity is determined to stay in control of her own destiny, however, even if it means confronting the darkness across the Veil yet again. And at least she’s still got a sense of humour…

Review:
Integrity continues to try to learn about her ancestors but always keeps her personality about her. While her joking might be annoying to those around her, I found it endearing that no matter the situation, her sense of humor remains.

While many keep speaking of a prophesy, it’s obvious that those around her understand that Integrity cares about the clanless and that she’s willing to help anyone who asks. Though she seems surprised that so many are willing to abandon their lives to be with her, it makes sense that those who were otherwise unprotected would want help from someone who understands their plight and has lived like they have.

Despite the heartache and distrust, this is an intriguing continuation of Integrity’s story, and a great set up for the end novel.

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.

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Review of Honour Bound by Helen Harper

Honour Bound
Highland Magic Book 2
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 290

Date Started: November 24, 2017
Date Finished: November 26, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Integrity Taylor should have been a Clan princess. Instead she’s lived a life on the very periphery of society. Now that she’s learnt more about her heritage, however, and the magic that she’s capable of wielding, she’s not going to hide in the shadows any longer. The once-in-a-generation Sidhe Games are going to provide the perfect opportunity for her to win back her birthright – and the fact that she’ll be going head to head, toe to toe and mouth to mouth with golden haired Byron Moncrieffe might just be the icing on the cake.

Review:
This book enthralled me and got me invested far quicker than the first in the series. Watching Integrity try to fit in with the people she’d been a pariah to, and seeing how she slowly gained other’s trust was interesting.

Bob was great in this book, and I quickly came to like Angus as well. While it seems that Byron and Integrity may be fated to be together I certainly wouldn’t mind her spending more time with Angus.

There’s a great set up behind the veil for the next book and this book is quite action packed. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the games since it seemed like an excuse to get all the sidhe together, but I found the interactions of contestants entertaining and quite a good addition to the story line, allowing characters previously thought as one sided villains to be more fleshed out.

Did find a couple of grammatical errors, but perhaps only two. While the story wasn’t thrilling, it was decent, and while parts of the challenge didn’t seem original (because many series have challenges perhaps) they weren’t necessarily bad.

The ending has a twist I didn’t expect(more like hoped for yet didn’t think it would come to fruition), but it set up an interesting dynamic between Integrity and Byron for the book 3.

 

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 Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

Gifted Thief
Highland Magic Book 1
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 348

Date Started: November 22, 2017
Date Finished: November 24, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Orphan. Runaway. Thief.

Since the moment I was ripped from my mother’s womb, I’ve been an outcast amongst my own kind. The Sidhe might possess magical Gifts, unbelievable wealth and unfathomable power but I don’t want a thing to do with them. I ran away from their lands in the Highlands of Scotland when I was eleven years old and I’ve never looked back. I don’t need a Clan. I’ve got my own family of highly skilled thieves who mean more to me than any Sidhe ever could.

Unfortunately for me, the playboy heir to the Moncrieffe Clan has something I desperately need. To get it back, I’m going to have to plunge myself back into that world, no matter what the consequences may be. I suppose it’s just as well I have sense of humour. I think I’m going to need it.

Review:
Perhaps I was too lost in The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic world because I found this hard to get into. While the setup wasn’t bad, it took me quite a while to feel connected with the story.

I enjoyed Integrity’s determination and loyalty to her morals and her family. She’s a good heroine that’s easy to empathize with. I found the secondary characters equally amusing. Although some might find that they treat each other callously, I thought the way her real family interacts was realistic.

It was frustrating that at one point she gained great leverage, but then did nothing with it– it was as if it only mattered for that one chapter. While it served to bring forward other things, it was annoying to not see more happen because of it.

Towards the end I started to become more invested in the novel, but it seemed over too soon, with nothing truly resolved. A good set up for the next book, but not exactly satisfying. Although it may seem there are a decent number of pages in the book, the end of the book is a preview of the next in the series.

I plan to read the entire series, but I do not think it’s on par with The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic. Slow to start, but once I became involved, I looked forward to seeing what else might happen.

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 Chosen By the Prince by Calyope Adams

Chosen By the Prince
By Calyope Adams

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical/Medieval Romance
Number of Pages: 300

Date Started: November 21, 2017
Date Finished: November 21, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)

He can choose only one woman. He chose her…

Spoiled socialite Jillian is at the Royal Palace for a party when the King’s Advisor pulls her aside. He informs her that she’s been selected to be the Prince’s personal plaything for the remainder of her days, or until he releases her from servitude. It is her duty as a loyal subject to try and please him, no matter what the cost to her pride.

Jillian stares at the handsome Prince in shock as the guards lock the jewel encrusted collar around her neck. He doesn’t even like her!

He’s been giving her odd, dark looks for years. What she doesn’t realize is that he’s been biding his time, waiting for her to grow up, to be ready to be Chosen By The Prince… 

Review:
Bad. The one word I can think to describe this novel is bad. The characters aren’t fleshed out, and the plot is all over the place. There are three distinct different “issues” that must be gone through, but together it feels as if these could have been three short stories about three different sets of people instead of thrown together in one book. Firstly, Jillian and the Prince don’t get along, and she feels she has to do what he wants to keep her family safe. Secondly, Jillian’s past comes back for vengeance. Thirdly, the prince’s future attacks due to jealously/envy as well. When finally the third part is resolved, one wonders why the Prince wouldn’t have taken that path once the first major issue or second were resolved, instead of waiting until there is another huge problem.

The jeweled collar seems to denote some sort of BDSM relationship, but frankly, it’s impossible to see that in this book. The Prince’s attitude abruptly changes throughout, from being caring and considerate to callous because of Jillian’s displeasure.

Perhaps most annoying, is the foreword that this is the third edition of the book, and yet it is rife with grammatical errors which easily could have been found by an editor.

Although a quick read, the book doesn’t given any emotions other than- oh, well, that’s over now. The ending is nice, but there was a lot of slosh to go through from the beginning to get there, and it would have been a much nicer, short story if half of the issues were cut out. The second and third problems really served no point to the central story and while providing conflict didn’t change any part of the relationship between Jillian and the Prince.

Perhaps her other novels are better, but I would not recommend this one.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Calyope Adams is a life long avid reader and writer, usually found with her head in a book. Most recently she has been exploring the sensual side of life. She’s fascinated by history, mythology and the power dynamics inherent in romantic relationships.

You can find out more about Calyope’s work on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Calyopeadams/

Please visit https://tinyletter.com/calyopeadams to join her mailing list!

Thank you for visiting and happy reading!

Review of Spirit Witch by Helen Harper

Spirit Witch
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Book 3
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 268

Date Started: November 19, 2017
Date Finished: November 20, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
If anyone appreciates what it means to be dead to the world, it’s Ivy Wilde.

Barely recovered from her brush with necromancy, Ivy is flung once more into a world of intrigue, adventure and potential death and disaster. It’s not her fault – it just so turns out that she’s now the only person in the entire world who can communicate with the dead. And they’re a chatty bunch with a list of demands.

When the ghosts offer information about a witch-hating mass murderer in return for Ivy’s help, she has no choice but to get involved. She might be getting herself into more trouble than she realises though – and that’s even before she’s dragged to Sunday dinner so she can meet Winter’s family…

Review:
Winter seems to go through a bit of an existential crisis, and it’s interesting to see him so capable but unsure of the direction of his future. It becomes obvious that spending so much time together is rubbing off on the two main protagonists. While Rafe and Ivy work on figuring out a mystery, while trying not to let their relationship get in the way, one finds another relationship far more pressing and urgent–theirs with Brutus. Brutus is, by far, my favourite character in the series. His random quips of intense insight make up for how lazy he is most of the time, not to mention the hilarity of claiming an inability to do more–much like our slouch witch used to do.
“You like Eve.”
“Love Ivy.”

In the end, I felt that everything and everyone was mostly where they should be. I wish it had been a bit more longer, and not thrown into the epilogue. Most of what I’d hoped would happen throughout the entire series had come to pass, though I would have liked to see more happen to Tarquin. I am quite sad to see the series finished, but have since started another book by Harper, and look forward to reading more written by her in the future.

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 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.