Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Pages: 288
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Amazon Vine Program
The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil. [via GoodReads]
I was excited to hear that Melissa de la Cruz was coming out with a paranormal adult series. So needless to say, I was the first one in line searching for an ARC, which I gladly received through Amazon.  But before I can even start my review, I must confess that I have not read Ms. de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series so I can't say how or if the stories are related. 

With that said, I found the Witches of East End to be a unique story of three witches - a mother and her two daughters.  Told through alternating points-of-view, you get to learn more of Joanna, Ingrid and Freya, their very long lives and why they're bound by rules that won't  allow them to use their magic.

While I can't say that I loved this book, I did find the story intriguing at times.  There were times were I found myself sludging to get through some chapters, while at other times I was flying through the pages.  I'm not sure if I was confused for most of the story with trying to truly understand and getting to know (and like) the main characters.  Which I never truly succeeded at - since I did like Joanna and Ingrid but I definitely had my issues with Freya.  Aside from my mild dislike of the main characters, I felt that the story just didn't move along fast enough to keep me entertained.  It almost felt disjointed at times.  When the main plot points were finally revealed I think I was just over the whole thing. 

I did enjoy reading about the haven they found in North Hampton - and I enjoyed meeting the town residents, the love interests, and the mystery of it all.  I also loved the way the Salem Witch Trials and Nordic mythology were weaved into the storyline... yet it wasn't enough for me to fall in love with it.... sadly.

While the synopsis does mention that this is the perfect read for cross-over fans of Ms. de la Cruz'a YA series - I would like to mention that there are numerous "explicit" sex scenes.  And while I'm sure the more mature teens will be okay with this, I found myself a tad uncomfortable with some of these scenes...  like maybe I didn't  need that many of them... I'm just saying.

All in all, Witches of East End fell flat for me.  Yet I see plenty of mixed reviews out there - so my final verdict would be, enter at your own risk.

My Rating:


Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Pages: 304
Genre: YA/Teen
Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed. [via GoodReads]
I love this type of story... instead of it being a rags to riches one, it's a riches to rags tale.  Where the mean, snobby, rich girl learns that there's more to life than just money.  I love this type of story because you will always find great character development.  And that is exactly the type of character Corinne is.  At first, you don't truly like her.  She's spoiled, obnoxious and quite frankly annoying when it comes to her selfishness.  But when her lifestyle takes a nosedive after her father loses his job and she ends up living in small town Texas with her grandparents - she'll learn that not everything revolves around her wants and needs, where she'll make true friendships, learn the importance of family and enjoy the stirrings of a new love.

I enjoyed seeing the many changes in Corrine.  Her internal diaglogues were very entertaining and you fully and believably grasp the strenuous situation she believes herself to be in once she realizes that she has no money.  I found it funny that in the first pages you are forewarned about what an unlikeable character she is but to give her a chance because she just might grow on you... and that she does.  I found myself taken in by the story.  I loved reading of the town of Broken Spoke and its quirky residents. 

All in all, Where I Belong is a fun and quick read - a sweet contemporary YA story of one girl's path to self-discovery.  It definitely made me want go out and buy me my own set of boots and cowboy hat.

My Rating:


Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Title:  Moonglass
Author: Jessi Kirby
Pages:  240
Genre:  YA/ Teen
Source:  Amazon Vine Program

Anna's life is turned upside down when her father accepts a job offer far from her home, her friends, her beach, and the waves that took her mother's life.  Now, at Crystal Cove, she is even more haunted by the loss of her mother... for it is the same place her mother and father once met and fell in love.  Although she and her father have always maintained a good relationship, she feels that mentioning her mother and her loss is taboo.  So instead of dwelling in the past, she plans on enjoying her summer.  After all, she has a new beach to swim in, new boys (one hottie lifeguard in particular) to fall for, and new friends to make... but uncovering family secrets may be just what she and her father need to finally begin to truly live.

Moonglass is the ideal summer read.  There's the beach, the sand, the lifeguards (wink wink), the search for the perfect moonglass and even a mystery to unravel.

While I truly enjoyed reading Moonglass, and getting to know Anna - whom I must say I truly liked, my favorite aspect of the story was the setting... the beach - Crystal Cove.  Ms. Kirby does a phenomenal job of describing everything from the sand in your toes to the smell of salt in the air.  It was a very visual experience for me.

Although the story did have a slow start for me and there were a few moments that lost their momentum, I was still very intrigued by the relationship between Anna and her father.  How strained it had become since the loss of her mother and my hopes that they would somehow begin to accept their loss and eventually heal.  I also found it a nice surprise that while there was some mild romance it wasn't the main focus of the story.  Instead I found Moonglass to have a more serious tone... bittersweet and heartbreaking, yet sweet and inspirational. 

Moonglass will have you yearning for summer and a chance to stick your feet in the ocean.  A lovely read, one that you should not leave out of your beach bag this summer.

My Rating:


Hello friends.

It's a rainy and gloomy Sunday here in Miami. I love this weather!  I fear that I have let my blog become a little run down, so I want to make it a point to post whenever I can and pretty much do whatever I want... it's my blog and I do what I want to... I hope you guys understand.  Although I'm not blogging nearly as much, I am happy to say that I am reading and participating in my local author events.  Yay me! So I wanted to share my adventure from this past week.

I got to meet the oh-so-pretty and wonderfully stylish authoress, LAUREN KATE!!!  *fanfare*

Lauren toured through Miami Last week - just a few days after her Passion release and we were part of her welcoming party at our local Books & Books.

Lauren was sweet as pie and not only read to us from Passion, but she also gave us a lot of juicy details about what's going to happen throughout the series... she even told us the ending.... yeah right!  Either way,  I had a blast.  Not only was it a pleasure to meet Lauren but I was also able to meet up with my lovely blogging buddies.  We even have a group picture to share... but it wasn't part of my pictures.  Once I can snag a copy I'll share that one with you as well.

I hope you are all  having a marvelous weekend.  Hope to hear from you soon.  Big smooches to you all.
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