Tag: Jenna Collett

Review: Stranded and Spellbound by Jenna Collett

Posted June 1, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Stranded and Spellbound by Jenna CollettReviewer: Holly
Stranded and Spellbound by Jenna Collett
Series: Ever Dark Ever Deadly Book 3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: Dec 3, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Pages: 199
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
dnf

Meeting the parents can be deadly

Tessa Daniels finally has it all figured out. Her magic shop is booming, and she’s found love with the lead Detective of the Royal Agency, Derrick Chambers. Sure, her magic’s still a little faulty, but she hasn’t turned anyone into a mouse or started a plague in ages, and her mixed up spells are all part of her charm.

Until Derrick takes her home to the countryside to meet his parents.

He promises a romantic holiday, but the cozy escape is plagued with strange accidents, mysterious guests, and exposed secrets. Tessa is convinced there’s a mystery to solve, and when a snowstorm strands everyone inside the manor, they discover they’re trapped with a killer.

First one murder.

Then two.

It was supposed to be the perfect fairy tale ending, but meeting the parents may end up costing Tessa her life.

Stranded and Spellbound (Ever Dark, Ever Deadly #3) by Jenna Collett returns to Garrett and Tessa, the couple from book 1, Spellbound After Midnight. I remember finishing that book with a happy sigh because the story was just what I was in the mood for at that time, but upon further reflection it didn’t hold up very well. Tessa made a lot of questionable decisions, and her insecurities really got old after awhile. So it was with some trepidation that I went into this novel.

Garrett is taking Tessa home for the holidays to meet his aristocratic family. She’s nervous as can be, because she’s intimidated by their wealth and because she wants them to like her. There doesn’t seem much chance of that happening, however. When they arrive it’s to discover Garrett’s mother has already arranged an engagement for him to Snow white, and invited her there to plan the wedding. This despite the fact that Garrett told them he was bringing Tessa home. He wants to leave, but Tessa is determined to stay and win them over.

I only read about 25% of this book before I set it aside. Tessa didn’t endear herself to me. She was so anxious to make everyone like her that she let herself be treated like crap. Plus, her incompetence didn’t come off as sweet and funny, so much as annoying and cringe-worthy.(She wants his very wealthy family to like her so she bakes them a pie using magic, but oops, she sucks at magic so the pie turned out horrible, but she still brought it anyway? WTF?)

I’m not interested in the way his mother treated Tessa, and I don’t want to read about how she “wins them over.” I don’t really think they can come back from “I invited another woman here and I’m planning her wedding to my son while you’re standing right there”.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be in the mood for it some other time, but I doubt it. The rest of the series is wonderful, however, so don’t let this review deter you from reading it.

Rating: DNF (1 out of 5 for what I did read)

Ever Dark, Ever Deadly

dnf


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Review: Shatter the Dark by Jenna Collett

Posted May 30, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shatter the Dark by Jenna CollettReviewer: Holly
Shatter the Dark by Jenna Collett
Series: Ever Dark Ever Deadly #4
Also in this series: Spellbound After Midnight, Wolfish Charms
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 16, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Pages: 297
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The path out of darkness lies with each other.
Liana Archer knows the kind of evil that lurks in the dark. Kidnapped by a witch and forced to leave behind her twin brother to escape, she vows to live her life with purpose even as the past haunts her nightmares. Years later, her adoptive family and her skills in weapon forgery have put her on a fresh path, until her father is thrown in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now, she'll do anything to gain his freedom, even if it means bargaining with a beast.
A scarred and broken man, Bowen Mackenzie only wants one thing: revenge on the man responsible for his scars. It's finally within his reach when a merchant delivers the mystical blade he's been searching for. But a new plan forms when he learns the merchant's daughter forged the magical weapon.
Living together in a remote manor by the sea, Bowen gets more than he bargained for as the tempting beauty upends his cold existence. When buried secrets threaten to destroy their fragile bond, and an old enemy from Liana's past returns, he must choose between his revenge and the woman who could be his salvation.
Hansel and Gretel meets Beauty and the Beast in this exciting new retelling!

Shatter the Dark (Ever Dark, Ever Deadly #4) by Jenna Collett is a fairytale reimagining with Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast elements. This is my favorite book of the series to date and one of my favorite reads from 2021.

Liana and her twin brother were kidnapped by a witch. He sacrificed his own escape so she could get away, and then he and the witch disappeared. Liana was found and taken in by a kind family and she became a premier weapons maker. Bowen Mackenzie was one of the world’s leading adventurers until he was left scarred and broken. Now his only obsession is finding revenge against the man who is responsible for his scars. When a magical blade turns up, one that will lead him directly to his nemesis, and Bowen realizes Liana made it, he ensures she’s forced to stay with him to make another.

This is a really well-written fairytale series. Liana was such a strong character. I really loved how she overcame her past trauma and how capable she was. Although Bowen engineered her stay with him, Liana didn’t let him get away with anything. Bowen was a beast in the beginning, but watching him grow into more was sweet and adorable. They were both a little broken and scarred, but I loved the way they came to lean on one another.

There is some overlap between this book and Wolfish Charms, book 2, but I don’t believe they need to be read in order. I’m really looking forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Ever Dark, Ever Deadly

four-half-stars


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Review: Wolfish Charms by Jenna Collett

Posted May 4, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wolfish Charms by Jenna CollettReviewer: Holly
Wolfish Charms by Jenna Collett
Series: Ever Dark Ever Deadly #2
Also in this series: Spellbound After Midnight, Shatter the Dark
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 6, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 415
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The wolves are at her door, but can she trust the villain offering her salvation?

Vivian James took seeing ghosts for granted until the day they vanished along with the person she cared about most. Now, plagued with visions of the future, all she wants is revenge on the creature that destroyed her life.

Even a devil's mask can slip.

Argus Ward is hunting the creature wreaking havoc in the kingdom. He used the kingdom's oracle to track its movement, but now that the oracle is dead, he'll need to use Vivian. She might be a fool to put her trust in a gangster, but there's something about him that keeps drawing her in.
Their partnership is straightforward, find the beast and get revenge. But, things are never that simple when love, murder, and werewolves get in the way.
Book two in the Ever Dark, Ever Deadly Series.

Wolfish Charms by Jenna Collett is the second book in the Ever Dark, Ever Deadly series. This is a take on Little Red Riding Hood, with some twists. I enjoyed the story a bit more than the first, Spellbound After Midnight.

Vivian is a Medium. She’s always been something of an outcast, since no one wanted to be friends with the weird girl who can see and talk to ghosts, so she mostly spends time with her best friend Tess and her ghosts. Until the night her grandmother and her ghosts disappear. Now she’s having visions of the future and trying to keep Angus Ward, the most notorious gangster in the land, at bay. The problem? She feels safe with Argus, and staying away from him goes against all her instincts.

Argus is determined to find the werewolves who have been terrorizing the city and to find help for his sister, who was bitten. He needs the Oracle’s help to find a magic dagger that will cure his sister. He almost had it, but it was stolen out from under him the night the Oracle died. Now he needs Vivian’s help.

I really liked Vivian and Argus, and I liked the mystery surrounding the deaths taking place in the Kingdom. Argus was something of an anti-hero. He definitely had shady dealings and wasn’t the best guy, but he had hidden depths. I liked how he tried to keep Vivian at a distance but couldn’t stay away.

From other reviews I’ve read it seems I’m the outlier, but I didn’t care for Tessa, Vivian’s best friend and the heroine of the first book, Spellbound After Midnight. I liked her well enough when I read that book, but her insecurities really got out of control. The next book features her and I’m on the fence about reading it. I’m looking forward to the following book, however. Bring on Liana and Bowen.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ever Dark, Ever Deadly

four-stars


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Review: Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna Collett

Posted September 8, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna CollettReviewer: Holly
Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna Collett
Series: Ever Dark Ever Deadly #1
Also in this series: Wolfish Charms , Shatter the Dark
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A spellbinding mystery leads an unlikely pair on the hunt for a killer.

Tessa Daniels needs a miracle. Preferably, the kind that comes with cold hard cash. Her magic shop is failing, and she'll be tossed into the street unless she clears her debt.

When a financial boon arrives in the form of a young woman determined to attend the prince's ball, a risky spell turns out to be the miracle she needed. That is until the woman is found dead at the stroke of midnight, and Tessa comes face-to-face with the kingdom's cold, and way too appealing, lead detective.

Detective Derrick Chambers has no use for the supernatural. As the rising star at the Royal Agency, he won't let magic, or the pretty witch that deals in it, get in the way of solving a murder.

His logic tells him to steer clear of Tessa's chaos, but a forced partnership soon turns into an attraction neither can resist.

With the body count rising, and the kingdom in a panic, an exposed secret will tear them apart and put Tessa in the sights of a killer where no amount of magic can save her.

Spellbound After Midnight is an enemies-to-lovers, slow burn romance, with a puzzling mystery, strong female heroine, and fairy tale elements.

Spellbound After Dark is the first book in Jenna Collett’s Ever Dark, Ever Deadly series. I found this while browsing Kindle Unlimited and decided to give it a try based on the reviews. This is my first read by the author. I really enjoyed the writing and the story. I easily fell into it.

Tessa Daniels is a down-on-her-luck witch. Her mother was renowned in the kingdom for her powers, but Tessa has never had very good control of hers. More often than not, her potions and spells go wrong (sometimes seriously so). As a result, the magic shop she inherited when her mother passed away is on the brink of bankruptcy. In a moment of desperation, Tessa borrowed money from the local kingpin, and he’s calling it due.

When a young woman she casts an illusion spell for turns up dead, Tessa realizes she can help solve the young girl find justice and solve her financial problems by collecting the reward money. The catch? She has to work with Royal Detective Chambers, a total stick-in-the-mud who also happens to be attractive as sin.

Derrick Chambers isn’t thrilled about being forced to work with a witch, but they end up making a good team. Both on the case and off it. Unfortunately, Tessa forgot to mention that whole “in debt to a gangster” thing, and there may be no coming back once he finds out.

This story was an unexpected delight. I liked the fairytale twist (“Cinderella” died at midnight, and the “fairy godmother” has to solve the murder case), and I really loved the romance. Derrick was really wonderful to Tessa, despite them getting off on the wrong foot. He was kind and caring, and it was obvious he was struggling with his feelings, but he was never cruel.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t love that Tessa kept secrets from him. I understood her reasons, but I didn’t agree with them. Aside from that, I don’t have much to complain about. I loved the friendship Tessa had with Vivian, a medium. I also enjoyed the world and the mystery behind the murder. I figured out the suspect early on, but I still liked the way the story unfold.

I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ever Dark, Ever Deadly

four-stars


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