Book 1: Rueberry Orchard by Michele Notaro - October 6th
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and boy what a wonderful introduction to her work! The amnesia trope is set up and executed perfectly, and the extremely slow burn romance plays out almost like a second chance romance in a contemporary fantasy setting. There were ALL the feels in this one, and I couldn’t get enough.
The characters were incredible, all with plenty of depth and critical roles to play in the story even if they were supporting characters. I cared just as much for every secondary character as I did for Rhile and Ezryn, and felt invested in all of them. I’m desperately hoping the author will continue with more stories in this world so all of them can get their own happy endings.
Rhile and Ezryn’s story was heartbreaking but still hopeful, and I loved watching as Rhile got to discover his love all over again. My heart went out to poor Ezryn, he was so sad as he endured the entire process. But it all demonstrated that the two of them belonged together no matter what, and having them back together again—even before Rhile’s memory returned—made my heart happy.
I liked that even though this was a fantasy that it was set in the contemporary world. It allowed for a believable cross between the fantasy elements and modern aspects which I think made the situation more relatable, even if the fantasy is still fiction.
Rueberry Orchard was definitely unputdownable, and was a 5-star read for me. I really hope we get to hear more from Joz, Bray, Angel, Bubbles, and the rest of the team…I am kinda hooked on them all! There are still loose ends that need exploring, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed ;-). This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
I’ll tell you right off the bat that I admired Chance for taking the leap by buying The Manor, and putting aside his textbook successful life to do so. Sometimes you just need to try a different path to find your happiness, and Chance made that hard decision to change his life.
The setup between him and Jett was obvious, and while due to the shorter length of this story it might seem like they rushed into a physical relationship the time that elapsed shows that actually isn’t the case.
The real drama starts once Chance and Jett check out the locked room that Chance was warned away from by the previous owner, setting off the release of something sinister and triggering Chance’s memories from the past.
I had a harder time getting into this book than the first one in the series. This story didn’t flow as well for me, it did feel a bit rushed as I was reading. While I liked the concept of Chance’s mother’s character, she did feel a bit much here…which I’m also chalking up to the shorter relative story length. She’s a handful of a character, which felt a bit overwhelming in the short time (again relatively speaking) she appeared in the book.
3.5 stars for Willowhope Manor, and keep in mind this story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
I’d read this author’s other story set in Fox Hollow, so I was excited to see that Imaginary Lover would be set in that same world even though it’s part of a shared series with other authors. The opening does definitely grab the reader’s attention with Cory’s predicament, waking on the side of the road without his memory.
From there it’s a quest for him to find out who he is and how he wound up that way, with him finding his way to Fox Hollow and the interesting residents there to look for help. It was great to see so many familiar characters again, and watch as they help Cory find out who he is and who his dream lover is as well.
Along the way some characters from the author’s other series do pop up in both quick and substantial cameo roles as everyone works to discover what happened to Cory, and how to help him and his lover. There is a fair bit of drama, though nothing over the top, and peppered in along the way are plenty of steamy times with Cory and his dream lover. Can you say “sex magic”? Yep, that’s your tease for this one ;-)
I really enjoyed visiting Fox Hollow again, and wound up reading this in one sitting. Imaginary Lover gets 4.5 stars from me, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Cory Max in this author’s different series in the future! This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.