Review: The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

8694522Title: The Witch’s Daughter

Series: The Witch’s Daughter, #1

Author: Paula Brackston

Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers’ market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories–and demons—long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches.Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

4 / 5 Stars

The Witch’s Daughter is a historical tale of witchcraft. It begins in 1628, and follows young Elizabeth “Bess” Hawksmith as she’s thrown into a life of magic. Bess watches as her mother is persecuted for witchcraft. Bess must then make the hardest decision of her life: embrace the evil that killed her mother or die at the hands of her mother’s persecutors. Bess chooses to follow her mother’s wishes and turns to warlock Gideon Masters and his Book of Shadows for help.

The story then jumps time to the year 2007. The magic that saved Elizabeth all those years ago has kept her young. She’s just arrived in a new town and has met a young woman, Tegan. Tegan is interested in learning magic from her. Elizabeth journals her experiences with Tegan in her very own Book of Shadows.

The story continues to alternate back and forth in time to show the reader Elizabeth’s experiences with magic and why she’s trying to avoid Gideon, the man who “saved” her.

I really enjoyed reading The Witch’s Daughter.  The first chapter was dramatic and intense and drew me into the story. I loved the historical setting of the witch hunting days and I wanted to know what was going to happen to Bess. My favorite parts of the story were all the flashbacks of Bess’ experiences in the past.

I have to admit, I wasn’t as excited to read the story when it would switch to 2007 and Elizabeth’s journal entries. I found the journal entries to be less fun to read than the stories of her past. Being told what happened was not as interesting as seeing it all unfold. I think the story would have been better if her experiences in 2007 weren’t journal entries.

Even though I didn’t love the journal entries, I did like the plot of The Witch’s Daughter. It was filled with just the right amount of history and magic. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good witch story. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Return of the Witch.

**I received a paperback copy of The Witch’s Daughter from St. Martin’s Griffin and Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

22324683Title: Six of Hearts 

Series: Hearts, Book #1

Author: L.H. Cosway

Publication Date: July 26, 2014

Publisher: CreateSpace

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Step right up and meet Jay Fields: Illusionist. Mentalist. Trickster.

I think in triangles. You think in straight lines.

I show you a table and make you believe it’s a chair.

Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, misdirection. I trick and deceive.

But most of all, I put on a good show.

The world thinks I killed a man, but I didn’t. Bear with me. It’s all a part of the plan.

Revenge is what I want. I want it for me and I want it for her.
I want it for all six of us.

She doesn’t remember me, but she’s the reason for everything. She’ll be my prize at the end of all this–if I can hold onto my willpower, that is. Maybe I’ll slip up a little, have a taste, just a small one.

So go ahead and pick a card. Come inside and see the show. Look at my hands, look so closely that you can’t see what’s happening while you’re so focused on looking. I’ll be destroying your world from right here in the spotlight.

You’ll never see me coming until it’s too late.

I’ve only got one heart, and after I’ve pulled off my grand deception I’ll hand it right to her.

So, sit back, relax, and let my girl tell you our story. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

3.5 / 5 Stars

Six of Hearts is one of those hard books to review. There were many great things about it, but there were also some things kept it from being amazing in my opinion.

I’m going to start out with what I didn’t love: how long it took me to get sucked into the story. It wasn’t until Chapter 8 that I was truly engaged in it. Prior to that, I debated not finishing the book. Part of that was being annoyed at Matilda’s lack of confidence until then. I understood it, but it made her character seem younger than she was supposed to be. I also couldn’t decide if Jay was a decent human being underneath his cockiness until then. Once they started to connect and their romance started to bloom, I started to enjoy the novel more.

Matilda and Jay’s romance was super sweet. They took it at slower pace than what you normally see in this genre and it was refreshing. It fit Matilda’s shy personality well and brought out Jay’s good qualities.

Another thing Six of Hearts had going for it was it’s uniqueness. It was unlike New Adult romance I’ve ever read. While it features two broken characters falling in love like many novels in the genre, it’s unique because the main character’s love interest is an illusionist. I can honestly say it’s the first time I’ve come across that. It added a new spin to the romance and I loved that. It was fun to read about the illusions Jay created.

I also really enjoyed the mystery of Six of Hearts. Some of the revelations I could see coming, others were a complete surprise. The surprises made it so much fun to read.

So, while the beginning was super slow for me, I did end up enjoying Six of Hearts.