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Sparks Fly by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Take every love-at-first-sight movie; add to that every romantic movie of falling head-over-heels in love with someone in a ...

Not Your Average Love Spell by Barbara Ann Wright

⭐⭐⭐★


This is an engaging fantasy-lite read with some thoroughly amusing moments.

Sydney is an upstanding major in the order of the Knights of Flame whose job is to ensure that no witches exist in the kingdom since magic is outlawed. She is dashing and debonair and has women falling at her feet at every turn. She has captured a ship of pirates who are alleged to be in touch with a witch, Rowena the Hawk. The allegation turns out to be true when The Hawk magiks out all the prisoners from the ship. On returning, Syndey is tasked with getting in touch with the Hawk because the kingdom is in peril and her commander wants to use Rowena’s magic to transport the Knights to the border to arrest the progress of the enemies. Sydney is to work with Camille, a researcher, on this quest. But things aren’t entirely as they seem and Sydney begins to realise that her commander not only plans to double-cross the Hawk, but also plans to pin false accusations on her. She plans to confront the commander at the right moment, but things go awry while the transportation spell is being cast and Camille gets exchanged with Ember, a person that Rowena had created. Rowena, Camille, Sydney and Ember embark on a journey to protect the kingdom and find themselves caught in deeper and wider threats than anticipated.

The books has a great first chapter which draws you in immediately while establishing the environment and drawing great pictures of Sydney and Rowena. The story unfolds at a good pace with excellent doses of humour peppering it. However, around the point the two pairs, Rowena-Camille and Sydney-Ember start off their journey towards the climax it loses momentum and drags for a while before hurtling into a chaotic and entertaining climax.

Sydney starts off strong but kind of becomes a unidimensional upright knight character fairly quickly. Camille is thoroughly enjoyable. In fact, she ends up being the most interesting and likeable one of the four main protagonists. We loved the way Wright gives Rowena layers of vulnerability, though we have like her to be more powerful and magical as a witch. Ember is a naïve child whose innocence is totally endearing. We really felt for Ember in that moment when she realises that Sydney is ashamed of her. As a couple, Camille and Rowena are much more fun.

This is an unpretentious entertainer which completely lives up to expectations.  

⭐⭐⭐★
 


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