This is the book I’ve been waiting for someone to release! It won’t come as a surprise that I can’t wait for more and I’m pleased to say there is another book coming. Bring on Sorceress of Flame.
This review does include spoilers but the short version on Good Reads and Amazon doesn’t.
Some short chapters are told through the point of view of a secret character revealed later on. The MC is Tory. She’s starting a new school, meets Pepper and instantly become friends.
Pepper introduces Tory to her circle of friends. One friend is Kylan, an older and attractive male friend. Tory likes him but worries about the age gap. Pepper encourages her to go for it but just as they are about to get it on, Kylan takes off, leaving Tory very confused.
Another night, Tory is home alone and gets spooked by a potential intruder. She calls her new BFF who quickly hurries over. Pepper arrives with Kylan to check the house is safe. This forces Kylan and Tory to talk and get things back on.
Sarah, a mysterious girl, invites Tory to her party. Tory asks Pepper and their friends to come with her. Unfortunately, it turns out the host is actually Sky, and her hungry vampire party is a trap for Tory.
Tory runs and hides until Kylan finds her. Her new friends fight the the vampires and rescue her. Tory sees things, horrific things and now she knows her new friends aren’t human and one is now dead. Is she even safe with them?
Tory learns her friends are vampires and faeries, working for the guard, a secret organisation to protect Sorceresses. Tory never knew but she is a Sorceress.
She learns that:
1. Pepper and Kylan are her appointed guardians and purposely infiltrated her life. This casts doubt on whether Kylan genuinely liked her.
2. Kylan is a vampire and feeds on Pepper, a fairy, which gives him a psychic link to her. This makes Tory feel jealous and thinks about him feeding.
3. Kylan isn’t a little older, he is 100s of years older. Tory’s concerns about the age gap are magnified.
Tory has a lot to come to terms with. An official from the guard comes to interview everyone to find out what happened at the party. It soon becomes apparent that this is bigger than they thought.
Kylan takes Tory to meet an ancient vampire that might have answers about things they don’t. The vampire takes them both to his abode where they must stay for their safety.
Lucas slowly reveals history and his secret agenda. He throws parties for his guests, gets Tory alone and kisses her. The kiss ignites something more powerful than desire within Tory. She runs from Lucas to her room and cries. The sensation is undeniable and complicates her feelings for Kylan.
When Kylan finds Tory upset he wants to know what happened. She tells him about the kiss and he storms off. When he finally returns to their room he doesn’t sleep in their bed. The next morning, Lucas casual drops into conversation that Kylan spent the evening with his ex Mary.
Kylan insists he and Mary just talked. Tory insists that Lucas’ kiss meant nothing. The trust between them is wafer thin but they forgive each other.
With Lucas’ help they learn that Tory isn’t any ordinary Sorceress she is the daughter of Arch Angel Michael. They also discover the guard has been compromised and somebody within the house isn’t on their side.
Tory is desperate to get out of the Church where they are staying and Lucas grants them leave on the condition they take one if his vampires with them. He appoints Mary.
They visit the house. Tory is keen to catch up with Pepper but doesn’t get the chance. Whilst walking the grounds with Mary she starts to like her. On their way back, Mary detects danger but it’s too late. They are knocked out whilst trying to escape.
Tory comes to and finds herself with Mary in a secure room. Soon they discover that Sky is behind their capture. They also discover how deep the corruption of the guard goes.
Sky is trying to awaken a demon and needs Tory. A ceremony begins and the demon comes forward, entering Tory’s mind.
Luckily their friends and Lucas’ army arrive in the nick of time. There is a big fight, they stop the demon entering our world, and they rescue Tory and Mary.
The book ends with the immediate danger being averted. Tory, Kylan, Pepper and Mary set off in a car but not before Lucas gives Tory a passionate send off. Leaving a steamy question mark over her relationship with Kylan and an opening for the next book in the series.
I’m a fan of love triangles. I enjoy the double romance action and the complexities. I was very much team Kylan. But…the more we got to know Lucas, and felt the hot passionate chemistry, the less certain I became about my team choice.
A pet peeve is info dumping and heavy world building but Jodie is a master at gently weaving the details into the story, so, I was discovering the world alongside Tory. Whilst on the topic of World Building, I love what Jodie has done bringing Vampires and Faeries together, and loved the history of angels and demons.
Tory is a great main character. She has insecurities, and makes mistakes, but it makes her all the more likeable. Her actions are believable and I was with her all the way, even when she felt lost and confused in the new world she was navigating.
I read a paperback copy which was beautifully formatted. There are little details that add to the story like the mirrors, feathers and symbol. All are secrets you unlock in the novel making this decorative feature a special touch.
I helped myself to one of everything. My bag was super heavy but I knew this was a very valuable opportunity and after hearing the talk I was invested in the idea of self publishing.
Then we got to have the grand tour! This was a real highlight. Our tour guide referred to it as the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory equivalent for Book lovers and he wasn’t wrong.
It was fascinating watching the machines churning out pages on printers that were bigger than me. The ink cartridge was basically a massive barrel. Huge rolls of paper were loaded into the machine and they fed into the printer, coming out on a roll full of print. The pages were folded and chopped and moved along a conveyor belt to the next part of the production process. Another machine printed the covers to the specification requested. They then entered a machine where pages were bound and matched with the correct cover. The books continued on their conveyor belt until they reached a machine which trimmed the cover to size and sorted the books for distribution. Massive mail bags that would rival Santa’s sacks were bursting as they awaited collection.
We made the most of getting to meet up and Nicola (local to the area) took us to a beautiful pub for a drink. The sun was streaming and we kicked back and talked about writing. There is nothing better than being surrounded by like minded creatives who understand your crazy imagination. We took full advantage of the opportunity to connect on a more personal level offline.
I loved hanging out with them so much, I definitely want to meet up again. There have been whispering of another WIW meet at London Book Fair! I just have to figure out childcare and travel etc.
Seeing the books made, filled me with excitement. My inner voice kept squealing, “That could be your book one day!” I wish I could show you pictures or videos of the factory but they made me sign an NDA. Seeing it come to life made me eager to get my manuscript ready for print so my ink and paper creation can go for a ride on their conveyor belt.
If you ever get the opportunity to go on their tour, do it. If you are thinking about self publishing, definitely consider Ingram Spark.
Fortunately, I have never been in an abusive relationship but wanting to understanding them leaves me fascinated. There is a grip to watching shows or films about it, like a thriller. You know the person is in danger and you on the edge of your seat, wanting them to get out but knowing its not straight forward.
Shows I have enjoyed for this reason are:
Big Little Lies (2017)
I watched this because of the big names in it. The character played by Nicole Kidman is done incredibly well. I believe it was based on a book.
Dirty John (2018)
This series is based on a true story of one of John Meehan’s victims. There is also a documentary about the many victims of John Meehan.
I partly loved this series because it has a writer in it but that’s not what makes it compelling to watch. That would be the tension of the show told from the viewpoint of the stalker, come murdering boyfriend.
Envy by J D Groom
If you loved the above shows, then you are bound to love Envy by J D Groom. It is a a short story available on Amazon for Kindle.
Here is the blurb:
Kate had it all; a job she excelled at, friends, family and an apartment to call her own. Then she fell for her boss.
Finding herself stuck in his web, will she continue to live under his rule and be lost forever? Sometimes help can come from the most unexpected of places.
Blurb from Envy by J D Groom
What is it about?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the story is about a main character trapped in a toxic relationship. Jodie doesn’t glamorise the situation by making it romantic or dramatise it with extreme scenes. She slowly builds the danger with all the control from the spouse, his sudden mood swings and unpredictability, the repressed freedom where the MC’s every move is tracked.
You get sucked into the dark tension and when the MC, Kate, has an opportunity to escape you feel her fear, her hesitation and you’re right there encouraging her to go but know the odds are stacked against her. Will her plan work, can she reach safety? Well… you’ll have to read to find out.
Would I recommend it?
100% Yes! This is a short story that packs a punch. If you want a quick read, then this short pacey page turner is for you.