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How to Love Your Elf

by Kerrelyn Sparks

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How to Love Your Elf is book four in The Embraced series by Kerrelyn Sparks.

I’m not sure why the author or publisher decided to label this novel as Embraced by Magic series when it’s part of The Embraced series. It's not a title that can be read as a first in a series. How to Love Your Elf needs to be read after Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon.

I’ve loved the previous titles in The Embraced series, but unfortunately this one feel off the mark.

If you’ve been following the series, Sorcha, is a princess and ‘Embraced’. She was featured throughout the series as a women with a fiery personality, but we soon learning that that’s just a front. She’s scared to love to the point that she makes herself physically ill. I was very disappointed to learn that Sorcha wasn’t the go getter she was portrayed. She lacked confidence in everything she did, even her Embraced gift is next to nothing. She was dull and spent the novel pining and obsessing over the Woodsman.

The Woodsman had a sexy appeal. I liked his confidence and strong personality. He was the only thing I liked about this novel.

The store progressed at a snails pace. I was not invested in the characters or plot. The main plot focused on the angst caused by the romance between these two. We also don’t spend any time dealing with who the Woodsman is and his history. As for the ending it happens fast and things are put to rest way to easily.

You might be wondering why I read this one. Well I loved the previous novels, I also wanted to get the full picture on the Embraced prophecy; which is the secondary plot featured throughout this series, and to also get those surprise tidbits offered up in the novel.

How to Love Your Elf was not the book for me. It's my least favorite and I was sadly disappointed. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you.

Rated: 2 Stars

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Kensington via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

( )
  angelsgp | May 14, 2021 |
2.75 of 5 stars

Listened to audio narrated by Jill Tanner. I enjoyed most of the narration but they way she pronounced some words like grimace drove me a little crazy.

Sorcha is embraced, raised in seclusion with her fellow embraced sisters, she has a few control problems. She's afraid of losing anyone she cares about and stresses about everything. I struggled to like Sorcha as she seemed like a smart woman but kept doing too stupid to live actions and came across as very immature.

The Woodsman is a Robin Hood with his merry band including the requisite monk. He has a plan to save the kingdom, but there's someone else vying for the throne and she will stop at nothing to get it.

Even though Sorcha is attracted to the Woodsman she fights it because he doesn't match the stones which predicted her elven match. Once the Woodsman realizes and accepts that he wants Sorcha, he wants her to want him for himself and not based on a prediction. Their relationship is convoluted and they spend way too much time in their respective heads. I never really felt their connection, except for a brief glimpse towards the end.

I do not understand the author letting her characters have a long dialogue when the Woodsman went to free Sorcha from the elves. The fact they spent so much time arguing and talking during the escape and no one heard them is an example of the stupid and unbelievable moments in the book.

This was only an okay book for me. It was overly dramatic, with over the top caricatures rather than feeling like real people.

If you like my reviews I hope you will follow my blog. https://wyldheartreads.wordpress.com/
( )
  wyldheartreads | Dec 14, 2020 |
Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for my e-arc copy of this book. I am so happy to be back into the world of the Embraced. Since reading the previous I wanted to know what would happen to Sorcha and her other sisters. In this tale we are following Sorcha who has just celebrated the wedding of her brother and one of best friends that she grew up with. Not long after the wedding they go to see her new sister in laws estranged mother. While on the journey they run into trouble. Sorcha is put in danger and is rescued by a handsome stranger who is only known as the Woodsman. Sorcha like her sister is embraced and has powers thanks to be born under the twin moons. I liked Sorcha and I enjoyed her tale. This book as a very much Robin Hood and Maid Marian and I am enjoyed that aspect. If you have read the other books in the series, then you will enjoy this one. If you have not picked up book one then I recommend that you do. All books are light, fun and at times steamy Fantasy romances. ( )
  AndreaWay | Nov 15, 2020 |
You can read my full review on my blog, Flora's Musings...This book is being released on 25th February.

So, what did I think about it?
I’ve only read one other book by [a:Kerrelyn Sparks|2357|Kerrelyn Sparks|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1202439212p2/2357.jpg] – [b:Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon|34962717|Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)|Kerrelyn Sparks|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1497101112l/34962717._SY75_.jpg|56237668] – so she’s still a new-to-me author but I’ve really enjoyed both books; I like her writing style, find her stories easy read, her plots gripping and her characters engaging.
I haven't read any other books in The Embraced series, but Ms Sparks descriptive prowess and adventurous plot catapulted me into the world of Aerthlan with ease.

Ok, so those of you that have read my reviews before, will know that I enjoy a story more if the lead female character is intelligent, resilient and is self-reliant - I wasn’t disappointed here. Sorcha is smart, witty and has plenty of gumption, she has a strong moral code and a loyalty that makes her put the needs of others before her own – family is everything.

I really enjoyed this book. [b:How to Love Your Elf|50206318|How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic #1)|Kerrelyn Sparks|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1561627363l/50206318._SX50_SY75_.jpg|70939794] has everything that I look for in a great read; adventure, mystery, action, great characters, humour, banter, romance and passion.

Due to the explicit sexual nature of some of the scenes within these pages, I’d only recommend this book to adults who are not offended by this type of content. However, if you love well written tales of magic, betrayal and mystery played out as a backdrop to an entertaining romance I think you’d enjoy this book: it’s a perfect mix of paranormal, mystery, romance and adventure.

I want you to know that I was given an unedited digital version of this book for free from the publisher (Kensington Books) after making a request via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review or influence my thoughts; these are my words, I’m giving you my honest opinion here. ( )
  -Flora- | Nov 8, 2020 |
Toss your stylistic expectations out the window and strap in for a tale of love, cool tree magic, and one hilariously awkward picnic.

This is the fourth book in the series, but to the new reader I say: Fear not! If the editorial mistakes don’t send you packing, you’ll do just fine jumping into Sorcha’s story. I have not read the previous books, but this one stands well enough on its own. It only took a few chapters to get a hang of the many character mentions and political shenanigans referenced in from before. (To make things easy, just think of it like fantasy X-men. Cool powers, what are motives, no one trusts Mystique).

The story: Having recently found peace with her new life as a princess in Norveshka, Sorcha’s biggest worry is that she’ll fall in love. With an elf, specifically, as was foretold by her sister’s Telling Stones. Sorcha accompanies her sister on a diplomatic mission, but their meeting is ambushed. The Norveshki escape, except for dragon-shifter Aleksi and Princess Sorcha. Captured by the enemy, they encounter the mysterious Woodsman, who promises to help them escape and prevent war between their countries. But how can they trust this thief, who hides in the shadows and isn't used to Norveshki questioning his plans?

And of course he has plans. You know why? Cause he's the Woodsman! Thanks to our man Liz, we are reminded of this in every other scene. (“The Woodsman always has a plan.” Two fights later: “The Woodsman always has a plan!”)

In addition to hype-man Liz, there are other fun faces running amok in the forest. Tara, the adolescent drama queen, General Caladras who’s obligated to call Sorcha ugly because he’s the Bad Guy, Aleksi the broody dragon warrior, that one guy who is supposed to be evil but is most known for yelling “Save our dinner!”, and the returning villain known as the Chameleon who I guess is evil too but he yeets in and yeets out so fast I’m not certain of his motives. Could be misunderstood.

It is this motley crew who surrounds Sorcha and the Woodsman on their unforeseen journey. Mostly, it is unforeseen for Sorcha, who is Oblivious. And the Woodsman Knows Everything, because tree magic. So we the readers get to float in between, and witness such scenes as the Woodsman brooding over his secret identity (*gasp*), Sorcha accidentally making folks think they are married by sitting on the same picnic blanket, and the Woodsman’s internal adolescent boy dialogue (“She didn’t pull away! Yes!”. [Do I want her to touch me?] “Hell yes!”).

Seriously, I had a great time with How to Love Your Elf, just perhaps not in the way it was intended. I mean, I shipped it - but mostly because they’re such awkward cupcakes. And...Robin Hood-esque elf-dude tree-magic mysterious past...I mean, that’s hard not to like. Even with the moments of sloppy editing (and lack of indentation, which I hope was just a fluke in my digital copy), it was fun.

Fun fact, one of my favorite lines is when the Woodsman shouts, “Drop your wea pons now, and I will grant you clemency.” Drop them wee pawns now, ye rascals! Ha ha...ha...Ah well, it was funny in the moment.

To sum it all up: There’s laughs and there’s cringe, but once I got over the technical hiccups I read this in three hours and had an absolute blast.

P.S. I have one unsolved question: Is using Ye/Yer instead of You/Your indicative of characters speaking in Eberoni? In that case, does Aleksi have a bad accent, since he doesn’t make the switch? Or is this peculiar to Sorcha? Or are the words entirely interchangeable, no matter the language? Please, anyone, I would like to know the answer.

**Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for the ARC** ( )
  Pascale1812 | Apr 16, 2020 |
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