In a nutshell: Nora is a grad student who's not doing so well in her research, and is on the edge of not being a grad student. She's at a crossroads in her life: her ex-boyfriend is engaged, she's unhappy with school, and every one else seems to know what they're doing--except her.
After a late night of partying with friends for an upcoming wedding, Nora decides to take an early morning stroll in the mountains near Asheville before attending a wedding. Nora gets herself into a bit of a situation when she spies a small graveyard in the woods on the mountain, and finds herself literally in another world after reading one of the headstones.
This world is full of Faitorens; a group of incredibly beautiful people who party all the time and live a glamorous life. Nora is taken in by Ilissa, the queen of the group, and has no idea she's been enchanted. She's quickly forgetting her old life, and soon is involved with Raclin, Ilissa's son. Oh Nora. You are in such a pickle. The Faitorens do not have her best interests at heart.
I don't want to tell you much more about this novel because it really does take a turn. I'll just say Nora's story becomes entangled with Arundiel, a magician who's quite old, but in doing magic he stays young. He has quite a back story, which Nora slowly learns about as the days go by. Nora's life as a young, independent woman is tested by the world she finds herself in--where women marry for protection, do not read or write, and certainly very very rarely do magic.
But Nora's about to change all that.
I'm giving away a copy of this novel, which is out August 1st. Anyone who loves fantasy/magic mixed in with a heroine from today's world will certainly enjoy this novel. It has a great mix of old school magic and fairy tales along with a contemporary woman trying to fit in without giving up what she knows. And of course there is a romance, too.
Want to win a copy? Here's how: Simply leave a comment about this post. The contest runs through Friday, August 2nd. I will announce the winner on Saturday, August 3rd on this blog. **US residents only**
Rating: 7/10 for originality and Arundiel, a very complex character that I can't wait to read more about in the sequel.
The author's website: http://emilycroybarker.com/the-thinking-womans-guide-to-real-magic/