Saturday, June 10, 2023

June Read: The Enchanted Hacienda by J. C. Cervantes


I'm a sucker for a novel that involves gardens, flowers, and magic. 

Harlow Estrada is fresh off a break up with her loser boyfriend on the same day she loses her job.  She leaves New York City for the family farm and business in Mexico. Run by her mother and aunt, the Hacienda Estrada is a magical place. And I mean magical in every sense of the word. Acres of flowers, a fantastic hacienda, and yes, a bond with the land courtesy of a goddess. 

Harlow is the only woman in her family that has no apparent magic. Everyone else has a way with flowers that amplifies their gift. Now Harlow is back to stay for a few weeks while her mother and aunt take a vacation to Italy. It's just the break Harlow needs to find her creative spark and maybe, just maybe, her magical gift. 

There's also a gorgeous man she meets in the local village--Ben. He's drop dead hot, and seems to be interested in Harlow. But wow, their relationship is a bit of a hot mess, and it's the main romance of the novel. Harlow's emotions get in the way of her heart and cause a lot of trust issues with Ben.

This was a cute read; I was mostly interested in the farm and the magic used with the flowers. I found that all fascinating and dang if I wouldn't like to live on a magical flower farm. I thought the story dragged a bit and Harlow's questioning herself and Ben over and over was a bit annoying. 

I hope there are more stories involving Harlow's sisters and cousins--they each have magical gifts and none of them are in relationships--so many possible sequels to this novel. 

I don't have a deep introspective review of this novel. It was enjoyable; I'll be honest I went outside to my lavender pot and swept my hand over the buds to inhale the scent. Too bad I don't have a magical bone in my body! But this was a great reminder for me to see the magic in the flowers I have in my backyard. 

Themes about starting over; ending something can mean the beginning of a great new life; embracing being creative, trust yourself and your feelings. 

Fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Heather Webber will enjoy this magical novel.

Rating: 3/6 for a novel that will take you away from everyday life for just a bit, to a place where the flowers bloom and magic is all around. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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