Genre: New Adult

Review: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

Posted January 10, 2018 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

Review: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn LarshSociety of Wishes by Elise Kova, Lynn Larsh
Series: Society of Wishes #1
Published by Silver Wing Press on January 29th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, New Adult
Format: ebook
Source: the author
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First book in the Wish Quartet, a new-adult, urban fantasy series


Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of her existence itself.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was really excited that I got the chance to read this one early. I’ve been on pins and needles for it since Elise announced that she was writing an Urban Fantasy novel last year. Urban Fantasy has always been my favorite genre! I love weird and supernatural. Then I found out that this was also going to be Elise’s first New Adult book. That makes this book a combination of my absolute favorite genre and my least favorite age range. After reading it, I can see why she categorized it as New Adult. Jo Espinosa, the MC is 19 but this book could just as easily be categorized as Adult.

The Good

I absolutely loved the premise. Jo Espinosa, with her dying wish, cries out a plea that her friend and family be spared. It’s granted and she pays with her existence. She ‘wakes up’ except now she has never been born and she is instead a part of the Society of Wishes. A Magical team that joins together to grant wishes that are chosen by their leader, the mysterious Snow.

The team is endlessly fascinating. I want to get to know each and every one of them in depth. They each became a part of the team over time as payment for a wish, but what was each wish that was granted? I want to know what they wished for! All 6 other members have their own stories that I can’t wait to learn. They also have their own magical talents that they bring to aide the team. I have my favorites already. This book was very character driven with different personalities coming together to build a great team.

This book is like a Heist story flipped on its head. Instead of building a team to go out and steal something, Snow has put together the perfect team to build something, to grant wishes. I just love the concept. It gives me warm fuzzies.

This book was also a quick read. It’s engaging and it flows quickly from setting the stage to getting into the action. I read it in one day.

The Bad

I didn’t feel like there was any urgency, weight or stakes to anyone’s decisions. Jo makes a semi questionable decision that causes a second semi questionable thing to happen and we are told that it’s bad because it could cause a wish to not be granted. If the wish isn’t granted, then a disease will not be cured and lots of people will die. Jo has help, but the guy who helps her is just publicly shamed. There are not really any consequences above and beyond the moral ones. What are these people’s motivations for granting wishes? Why do they bother and why should I care?

I was also really disappointed in the lack of an overarching conflict that flows to the next book. There’s no real villain, problem or conflict in this book at all. They grant wishes. They’ve never failed at granting a wish yet. In the next book they will probably grant more wishes. Character information will also be revealed about the other 6 Society Members and its leader, Snow. I want the character information. Don’t get me wrong. My favorite part of this book was the team that I can’t wait to get to know better. However, I also would have liked something opposing them, maybe like an Society of Curses, to make things more interesting. Right now I don’t feel a burning need to continue. 

I loved the characters and the premise but I felt there is something fundamental missing from the plot. I am still committed to the series and I can’t wait to learn more about the characters. It just felt like something is missing too.




IB Review: Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne

Posted December 8, 2015 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

IB Review: Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla PayneMistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne
Published by Bloomsbury USA on November 20th 2014
Genres: New Adult, romance
Pages: 150
Format: hardcover
Source: Free for Review
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In Mistletoe and Mr Right, Jessica takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family – and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend – don’t feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is a hot local, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most ... and least.

The holiday high jinks continue in Sleigh Bells and Second Chances, when Jessica’s best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but she has an intern job as publicist for London’s hottest band at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve ... even though she had a fling with Cary, the band’s lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she’s supposed to be to get the perfect New Year’s kiss – at least until she finds out that he’s been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance?

Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!

Mistletoe and Mr. Right is a compilation book of two short stories. The first, Mistletoe and Mr. Right is about Jessica. The second, Sleigh bells and Second Chances is about her roommate, Christina. I like short stories but I always end up wishing that they were longer. This one, where the story continued after the first story ended was the best of both worlds.

In Mistletoe and Mr. Right, Jessica follows her boyfriend, Brennan, home to Ireland to surprise him for Christmas. She wasn’t invited and he didn’t know she was coming. This story was extremely well written. Jessica’s awkwardness was so hard to read! I had to put down the book multiple times because I just couldn’t stand what a mess she was. She doesn’t know the customs. Brennan has never told his family about her. No one knew she was coming. It was like my worst nightmare. Grady says it best in chapter two, “So, you just thought you’d pop in, huh? That’s a great plan. Guy’s love that.” Everything tuns out fine in the end. This story was sweet and perfect. I just had such a hard time reading it.

The second story, Sleigh bells and Second chances was my favorite of the two. I didn’t cringe or have to put the book down at all when I was reading it. Christina has procured an internship with the hottest band in the world and will be helping with the PR for their Christmas charity concert. The only problem is the lead singer is Cary White, the boy who broke her heart. This was such a sweet book. I absolutely loved Cary. He knew what he wanted right from the beginning and wasn’t afraid to tell Christina how he felt.

I’ve never read a Lyla Payne book before so this author was totally new to me. I will definitely be looking up more of her books in the future! Thanks to Hannah, The Irish Banana for the opportunity to participate in this Blog tour!


Lyla PayneLyla Payne is the USA Today bestselling author of the Whitman University series, the Lowcountry Ghost books, and the holiday novella Mistletoe and Mr. Right. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in film but no desire to tackle Hollywood, and made it through three quarters of an M.A. in ancient history before writing took over. She lives in the Midwest with her two dogs, two cats, and the characters in her head. Find her online at and on Twitter: @Lyla_Payne.

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