How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic, #1; The Embraced, #4)
This book is in the same world as The Embraced series.Raised in isolation on the magic-shrouded Isle of the Moon, five girls became five sisters. Now women, they are ready to claim their places in the world—and perhaps change it forever . . .   FLAME AND FORTUNE   Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border . . . well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.   Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go . . .

How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic, #1; The Embraced, #4) Details

TitleHow to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic, #1; The Embraced, #4)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 25th, 2020
PublisherKensington Books
Rating
GenreFantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Magic

How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic, #1; The Embraced, #4) Review

  • Ari
    January 1, 1970
    Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon | B&NThank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.Kerrelyn Sparks' books have come across my different book-related feeds for years. I've had a few of them in my TBR list for just as long. Seeing How to Love Your Elf's ARC available seemed like the perfect chance to get to know her writing and read—what seemed, and I hoped would be—a fun and exciting story.I was sorely disappointed.I'm going to first mention the Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon | B&NThank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.Kerrelyn Sparks' books have come across my different book-related feeds for years. I've had a few of them in my TBR list for just as long. Seeing How to Love Your Elf's ARC available seemed like the perfect chance to get to know her writing and read—what seemed, and I hoped would be—a fun and exciting story.I was sorely disappointed.I'm going to first mention the two points that made me somewhat enjoy the novel: the Woodsman had sex appeal (at least beginning to mid-way through the story), and there were a scattering of amusing moments sprinkled about, which is always a bonus.And then I had to deal with the rest.Sorcha is our lead. She has red hair, which is very obviously made to state that she has a fiery and independent, headstrong personality. This is pushed on us again and again by how often she tries to fight the Woodsman's will. I was never able to pinpoint what her actual personality is. She was dull often, she spent 90% of the novel pining and obsessing over the Woodsman's looks, and she would attempt to show sparks of life then go back to moving with the flow of the narrative.And then the Woodsman... We begin the story with a seemingly strong character, decisive in nature, bold will...that goes out the window the moment that he lays eyes on Sorcha. He is so amazed by this incredible soldier-woman he sees while she attempts to escape from the enemy that he, a Wood Elf with an affinity with trees, almost falls right off of the one that he is sitting upon when he sees her. And as soon as he has the convenient chance to get his hands on her (because of course, as tends to happen in these books, some feisty physical response from her to deny his help makes him have to somehow touch her), he goes on to describe her as...“...Green eyes. As green as the newly unfurled leaves of an oak tree in spring. Sorcha. His hand flinched, still gripping her thigh. She was different. With her face turned up to look at him, the moon shone off her luminous skin, and a million stars sparkled in her eyes.She was incredible. Unique. Her beauty paired with her brave fighting spirit made a combination that took his breath away. How long could he hold her in his arms?”They just met. She is unique, her fighting spirit is already fully obvious to him, she is different from apparently any other woman that he has known before...and they just met. Alright.The pace of the novel itself is quick enough, the events themselves don't really play out other than to state facts a they occur. In “big” moments, like a murder scene, or a battle, we spend a page and a half maybe stating who stabs who, who hits who over the head, who fires an arrow at who, who dies, and then we move on. And I never quite understood the lay of the land. I am aware that there are a handful of kingdoms, but (and this is nitpick-y of me, yet it nagged at me every time that it came up) the distance within the land of Woodwyn, for example, is never clear. It takes these characters a day or two—sometimes less—to travel from one place to the next, on horseback, as if everything is within arm's reach. It just sparked of unrealistic.And one of the most irritating things about this book was Sorcha's way of speaking o others by referring to them as “ye” and then would switch back to “you” without rhyme or reason. I did not understand it. It trips you up mid-dialogue again and again. Most of this novel revolves around the two leads thinking of how much they like each other, how big their attraction is, and what they want to do with that attraction from the second that they meet. And it's just forced without the buildup of a good intimate chemistry that sparks. We barely spend any time dealing with the fact of who the Woodsman is and his history, the end of the story happens so fast and things are put to rest so very easily when drama should have actually been spent in those times. It was, overall, sadly lackluster.
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  • Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨
    January 1, 1970
    ROBIN HOOD REIMAGINED WITH ELVES Actual rating: 2.5I absolutely loved Kerrelyn Spark's 'Love at Stake'-series so I was really excited to get into this book. It had its good sides that I very much enjoyed, but there were also things I didn't like which made me sad, because I didn't see that coming. My expectations weren't completely met.Disclaimer! I was unaware that this was actually the 4th in a series, so I haven't read the first 3 books. However, this review is not going to be affected by ROBIN HOOD REIMAGINED WITH ELVES Actual rating: 2.5⭐I absolutely loved Kerrelyn Spark's 'Love at Stake'-series so I was really excited to get into this book. It had its good sides that I very much enjoyed, but there were also things I didn't like which made me sad, because I didn't see that coming. My expectations weren't completely met.Disclaimer! I was unaware that this was actually the 4th in a series, so I haven't read the first 3 books. However, this review is not going to be affected by that.👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍Robin Hood: I always like a good retelling and Robin Hood retellings are few and far between. So I liked that this was a spin on that beloved tale - it even had a Friar Tuck! It was not a literal retelling, but it had some of the key elements which I liked.Wooden humour: The male protagonist of this book is called The Woodsman. He lives in the woods and is able to communicate with the spirits of the trees. I found it hilarious that this was basis for so much wood-related humour! 😂🌳 "Why do the trees do what you want? Do they relate to your wooden personality?"- Sorcha 👎 WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE 👎Insta-love: The attraction between the Woodsman and Sorcha, the female lead, was so shallow and insta-love-ish it really triggered me. There seemed to be nothing else besides physical attraction between the two of them...Sorcha: Honestly, I just didn't like Sorcha... she was so passive. Not until the last 30 pages or so did she take action and become somewhat tolerable. Still, overall she lacked spark and spunk, which saddened me greatly. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
    January 1, 1970
    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.I had a great time with this book! I am a big fan of the Embraced series by Kerrelyn Sparks. It has been a while since a new book was released due to a change in publisher. The series also has a new name, Embraced by Magic, but it is a continuation of the previous series and I am sure that the name change has everything to do with having a new publisher. I couldn't wait to dive back into this world and follow the path of one of the This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.I had a great time with this book! I am a big fan of the Embraced series by Kerrelyn Sparks. It has been a while since a new book was released due to a change in publisher. The series also has a new name, Embraced by Magic, but it is a continuation of the previous series and I am sure that the name change has everything to do with having a new publisher. I couldn't wait to dive back into this world and follow the path of one of the sisters. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.This book tells Sorcha's story and occurs shortly after the events of the previous book. It has been two years since I read that book so I didn't remember a lot of details about the previous books but everything is explained within this story so I had no trouble settling in. I do believe that this book could work as a stand-alone for readers new to the series.Sorcha's brother, Silas, and his wife, Gwennore, take a group to meet with her mother but it turns out to be a trap. Most escape back to their kingdom but Sorcha and Alexsi are left behind and taken captive. Alexsi is injured so Sorcha decides to break them out but receives unexpected help from the Woodsman. The Woodsman and his crew go to great lengths to keep Sorcha and Alexsi safe even though things are dangerous at times.I loved these characters. The Woodsman's abilities were incredibly interesting. I loved how he seemed capable of handling any situation without any trouble. He was such a kind man that really tried to do good wherever he could. Sorcha was equally amazing. She is tough and looks out for others. She is willing to risk everything for those that she cares about. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this book as well. Alexsi plays an important role and it was fun to watch him grow over the course of the story. I liked the Woodsman and Sorcha together. I thought that they had great chemistry from the start which seemed to grow over the course of the story. I liked that they were honest with each other. I thought that the scenes with Alexsi and Sorcha together were very well done and I had a great time watching them fall in love.I would recommend this book to others. It was a fun romance that featured great characters and a wonderful fantasy world. I cannot wait to read more from this talented author.I received a digital review copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley.Initial ThoughtsOh, this was a fun story! I really liked the Woodsman and Sorcha. Their powers were both really interesting. I loved the way that the Woodsman and some of the other characters could communicate through the living oaks. I liked the chemistry between the Woodsman and Sorcha and was happy that we saw a bit of a second romance involving Alexsi. It was great to see some of the characters from the earlier books in the series. All in all, this was a great read.
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  • Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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.
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  • Laura ☾
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review * 2 stars Sorcha, a human princess, born 'Embraced' with magic, is kidnapped by Elven rival land, ans subsequently aided by the mysterious Woodsman. How to Love your Elf feels a little like a vague Robin Hood retelling. I found this a bit confusing to follow initially, with a lot of info dumping, jumping between characters and situations without giving much explanation, and introduction of too many *Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review * 2 stars Sorcha, a human princess, born 'Embraced' with magic, is kidnapped by Elven rival land, ans subsequently aided by the mysterious Woodsman. How to Love your Elf feels a little like a vague Robin Hood retelling. I found this a bit confusing to follow initially, with a lot of info dumping, jumping between characters and situations without giving much explanation, and introduction of too many concepts for too few pages, with not nearly enough organic world-building. After the initial confusion, the plot seems solely focused on the romance (or more so the angst caused by the romance and their instant attraction), which I found a little cliché and predictable. I felt like the relationships weren't given time to develop, and everything just escalates out of nowhere. Also, the language used is odd at times, for example the characters sometimes address each other as 'ye' interspersed with 'you' , as well as a strange mix of modern and more archaic language. Overall, this just wasn't for me.
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  • Yodamom
    January 1, 1970
    Dragons, castles, magical talents, shifters, talking trees, wicked evil villains, and a love story. What’s not to love ? It was a fun read, a hard to put down storyline and there was a very sexy mysterious Woodsman. It was the perfect book to save me from watching “the big football game” LOLSorcha, is a princess with an attitude. She’s part of an extended family of women raised in an orphanage. She is not one to be quiet and sip her tea while the men plan, no she will get into it. I like her :D Dragons, castles, magical talents, shifters, talking trees, wicked evil villains, and a love story. What’s not to love ? It was a fun read, a hard to put down storyline and there was a very sexy mysterious Woodsman. It was the perfect book to save me from watching “the big football game” LOLSorcha, is a princess with an attitude. She’s part of an extended family of women raised in an orphanage. She is not one to be quiet and sip her tea while the men plan, no she will get into it. I like her :DThe villains were so vile ! Seriously it was easy to hate them and wish terrible things happen to them. There is a mother, a winner of the worst mother award fro sure. The things she does ! She’s not bright, or terribly beautiful just cutthroat to the bone. Another one that just made my blood boil with a sniveling privileged man/boy who thought he was owed. I may have cheered loudly as a few of them fell.I hadn’t read any of the Embraced Books that this series came from and was a bit lost in the beginning but quickly figured out the little details and how they fit together. The snippet for the next book at the end sounds really good. I’ll be reading it for sure.
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  • Mindy Lou's Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    How to Love Your Elf is a spin-off from the Embraced series. While you could start this book off as a standalone, I would actually recommend reading that series first. You will understand so much more about this world, as well as learn who most of these side characters are. I think I might not have enjoyed this one as much if I hand't read the previous series first. The more I know about the characters the faster I become invested.Sorcha and The Woodsman (you don't learn his real name until the How to Love Your Elf is a spin-off from the Embraced series. While you could start this book off as a standalone, I would actually recommend reading that series first. You will understand so much more about this world, as well as learn who most of these side characters are. I think I might not have enjoyed this one as much if I hand't read the previous series first. The more I know about the characters the faster I become invested.Sorcha and The Woodsman (you don't learn his real name until the end) were pretty entertaining together. They did lack a bit of heat compared to the other sisters books, but the overall their banter kept me entertained. It made the denial into their attraction fun to read. I also enjoyed the full cast of side characters and you get introduced to that are a part of the Woodsman's part of the world. That dang chameleon is still causing problems everyone. I'm sure we will see him still reeking havoc in the next book of the series.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received for reviewAnother great book in the embraced series (why is it listed as book one in a different series too?) Sorcha is the next sister to fall, and it's with the yummy Woodsman. Lots of interaction with previous peeps, plus a side romance with a dragon and an elf. Why only fours stars? It lacked the heat of the previous books and their ending was just okay.I did love the preview chapter for Maeve's book.
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: How to Love Your ElfSeries: Embraced by Magic #1, The Embraced #4Author: Kerrelyn SparksRelease date: February 25, 2020Cliffhanger: NoGenre: fantasyWhen I requested this, I was really excited by the synopsis and the fact that I found a first book in a new series centering around elves. It's listed as Embraced by Magic #1, unfortunately that's deceptive. This book is actually the fourth in The Embraced series, which I haven't read. I quickly noticed after starting that this did not have a Title: How to Love Your ElfSeries: Embraced by Magic #1, The Embraced #4Author: Kerrelyn SparksRelease date: February 25, 2020Cliffhanger: NoGenre: fantasyWhen I requested this, I was really excited by the synopsis and the fact that I found a first book in a new series centering around elves. It's listed as Embraced by Magic #1, unfortunately that's deceptive. This book is actually the fourth in The Embraced series, which I haven't read. I quickly noticed after starting that this did not have a first book feel at all. Details of side characters and wordbuilding were explained briefly in the assumption that these facts are merely to refresh the reader's memory of what came before. Although this can be read as a standalone, be aware before you start that you will have some mild spoilers about previous couples when reading this as their stories are discussed. Princess Sorcha is one of five girls who were raised as sisters on the Isle of the Moon. Because of the circumstances of their birth, they are all considered "Embraced" because of the powers they were gifted with. Sorcha's brother Silas Dravenko, is the new king of Norveshka, and one of the few dragon shifters in existence. Three of her sisters have found love already, Gwenmore with her brother Silas. Sorcha has made a vow to herself that she will resist falling in love because she fears growing an attachment to anyone. She sees herself as weak, feeling helpless and scared when her sisters were in danger in the past. This was one of the main conflicts which I felt was a pretty flimsy one. It was a matter of one or two days after meeting the hero that Sorcha believed herself in love with him. The insta-love was a bit much for me in this case. Their feelings were too much, too fast, making me question everything between them. After two days together, and another day spent apart she's already decided that she's in love with him and she knows almost nothing about him, not even his name and true identity. She still refers to him by his outlaw nickname very late into the book, because his secret identity is deliberately kept from her. Dammit. She rubbed her brow. She’d had only three days with the Woodsman. It simply wasn’t enough time. There was still so much she didn’t know.And the same goes for him. He feels an obsessive attraction for her, which he just rationalizes is due to falling in love with her. Why? He's not really sure. How could she mean so much to him so quickly? He paused at the top of the stairs leading down to the courtyard. There was only one explanation. He loved her.Sorcha meets "The Woodsman" when her party is set up for an ambush in the forest. We're told that in the previous book, a treaty was formed between the Norveshki and the elves who have always been bitter enemies. Sorcha and her family are led into a trap, attacked, and she and dragon protector Aleksi are taken prisoner. The Woodsman is a Robin Hood type outlaw who stumbles upon the incident and reluctantly decides to lend a hand. He has the ability to converse with the magic trees of the forest. This is his biggest strength because the trees see and hear everything and they not only give him important information about people, but they can warn and protect him. The Woodsman is immediately smitten with Sorcha but for various reasons he constantly struggles internally with his feelings. The timing is the most important deterrent. Ever since his father was murdered, he's been plotting revenge, and his plans are on the verge of coming to fruition. He's also uncomfortable with her power to create fire with a snap of her fingers. Oddly, he believes she could accidentally set fire to the Living Oaks which didn't make a whole lot of sense to me to be honest. Is it really possible to accidentally snap your fingers? Fortunately, neither of them have much willpower to resist their paltry objections as to why they shouldn't fall for each other. Before long, they've waved the white flag to their chemistry and are fully devoted, despite the power struggle with the mysterious Chameleon and the Circle of Five who plot to destroy them. While the instant romance was not to my particular taste, it may not be an issue for others. The romance was cute, if a little cheesy at times, but I did enjoy the banter between the main characters. I think my reading experience may have been a little more enhanced if I had read the previous books in the series first, so those who have been faithfully following will likely find more to appreciate as well. Overall, not a bad read, but it lacked the butterflies in the stomach romantic tension I hope to find. On the positive side, this was a fast read, and a simple fantasy if that's what you're searching for. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Jammin Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was a really well written book. I loved the world building the author did with the different languages (Elfish, Norvisch?) I also really liked the relationship between the Woodsman and the Princess. Definitely a series I would want to continue. There's an elfish war at hand and who will win?
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  • Marta Cox
    January 1, 1970
    Book four in the Embraced series and yet strangely the series title has changed !Reading order isHow to tame a beast in seven daysSo I married a SorcererEight simple rules for dating a dragonObviously a change of publisher might account for this. I can only say I enjoyed this fun fantasy with more than a touch of romance. I look forward to the next book This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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  • Heather Dade
    January 1, 1970
    **I was provided an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book ever since I finished The Embraced Book 3, Eight Simple Rules For Dating a Dragon. And I’m happy to report that it didn’t disappoint! It’s so freaking good! I love the ongoing plot of The Circle of Five and the Chamaeleon, and how Sorcha’s story tied into everything. Now the wait begins for the fifth and final book in this series. Can’t wait to see what **I was provided an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book ever since I finished The Embraced Book 3, Eight Simple Rules For Dating a Dragon. And I’m happy to report that it didn’t disappoint! It’s so freaking good! I love the ongoing plot of The Circle of Five and the Chamaeleon, and how Sorcha’s story tied into everything. Now the wait begins for the fifth and final book in this series. Can’t wait to see what happens next!!
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  • *The Angry Reader*
    January 1, 1970
    Who’s really to blame - me or the book? I took an ARC way outside my comfort zone when really I should have known better. It took me days to start it. Days to read the first twelve percent. The writing was plain and unimaginative. The story was ludicrous. The characters frequently did things that were dangerous, ridiculous and inexplicable. And at some point I kinda caved. I think around 44% I thought “this isn’t that bad.” And as long as I ignored large hunks of boring descriptions or stupid Who’s really to blame - me or the book? I took an ARC way outside my comfort zone when really I should have known better. It took me days to start it. Days to read the first twelve percent. The writing was plain and unimaginative. The story was ludicrous. The characters frequently did things that were dangerous, ridiculous and inexplicable. And at some point I kinda caved. I think around 44% I thought “this isn’t that bad.” And as long as I ignored large hunks of boring descriptions or stupid behavior the reading cruised right along. The truth is - I know better than to read something like this. Sometimes Past Me is an optimist who fobs unpleasant things off on Future Me assuming “it won’t be that bad.” And then Future Me becomes Present Me and suddenly the piper must be paid. I’d like to tell you I won’t do this again - but we both know that’s a lie. As always - thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to offer my honest opinion.
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This novel just wasn't for me. The romance aspect felt forced and progressed at such a rapid speed it left very little intrigue. For someone who has not read any other work by this author, I felt the plot was confusing and again rushed. Additionally, I did not care for Sorcha's character. She seemed lack luster and at times annoying. Finally, I loathed the inconsistent use of "ye". Ye should remove this!
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  • Kayla TM
    January 1, 1970
    Sorcha is one of the Embraced, children born during a yearly eclipse between the two moons. As an Embraced child, she was sent off as a baby to live in a convent where she was raised with other girls she grew to recognize as her sisters. Now an adult, she has discovered she is a princess in a country almost constantly at war with their elven neighbors. When a mission beyond the borders of her brother’s kingdom, results in her capture, Sorcha finds herself aided by the handsome, and mysterious, Sorcha is one of the Embraced, children born during a yearly eclipse between the two moons. As an Embraced child, she was sent off as a baby to live in a convent where she was raised with other girls she grew to recognize as her sisters. Now an adult, she has discovered she is a princess in a country almost constantly at war with their elven neighbors. When a mission beyond the borders of her brother’s kingdom, results in her capture, Sorcha finds herself aided by the handsome, and mysterious, Woodsman. Despite both of their stubbornness, the Woodsman and Sorcha find themselves unavoidably attracted to each other.If you like cheesy, predictable paranormal romance, this is a wonderful book. I need to emphasize how corny it is though. While, I’m not usually a fan of these kinds of stories, I actually really enjoyed reading this one. And let’s be honest, the title would’ve put me completely off from reading it all on its own. It’s a light, fluffy kind of read that is just fun. Sure there are things that I would usually nitpick like crazy, but for what it’s supposed to be, it’s great. That said, I did struggle a little bit with the wording during the hot and steamy scenes, mostly the words the author chose to describe certain nouns (at one point I even laughed at the word choice). That and how many times the author uses the word “damn” or “dammit” is a bit excessive. There’s some adventure and plenty of conflict, though it resolves itself pretty cleanly, and quickly. I would honestly say this book delivers a light, fun romance that is exactly what it’s supposed to be. Four stars, I might even choose to read the sequel when it comes out.
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  • Heather andrews
    January 1, 1970
    Not gonna lie the man can be a bit daft at times, "holy Light. Was she trying to seduce him? He scoured his mind to come up with a pithy response. “Oh?” Damn, he wasn’t usually this slow-witted." Sorcha his no problem going in for the kill, “We could have a quick affair.” He sputtered wine all over himself..." I really liked this book, which actually kind of surprised me. The blurb doesn't really do the book justice.
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  • Madison Warner Fairbanks
    January 1, 1970
    How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks4th book in the Embraced by Magic series. (Labeled as 1st because of a change in publishers.) Fantasy romance. Best read as part of the series but can stand alone for the romance. Some plot lines not completed because of the overall arc.For those that read the first three, it won’t really be a surprise where this one is going. It’s a delightful journey that isn’t spoiled because you know a couple of things the heroine doesn’t. Elves, dragons, magic and How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks4th book in the Embraced by Magic series. (Labeled as 1st because of a change in publishers.) Fantasy romance. Best read as part of the series but can stand alone for the romance. Some plot lines not completed because of the overall arc.For those that read the first three, it won’t really be a surprise where this one is going. It’s a delightful journey that isn’t spoiled because you know a couple of things the heroine doesn’t. Elves, dragons, magic and romance. And talking oak trees. A fast read with a bit of humor and a feisty heroine who doesn’t appreciate a bossy hero. I’m looking forward to the next and final book in the series. Maeve and Brody, finally. Hopefully he will find someone to lift his curse!Excerpt:“Do you need more wine?” Father Kit asked. “No,” the Woodsman said at the same time Sorcha said, “Yes!” With another silent groan, he turned toward Sorcha. “Will you stop drinking and tell me what’s wrong?” She gave him an exasperated look. “How can you remain so calm when we’re doomed?” He gritted his teeth. “We are not doomed.” “Well, maybe you’re not, but I certainly am. You see . . .” She finished her half-full cup, then hiccupped. “I hate to admit this, but . . . I’m already attracted to you.” His heart lurched. “Oh?” Wait, she hated to admit it? Her shoulders slumped. “So, that’s why I’m doomed. The potion will work on me.” Did she have to look so damned depressed about it? “Sorcha, nothing will happen. I promise you, I will not allow a potion to dictate what I think or feel.” Her eyes widened as she sat up. “You’re right!” She made a fist. “You must fight this. Don’t you dare fall in love with me. And I promise, I will do my best never to love you.” “Wonderful,” he grumbled, then turned to Father Kit. “I need more wine after all.” With a grin, the priest handed them a full pitcher. The Woodsman filled their cups, but when Sorcha suddenly flinched beside him, he spilled some onto the wooden tray. “What is it now?” She leaned toward him, her green eyes dancing with excitement. “I just had an idea. Obviously, the full effect of the potion hasn’t hit us yet, so we might consider beating it to the punch.” “How?” He took a drink. “We could have a quick affair.” He sputtered wine all over himself. “What?”“We could beat the love potion to the punch—” “There is no punch.” He used a cloth napkin to dry off the wine that had run down his throat to his chest. Then he realized she was staring at the open neck of his shirt. Her gaze slowly lifted to linger on his mouth; then she licked her lips. Dang[] now he did want to jump on her like a beast. “Sorcha, stop looking at me like that.” Her eyes filled with horror. “Oh, no. I must have succumbed to the power of the potion.” “No, you haven’t. You’ve been staring at my mouth since you first met me.” Her face turned pink. “I can’t help it. You’re just so disgustingly handsome.” “Was that a compliment?” he muttered. She hiccupped. “It’s true. I find you terribly attractive.” Frowning, she picked up her cup. “Even though it makes no sense whatsoever.”Excerpt from How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn SparksI received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to share.
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  • Anne - Books of My Heart
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartReview copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I love the people, the sisters of the Embraced series . The series had a delay and a new series name, Embraced by Magic with a change in publisher. I felt a little bit lost, at first, with the time lag. While the male and the kingdom are new, each book focuses on one new couple, so it wasn't hard to read. The sisters are always This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I love the people, the sisters of  the Embraced series . The series had a delay and a new series name, Embraced by Magic with a change in publisher.  I felt a little bit lost, at first, with the time lag.  While the male and the kingdom are new, each book focuses on one new couple, so it wasn't hard to read.  The sisters are always part of the story and it's great to get updates on what is happening with them.How to Love Your Elf is about the elves.  There are actually two factions of elves: the river elves and the wood elves.  I enjoyed learning about them. The King is Gwennore's grandfather.  They've been at war with the dragons for a long time.  Gwennore almost met her mother but it didn't work out. (view spoiler)[Her mother has made some bad choices and chose to double down on them.  (hide spoiler)]The couple here is Sorcha, whose brother, Silas,  is the King of Dragons and Gwennore's husband. She's smart and strong but inexperienced and rather silly about relationships.  The Woodsman is a mystery, with no name but a legend with his comrades. He is an elf of integrity and rather a Robin Hood sort.  I found the romance and sex scenes to not be very realistic, but it is fiction.So far all the sisters have turned out to have royal connections and have ended up married to kings. The mysteries of the series ties in with the hidden stories of the sisters' pasts and the five kingdoms. We did see the continuing villainery of the Chameleon but the Circle of Five took some hits! There are still many concerns with them, though.I have really enjoyed this series!  They are fun and interesting as we learn about each kingdom and the mystery of the sister who turns out to be from the kingdom.  The books all follow this similar pattern.  The feel is fantasy with romance, mystery, and suspense.  I love the bits of humor!  There is one more book for the final unmarried sister, Maeve, A Siren and the Deep Blue Sea, planned for this August.  I can't wait to know about all the kingdoms and mysteries! 
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  • Kira
    January 1, 1970
    Although this is labeled as being first in a series, it's not. It's a continuation of the Embraced series. This could be read on its own and wouldn't be horribly confusing. Having the background info on the world and the characters is helpful.Sorcha gets kidnapped by elves. She is rescued by a mysterious man called the Woodsman. There is too much going on in the country of Woodwyn for Sorcha to be brought back to her family quickly. I really liked how the relationship between Sorcha and the Although this is labeled as being first in a series, it's not. It's a continuation of the Embraced series. This could be read on its own and wouldn't be horribly confusing. Having the background info on the world and the characters is helpful.Sorcha gets kidnapped by elves. She is rescued by a mysterious man called the Woodsman. There is too much going on in the country of Woodwyn for Sorcha to be brought back to her family quickly. I really liked how the relationship between Sorcha and the Woodsman developed. It was cool to finally find out what was going on with the elves. They were mentioned in the other books as being vicious but the reason for it wasn't known. The chameleon makes an appearance and remains as elusive as ever. The goal of the circle of 5 was revealed. They are a crafty bunch, but their motives are still murky. Can't wait for the next one!Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me this in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Sandra Berryman
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I've read in this series and I loved it. If you enjoy paranormal romances this book is one of the best I've read. I received an e-book from NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.
  • Nikki Brooks
    January 1, 1970
    The Circle of Five are still running amok but now that her sisters are settling down with their mates, Sorcha is feeling more and more like the odd one out. They only seem to think about mates, babies and marrying her off to some chinless wonder! That is not for Sorcha! She wants adventure and to be in amongst the danger, not having tea and crumpets. She is no Queen-in-waiting.But someone has it out for Sorcha's brother and they figure out that to get to him they need his wife, one of Sorcha's The Circle of Five are still running amok but now that her sisters are settling down with their mates, Sorcha is feeling more and more like the odd one out. They only seem to think about mates, babies and marrying her off to some chinless wonder! That is not for Sorcha! She wants adventure and to be in amongst the danger, not having tea and crumpets. She is no Queen-in-waiting.But someone has it out for Sorcha's brother and they figure out that to get to him they need his wife, one of Sorcha's adopted sisters. But things go a bit awry with their plan and they end up with Sorcha and a certain dragon-shifter. But before she can use her control of fire to bust them out, she is aided by the elusive Woodsman. He seems to have his own beef with this particular clutch of Elves.The Woodsman is like Robin Hood on steroids! He can talk to trees and, let's face it, he is super easy on the eyes. But he also has a gentle soul, he hates seeing his people oppressed and hates injustice. But can he enlist Sorcha into his plan?Great read and I loved all the nods to Robin Hood (my very first book boyfriend!). I cannot wait to see what we put Maeve and Brodie through next!
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  • Shuchi Sharma
    January 1, 1970
    Can't wait for this
  • Tracy Emro
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of Kerrelyn Sparks’ original “Embraced” series will be delighted to learn that this new series takes us back to Aerthlan and picks up where that one left off! Sorcha has sworn off love, she is determined to escape the fate the telling stones predicted and not fall in love, especially not with an elf! She is in Norvshka with her brother King Silas and his new bride Gwennore, when Gwen gets a letter from her mother Princess Jenetta of the Elven country of Woodwyn, requesting to meet her. Fans of Kerrelyn Sparks’ original “Embraced” series will be delighted to learn that this new series takes us back to Aerthlan and picks up where that one left off! Sorcha has sworn off love, she is determined to escape the fate the telling stones predicted and not fall in love, especially not with an elf! She is in Norvshka with her brother King Silas and his new bride Gwennore, when Gwen gets a letter from her mother Princess Jenetta of the Elven country of Woodwyn, requesting to meet her. Sorcha insists on going with her and soon it is clear that the letter was a ruse and they are ambushed. Gwen and Silas escape, but when the dragon shifter Aleksi is injured, he and Sorcha are captured by the Elves.An outlaw elf known as the Woodsman witnesses the battle and helps them escape, he too is “embraced” and has the power to manipulate wood and can communicate with the trees. He is immediately attracted to Sorcha, but he has a mission to complete and has no time to pursue a romance. He tells her he will get help for Aleksi’s injuries and return her to her family. She is wary of him, but with no options, she agrees to accept his help. She is attracted to him, but as he doesn’t fit the description of the man the stone foretold, she doesn’t believe he is “the one” – but she wishes he was! She is upset when she learns he is an outlaw, but soon realizes he is actually protecting the people of Woodwyn, acting as a sort of Robin Hood. The more time she spends with him, the more she wants him, but he is not her destiny…or is he? This was a well written, fast paced story with lots of humor, some action, a little magic, new and old villains, secrets, surprising revelations, some steamy love scenes, shifters, elves, dragons, cameos with her adopted sisters, some heartbreak and finally a well-earned HEA complete with an epilogue that sets up Maeve’s story. I really enjoyed this book – it was a fun read that pulls you into the fictional world of Aerthlan and the Embraced. I had so much fun reading this book that I didn’t want the story to end and when I got to the last page it left me anxiously awaiting the next book! If you like historical paranormal romance (but be warned - the dialogue is decidedly modern) – you must read this series. This is the first book in the Embraced by Magic series published by Kensington Books, but it is not the first book Kerrelyn has written about the sisters – You could read this book as a stand-alone novel, but I suggest looking into this authors backlist.*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the Publisher.*
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  • Carvanz
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve loved each story so far of the girls who grew to be sisters, each of them embraced with special abilities. This was a great addition to the previous books! (But the beginning of a new series? I can get behind that!)Sorcha is captured when a plan to meet Gwen’s mother fails. Even as she sets out to rescue herself, a stranger interferes. Soon she’s taken captive again, this time by the Woodsman. But the further they travel and the more she learns about him, she begins to question if she’s his I’ve loved each story so far of the girls who grew to be sisters, each of them embraced with special abilities. This was a great addition to the previous books! (But the beginning of a new series? I can get behind that!)Sorcha is captured when a plan to meet Gwen’s mother fails. Even as she sets out to rescue herself, a stranger interferes. Soon she’s taken captive again, this time by the Woodsman. But the further they travel and the more she learns about him, she begins to question if she’s his captive or if he’s rescuing her.The Woodsman was a great hero. Not over the top about the heroine, but irresistibly drawn to her. I loved that she confused him and his emotions and often times had him talking to himself. She sent him on quite a bit of a chase. ’She was definitely a sneaky one. Unpredictable. Surprising. A challenge.His mouth tilted up. He’d always enjoyed a challenge.’While Sorcha was tough enough when needed, she suffered from anxiety when anyone she cared for was in danger. To me, that just seemed like what any normal person would do, but for some reason it was a negative characteristic, at least for her. However, I loved her innocence (gotta read about the community picnic) and her ability to keep the Woodsman guessing. ’”The Woodsman will have a plan.”Liz smirked. “The Woodsman always has a plan.”The crowd gave the Woodsman an expectant, hopeful look as he came to a stop in front of them.“So?” Father Kit turned toward him. “What’s the plan?”Hell if I know.’This has a lot of humor interspersed within the drama and action. With some political intrigue as well as threats from a force that wants to rule the world, this story had plenty of layers to keep me engaged. There is a lot of romance here but very little steam. Normally, that would be okay but there was also a lack of chemistry between the hero and heroine, so even when I did get to what should have been the steamy parts, I just kinda skimmed through them. However, that did not take away from my overall enjoyment of this book.Multi POVSafe (view spoiler)[no ow/om drama; h virgin; H not a manwhore (hide spoiler)]Triggers (view spoiler)[no apparent triggers (hide spoiler)]
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  • Ann Lorz
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog: http://www.romancingthereaders.com/20...Let start off with this wonderful title. I just love it. It really draws the eye to this book. If you hadn't yet read any of the books yet you'd think about it after this title. I'm so happy that we finally got another book in this series. Or I should say The Embraced series. That's the series that started it all. When the author changed publishers she also changed the name of the series. It is now Embraced by Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog: http://www.romancingthereaders.com/20...Let start off with this wonderful title. I just love it. It really draws the eye to this book. If you hadn't yet read any of the books yet you'd think about it after this title. I'm so happy that we finally got another book in this series. Or I should say The Embraced series. That's the series that started it all. When the author changed publishers she also changed the name of the series. It is now Embraced by Magic. Only a little change but one none the less. I was really worried we'd never get Sorcha's story and I'm so happy that here it is. In the prior books, I really liked her. She really stood out to me. She wasn't always as likable in her story. It was hard to put my finger on why. I think it was just the way the author wrote her. I enjoyed the woodsmen he shined for me I liked their relationship for the most part. I got why Sorcha held her independence so close to herself. When you are left on your own at such a young age with no one but your "sisters" to be there for you it molds a person and their thinking. There are many parts of this story that I really enjoyed and I am glad that I read it but I'm not so sure it's my favorite of the two series. I don't feel it was as well written as the other books. Usually, with a Sparks book, I find more humor and fun in them while the suspense is happing. Something I really enjoyed about her. I just didn't find that here. I'm not saying that I couldn't read the book because I could. It just felt different for this author. Unfortunately, I can't give it more than 3 stars. It's good, but not great. I would also check out the other series first before reading this one. It will help you get to know Sorcha and her sisters. Even though I was a little disappointed I will be reading the next book in the series with hopes it's more to my liking. You do learn the woodsman's name at the end of the book but I decided not to share it with you in my book info because I think it's fun to learn it on your own. Follow me on:https://www.facebook.com/RomancingThe...https://twitter.com/RomancingreaderARC received for an honest review
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  • Penny
    January 1, 1970
    I am a fan of this author from way back. I love when a new book comes out, and I dived right into this one. I remember Sorcha from another series (this is sort of a book in that series), and I liked her in that series. I’m still on the fence about how I feel about her in this one (more on that in a minute). This book still has the great writing I’ve come to expect from this author, and I loved the plot. The characters were all good too, but for some reason, Sorcha just annoyed me in parts of I am a fan of this author from way back. I love when a new book comes out, and I dived right into this one. I remember Sorcha from another series (this is sort of a book in that series), and I liked her in that series. I’m still on the fence about how I feel about her in this one (more on that in a minute). This book still has the great writing I’ve come to expect from this author, and I loved the plot. The characters were all good too, but for some reason, Sorcha just annoyed me in parts of this book. She would at times seem independent, but then be obsessed over the Woodsman and ruin that. However, this didn’t detract too much from the book, and I still enjoyed it. I would read the other books in the series to get a better feel, though, for this one. Recommend.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This is actually the 4th book in the series and it is as action packed, suspenseful and well written as the prior 2 books. The hero is similar to Robin Hood and the heroine is strong and loyal. I just loved the world building. Can’t wait for the next one!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book on a new series it was a fun read. Fast moving and wonderful characters. Had a bit of everything in it a fun romance between the two main characters action and adventure all in all a good read look forward to the next
  • Sally906
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow
  • Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars
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