Wednesday, January 8, 2014

HEART OF BRIAR by Laura Anne Gilman

Book One of The Portals Series
Harlequin Luna
July 31st, 2013
Electronic Advance Reading Copy
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher via Netgalley
3 Hearts

Jan never expected to hear that her boyfriend was kidnapped and taken to Elfland. Yeah, it boggles the mind that there is such a place. But when she is rescued by shifters, well let’s just say Jan’s world just went to weird-ville. Now with time racing against her, Jan needs to find her courage and get her boyfriend back because she doesn’t have to save just Tyler but also humanity as well.

Laura Anne Gilman is a talented writer but with her first book in the Portals series, it was a hit or miss for me. I understand she is setting up the story and whatnot but there was a lot of information dumping at times as well as a predictable storyline that had me bored at times. The story moves along at an okay pace though at times I was hoping it would speed up somewhat. The characters are diverse yet I never felt a connection with any of them. Jan and Tyler’s romance was done mainly through some flashbacks which I enjoyed immensely but the reader never gets to the meat of the story…that one aspect that lets you root for them. The villain is a character that could have been so much better if they were fleshed out a bit more. As it was, I could take them or leave them after finishing HEART OF BRIAR.

Meet Jan. She wakes up to find her world is changed forever. When her boyfriend, Tyler is kidnapped and she is told she is the only person to save him, well let’s just say the world as Jan knows it just got complicated. Now she has to navigate between supernaturals and preternaturals. I liked how Jan struggled with the knowledge that her world also has creatures from story tales and myths. The scenes with the Supers and the Preters are well written but the characters could have been a bit more fleshed out to make the story a bit more complete in my opinion. The dynamics between Jan and the rest of the cast of characters are at times a bit rushed and one dimensional but overall, an okay read.

HEART OF BRIAR delivers a story that could be better with just a little more tightening of characters and storyline but overall, is a satisfying read in the end if a bit predictable. The author is a fairly good storyteller who takes the story, ‘Tam Lin’ and turns it upside down and inside out. I normally enjoy this author’s work immensely but after finishing HEART OF BRIAR, I am on the fence in reading the second book. If you enjoy a little intrigue with your paranormal, then you might enjoy HEART OF BRIAR.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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