ARC Review: Allure by Lea Nolan

Allure.jpg

Title:  Allure
Series: The Hoodoo Apprentice #2
By: Lea Nolan
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Paranormal, Magic
Publication Date: Oct 1st 2013
Pages: 304 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
Publisher:  Entangled Teen                   

Goodreads Summary:

Worst. Summer. Ever.

Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper's sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.


Please note: this review is for book two in the series, there may be small spoilers for book one

When you begin reading Allure, the second story in the Hoodoo Apprentice young adult series, get ready to be dropped into Lea Nolan’s fantastic world where curses, soul-eating creatures, and Hoodoo go hand-in-hand with adventure, summer fun and sweet romance.

SETTING

Allure has a richly imagined setting, one that began with the first book in the Hoodoo Apprentice series Conjure, and that I fell in love with all over again. The story unfolds during the summer in South Carolina's lowcountry. Lea Nolan does an amazing job with her descriptions of Beaufort and St. Helena's Island and the Gullah people's culture and folkways.  It was easy to picture Emma, Jack, and Cooper meandering through the salty grass marshes or walking beneath a canopy of giant live oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss. I could smell the sweet perfume of Miss Delia's flower and herb garden, as well as see her rainbow hued, bottle tree glistening with it’s thousands of multicolored bottles. Her descriptions are that good, and the Gullah and Hoodoo magic- let’s just say that there’s plenty of those type of descriptions too- the gross, ooey-gooey, yucky kind!

SUMMARY

Allure continues the story that began in Conjure with Emma, Jack and Cooper off seeking Summertime fun and adventure, only this time around  Emma needs to use her newfound Hoodoo powers to break The Beaumont Curse placed upon her boyfriend Cooper. She has until his sixteenth birthday to break the curse or else he’ll become like all the other generations of Beaumont men, wandering and soulless. Together with her brother Jack and guidance from Miss Delia, they try to save Cooper. What they don’t expect is that they will have to face a soul-eating boohag and dark magic before they can free Cooper.

CHARACTERS

Emma Guthrie is really starting to become a great Hoodoo apprentice, and in this story she’s totally devoted to saving Cooper (her crush turned boyfriend) much like she was devoted to breaking the curse on her brother Jack in book one (Conjure). Even when faced with danger, and possibly getting her heart-broken, she does not back down, nor give-up on anyone (even when they're acting like a jerk to her) but keeps on- determined to see the best in them. I loved that Emma is smart, loyal, kind, and kick-butt too.

Jack Guthrie: Jack takes on a much better role in this story which I loved. He’s sweet, supportive and a pretty awesome twin brother throughout the story, such a refreshing change from the obnoxious behavior in Conjure. He really shines in this story so much more, so if you read book one, and didn’t think you’d want any more of his Jack-Attitude don’t worry, you're going to love this Jack- complete turn around since he’s thrown off the Creep!

Cooper Beaumont is such a sweet doll of a guy, but thanks to the Beaumont Curse, this sweet guy is going to go turn a bit Gremlin (Okay- not physically people) on us. Lea Nolan brings in curses, temptation, and havoc on poor Cooper before all is said and done. I still loved his character though throughout the story though, and you can’t help but root for him.

Miss Delia (the most powerful Gullah Hoodoo root worker on St. Helena) is back helping Emma any way she can to break The Beaumont Curse. This feisty, older lady (90+) continues to play an important role in Emma, Jack and Cooper’s lives. She is a force to be reckoned with, and not someone you’d want to make an enemy of.

THE ROMANCE
Emma and Cooper are officially together as girlfriend and boyfriend in Allure. There’s lot’s more hand-holding, dreamy looks and sweet kisses this time around.

Swoon Level: Crush

Swoon Quote: Warning, skip if you don’t want to read swoon yumminess ahead!

You’re my girl Emmaline. If I want to kiss you in front of the whole state of South Carolina, I will. He steps closer and plants an even deeper, hotter kiss, causing my head to swoon and legs to wobble.”

WHAT I LIKED

Yay for Twins! Emma and Jack, as twins are really awesome in Allure. Such a great change has come over on Jack since Conjure. Together, I felt Emma and Jack were unstoppable.

WHAT MADE ME SAD (Not a negative thing)

Well, I kind of knew it was going to need to happen, if you read the summary you know there’s a curse on darling Cooper’s head, well- let’s just say he becomes a bit of a jerk to poor Emma in part of the story.

THE RATING 4.5 Stars. I really liked it!

RECOMMENDATION

Lea Nolan has created a great Middle Grade crossover novel. The teens featured in the story are between 14-16, giving the story (and series) a younger feel, but with it’s enticing mystery, magic, and sweet romance, older teens and adults will find it just as appealing. Perfect for those looking for magic, curses, and icky monsters in their read.

DO YOU NEED TO READ BOOK ONE

Lea Nolan does a great recap on the first story Conjure, so you don’t necessarily have to read the first book, but I would strongly recommend that you do. There’s just so many wonderful details, and an great introductions to the characters you’ll won’t want to miss out on besides a fabulous story featuring pirates, treasure and a flesh eating curse in Conjure!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Entangled Teen via NetGalley in exchange for my fair review. Thank you Entangled Teen for the review opportunity!

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