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Posted March 6, 2014
Beautiful cover! But overall, Allure wasn’t half as appealing to me as the first novel, Conjure. I found the first 230 pages not only disappointing, but frustrating to the max. It was long, boring, and the characters were really starting to get on my nerves.
Emma seemed more ignorant than in the previous novel, and was completely blinded by her emotions to the point where I had to wonder if she was paying attention to any of the obvious clues around her. Especially when it came to Teneea, her behavior, and the affect she had on Cooper’s judgment. Oh, and Cooper—GRRR—if I was the main character in this novel, I would have not tolerated his attitude. Typically, I don’t mind a character’s behavior changing, especially when I understand why, but I felt, in Cooper’s case, it was taken way too far. At a certain point, I finally gave up on him. I honestly didn’t care if he was under a spell, a good part of me just wanted the curse to take him and be done with it. Yes, sweet, lovable Cooper made me that mad! Actually, the only character I did like in this novel was Jack, and there wasn’t enough with him to really keep my interest.
What saved Allure from a single star was the last 123 pages. That’s when it started to have the “old gang” feel to it again, despite Cooper still pining after Teneea. Also, it’s where the adventure and mystery finally started to click in. And it was interesting with its twists and turns, some of which I saw coming from the start and some that took me completely by surprise. This was where the story blossomed. But Cooper still has a lot of making up to do before I accept him back with open arms.
In conclusion, I’m going to continue the series since I always loved the concept, but I really was not at all impressed with Allure.
Posted November 1, 2013
“It’s hoodoo…Not voodoo. That’s a religion.”
In case you were unclear, 14 year old Emma, apprentice to Miss Delia, the most powerful hoodoo Gullah root worker of the Lowcountry in South Carolina, will clarify the misconception and race against a deadline to save her BF, Cooper Beaumont from a 300 year old curse. When you meet this young lady, you’ll know that this sort of urgent matter — it’s all in a day’s work for this gal! Allure is book 2 in the Hoodoo Apprentice series by Lea Nolan. I loved her writing style, the flow of the story so much, not only do I clamor for book 3 (please say there’s a book 3!), but I’ll retrace my steps in the meantime and start at the beginning with the debut novel, Conjure! By the time I’m done with that, you should be ready to go…right, Ms. Nolan? ;)
While Allure launches straight into a fast-approaching target date of 3 weeks (Cooper’s 16th birthday) to break the curse, we’re immediately given snippets of information detailing missing Gullah artifacts pivotal in Conjure. Overlapping mysteries including a stolen pirate’s dagger and a missing family heirloom are interwoven throughout the story, but Ms. Nolan features them all diligently. Sure, Cooper’s soul is the most important (can’t lose focus there, lol), but the suspense behind the subplots were just as intriguing. The 80-carat family heirloom ruby stolen from Cooper’s father, Beau, whose description resembles that of Jabba the Hut (minus the rotting bologna odor), detours off the main storyline, but snatches center stage when further explored by Emma, her twin brother, Jack, and Cooper, as it connects to the Beaumont curse Cooper is so desperate to avoid.
Sabina, an African queen with a brutal sense of justice…used her mystical hoodoo powers to seek revenge. She…cursed the Beaumont progeny forever by stealing their souls when they come into manhood, turning them unspeakably dark and corrupt.
A murder to be solved (along with identification of a tar-like substance found on the body), an unplanned stay from Miss Delia’s haughty great-granddaughter (intent on spoiling Emma and Jack’s young love), a shady investigator with a dark agenda, and all kinds of hoodoo magic, spell conjuring, and boo hags ultimately find its way back to the heart of the matter. This isn’t stereotypical teenage amusement at play, but supernatural threats that are based in deep-rooted vengeance.
Before you know it, latent effects of the curse are taking root within Cooper and he begins to detach from Emma and Jack (the trio have been BFFs for years).
My jaw drops as I stare at him, transfixed by the strange hue of his irises. His eyes have always appeared to change shades, but I’ve never seen this one, ever. It’s cold. Lifeless. Perhaps even soulless. A chill ripples through me. Is this proof that the Beaumont Curse has begun to set in?
Will breaking the Beaumont curse rid Cooper of his sudden obsession with Miss Delia’s great-granddaughter? Just when you hoped things/emotions would settle down, Ms. Nolan ramps up the hoodoo action, with even more action, and the mother of showdowns leaves you with baited breath (and a wicked oath for interference). Quick resolutions? Where’s the fun in that?! BRING ON BOOK #3!!!
I loved the care, the respect, afforded to the practice. Ms. Nolan clearly dabbles in the art or has done a marvelous job of research. The gathering of herbs and exotic ingredients to execute a spell felt as if they were being concocted in my home. I could almost smell the lemon verbena! I got such a kick out of her flare for the dynamic imagery: Referring to the first deputy on site of the murder scene, she described him as “a thick-necked, muscle-bound specimen of crime-fighting prowess”, or when explaining the impossible, she refutes, “But that’s like telling an ice cube not to melt in this heat”. When voiced by a 14 year old girl, Ms. Nolan gives you hope for the next generation! Even when Emma’s hoping justice is served, her indignation lies on the person mistreating hoodoo; for using it with malevolence. I loved this young lady! I did gasp, and gulp, when reading a kiss between Emma and Cooper that was just too “advanced” for my tastes. Tracing kisses behind her ear…yiker bikers, slow down! It didn’t go beyond that, thankfully, and we end up in love with young love…well, sort of. An unexpected change of plans keeps Emma and Jack in South Carolina. How long till Cooper and Jack notice Emma keeps looking over her shoulder from the supernatural threat that has a personal bone to pick with her?
It was indeed my pleasure to meet a lovely cast of characters, each equally impressive and unique. I did end the story on an “Awww…”, so I’ll say it again: I’M READY FOR BOOK 3!!!
Posted October 2, 2013
I love an author who can transport me into the world that I’m reading about. I feel like that is the case with Lea Nolan’s Allure. Honestly there were moments where I thought I talk with a southern accent. I felt like I was totally absorbed into the world while I was reading. That is definitely one of my favorite things about books.
I think Emma grew through the book. Her hoodoo workings are definitely becoming stronger and she is learning some lessons about love of course. The thing I love about her is how she trudges on, even if things are going to crap. She will stop and say you know what I can’t deal with this right now I have more important problems. There are often times where she seems really mature and of course other times where she is a young girl who has a boyfriend who is being, well. He is being what he is being. (can’t spoil too much)
Cooper I’m mad at you...
There are some new characters both on the creepy and annoying side. I actually thought maybe one of them would turn out to be nice but no, that wasn’t the case. I was glad for that though because you can’t redeem everyone.
Boo Hags freak me out. I mean seriously I think I’m going to have nightmares about them. I never want to meet a Boo Hag, I think I might put some brooms around my house.
So this books has twist and turns and interesting plot lines. I loved how hoodoo plays such a role in the story and can picture myself in the garden and using the mortar to grind up herbs. It’s such a neat idea for a story and so interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this besides this series. It’s also one of those stories where you don’t want to elaborate too much in the review because you don’t want to give anything away. It was fast paced and easy to get lost in. You can zoom through the pages without even thinking about it. If only to get through some tough stuff. I will definitely continue on and read the next book.
Posted October 1, 2013
I loved Conjure and was definitely excited to read Allure and with that ending of Conjure, I was anxious to find out if Emma would be able to stop the curse from happening and losing her boyfriend for good.
Allure definitely was an emotional roller coaster due to everything that Emma, Jack and Cooper went through. There were times I had to hold back the tears because of what Emma had to especially endure in this book. She went through so much, but she had her twin brother, Jack there to help her even when she did not expect it. Jack definitely stepped up from the first book and I definitely felt more for him. He showed his brotherly love in this book and even managed to put his twin senses to work when Emma was in danger. Cooper on the other hand, went a different route in this book and here it is Emma is trying to cure the curse that is supposed to happen to him, and he's being a jerk to Emma. (He is a Beaumont and in Conjure, the secret comes out why the Beaumont men are the way they are.)
New characters are introduced in Allure and one in particular, who I definitely hope karma bites her back eventually is definitely one of the biggest dramas/concerns in Allure. Taneea is the great granddaughter of Miss Delia, who has dropped off by her mother to stay out of trouble, but she ends up causing even more trouble and Miss Delia knows something is up. I could not stand Taneea and what she did, was definitely not forgivable. There were definitely open questions even after the incident was brought up and if Taneea will happen to show up again. Let's hope not.
Emma definitely proves to be taking in the hoodoo magic very well in Allure and Miss Delia trusts her enough at the end, even after a small incident that made her judge Emma on her actions. Emma definitely proved to everyone, she is capable of the magic and maybe even more. She is such a sweet girl, who just happens to have the worst things happen to her. I feel terrible for her.
Lea Nolan made sure to top Conjure when it came to drama, magic, and even death. I had a hard time putting this book down because after at the end of each chapter, I was left hanging. So many questions were answered in Allure, but definitely more came up. There is one thing that we definitely know about now and that is what exactly is a boo-hag. Yuck!!! They definitely are something not to mess with. We even get the past creeping back up and getting into things.
The ending was definitely a cliffhanger and left me wanting more. I want to know if Emma, Jack, and Cooper will ever not have anything come at them and if Miss Delia will be okay, especially what happened to her in this book.
Lea Nolan did a spectacular job on the sequel and I look forward to the next book. I need to find out if Emma and Cooper will have their happily ever after because I definitely am shocked at the ending. Poor Emma and poor Cooper. =(
I give this book 5 full moons and highly recommend it to young adult readers out there and fans of Lea Nolan. You will definitely love this book, but be prepared to want to go through the book and slap some characters silly. ( I know I wanted to do it with Cooper and especially Taneea)
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted October 1, 2013
The tables have turned in this sequel to Conjure, and though one curse was broken, another looms on the horizon, one thats potential to wreak havoc threatens not only Cooper, but Emma and Jack as well. Everything is nearly right with the world again now that Jack is finally back to his caring, loving self, however there’s another curse to break, and suddenly, Cooper isn’t acting like himself. In truth, Nolan replaced my hate for Jack with my hate for Cooper in this sequel, and it seems there truly is no break for Emma from the mental and verbal abuse she endures, first in Conjure, and now in Allure.
In my opinion, Emma is too good of a person, and whereas I wanted her to leave Jack by the wayside in book one, I was even more desperate for Emma to leave Cooper by the wayside in book two. However, with a heart of gold and a love stronger than her hate, Emma works desperately to break Cooper’s curse. She’s a much better person than I, that’s for sure, but, while Cooper is a jerk, the difference between Jack’s curse and Cooper’s is that this time, it’s obviously not Cooper’s fault he’s acting this way. Unfortunately, I’m not that forgiving and, fault or not, his actions still hurt, A LOT, so I desperately wanted Emma to leave Cooper in the dust, curse and all. However, some very interesting facts come out about this curse later on in the novel, and it’s not just the Beaumont’s that it effects, but also Emma and Jack, unbeknownst to them, and this makes the race against time a fun one for the reader, especially with the revelation of the boohag…
While a majority of this novel was much more predictable for me than the first one, I think it was meant to be written this way in order to add shock value for the reader later on, because all at once the reader is blindsided by some events that, I, at least, never saw coming. And, these events added an extra air of awesome for me as a reader, especially because it includes some magical forms that I’ve never thought about or read about in any other novels, which is epic.
There are a number of characters in this novel that we love to hate, and with the events unfurling, it becomes obvious that there is more evil present in this novel than readers initially knew going in. While there is a resolution of sorts in this novel, an even bigger allusion to events to come is looming overhead, and I can’t wait to read the next installment!
Posted October 1, 2013
Allure is just as good as Conjure, but maybe just a tad better. You know why? If you were wondering what boo hags looked like after reading Conjure, you’ll find out in Allure. And believe me, boo hags are the stuff of nightmares. I can see why Delia didn’t want the kids to run into any. Scary stuff! Lea Nolan shares her hoodoo knowledge and makes me feel like I’m reading Delia’s book of spells myself! There are only a few points of contention in the book, which I’ll not share for fear of spoiling, but let’s just say, that the boo hags aren’t the only things that will upset you. Nolan introduces new characters and eliminates old ones; you’ll be conflicted. But in a good way.
I can’t wait for the rest of the world to get their hands on Allure so they can love it like I do!
I give Allure 4 paws due to the multi ethnic portrayals and easy relationships. Add these two titles to your collection. Girls of all colors will appreciate it!
Posted October 1, 2013
A fabulous addition to a great series! Allure has it all: murder, mystery and well of course romance.
Picking up literally where Conjure left off, Emma and Miss Delia are looking for a way to break the Beaumont Curse. They have little time and the sense of urgency is real. What better way to screw up a good hunt then throwing in a mystery guest- in the form of Miss Delia’s wayward great granddaughter. Taneea is the opposite of Emma in every way. A beautiful yet mean girl who is extremely forward with Emma’s boyfriend, Cooper. There is something not right with this gal.
Cooper starts off the same loving, adorable guy that he was in Conjure but midway through the book something happens. He stops working to getting the curse broken. Emma and Jack cannot find him for long periods of time. Something or someone is way more important than certain doom.
Emma throughout this book keeps a level head and her eyes on the goal. She will save Cooper, even if she gets heartbroken along the way. You can tell that she truly does care for him, especially after how he treats her. Will she find a cure in time? Is Cooper's actions really a product of his heart? Or is there something more sinister at work? Will she stop referring to her spirit guide as spirit guide? (This was my only complaint about the book.) I mean seriously, she could just give her spirit guide a name something like Sally.
In the previous book, Conjure, Jack was kinda mean. He was under a curse and well his flesh was falling off. So you had to give him some room for an attitude. In Allure, it is like he is a new and improved brother. It's refreshing to see him be so nice to his sister- especially when his bestie does what he does to her.
All will be revealed, but with a wicked twist of fate Nolan leaves the reader waiting for the next installment.
My Rating 4 out of 5 stars