Things aren't always as they appear…
New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie's worst problems. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies—human and spectral—who may or may not have joined forces against her and everyone she loves. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis's revenge.
Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use black magic, which will endanger her soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she's never seen before, Emma must harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she's ever loved.
The Hoodoo Apprentice series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 Conjure
Book #2 Allure
Book #3 Illusion
About the Author
Lea Nolan is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes books for young adults featuring bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance.
With a master's degree in women's studies and public policy, and an undergraduate degree in history, she spent twenty years as a health policy analyst and researcher, writing hundreds of fascinating reports and articles tens of people enjoyed. Today, she teaches graduate courses in health policy, law, and financing, and takes on the occasional consulting gig.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance. Contact her via her website www.LeaNolan. com, on Facebook www.facebook.com/LeaNolanAuthor or on Twitter @Lea_Nolan.
Read an Excerpt
The Hoodoo Apprentice
By Lea Nolan, Robin Haseltine
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Lea Nolan
All rights reserved.
The fog comes out of nowhere, thick and suffocating like a funeral shroud. A chill runs through me, and goose bumps rise on the back of my neck.
Cooper Beaumont slams his foot on the station wagon's brake, and we all lurch forward. "What the heck?" he rasps.
Impenetrable gray mist blocks the road like a wall. It's so dense I can't see the crossroads I know lie just beyond.
My twin brother, Jack, peers out the windshield. "I've never seen anything like that this far inland."
"Me neither." Cooper grabs hold of the gearshift, readying to throw the car into reverse.
"I don't think this is natural," I say as a buzzing sound grows in my ear, confirming my suspicions. Before I can utter another word, a dark figure approaches from inside the fog.
"Who the —"
"Claude Corbeau," I answer, as a short, middle-aged, rail-thin man with deep brown skin emerges from the roiling gray fog. He strides down the middle of the road, heading straight for us. Wearing a pitch-black suit and those irritating blue-lensed sunglasses, he hasn't changed a bit since the last time I saw him, the day he got the sheriff to throw my magical mentor, Delia Whittaker, in jail. About twenty feet from our car, he stops and stands motionless, his arms hanging at his sides, his face a careful blank. The murky mist behind him dissipates, rolling off the asphalt into the crops that line the road, revealing his old black Lincoln parked just before the crossroads.
"I'm getting us out of here," Cooper says.
Anger roils in my gut. Claude clearly wants to chat, but this isn't the way normal people go about these things. Oh, wait, Claude isn't normal. He's got magic powers. But then again, so do I. There's nothing for me to fear here, especially with the gris-gris bag filled with protective charms around my neck. "No, we're not running away from him," I say then yank open the door and exit the car.
"Not without us," Cooper says as he and Jack follow.
I spin around toward them. "Are you wearing your gris-gris bags?"
"Yup," Jack answers.
"Always," Cooper says.
"Good." I turn back toward Claude and utter a silent prayer that my spells are strong enough to protect us from any black magic he might cast.
As I approach, Claude grins, flashing his arctic white teeth. "Miss Emma Guthrie." He nods at Cooper and Jack. "Good day, boys. It's been far too long, has it not?" His southern accent is indiscriminate, definitely not from South Carolina, but maybe somewhere in the Deep South. As always, his speech is ultra proper, as if he's trying to act like someone important.
I cross my arms and choose my words carefully. I don't want Claude to know how worried I am for Miss Delia, who is ninety-seven and paralyzed, imprisoned for practicing medicine without a license. "Not nearly long enough. After you framed Miss Delia, I wouldn't have minded if we never met again."
I sense Jack's warning gaze boring its way through my temple, but I don't care if he thinks I'm going too far. I won't be intimidated by the likes of Claude Corbeau.
Claude clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "Bold language for such a young girl." His lenses reflect the early morning sunshine and make him look like a freaky blue-eyed bug.
Cooper steps close, protecting my right side while Jack covers the left.
Keeping my eyes trained on Claude, I shrug. "The truth is the truth." Not that Claude cares about the truth. For the past couple months, he's been doing everything he can to ruin Miss Delia's life — getting between her and her great-granddaughter, Taneea Branson, teaching Taneea dark magic that helps her cheat and manipulate others' emotions, accusing Miss Delia of masterminding a theft at the local museum, and then getting her thrown in jail. I don't know what his problem is with Miss Delia, but I intend to find out.
One side of his mouth lifts into a sly grin. "It's not possible to frame a guilty person. She will pay for her crimes."
Crimes? What crimes? Claude practices magic, too. If Miss Delia deserves to be in jail, so does he. I shake my head. "That's for the judge to decide. But I'm guessing you didn't stop us out here to talk about Miss Delia's court case. What do you want?"
"Be careful what you assume, Miss Emma. In point of fact, I'm here to ask you and your friends to cease your assistance to Miss Whittaker and allow justice to take its course."
Abandon the woman who taught me everything I know about hoodoo magic? "Yeah, I don't think so."
He gives me a coy smile. "Yes, I can see now that isn't likely."
A laugh bursts from my lips. "Try impossible."
Jack nods. "We'd never give up on Miss D."
"You'd be surprised how easy it would be to persuade you otherwise," Claude says, his voice brimming with eerie self-assurance.
Cooper tilts his head. "Like you did with Taneea? What'd you give her to turn against her own great-grandmother — a few magic tricks? Sorry, we can't be bought that easily."
"Who said anything about buying your allegiance? If you refuse to comply when I ask nicely — "
Jack scoffs. "What are you going to do?"
Claude stares at us for a long moment, then stretches out his hands, throws his head back toward the sky, and speaks in a strange language I've never heard.
My stomach drops to my feet like an out-of-control elevator. Whatever is coming is bad. And worse, since I don't know what it is, I can't stop it.
Before I can scream to Cooper and Jack to race back to the car, the soybean plants in the fields along the road start to shake. A scratchy, rattling sound splits the air as their bright green leaves rub against each other. Claude's fingers spread wide as he repeats his foreign incantation, louder than before. Formless, shadowy gray figures rise from the neat soybean rows then fly at us, undulating like giant, floating worms before they skid to a stop, hovering in midair.
Spinning around to assess our situation, I gulp back the clammy wave of nausea that threatens to spill what's left of my breakfast. There have to be at least twenty of these diaphanous shapes encircling us like a misty gray Stonehenge. I don't know what they are, or what they want, but they're definitely not nice. A moist, rotten scent fills the air, reminding me of wet laundry left too long in the washer.
"Emma." Cooper's voice trembles.
"Em," Jack adds at the same time.
"Our mojo bags will project us," I answer, praying to the universe that's true.
Claude nods. "Your protective charms are very impressive." He tilts his nose in the air and sniffs a few times. "But fortunately for me, those bags do not contain the ingredients that could protect you from malevolent spirits. If I can't convince you to cease your assistance to Ms. Whittaker, perhaps my creeper demons will." A venomous laugh rolls up his throat then slips between his dark, thin lips. A ripple of movement pulses through the demons, like they're excited and eager to attack.
A shudder rocks my body because he's right. We're screwed. This was exactly what I've been afraid of, and why none of us have ventured off High Point Bluff plantation for the last two weeks.
My mind spins, seeking a solution. But there's only one thing we can do.
"Run!" I shriek, then spin around and bolt toward the car.
Cooper and Jack are way ahead of me, their long legs carrying them to the station wagon faster than my shorter ones bring me. But I'm right on their heels, sprinting like my life depends on it, because I think it actually does. Jack throws open the front passenger door, jumps in, then slams it shut. Cooper pauses, keeping his door open, watching as I approach, despite the encroaching creeper demons.
"What are you waiting for? Get in!" I yell then scramble toward the back passenger door.
He dives in and shuts it just as I reach mine. The locks click closed, refusing me access when I tug on the handle again and again. My pulse pounds as my gaze darts from the useless lever in my hand to Cooper and my brother inside.
"Unlock it!" I beat my fist on the window and cry, my frantic voice two octaves higher than normal. The creeper demons close in, blocking out the sun and casting me in oily shadows.
Cooper fumbles with the release buttons and strains to reopen his door, but no matter what he does, the locks stick tight. "Emma!" Cooper mouths but his voice is muffled through the glass. He crashes his shoulder against the door and window, but it doesn't budge.
Blood drains from my head to my feet as a cold realization sinks in. They're safe in the car, and I'm a sitting duck with a mostly useless mojo dangling from my neck.
"Are you ready to listen yet? To stop meddling where you don't belong?" Claude's voice is loud and close.
I whip around to face him, terrified but not willing to back down. He stands no more than three feet away, the demons surrounding him as if he's a general of his own spiritual army. Straightening my shoulders, I glare at him. "What part of 'I won't betray Miss Delia' do you not understand?"
Claude flashes a bright white smile. "I hoped you'd resist. So much more fun for me." He speaks in another foreign language — Latin? — then extends his arms straight in front of his body and draws his palms close together.
I don't know what this means, but I know it can't be good. My mind searches for some magic I can use to protect myself —
All at once, the creeper demons jump between his waiting hands, stacking themselves like a ghostly deck of cards. They crash together, their misty figures merging and elongating ... into the shape of a broadsword. Their form hardens until an onyx blade glints in the sunlight.
The air sucks from my lungs in a gush. He's created a sword. Out of spirits. This isn't any kind of hoodoo I've ever heard of.
With sweat trickling down the side of my head, I back away from the car, my hands up and palms facing out. "You don't have to do this."
Grinning, Claude advances, brandishing his magic weapon. "Oh, but I do." He swings his arms, slashing the air with the ghostly blade. The blade emits a high-pitched keen, as if its spirits are desperate to slice my flesh.
Continuing my retreat, my eyes dart around for something to use to defend myself — real or magical. But out here, in the middle of nowhere, there isn't much besides a whole lot of soybeans. A quick glance at the clouds tells me I could whip up a killer rainstorm or maybe even some hail, but they'll take a few minutes to conjure, and once they're here, I doubt they'd do much against a spirit sword. So all I've got left is my wits. I've got to stall him.
"So you're seriously going to kill me for hiring a lawyer for Miss Delia? Don't you think that's a little bit of overkill?" I ask.
"I'll settle for merely spilling some of your blood. For now." His lips twist with glee as he lunges at me.
I sidestep his advance, moving quick enough to miss the tip of his spear. "But she's just an old lady. Why are you so obsessed with keeping her in jail?"
Before he gets the chance to answer, a loud rumble echoes in the distance. As if hit with a frigid blast of air, Claude stiffens, then whips his head over his shoulder to see where it came from.
An old, faded blue farm truck rolls up to the crossroads on the opposite side of the street from us. But rather than turn or continue straight through the stop sign, it just sits there, as if it's waiting for something. Or watching us.
As my heartbeat rages, I squint and try to make out who's in the car, but it's too far away, and there's a glare on the front window.
Claude grumbles a curse then mutters something I can't make out. But that's fine with me. As long as he's distracted from hacking me in two, I'm good.
The truck's engine revs hard, but it idles in place.
Claude utters a few more words and, like the magic it is, the spirit sword dissipates into thin air. Then he turns his vicious, blue-lensed gaze on me. "You have been warned. Assist Miss Whittaker at your own peril." He slips a flask from his inside breast pocket, guzzles a few mouthfuls, then tucks it back into his jacket. Pivoting on the heels of his dress shoes, he strolls up the road to his Lincoln. The vintage black sedan roars to life then rolls up to the stop sign, facing the old truck that's still poised on the opposite side of the crossroads.
For a long, tense moment the two vehicles seem to stare each other down. But then the Lincoln bolts forward and veers right, its wheels screeching as it cuts around the corner. As if satisfied, the farm truck flashes its own turning signal, then rolls slowly up to the stop sign and turns in the opposite direction of Claude.
Cooper and Jack fall out of the station wagon, then race up to me.
"Are you okay?" Cooper asks, scanning me for any signs of damage. "We tried everything, but we couldn't get the door to open —"
"I know. It's okay. I'm fine." Except for the fact that my heart may actually be bruised from slamming against my rib cage.
"How'd you get him to stop?" Cooper asks.
"I didn't. It was the truck." Shock, and the realization of all that just happened, begins to set in. I reach to pull my hair up off my forehead and notice my hand is trembling faster than a leaf in a hurricane.
"Was it magic?" Jack asks.
I shake my head. "I don't know. The truck didn't do anything but sit there. But magic or not, it was enough to scare off Claude."
Jack nods. "He probably stopped because he didn't want any witnesses. What he was about to do was hard-core."
"Thank goodness he didn't have a chance. But unfortunately this ambush is going to make us late for school," Cooper says.
My heart thuds in my chest. Right. School. I'd completely forgotten it's our first day at Beaufort High. A building I've never been to before that's also unprotected from jinxes, demons, and whatever else our enemies may have waiting for us. There's no way I'm setting foot in there defenseless.
Jack sighs. "We'd better get going, then."
I shake my head. "We've got to back home first. These mojos need a few more ingredients."CHAPTER 2
My stomach squeezes as I peer at the redbrick building cloaked in creepy shadows cast by the surrounding live oaks. After surviving Claude's ambush and loading myself up with a boatload of protective charms, I shouldn't be afraid to walk into my brand-new school. But if past is prologue, I know Beaufort High could hold far worse horrors than a bunch of creeper demons.
Jack twists around in the station wagon's front passenger seat. "Em, I know you're freaked out and all, but we're already late. We've got to go inside."
Cooper catches my eye in the rearview mirror. "Your spells are going to keep us safe. Besides, we can't hide out at the Big House for the rest of our lives. We've got to be able to do something else besides visit Miss Delia in jail."
Jack's gaze softens. "I know you're not just worried about the hoodoo stuff. This doesn't have to be like our old school in D.C. It's your chance for a fresh start."
Easy for him to say. He's always been one of the popular kids, as athletic as he is smart. His easy sense of humor lets him fit in with any group. He doesn't have a clue what it's like to be invisible, or worse, intentionally ignored. And bonus, with his olive-colored skin, jet-black hair, and bright blue eyes, we're polar opposites, so he's never had to worry about being lumped in with an outcast like me.
A dark-colored bird soars high above the parking lot, then swoops low to perch on the Dumpster at the side of the building. I lean forward, squinting to get a closer look. Two weeks ago, a crow flew out of nowhere and attacked me, digging its talons into my flesh. The wound on my scalp was small and closed over after a week, but the scrape on my hand was deeper and took longer to heal. As weird and random as it is, it reminds me of all that I've survived this summer. I glance at the thin pink scar on the back of my hand that shines in the morning light.
Cooper reaches his wide, muscular hand between the front seats, drawing my attention. "If that's what you're worried about, we'll go in together. Trust me, no one will mess with you."
I pull away from his grasp. "I'll be fine."
"Okay." Hurt blooms behind his eyes, pricking my heart with a stabby pain that makes me feel like the single biggest jerkhole in the world.
I'd love to march in there on Cooper Beaumont's arm, have him walk me to my locker and then to each of my classes. With his square jaw, athletic build, and eyes that shift from green to blue depending on what he's wearing, he's the most gorgeous guy in all of South Carolina. Charming enough to disarm any mean girl who'd call me an art freak and strong enough to flatten any bully who got in his way, he's also the sole heir to a plantation, building company, and trustee of a ginormous bank account. Best of all, he loves me more than anything in the whole world. And I love him just as much.
So much that I broke up with him two weeks ago.
Excerpted from Illusion by Lea Nolan, Robin Haseltine. Copyright © 2015 Lea Nolan. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I went over my previous review to remember where Allure had left off. Not only did I find my place, but I recouped the joy I experienced stepping into the world building of Lea Nolan. Emma, our intrepid heroine, squares off against dark magic from the onset and you’re fighting alongside her until the end, as in the very last word. Illusion is book 3 of the Hoodoo series and also its finale. I weep for its conclusion, but Lea Nolan leaves an enchanting, spellbinding impression on you. As comfortable as Emma’s become with the practice of hoodoo (an apprentice root worker being mentored by the most powerful of the South Carolina Lowcountry), when confronted by evil, a menacing spirit plaguing Emma from the grave and 2 zealous rivals, it’s beyond tempting to fight fire with fire – even if it means going against what you swore never to wield. Will Emma withstand the allure of revenge? One can only be pushed so far before you’re crossing fundamental lines and absolving such behavior. “…it’s considered justice work rather than a spell worked for revenge.” Any way you look at it, it’s a caveat used to ease her conscience. Lucky for everyone involved, everyone good that is, Emma is surrounded by loving, engaging characters who help Emma stay to the light. Emma is young, just about to turn 15, but she displays such fortitude wrestling, and resisting, the passions of vengeance. Aside from the diabolical maneuverings of malevolent forces, give it up to Ms. Nolan and the swoon-worthy love story *standing up, applauding*. I may have been a tad bit critical in my last review (I was/am a mom embarking on teenage daughter-dom – I’m not so irrational any more, lol). Emma and Cooper should be indulging in the beauty of first love promises, but the enemies stalking and threatening Emma aren’t to be taken lightly; she’s willing to sacrifice her heart to save Cooper’s. I want to stroke his face or rub his back, anything to take away the lingering pain…But I can’t, because that simple gesture would send the wrong signal and only encourage him. Foreboding prophecy or not, Emma and Cooper are adorable and completely loyal to each other. In a moment of “weakness”, a hug to forget troubles, “I sink into him like a marshmallow in a vat of melted chocolate.” I felt it! They’re just so stinking cute! Illusion is a great piece of writing that I won’t soon forget. I wouldn’t dare end this glowing review without addressing the care and respect Ms. Nolan gives to the hoodoo practice. I was riveted by the sounds and scents and solutions alike. You’re mesmerized by the incantations and seduced by the ingredients so fully, you’re committed to the execution of the ward/spell. And in a twist, a distasteful one to be sure, we’re subjected to shiver-inducing, gut-spewing. Emma fights the good fight, but that doesn’t prevent her nemesis from hitting below the belt. Well done, Ms. Nolan! In a stunning finale, the interest never wanes. You navigate through subplots with equal enthusiasm and Ms. Nolan delivers each with triumphant aplomb. The tears shed were only due to my heart’s overflow. I adored this book and Emma. She embodies pure spirit and is a genuine hero for all to admire.
This was a first read for me by Lea Nolan. I thought that I would be lost in the series after not having read the first two but decided to give this one a shot and I was not disappointed at all. I was able to catch up by how Lea went back and recapped some of the events in the previous books in the very beginning. So, you will not be lost if you start the series on this one. Emma is a young lady who has recently discovered that she has the ability to use Hoodoo magic and has moved back home to be able to study her newfound abilities even more. Emma is starting a new school and has even left her boyfriend behind because she is afraid that being connected with the Hoodoo might effect anyone who is associated with her. Emma is battling a trio of enemies. Emma begins to wonder if there is a bigger force behind them or if they are just really good at what they do? The action, suspense and fast-paced story line will keep your attention no matter your age. Can Emma save herself and everyone associated with her all while being a young teenager just learning how to use her magic? You must read this one to find out!! I am so surprised by this story that it makes me want to go back and read the first two. Thanks Lea Nolan for a great YA read and I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us readers in the future!!
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As many of you know, Illusion is the third and final book in the Hoodoo Apprentice series. The series is one that comes with intrigue, danger, and of course that charm we all love. It follows the story of Emma and her companions Jack and Cooper, among others, as they find themselves immersed in Hoodoo. I was new to this series when the publisher invited me to review it, but once I picked it up, it was a series I could not put down. The first two books were enthralling and I was relieved that I had the third and final book to follow them up with. And let me say, Illusion did not disappoint. Between the action and the dark elements that I loved so much, Nolan has found a way to end this series on just the right note.This installment starts off fast, so be prepared. But once it gets going, you almost can't believe you finished this series so fast. I really like the Hoodoo approach Nolan took. It's completely different from most YA novels and was a refreshing read. However, the characters are much younger than I thought they would be. Normally, it bothers me to see such dark elements thrust upon such young protagonists, but Nolan wrote it well and I don't see a need to complain about that with this series on every note except the romance one. The characters just seem so young for there to be any level of actual love growing between Cooper and Emma. When I was that age, just going to the movies with someone was a big deal. However, Nolan did a good job of balancing that aspect of the novel so that it was satisfying for readers that were into it and manageable to read about for readers that weren't. And really, who could focus on the romance with everything going on in that story! And I say that as a good thing. There was so much action going on that it was near impossible to put the book down because I was afraid I was going to miss something. Emma has a lot of ends to tie up and saving to do. All in all, Illusion was just wonderful. I wish I would have gotten more involved with the series when it came out some time ago, but I am so happy that I finally got to read it. This last installment is the perfect ending to a wonderful series!
MY THOUGHTS This is a very interesting series, definitely unique among all the paranormal clones so I was excited to pick the conclusion to this series up. It took a bit for me to get into at first, due to book amnesia, but once I did, I found a very high-stakes conclusion! Emma is just starting up at a new school, if only that were the worst of her problems. Someone she cares for could go to jail, an evil spirit is intent on revenge by destroying everything Emma loves, and there's a bully who isn't afraid to use dark magic. Emma wants to make sure that she, and all those that she loves, can survive this, but will she destroy her soul in her search for her own revenge? This book immediately dives into the action, which is okay, but I was just very confused. I had difficulty remembering the events in the last book (due to my terrible memory), so I had no clue what was going on in the first few chapters. Thankfully, I was able to get my memory back and be able to fully understand what was going on. This book gives you enough details of the last books for you to understand things (if it's been awhile), but not too much info to annoy those that are binge-reading the series, so I'm thankful for that. As for the plot, this book felt so different than the other books. Being the conclusion, there is a lot more going on. Emma basically has three different enemies in this one, which is not an easy thing to take care of. Thus, this book was a lot more action-packed than the previous book. It was so hard to put this book down, since I needed to know what would happen next! I also mentioned earlier how unique this series is among the YA paranormals. This entire series is about Hoodoo, the entire plot is just so different. The setting of this book and the overall feeling is different from the other books too. The other books take place in the summer, while this one takes place during the start of school. This setting change actually dramatically changes things. This book also felt somewhat darker than the other books. The other books were dark, of course, but I felt like this book was entirely dark, if that makes any sense. As for characters, Emma definitely does grow throughout the series. It's hard for me to recall what she was like in the beginning of the series, but it's hard for me to realize that Emma isn't even 15. Emma has had to grow up so much and she's become such a strong girl. This book also has a focus on Emma's character, since she has to fight the darkness in herself. As for romance, there wasn't a whole lot of it, mostly due to the events of the last book. I'm torn on the romance. The romance of this series is more light than some other YA books, but I also don't like how in love they are. I guess I'm just a non-romantic, but I always have a hard time believing that high schoolers are that in love. Still, it doesn't distract at all from the story, so I won't complain too much. IN CONCLUSION Overall, I thought this was a fantastic conclusion to this series! This is actually my favorite out of the three! This book was action-packed, dark, and so very different than other books out there. I really think that more people should know about this series, meanwhile, I'll be waiting for more by Lea Nolan.
This is the third book of a trilogy, but each book in the series may be read as a stand-alone. Each of these books are so different than any other that I have read. Ms. Nolan concluded this series well, although I could see her branching out with a few of the characters.. I was lost in the story, it kept me interested throughout, and with the humor thrown in, very entertaining!! I will be watching for more from this author. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating 4.5/5 Magical mystery/thriller with teen romance! Right from the start this is a racy, action packed adventure moving on swiftly from the previous two novels in this series. You don’t need to have read the earlier novels as the author does an excellent job of ‘filling in’ any gaps in your knowledge about what has already happened but if you’re like me, you’ll find this such an enthralling read you’ll really want to read those earlier stories, too, even though you now know how it ends! Emma Guthrie has moved home to learn to use Hoodoo, being an apprentice to a strong practitioner of these magical arts only for her mentor to be imprisoned on false charges! She knows she needs to protect anyone she loves, so has officially broken up with her soul mate and the love of her life Cooper Beaumont to try to ensure he remains off the radar of those seeking revenge on her. To top it all she has to start in a new school whilst still battling a trio of enemies who she isn’t convinced as still working alone - have they joined forces to gang up on her? Can she resist the temptation to use black magic? Can she protect her twin brother, her father and Cooper? Can she win the chance to live and achieve her own HEA? And all this when she’s still only fourteen!?!?! With well formed characters, full of fast paced action this is another definitely different and robust read, a real page turner to keep you enthralled whether you’re a YA or older. With good v evil, romance, relationships all intermixed with mystery and magic this is a compelling story by a talented author. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too for provided an ARC for me to read in exchange for this, my honest review.