Thursday, February 8, 2018

Blog Tour: Wicked Charm by Amber Hart

Book Blurb:

Wicked Charm by Amber Hart

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Nothing good comes from living in the Devil's swamp.

Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn't half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.

Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.

Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.

But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there's something else that draws Willow to him.

When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they're leading to her own death.

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My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Teen--

“I might have to eat you alive,” Beau says, but I think he means to say, “Good morning.”

Willow and her parents have moved to the swamp to live with her aging grandmother, and Willow couldn't be more happy- she gets to spend time with the grandmother she loves and explore the swamp. And she just so happens to have a cute boy her age as a next door neighbor, even though her grandmother warns her away from him and his devilish ways. But when she starts school, everyone warns her to stay away from the alluring Beau and his "love 'em and leave 'em" ways. But then a girl shows up dead in the swamp- and she was last known talking to Beau...

"I laugh and try to picture it. Beau at our kitchen table, reaching for a cookie while Gran throws a Bible at him, yelling curses at his sinful heart. “Got it.” I almost invite him over just to enjoy the show."

I am always a huge fan of anything released by Entangled Teen, so pretty much sight unseen, I knew I was going to read this story. And then I saw the cover and it's gorgeous, becoming to me to pick it up. I will admit that I started the story as a blank slate, with no percieved ideas or knowledge about the book. I think I would classify this as a YA romantic suspense, almost a mystery since we don't know who the murderer is or the why.

“Are even one of those possibilities the truth?”

“No,” he says.

I look into his eyes. Hold his stare. “Is that the truth?”


“Are you ever going to tell me the truth?”

“No,” he answers, pulling up to the school.

“Did you just tell the truth now?”

“Yes.” I think maybe, for once, Beau did tell me a truth. And actually, his truth might be scarier than his lies.

​ ​
“Willow’s not looking your way,” Pax says with a small grin. “Must be driving you crazy.” It is, if I’m being honest . But I’m not honest often, so I keep my response to myself.

​ The story is dual narrated by Willow and Beau, alternating at chapters. Bea is on the borderline of being an unreliable narrator- he takes pride in lying, sometimes even to himself about how he feels and what he knows. There were so many references in the story to him blatantly lying or making stuff up on the spot that Willow (and myself) pretty much doubted everything he said for at least the first third of the book- and this is even with him narrating as well! Made for an interesting main character.

I did like the fact that Willow did not rush into a relationship with Beau just because she was attracted and he pursued her- she told him she would be his friend, and that is right what she did. She went on dates, chatted with other potential suitors and made friends before she ever acted on romantic feelings- it was almost half way through the story before they kissed, regardless of the instant attraction that was pretty much on page one. She made friends and family her priority and I gave her mad props for that. Also, she is described as "curvy and soft", not skinny like most girls and she was completely fine with who she was, curves and all and ate what she wanted. You go girl.

"I once asked Gran over the phone what I could do to lose ten pounds after I saw this quiz in a magazine that said I could look my best with a little weight shed. She said I’d have to quit eating biscuits. But that’s crazy talk. Who has ever heard of giving up biscuits? No, thanks."

"Strange things happen all the time. For instance, just the other day, I saw a gator trying to eat a bobcat. They’ll go after just about anything. Nearly got its eyes clawed out for such an attempt. The officer will have to narrow it down if he means for us to know what he’s talking about."

​I was incredibly impressed with Amber's ability to create the world the story takes place in. As someone who has never been to a swamp, or pretty much the south at all, I really felt I was immersed in is completely. I could see the swamp and the gators, the magic and beauty that most people do not see was really brought to life as a local who loved the area would see it. I could touch and feel the texture of the moss moss and hear the animals scurrying. I could feel the heat and the humidity, the sweat dripping down their flesh, their hair stuck to the neck, the condensation dripping down the side of a sweet tea glass- it was as if the humidity was pressing down on me as well. And I could smell the musk and mold of the night blooming mushrooms. Seriously, I was impressed. I can't remember the last time I was so immersed by all 5 senses in a book world.

Overall I thought this was an interesting story, more about the characters and their development than anything else. The one thing I will admit was that I wish the whole killer discovery situation had been more drawn out, it all played out in one short chapter and I would have liked some more lead up to it or at least a bigger chase at the end- the book took more time dealing with a family crisis than the murder reveal. I found this to be a very quick, engaging read and I look forward to more stories created by Amber.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book​.

Author Bio:

Amber Hart resides on the Florida coastline with family and a plethora of animals she affectionately refers to as her urban farm. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of several novels for teens and adults, including Wicked Charm, the Before & After series, and the Untamed series. Rep'd by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.
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