Saint’s Grove Series-a review
The Saint’s Grove series is a twelve book, multi-authored paranormal, fantasy, time travel anthology focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the aftermath of a total lunar eclipse, and the alignment of the planets, that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. Three hundred years earlier, a similar phenomenon resulted in a deadlier battle wherein a number of the supernatural beings remained behind and took up residence in and around Saint’s Grove, Virginia. These are some of their stories when the past returns to the future. I had the opportunity to read seven of the installments and will give a brief overview and my thoughts about each story line.
THOUGHTS: The SAINT’S GROVE multi-authored series is an enchanting mix of twelve, interconnected, paranormal romances that takes place during the alignment of the planets and a lunar eclipse one week prior to Halloween. Very few of the characters question the existence of the magical portal, otherworlds, time travel or supernatural beings, which made for a rapid introduction to each of the story line’s premise. All of the romances are more or less immediate attractions and insta-love while a few are time travel/ second chances at a happily ever after; the level of intimacy and romance varies with each story line ranging from no sexual contact to provocative and erotic.
A few of the stories require another round of editing to eliminate some errors in grammar and spelling, as well as some blatant issues with points of view. Most of the characters are well-developed; their background history and connections to Saint’s Grove, Virginia is clear and concise.
Take a chance with Saint’s Grove and the supernatural beings that inhabit ‘our’ planet.
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by Miranda Hardy
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About the book: Release Date October 3, 2016
With madness comes truth…with truth comes sorrow.
Ellie Whitaker thought she had a clear path ahead of her… she would sell her bar, return to school, and enjoy a change of scenery, but one peculiar event in the night sky is about to change everything, not only for her but for everyone in Saint’s Grove.
Bryan Nichols has always struggled with his curse. Life as a werewolf is anything but easy, but when you have an overbearing father, life can be even more difficult. After his return from college, Bryan distances himself from the pack and finds solace in an unlikely place with a woman who has no idea how smitten he is with her.
When the most spectacular lunar eclipse shrouds the alignment of six planets, portals open to varying dimensions, unleashing creatures from other realms. Soon, chaos erupts, bringing death and destruction with it. Along with those horrifying events comes significant changes to Ellie’s body, revealing that she’s not entirely human. She has no idea who she is nor where she belongs, and she only has seven days to find answers that may undoubtedly change her future. The choices that present themselves will not be as easy as she first thought. She will need to decide between the man who saved her and the world that would worship her.
REVIEW: HEARTS ALIGNING by Miranda Hardy is part of the multi-authored paranormal/fantasy/time travel series focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the aftermath of a total lunar eclipse, and the alignment of the planets, that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. This is bar owner Ellie Whitaker, and werewolf shifter Bryan Nichols’s story line. All books in the Saints Grove series can be read as stand alone stories without any difficulty. It is not necessary to read the series in order. The number assigned to each installment is simply the order in which they were released. HEARTS ALIGNING is a bit of a departure from some of the other installments as there is no time travel involved in the story line premise.
Told from first person point of view (Ellie) HEARTS ALIGNING focuses on the search for the truth. When the lunar eclipse portal opened in Saint’s Grove Virginia a number of strange things begin to happen to our story line heroine along with the discovery of several journals revealing a little bit about her background story. Enter Bryan Nichols- a quiet, reserved, and reluctant heir to the local werewolf pack, and the man who will save our story line heroine when the past comes looking for revenge. Ellie will learn that, she too, is not quite human, and with it the truth about her parent’s death, and the identity of the strange old woman who lives in the hills.
HEARTS ALIGNING reveals some of the lore and history surrounding the paranormal presence in Saint’s Grove Virginia, and its connections to the last lunar phenomena, three hundred years earlier, that created the rift between Earth and the Otherworld. Miranda Hardy introduces the local pack of werewolf shifters, and their connections to the mythology and stories in and around the small town where most of the residents have some supernatural ability. The premise is entertaining; the characters are a mix of good and evil; the romance is a little underwhelming-I didn’t feel the connection between our leading couple.
HER FORBIDDEN KNIGHT
by Carly Fall
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RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2016
Centuries ago, she was a princess and he a knight. Their forbidden love was torn apart by circumstances of the times, and her brutal death…
Arabella “Bella” Franklin has a nice, stable life in Saint’s Grove, Virginia. With no recollection of her previous existence as a princess, the newly-reincarnated young woman is living the dream—a successful bakery owner with some semblance of a social life. However, boredom and loneliness continue to be her constant companions.
Those feelings quickly disappear when the townspeople gather to witness a once-in-a-lifetime, major astrological event. Unbeknownst to them, the occurrence opens the seams of the universe, allowing any and all paranormal entities to descend onto the quiet town, transforming it into a place of mayhem and danger.
When Bella is attacked by a vicious demon, Jayden, an Angel of Death, comes to her rescue. Unlike Bella, he remembers everything about their past lives, and is delighted knowing that their reunion will give him an opportunity to possibly rekindle their passion, as well as regain his life as a human. But becoming human again comes with three caveats. He must convince Bella of the love they shared so many centuries ago, she must kill a demon – her murderer from her previous life – and she has to want Jayden to stay.
With only seven days to meet those demands, memories of her past life begin to surface. With them, comes the knowledge that if she can’t kill the demon before the seal closes, she—and possibly Jayden—may be forced to spend eternity in Hell.
REVIEW: HER FORBIDDEN KNIGHT by Carly Fall is part of the multi-authored SAINTS GROVE paranormal, time travel series focusing on the town of Saints Grove, Virginia. This is bakery shop owner Arabella ‘Bella’ Franklin, and Jayden-an Angel of Death who has returned to Earth to save the woman he has loved for hundreds of years.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Bella and Jayden) HER FORBIDDEN KNIGHT is a second chance story line. Centuries earlier, in the 1400s, Sir Jayden fell in love with Princess Arabella Wissant of House Garin but the man to whom she was forced to marry destroyed any hopes of a happily ever after. Battered, raped and abused, Arabella would die at the hands of Ulric Bayton, Prince of Praegan but not before proclaiming her undying love for Sir Jayden. Fast forward to present day and the now Angel of Death Jayden is given a second chance to save the woman he loves from the same demonic evil that took her centuries earlier. Earth, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury are about to align perfectly setting off a total lunar eclipse that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. The man who destroyed Arabella’s life will come back hoping to destroy her life again and again.
HER FORBIDDEN KNIGHT is a story line that jumps between the past and present where the reader returns to the past to witness the growing but forbidden love between a knight and the princess he loves. Present day Arabella’s memories slowly resurface about a time long ago to discover her love for the Angel of Death has never diminished. The premise is enchanting; the characters are colorful and spirited; the romance is captivating and seductive. There is plenty of sexual tension between our leading couple knowing that to act on their feelings is forbidden (in the past), and that a present day love affair is hindered by the return of the ultimate evil. HER FORBIDDEN KNIGHT is a sexy, second chance romance with dynamics characters and an energetic flow.
by M.H. Soars
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 9, 2016
A love story that defies the barriers of time
When a cosmic event opens the seals to the universe’s spiritual planes, the town of Saint’s Grove will be in for a Halloween they will never forget. Supernatural creatures — good and bad — will take over the quaint little town, creating havoc and destruction. But the event will also bring together two people from very different worlds. Two people who would never have fallen in love otherwise…
Madison Frost never believed in fairy tales or happily-ever-afters. She didn’t have time to daydream about a knight in shining armor when she was desperately trying to keep her business from going under. When her town gets invaded by supernatural creatures, she saves a mysterious man who manages to breach the barriers of her steely heart. There’s only one problem, she believes he can never be hers for loyalty is calling him back home, back to the 19th century.
Albert Saint is a man filled with regret and anger. Forced to return to Saint’s Grove — a place he hates — he tries to forget his inner turmoil with alcohol and illegal fights. Everything changes on the evening someone tries to murder him. Albert narrowly escapes death and travels through time, crossing paths with a beautiful brunette who saves him. He can’t explain the powerful connection he feels toward Madison, an emotion that will make him question everything he ever believed to be true.
REVIEW: CROSSING TIME by M.H. Soars is part of the multi-authored SAINTS GROVE paranormal, time travel series focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the aftermath of a total lunar eclipse, and the alignment of the planets, that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. This is coffee shop owner Madison Frost, and Albert Saint’s story line.
CROSSING TIME is a story of discovery where witches, warlocks and guardians enter into a centuries old battle to possess a rare amulet with extraordinary powers. Albert and Madison will fall in love; Madison’s best friend Cher will discover some powers of her own; and a supernatural Guardian will endeavor to protect everyone concerned.
The premise is entertaining with plenty of action and mystery; the characters are colorful; the romance is fated by time and circumstance.
I did have one issue as it pertained to a particular attack against out story line heroine wherein she is poisoned by a magical vine that for some reason had little to no affect on anyone else who touched the vine as well. Perhaps it was something that was overlooked but I would have thought that the poison would have had the same affect on everyone……*walks away thinking too hard*
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
by Elise Marion
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 11, 2016
Anika Butler lives a quiet, unremarkable life. Without friends, family, or a love life to keep her occupied, she spends her spare time daydreaming over the painting of a man who was born in the 1800s.
When she joins the other residents of Saint’s Grove to witness a rare lunar eclipse and planetary alignment, the man from the painting appears in front of her claiming to have traveled through time, and she will discover that she is anything but ordinary. When he tells her of their past lives together as lovers, Anika knows that it must be impossible … yet strange dreams begin to feel like memories, until she can no longer deny that something within her recognizes him as her eternal soul mate.
Isaac Parker lost everything when his fiancé, Aurora Barton, was murdered right before his eyes. The witch who killed her also afflicted him with a curse: he can never die, making it impossible for him to be reincarnated. When the eclipse and planetary alignment occurs, allowing him to travel through time, he returns to Saint’s Grove seeking the Star Anthame, the ancient weapon that was used to curse him. With only seven days to locate the relic and break his curse, this is his only hope for finding Aurora again in his next life. He never imagines he will find her in Saint’s Grove where he last saw her, now reincarnated as Anika Butler.
However, a witch with a grudge will re-emerge into their lives, forcing them to fight for their futures, and for love. If the curse isn’t broken, they may lose their chance at happiness together … not just in this life, but in all the lives to come.
REVIEW: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Elise Marion is part of the multi-authored SAINTS GROVE paranormal, time travel series focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the aftermath of a total lunar eclipse, and the alignment of the planets, that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. This is antique shop owner Anika Butler, and Isaac Parker’s story line.
NOTE: CROSSING TIME, RACING TIME, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE GHOST AND THE BELLE (Saint’s Grove) are also part of the multi-authored STAR ATHAME LEGEND series as well.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Isaac and Anika) using memories from the past covering several different time lines ACROSS THE UNIVERSE follows Isaac Parker as he ventures to present day Saint’s Grove, Virginia in search of the ‘star athame’. Approximately one hundred and thirty years earlier Isaac was cursed to live the life of an immortal never crossing paths with the woman he loved-a woman that time and fate have deemed his lover for all time. Arriving through the portal during the lunar eclipse, Isaac not only begins the search for the mystical dagger but for the woman that calls to his heart. What ensues is the rekindling of the love between two people torn apart by the jealously and betrayal of a spurned nineteenth century witch.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is a story of second chances, reincarnation, fated lovers and magic. The premise is spirited but at times got lost between the back and forth of several time lines, and the various incarnation of the leading couple. The characters are magical; the romance is provocative and intense-the $ex scenes are intimate without the over the top erotic imagery. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is a sexy and energetic addition to the Saint’s Grove anthology.
THE GHOST AND THE BELLE
by Rose Shababy
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: October 13, 2016
Always a loner, Irene Bell prefers to spend her days tending her little bookstore in the sleepy little Virginia town of Saint’s Grove. After all, she tells herself, what other company does a girl need when she has her books?
But when a much anticipated lunar eclipse and planetary alignment bring a meteor that tears a rift between realities, the entire town is thrown into chaos as mythology becomes reality.
A reality that includes a drop-dead gorgeous ghost named Benjamin Churchill, who appears naked and unconscious, smack dab in the middle of her store.
A chance meeting with a witch reveals he’s been cursed, his body and soul bound to his former office, now Irene’s bookstore. The only way to break the curse is to assemble the long-lost pieces of a mystical artifact known as the Star Anthame, a knife created by magic and cursed by the darkest witch Saint’s Grove has ever known. No one knows where the pieces lay, and worse, they aren’t the only ones looking for it.
Racing against a ticking clock, both Irene and Benjamin must fight the irresistible attraction between them.
Breaking the curse means Benjamin can finally cross over. Failing means he’ll be stuck between worlds for another thousand years. And no matter how hard they look, they can’t seem to find a way for him to stay.
What’s a girl to do when the man she loves is a ghost?
REVIEW: THE GHOST AND THE BELLE by Rose Shababy is part of the multi-authored SAINT’S GROVE paranormal/fantasy/time travel series focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the aftermath of a total lunar eclipse, and the alignment of the planets, that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. This is book store owner Irene Bell, and Benjamin Churchill’s story line.
NOTE: CROSSING TIME, RACING TIME, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE GHOST AND THE BELLE (Saint’s Grove) are also part of the multi-authored STAR ATHAME LEGEND series as well. The Ghost and the Belle wraps up the Star Athame Legend premise.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Irene and Benjamin) THE GHOST AND THE BELLE is a story of time travel and ghosts where our hero Benjamin Churchill becomes trapped in present day Saint’s Grove Virginia-a shadow of his former self. With the lunar eclipse and the planets aligned, Benjamin’s ghost is hurdle one hundred and fifty years into the future, present day Saint’s Grove Virginia, where he will fall in love with bookstore owner Irene Bell. As the couple search for a way to send Benjamin back to his time, they will discover that not everything was as it appeared to be one hundred and fifty years earlier- a murder, a fiancé, and a betrayal of the heart will send Benjamin to an early grave.
THE GHOST AND THE BELLE is the fourth and final book focusing on the mystical Star Athame dagger that had cursed four of our story line heroes. The premise is imaginative and revealing as it brings this particular arc of the series to its’ conclusion. The relationship between Benjamin and Irene is one of mutual attraction but because of the hero’s ‘old fashioned’ values, I did not feel the immediate pull of want and need.
I did have a few issues with the editing/writing as it pertained to the switch between first and third person perspective in one particular chapter of the story. The back and forth between first and third person for our story line heroine was obvious and disconcerting, and the error should have been caught by the editor or proofreader. There were also a number of repetitive phrases and series of words in successive paragraphs that should have been modified so that the duplication wasn’t such a distraction; and some issues of grammar and spelling (e.g. to vs too) were also overlooked. Hopefully another round of editing will correct the problems.
THE GHOST AND THE BELLE is another fated lovers story; a time travel tale of betrayal and retribution; ghosts and witches; magic and mayhem that brings together several of the series couples and characters who are all connected by the mystical dagger.
ALL DRAGON’S EVE
by Casse Narome
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 15, 2016
Ana Benten spent her life dreaming of something bigger for herself. After high school graduation, she leaves Saint’s Grove in the hopes of finding what will make her truly happy. But even the best-laid plans are no guarantee. When her grandmother passes, Ana’s life comes full-circle. She’s forced to return home and accept what life has thrown at her. The last thing she ever imagined she’d have to accept, arrives in the form of a handsome stranger who barrels into the jewelry shop she inherited, just in time to save her.
Ka-Riu knows what it’s like to have your life turned upside down in the blink of an eye. On what was supposed to be an ordinary day, spent soaring through the skies with his siblings, Ka-Riu and his people find themselves trapped in a curse – in another dimension, in human form. The only way to reverse the curse and gain his life back is to find the stones and the Bentaizen Goddesses who can assist his people. He is on a mission to not let his family down.
Strangely drawn to this mysterious man, Ana volunteers to help the legendary Ka-Riu. Could saving the dragons be the key to finally realizing where she belongs and set her on her true path? With the clock ticking and destiny impatiently waiting, their joining of forces has the potential to change countless lives, especially their own. Will the new path they set lead to Ana finally embracing her true destiny and living the life she fought so hard to attain with the dragon that has undeniably fallen for her?
REVIEW: ALL DRAGON’S EVE is part of the multi-authored SAINT’S GROVE paranormal/fantasy, time travel series focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the aftermath of a total lunar eclipse, and the alignment of the planets, that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. This is jewelry store owner Ana Benten, and dragon shifter Ka-Riu’s story line.
Told from dual first person perspectives (Ana and Ka-Riu) ALL DRAGON’S EVE follows Ka-Riu as he and his family pass through the lunar eclipse portal to Saint’s Grove, Virginia in the hopes of locating the Clan Stones. For three hundred years the dragons of Inventurea Prism have been cursed; their dragons dormant, and to release their dragons Ka-Riu returns to Saint’s Grove in search of the mystical Hearth Stone aka Clan Stones that are said to carry the power of the dragon. Enter jeweler and ‘goddess’ Ana Benten-a woman unaware of her connections to the dragons but a connection that is triggered with the lunar eclipse.
ALL DRAGON’S EVE is an entertaining story line that is a bit of a departure from the other Saint’s Grove installments wherein the ‘dragons’ are able to travel back and forth through the portal throughout the story, and there is no interplay with any of the other happenings in Saint’s Grove. There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including all of Ka-Riu’s extended family of siblings and dragons that make for some fun and humorous moments. We are introduced to Ana’s best friend Paola who finds herself a prisoner of a man hoping to keep Ana for himself.
Once again, I had a few issues with this story including some problems with cohesion, grammar and spelling; and an inordinate amount of, what I can only describe as, ‘filler’ that, at times, bogged down the flow of the story. The premise is lighthearted; the characters are affectionate and charming; the romance is a quick jump to happily ever after.
by Amy Richie
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 17, 2016
“When I was seven, my father killed me. It was after they brought me back to life that the ghosts found me. They followed me to my world – to Saint’s Grove.”
Sammy Jo Edwards’ small town life has been anything but ordinary. She’s grown used to the strange occurrences that only seem to affect her. But, when a seemingly normal event lands her in extraordinary circumstances, Sammy Jo is hard-pressed to understand what has happened, let alone figure out how to get her old life back.
The last thing Soothsayer Ben expected when he “saw” Sammy Jo enter his world was to find himself drawn to her. Yet, when fate seems determined the two should meet, his growing attraction to her is quickly met with danger. The life Sammy Jo so desperately wants back is threatened.
With only seven days to find the portal back to her world, Sammy Jo and Ben embark on the most dangerous mission of their lives. If they succeed, Sammy Jo gets her life back. If they fail, there will be no future for anyone.
Can they really save the future? And what will become of their hearts if Ben and Sammy Jo are once again worlds apart?
REVIEW: WORLDS APART by Amy Richie is part of the multi-authored SAINTS GROVE paranormal, time travel series focusing on the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia and the aftermath off a total lunar eclipse and the alignment of the planets that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil. This is soothsayer Ben Monroe, and Sammy Jo Edwards’s story line.
Told from first person point of view (Sammy Jo ) WORLDS APART is a paranormal, time travel romance that follows twenty year old Sammy Jo Edwards as she is hurdled forward in time following a lunar eclipse and the alignment of the planets that will open a portal to the otherworld releasing all mythical beings for an epic battle of Good versus Evil in the town of Saint’s Grove, Virginia.
WORLDS APART reads like a middle-grade / YA story line. The story line is uncomplicated and slow to build; the text and conversations are simple; the requisite evil is easily tamed but I never felt wholly engaged with the characters or what was happening in the world around them. It felt as though there were too many details missing, and the background information regarding the future time period is virtually non-existent. There are a few twists and turns at the end of the story line with the potential for a happily ever after-for now. Perhaps the author has plans for a future installment focusing on what happens with Sammy and Ben’s return to the past.
Copies supplied for review
Reviewed by Sandy