Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperLuxe; Lgr edition (August 30, 2016)
Author's Website: N/A
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.
When seven year old Elijah finds himself in mortal danger a magical deck of tarot cards thought to have been destroyed centuries ago will come to his rescue. Lenna, the entity known on the tarot as Strength, is pulled from her world into ours. Upon finding the child and hearing his story, she vows to help him. The only snag--she only has five days to do so. After that, if she doesn't return to her world, Aeonia will come undone.
While the story is very different from The Arcana Chronicles, I found the world building lacking. We are told very little about Aeonia except that it is where the Major Arcana have been confined for thousands of years, and it is a self contained paradise. They can view all the realms that exist and influence them, but they can't visit them--or at least they couldn't before the deck transported Lenna.
The deck of cards is old, magical, and has finally been found, but we know absolutely nothing about the people who possessed the cards in this world. We don't know how they happened to be in possession of them. If they are perhaps descendants of the Magician who created them. Nor do we know why the Magician created the deck in the first place. There is no clue as to why someone would fake the deck's destruction. Plus, I'm slightly confused as to what we're dealing with. They were supposedly created before the other worlds and are seemingly ageless with no children or elderly, but what exactly are the Major Arcana? Are they minor deities, guardians, or something else? What exactly is their purpose that if they are ever destroyed they'd disrupt the universe, and why were they exiled to Aeonia in the first place? Did they somehow abuse their power? Additionally, how and why do the Major Arcana influence people from their realm? Do all tarot decks have some connection to the Arcana or just the magical one? Why do all the realms have tarot cards? How did the tarot come into existence? Basically what I'm truly saying is we need answers, lots of answers and perhaps a backstory or two.
Overall, I gave this one 2 1/2 out of 5 roses. I'm assuming this is the first book of a series because it reads like one. It possesses huge potential, but at this point it's a diamond in the ruff. Depending on the next book, it could make or break the series. I'd love to see a short story or two fill in the gaps. I'd love for Ms. Howard and Ms. Jones to wow me with their next novel. In fact, I double dog dare them to. For now, this was an okay read for me, but I'm curious as to where the authors will take the series. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.