About the Book:
Title: Heart of a Witch
Author: Rebecca L. Garcia
Series: Embracing Darkness
Publication Date: Dec. 14, 2021
Synopsis: A vengeful fantasy standalone romance perfect for fans of The Bridge Kingdom and A Touch of Darkness
I’d never particularly liked humans, but I’d never wanted to kill one. Until now.
Hidden in a kingdom that hates witches, I’m forced to hide what I am. With my sister working in a secret dark magic club, and our family’s shop gaining unwanted attention, things couldn’t be worse when the notorious witch hunter, Damian Shaw, comes to town.
When my sister shows up dead, and my family’s name is called into question, we’re forced to adopt new aliases and leave the home we cherished. As I watch my life fall apart, I vow to destroy the hunter responsible, but his punishment would not be swift. Death was too easy.
Redforest is a quaint town, with a church, pretty shops, and like any good town, a dark past. When my family and I move in, I set my sights on the Shaw family, quickly learning everything I can about them. Damian’s son, Elijah, is the hunter’s greatest pride. His heir. His confidante. The only family he trusts.
I come up with a plan. I am going to shatter every good thing in Damian’s life, ending with his son. My goal: make Elijah Shaw fall in love with me, twist him into the very thing his father hates, then kill him.
With my heart challenged, the attraction growing, I find myself trapped in a deadly game. In a twist of fate, Elijah might just end up being the death of me.
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The second book in the Embracing Darkness series, Heart of a Witch follows Victoria Amberwood, a witch in a kingdom that persecuted witches. When one of the most notorious witch hunters comes to her town, Victoria and her family suffer an unbelievable loss and must flee their home. Intent on revenge for the brutal death of her sister, Victoria plans to ingratiate herself into the murderer’s life and ruin it starting with the witch hunter’s son. However, things become complicated when Victoria meets the witch hunter’s son Elijah.
I loved this dark and twisty story. It has complex and compelling characters who blur the line between good and bad. The story is also atmospheric and immersive, and the world-building creates such a vivid and detailed picture of this dangerous society where people are persecuted for being different. An ominous sense of foreboding permeates the story, which switches between Victoria and Elijah’s perspectives. I’m a fan of dual narration, and I liked getting to know the thoughts, feelings, and backstories of both characters.
Victoria is a complex, morally grey protagonist who, along with her brother and sister, is bent on revenge for the murder of her sister and will risk anything to gain vengeance. Though her own life is often at risk, Victoria does everything she can to destroy her enemy, including getting his son to fall in love with her so she can ruin him too. However, her plans come with a cost. Victoria is fierce and not above using dark magic. But she constantly battles the darkness inside her, which is threatening to take over.
In contrast, Victoria is also kind and caring and nurturing. Her beloved pets, which are venomous and deadly snakes, see the good in her, as does her family. Even though they don’t always see eye to eye, Victoria loves her family and has strong relationships with her siblings. She’s such an interesting and complicated person, and I like her complexity. She is often conflicted between doing what she knows is right and getting her revenge. Though she is not the villain of the story, she is certainly villainous.
Elijah is also dynamically developed, and his story is as complex and heartbreaking as Victoria’s. At first, I didn’t find him to be overly likable. However, the more I learned about him, the more drawn I was to his story. There is so much more to Elijah than he lets the world see, and I think Victoria learns as much from her relationship with Elijah as he does from knowing her. They are so different, yet they connect on such a deep level, even when it’s against their better judgment. Victoria and Elijah have both lived their lives in fear, and though it’s for different reasons, it’s because of the same man. It’s a terrible connection to have, but it definitely changes the way both see things. Their individual stories are as interesting as their growing relationship is.
I love a good enemies-to-lovers romance, and Victoria and Elijah’s is the best! They have such fantastic chemistry, and their complicated relationship is so entertaining. Though it seems impossible for this couple to end up together, I found myself hoping that they could find a way! There are several other stand-out relationships in the story too. Victoria’s relationship with her siblings is great. They are so funny together, and you can tell that even with all their teasing and tormenting, they really care about each other. They are protective of each other, much like Elijah and his brother. I think there are some great messages here about the bonds between siblings, as well as the lengths a person will go to get revenge and the power of love, kindness, and acceptance.
This is such a fantastic addition to the Embracing Darkness series, and I would definitely recommend this to readers who like dark fantasy romance and paranormal romance. Though it’s the second book in the series, each book is a standalone. The stories take place in the same world, but the characters and stories are separate. However, Spellbound, the first book in the series, is fabulous too and one I would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to Rebecca L. Garcia for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance.
- The sibling relationships.
- The immersive world-building.
Memories have a way of holding onto us, don’t they?
If humans wanted to believe us evil, then I would become precisely that. If they wanted darkness, I’d shroud them in it until they choked. If the hunter wanted another reason to hate witches, I would be that, for him, because in his vengeance against us, he’d turned me into his own personal poison.
“I’ll admit, I haven’t cared to get to know anyone much before, but…” I gazed into her eyes, and I swear I could see them soften. “I want to know you.”
I think you’ve been told you can’t have your own thoughts so many times, you’ve grown to believe it.
Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book!