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Enchanted by Starlight - Tina L. Hook Original review posted here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=36392

The cover of Enchanted by Starlight isn’t fancy, but what lies inside is a spectacular reading experience. I gravitate toward beautiful covers because they pique my interest and make me wonder what’s hidden behind that fantastic artwork. Not so here as Enchanted’s cover leaves a bit to be desired. Featuring a comet streaming across the sky, the simplistic design doesn’t incite that delirious joy in readers who come across a book cover that promises exciting untold tales and stories to dream about.

The opening is intriguing and inspires the reader to want to know more about what is going on and what’s to come. The prose is beautiful; sentences flow wonderfully into each paragraph and are well-written. The tale bounces from present to past, which may jar some readers but those who are expert readers (like me) won’t find it too daunting. I enjoyed the flashbacks more so than the present day portions of the novel. The glimpse into the past is engaging and I felt drawn to the plight of the three women as high school girls. (It must have something to do with my recent YA kick.) There is a central theme: women needing love, power, and a man to make them feel complete, if not to simply feel something in general.

Enchanted shows how the use of a gift can either help or hurt. Grace, Skylar, and Alina all abuse the mysterious power they’ve been given and suffer for it in similar ways. They end up alone, never having anyone stable in their lives for too long. How can they ever know if someone loves them—or simply likes them—for the person they are on the inside?

Grace is a great character, and to me, the main protagonist. Her voice doesn’t seem forced and I feel as if I know her. While her home life leaves much to be desired, unlike other girls in her predicament, she doesn’t let it get her down. Grace doesn’t doubt herself; she keeps the faith that she can accomplish her goals and do something with her life. Her parents are poor excuses of failed dreams and goals. They seem to take out their unhappiness on Grace when they see her studying or recognize she would rather spend time with her friend at her fabulous house instead of being at her own.

Grace’s world seems like it’s been taken from the past. The way she speaks and sees the world doesn’t feel modernized at all. It’s an interesting approach to the novel and I wasn’t sure how much I liked that detraction from the norm. The lack of contractions jarred me from the story quite a few times. The characters’ unusual way of speaking seems lilted with hesitant gaps of silence. Even with those issues, not only does Grace’s voice resonate the most, her inherited power thrilled me. With her controlling the desire men have for her, she’ll never know if their love is true. I kept wondering how she could ever find happiness or whether she truly wanted to be happy. She sometimes comes across as someone who doesn’t want to have to fall in love naturally because she thinks it can’t happen for her any other way. Eventually Grace tries to live her life without the aid of magic. She fights it at every turn and seems so strong at times. She’s braver than you realize when you see how hard it is for her to be normal.

Then, there are the other girls. I’m not sure about the powers Skylar and Alina have. I know they also affect people’s emotions, but it’s not always clear how. Grace is the only one of the three who has an unambiguous use of her power. Despite the lesser roles Skylar and Alina play in the novel, we get a sense of who they are, and how their secret gifts bring them together.

I actually like the drama served up in Enchanted. It’s complicated but delectably so. Talk about star-crossed lovers—one person loves another person who loves yet another person, who is loved by someone else. Confused? Yup, that’s the beauty of it.

There was something missing, though: the obvious. What is the history of the comets and their magical effects? It’s mysterious, yes, but leaves the reader wanting. I needed to know more about how this came about. I wanted to know more about everyone who was affected (spoiler: it wasn’t just the three girls). The books’ blurb leads readers to believe that only the three women are graced with gifts, but that isn’t so. Talk about a heck of a twist! I enjoyed reading the story but felt the ending leaves a bit to be desired. Not because of the lack of a true Happily Ever After—the women all ended up where they wanted to. We don’t get enough of their story. All three women tell their stories via past and present anecdotes, showing their growth or lack thereof, depending on the character.

I would recommend Enchanted by Starlight to anyone who enjoys paranormal aspects in a romance novel, and a good story of love lost, won, and let go. I can’t wait to add this book to my library and read it again.

I was provided a copy of Enchanted by Starlight by NetGalley for an honest review.