I’m behind in reviews so I decided to do a review of the Naturals Series as a whole instead of each book individually. So here we go.
The Naturals is centered around Cassie. She’s a profiler. She can tell you about anyone just by observing them. She was taught this by her mother who would travel the country as a psychic. Reading people was how she made a living. One day she is recruited in a secret group by the FBI of other “naturals” teenagers to help them with solve cold cases. Each naturals has their own skills. Michael can read people’s emotion. Lia can tell who is lying and telling the truth. Sloane sees the world in numbers and Dean is also a profiler. They all learn their skills thanks to traumatic pasts that forced them to cultivate their skills and oh boy, they are tragic. Cassie’s own backstory is that her mom was brutally murdered but her body was never found. This backstory plays a huge part in the series. Actually all of their back stories play a huge part of the plot. The other big part of the story is how each of them cope with their trauma. As they go through the cases, they are forced to deal with their pasts and it’s a rough road for all of them.
I do want to say, it’s not all sadness. This was a very fun series to read. The mysteries have so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing of how it would turn out. The team is all so likable and wanted them all to be happy and safe. Sloane is my favorite character. She is so endearing. She is the comic relief but often time she doesn’t understand why she is funny. She is also, out of all of them, the most heartbreaking. I really feel for her. I wanted more of her.
So for mystery readers this is a must read. It’ll keep you on your toes.
The first book I was surprised by how much I enjoy it. It’s not that I didn’t like this one but I guess it didn’t have the same impact as the first. The surprise was gone. Sepora and Tarik are in engaged in more then one. They are physically engaged to be married and also engaged in a war of wills. They both feel like each other betrayed each other but the real threat is still out there. Will they be able to trust each other long enough to save both of their homes? Spoiler Alert. Yes. Sepora is still an amazing character. She’s still stubborn as ever but she is still brave and caring. She knows what she wants but at times unclear as to how to get it and who to trust. Tarik is the same. They both want to avoid a war but they have different priorities. Tarik is king and has a whole country counting on him. Sepora does not so I think at times she is a bit unfair to Tarik when he priorities his own country over everything else. This was a fun series. I’m glad I picked it up.
I adore LIsh McBride’s writing. Her books are full of fun, imaginative and funny characters that you can’t help but love. I mean, how can not love a book named Hold Me Closer, Necromancer? If that give you an idea of her sense of humor, I don’t know what will. Lish McBride is also a bookseller and as a former bookseller, who knows how rewarding and also thankless that job can be, it’s good to see one of us come good. I’m also a sucker for fairy tale retellings as you might have guessed from my past reviews. All of this is to say, I knew I would love this book before I started reading. Curses is new spin of Beauty and the Beast but this time the Beast is Merit, a Baroness and Beauty is Tevin, a con man with a heart of gold. Merit gets cursed by a Godling when she was 15 years old. She refuses to attend her own engagement party because she was in love someone else and the man her mother chose for her was 20 years older. The Godling was annoyed that she wasn’t came all this way for nothing cursed Merit to be a beast until she married for love or a man of her mother’s choosing. She has to do this before her 18th birthday or she becomes a beast permanently. Three years later and she is 6 weeks to her birthday when Tevin’s mom is caught trying to steal a precious flower from Merit’s home. Tevin is traded to take his mother’s place and help Merit break the curse. Tevin has a gift of charming anyone, which helps him in his own scams of making women like Merit fall in love with him so their parents pay him off to leave their daughters alone. Since he is qualified to help Merit find someone not like him that she could find love with, he’s perfect to help her find a husband but this Beauty and the Beast and they fall in love. The suitors are pretty fun. None of them are as bad or toxic as Gaston but it’s pretty clear who is her best match. The biggest rival to Tevin is Prince Eric Latimer from a neighboring kingdom. We learn early on that it was his mother that sent Tevin’s mother to get the flower. The flower, is the main ingredient in medicine to help the curse. You take it and for 4 hours, you are curse free. The Queen wants to grow her own so she doesn’t have to buy it and sell her own. The kingdom is broke and what better way to get the plant they need and expend their territory then marriage. So she sends her son to woo Merit and sabotage the other suitors. I do have to say that my favorite relationship is between Merit and her mom. Their relationship is so strain after years of arguments and hurt that they only know how to argue with each other. They blame each other for their current predicament, not acknowledging that they are both to blame. They are so alike though. Both very stubborn. Lady Zarla loves her daughter but like all mothers she also worries about her future so she tried to marry her off to not only keep on the family legacy but to keep her safe. Despite Merit being cursed, she continues to find her a daughter a match. Merit, just wants to live her life for herself and not having to deal with all the responsibility and she’s been hurt too. She fell in love with someone who ended up only wanting her money and has hard to time trusting anyone, including her mother. As the book goes on, we start to see the mother-daughter relationship grow as they start to listen to each other and realize they both want the same thing. For Merit to be happy. So yes, it was really touching at the end when they reconcile. So yes, I love this book. I’ll admit, it won’t go down as my favorite Lish McBride book but it’s still a wonderful book. I love it and I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.
I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. The dueling narratives between Sepora and Tarik was really effective in telling a story of two people from rival nations and differing view points but ultimately want the same thing. The conflicts often arise through misconceptions they have each other but also of each others nations. They both of grown up thinking the other’s nation as the enemy, even though they have lived in a time of relative peace. It also illustrates the dynamic of power and how quickly it can change. Sepora is a Princess and the only forger. She can create a rare metal, spectorium. Spectorium can be used to build, power and potentially heal. Sepora’s nation of Serubel, was thought to be the only nation that had it and was it’s biggest export but the world didn’t know that it was produced by one person. When Sepora’s father wants her to forge more of it so make weapons she escapes to the neighboring nation of Theoria because who would think she would go to enemy territory. Unfortunately, she gets captured and later sold into the new King of Theoria’s harem. She doesn’t stay there long as she annoys enough people to leave the harem and works her away as one of Tarik’s advisor’s. Her knowledge of Serubel is obviously an asset to Tarik but how much can she tell him without betraying her own country. While she works to try to prevent war, he works to protect his own people. Another complication is that Theoria is also dealing with a pandemic that is quickly spreading. (yeah, this was little to close to home) and wouldn’t you know it spectorium is potential cure of for it. So it’s a back and forth between the two of them as they try to trust each other but find it hard because of internal bias’ but also their goals are different. They do want to the same thing to prevent war but going about it differently. Tarik is after all the King of his nation. He has to think about the safety of his people so of course he is going to look at ways to protect his people while also looking into ways to stop war. Sepora bristles anytime Tarik even talks about defensive measures even though they are responsible responses. Like so many conflicts, if they were honest with each other they could resolved so many issues but honesty you need trust and it’s hard to trust something or someone you have taught not to. So yeah, I liked this book and I look forward to reading the sequel.