Sunday, December 6, 2020

ARC Review: Imaginary Lover by Morgan Brice

From The Blurb:
“There’s no time. Remember your imaginary lover....” 
Cory Caldwell woke up by the side of the road with no memory of how he got there. He pieces together who he is but has no idea what happened to him. 
Dark visions haunt him—flashes of blood, magic, and a brutal fight. Scorching dreams of a faceless lover offer no clues. His gut warns that something urgent is eluding him, and that time is running out. Worse is the sense of bone-deep grief, as if Cory is missing part of his soul. 
Desperate for answers, he hops a bus for Fox Hollow, a town famous for psychics, mediums, and those with supernatural abilities. Then a stranger calls Cory by name and casts a furtive glance around him. “There’s no time,” the man says. “I need your help. Remember...” Can Cory unlock his missing memories and rescue the stranger before it’s too late? 
Imaginary Lover is full of dangerous magic, hurt/comfort, brave monster hunters, dark curses, sincere psychics, found family, and forever love. 
Imaginary Lover is the eighth book in the multi-author series, Beyond the Realm: Remember. Each book is set in its own world and can be read as a standalone novel. Join eight authors on eight very different, romantic, and magical stories as each one writes their own take on the same concept.

Karen's rating:

While I really love all the witchy worlds that Ms Brice has created...

with her 'Badlands', 'Witchbane', 'Treasure Trail', 'Fox Hollow Zodiac' and other series I'm starting to find things a bit confusing if you haven't read all of the series which unfortunately I haven't and that's something that to be honest is fairly high on my TBR list since this is an author that I really like. 

'Imaginary Lover' is a short story that takes up into the world of 'Fox Hollow' and there I liked the premise overall for me it was really hard to get emotionally invested in the characters since we're brought into an established relationship and at a point when the characters don't really know each other much less anyone else. Some of the characters that we meet are obviously from 'Fox Hollow Zodiac' so I admit I'll be going back to that series to get their story. while one of the characters who shows up part way through is from Ms. Brice's series 'Treasure Trail' and there's also reference made to a character that first appeared in Ms. Brice's 'Badlands' series as well as a reference or two to characters who first appeared in Gail Z. Martin's 'Deadly Curiosities' series (and just a bit of FYI Gail Z. Martin is Morgan Brice). 

For anyone who hasn't read at least some if not all of this series I can see where it would make for...a bit of confusion and secondary characters who don't seem to have been developed in any way. When it fact this is not the case, but their stories are scattered around in other series and being a short story the author really is limited on how much time can be given to character development of secondary characters. 

Ironically I found that some of the secondary characters felt more developed than our MCs in this one. I never truly got a sense from Cory that he was as invested in saving his soulmate as he should have been and as for his soulmate, Max well lets just say that for me he's still a bit on the imaginary side. He held even less depth and character than Cory did. Maybe if we'd been give some Cory and Max before the whole banishing/memory loss even they would have had more substance throughout the story...but that's purely conjecture on my part. 

The saving grace on this one was Liam, Russell and Dr. Jeffries...I have every intention of reading 'Huntsman' which I'm sure will give me Liam and Russ's story and with any luck at least a bit of Dr. Jeffries. 


An ARC of 'Imaginary Lover' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.  (Mason Cooley)

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