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April 19, 2015

Liked It: Garden of Dreams & Desires by Kristen Painter

Series: Crescent City 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: New Adult | Dystopia | Paranormal
Magic and mystery collide in this thrilling conclusion to the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.

Tourists are disappearing at an alarming rate. While Augustine and his lieutenants attempt to find them, Harlow and the evil spirit possessing her remain Augustine's true focus. Freeing her from the spirit's grasp is all he can think about, especially with no real solution on the horizon.

Then he discovers the tourists are disappearing because the witches are stealing souls to cast a dangerous chaos spell. Before he can stop them, Harlow becomes their victim. Now he must race the clock to set her free and end the witches' machinations before the chaos spell strips every fae in New Orleans of their power and bring fae rule to an end.


Crescent City is my first tango with Kristen Painter and I was immediately absorbed by her futuristic NOLA where fae, humans, vamps, and witches exist side by side albeit a little tense. The dystopic elements of the series is fairly light, her new adult leads were a bit irritating, but tolerable. It's the paranormal side of things that truly captivated me not to mention the cover arts are so pretty to look at! I was excited to learn that Crescent City is only a trilogy, long book series can be a challenge to keep up with long terms so I figured things are going to escalate quick and wrap up nicely. 

The escalation part was true. Harlow and Augustine were thrust in the heat of things and found themselves in the middle of war with the witches, nefarious relatives, an enchanted tree that everyone wants, not to mention bigoted humans who wants the othernormals gone. KPainter built up the story really well, the character development was fantastic and by City of Eternal Light, I was very much invested in the story. 

Now GARDEN OF DREAMS & DESIRES is a fast paced, entertaining read. I didn't even notice that the novel was over 300 pages because I just flew through the chapters. Harlow and Augustine were very motivated to put things back in order, resolve minor kinks here and there, was proactive in being part of the solution instead of the problem, etc. There were a lot of antagonists here so the good guys were busy chasing them down and making them pay for their transgressions. 

My issue with GARDEN OF DREAMS & DESIRES is it lacked tension. KPainter started this mayhem so I was expecting Harlow and Augustine to have a hard time getting towards a resolution. Instead everything was so easy, as if the solutions were served on a silver platter. I mean if it were that simple, then why didn't they solve things in book 1 before it got crazy, right? And though it wasn't predictable, it was easy to figure out where the story is leading to. I wasn't surprised by the "twists", no jaw dropping monkey wrenches, and the bad guys didn't feel villainous enough.

Overall, GARDEN OF DREAMS & DESIRES was fairly an okay read. I compare it to those fun and light contemporary romances I like to cozy with on the weekend. I didn't get worked up over the resolution, it was a very relaxing story, I just didn't expect the series finale to be so...stable, if you know what I mean.








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29 comments:

  1. Well... I'll probably read something more... catchy ;) Thanks for sharing !

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    1. Lol. I had a good time, it just felt so laid back.

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  2. Oh sorry it wasn't more in the end for this one. I haven't tried this series yet but I really want to try the first one.

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    1. Please don't take my word for it. Give it a go

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  3. Flying through 300 pages without really noticing is a pretty good sign :) Usually, when there's little or no tension, my reading drags on forever! Really good review, Braine.

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    1. Well the good thing is my heart didn't get much of a work out

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  4. Well there could be worse things than a nice, cozy read and a sastifying ending. At least it wasn't all drama and angst and it didn't end with a bunch of unresolved issues.

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  5. I am not really sure, I would want more

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  6. I was really hoping for more from this book (I haven't read it yet, but I keep hearing similar reviews). I really enjoyed books one and two, but always felt that this story had a lot of promise. I was hoping that this book would really be a great finale for the series. I'm also upset that this one won't be on audio, since I listened to the first two books. :-(

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    1. Oh really? Why is that? Shelley, Gizmos Reviews, told me the pub pulled the plug on this series prematurely.

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    2. I was bummed about not having the audio too. I requested it on NG but never heard back. I guess if my library gets it I will read it. I love Painter, she's fun, I've meet her at book cons but sadly her series start out strong and then kind of slows down. I didn't finish her House of Comerre series and since this is the last book I will get to it but after the reviews I'm reading I'm not in a big hurry.

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  7. Sometimes a story plays out before the prescribed books do. I read a trilogy that would have been tons better as a duology. At least the worldbuilding was good.

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    1. I wouldn't say she rushed it, more like she made it so easy for everyone just so she can wrap up the threads. This would've been better if there's maybe another book after

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  8. Yah, it's weird sometimes when things can be solved so easy, yet it takes several books to get there. At least it goes by quickly.

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    1. That's true, at least I was entertained if not fully invested on this.

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  9. I have some of Kirsten's books, but sadly, I haven't started them yet. My sister loves her work.
    It is a shame you thought this particular book lacked tension, because it sounds like a greta read. Hopefully she can make up for it in the next book *wink*

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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    1. I plan to read HoC next or even her novella series with Amanda Carlson

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  10. Sometimes a relaxing, cozy story is good. Happy it was enjoyable.

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    1. Yup, at least it wasn't all that bad for me.

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  11. This series is on my wishlist because hello, NOLA! This doesn't sound bad, just not the roller coaster rides that Briggs and Andrews deliver.

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    1. Heck yeah! You'll love the setting here, very NOLA-ish

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  12. I might actually be more interested in this because it's lighter and maybe a bit less stressful. I've been liking the easier reads more lately. This is an author I've been wanting to read for ages!

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    1. True, but the first two books promised a LOT, something bigger, so the anticipation is there and it wasn't quite delivered.

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  13. I think most of the books I read in a trilogy some were better off in two books.

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    1. Endings are tricky that's for sure.

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  14. I still need to finish Kristen Painter's House of Commare series first. I do love the covers in this series however. Great review like usual. I so need to catch up.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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    1. She does have wonderful cover arts. HoC's my favorite.

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