Friday, April 22, 2011

Hex, a Witch and Angel Tale by Ramona Wray

Title: Hex, a Witch and Angel Tale
Author: Ramona Wray
Series: -
Published: Feb. 1, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 254 (paperback)
I received this book from Ramona as part of the Hex Blog Tour.

Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life.

So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.


I never would have guessed that angels and witches could be combined without inserting a nauseating level of cheese into the writing, but Ramona Wray pulls it off, merging the two in such a way to produce an epic romance that that--literally--transcends time.

Enter Lily, your typical seventeen-year-old girl, except for one thing--she's a witch. Lily has the unusual ability to see into somebody's past with a single touch, but her visions come at a painful price. Which is why when she touches Ryder without the painful aftershock, you know that they're destined to be together. Even though I thought that Ryder was your typical paranormal romance ‘heartthrob’ (good looks, dark secrets, and a patient nature), Lily was a fabulous and unique protagonist. She's sarcastic, intelligent, loyal, pragmatic, brave...all of the qualities I hope to see in a heroine, and the way she narrated her story had me laughing, swooning, and cheering on almost every page. But most important, by the end of the book she was just as strong of a character as she was in the beginning. I can't tell you how many times I've read a paranormal romance only to find that the Strong Heroine in the beginning melts into a puddle with little more backbone than a blob of pudding at the first sight of her White Horse Hero. Thank you Ramona, for reminding us that it IS possible to write a teen romance novel without sacrificing the main character's strength and personality!

Actually, to be honest, the romance of this book surprised me. I figured it was going to be the typical two-boys-fighting-over-one-girl-who-can't-make-up-her-mind sort of deal, but it was far from it. Lily doesn't waste time figuring out which man in her life will be good for her, but there are curve balls along the way that make her question her intuition. Lucian played his part well. Half the time I couldn't tell if I wanted to strangle or hug him. Yes, even though he initially comes off as the third corner of the oh-so-familiar YA love triangle, he turns out to be so much more, with a deeper connection to Lily AND Ryder than I saw coming. The three of them share a terrible burden, victims to a past and a curse that can't be revoked. The magical elements of the story were very down to earth, with less wand waving and more Wiccan-based rituals. It's been such a long time since I read a book where the magic involved in a story was pseudo-realistic and based off actual religious practices. It was a wonderful change of pace, and made Lily's interaction with the angelic elements of the book interesting and almost plausible since they're backed by religious and historical fact.

Though the book did lag in some parts, overall, I found Hex, a Witch and Angel Tale to be a surprisingly fun read. It was cute, it was deep, and above all else, compared to the other paranormal romances out there, it was different. It offered a unique blend of magical and religious lore that created a very intelligent romance. So don’t be fooled; the book is not as fluffy as the cute cover makes it seem! Pick it up if you’re looking for a read that combines two very different kinds of fantasy--and combines them well.