Apr 2, 2015

ARC Review--Garden of Dreams and Desires by Kristen Painter

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.

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Kristen Painter closes the book on the Crescent City trilogy with Garden of Dreams and Desires. I truly enjoyed seeing the story arc come to a complete close. We thought things were wrapped up for the most part with City of Eternal Night, but we were oh so wrong. For in fact, Ava Mae's spirit had taken possession over Harlow.

It's weird, I wouldn't call it a pet peeve, because it in no way is, but what drives me crazy and filled with fear is having someone impersonate another character. I've read it before, and it terrifies me, because usually, everyone believes said person is really herself, but you know, isn't! And luckily, Augustine pretty much learned this by the end of City of Eternal Night, but it was still that nagging fear driving me as I read, regardless! But I love it! Especially since I knew by the end of this, Harlow would be in control of her body again, because a series should end on a happy note!

Let's disregard those that haven't because, yeah, some don't end 100% happily.

Anyway, though Ava Mae is controlling her sister's body, Harlow is still in her body with her. Confusing, much? Basically two souls are inhabiting the same body. Harlow is determined to get her sister out, and Ava Mae fears that she may not be strong enough to maintain the body that she believes is so rightfully hers. Ava Mae is what you would call batshit crazy, but those make the best kinds of villains! I did feel for Ava Mae earlier in the series, but after her actions in the second installment I was all for calling off with her head...after she's evicted from Harlow's body!

In between time trying to figure out how to give Harlow back her control over her body, Augustine is trying to figure out why tourists are suddenly going missing from NOLA. And naturally, the witches are behind it all. These sisters are pretty batshit in their own right too. Though Giselle is by far the most crazy. They want to rid the city of fae and give power back to the witches.

Then there's still the senator to deal with as well. She makes a big ol mess of things just as we think a resolution is in the horizons. I kind of forgot about her character since I read City of Eternal Night soooo very long ago as an early copy. There have been a lot of books after that! But I was able to recall most details fairly quickly, or enough that I was able to fully enjoy this story! And this was quite the story too!

Sadly, no one from the House of Comarre made an appearance this go around, at least none of the major players that I can remember. It's been even longer since I read that series! But I did enjoy this spinoff! Harlow was an incredible heroine and I liked that she had to grow into her heroine role. She wasn't set out to be the heroine in book one. She was kind of bitchy in some ways. But that becomes part of the enjoyment of a series, watching characters grow!

Garden of Dreams and Desires was a fantastic read and a thrilling end to the series. While this chapter closes the book on Harlow and Augustine, I feel content in where things end. I almost feel like this could be a Happily Ever After for NOLA, but who knows what Kristen might cook up next! I'll definitely be reading it though!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Garden of Dreams and Desires releases April 7, 2015


  1. holy cow that cover is HAUNTING!! I love it. Thanks for putting this one on my radar. I will have to check it out!

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  2. I love the cover so much! I haven't read this series yet, but it's awesome when a series ends well :) I usually get really scared reading the last book in a series, and I'm terrified for at least half the book! Glad you enjoyed this one, Jessica! Great review!

  3. I saw this on NetGalley, and was intrigued; I'm glad I didn't request it because I didn't realize it was the last in a series lol; I'm glad you liked it! It's definitely going in my To-read pile!

    Jessica @ Ramblings on Readings

  4. Glad to hear you loved this one and it felt like a satisfying conclusion to a series you loved!
    Great review Jessica!!

  5. Super high rating! I'm glad you loved this book, Jessica. I've never read any of this author's books. I love this cover!

    Fabulous review, Jessica :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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