Lauren Blackwood

YA Fantasy

Eighteen-year-old Victoria is a Wildblood. Kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she’s worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a Jamaican jungle teeming with ghostly monsters.

When the boss denies Victoria an earned promotion to team leader in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, she’s determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she’s not the image the boss wants to send their new client, Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.

Thorn is everything Victoria isn’t – confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love. But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Victoria has to decide – is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) Victoria was torn from her family as a young child. She is enslaved into working for a company that provides tours in the jungle. Her Wildblood abilities are essential for the guides, however, it is also a feared ability.

The jungle was definitely the highlight. The danger and the unknown kept me intrigued. There was always something new and threatening in the jungle. On this expedition, it was more than they imagined. I loved the secrets that were revealed and the beauty of this Jamaican-inspired jungle.

What fell short for me is the romance. Instant love is not something I can ever wrap my mind around. I kept waiting for subterfuge to show, as it felt forced. There was adventure, violence, threats and disruption of power. And while I loved the jungle, the main story kept me questioning the magic and Victoria’s connection to the jungle. Even the trip they were on brought questions to mind. I feel I didn’t get the full effect of Victoria’s backstory and history, or the true dangers and even beauty of the jungle.

General content summaryAUTHORS WEBSITE TRIGGERS, little language, many are kept captive and are killed if try to leave, many were kidnapped into slavery, physical violence (blood), insect bite leads to death, m/f kiss, references to intimacy, magic/jungle throws a man causing injuries, ghosts/souls of children are seen (from miscarriages etc), sexual harassment (tight holds, forced kissing), creature attack (blood, weapons, beast killing, person death), a child/young teen is whipped as punishment (previous, no details), previous rape (no details but mentioned multiple times), choking, parents are lynched (previous), death from injuries (possible killing with more injuries), grief, reference to intimacy (no details), more intimacy (some details). a soul eater steals a soul (death and grief), stabbing death (blood), creature eats a person, alcohol, gunshot wound and physical aggression that leads to death.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for the beautiful edition with great extras!

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