Happy Friday, book friends! I’m so excited to be sharing my review of Charming and the Cherry Blossom by L.J. Evans for the book tour, hosted by Grey’s Promotions. This story was such an adorable modern-contemporary-fairytale-y romance that I know you’re going to love! Just beware, it’s a beast! At over 500 pages, Charming definitely qualifies as a “big book”. So, without further ado, onto my review …
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This is a BEAST of a book!
Seriously, I had no idea it was over 500 pages when I joined the blog tour for Charming and the Cherry Blossom. Normally, I don’t read books that are much over 300, especially not if I’m on a time-crunch like most book tours are. So what a shocker! But Megan, why didn’t you check when you signed up for the tour? Yea, that would have been a good thing to do … but I don’t 🤣
To all you out there who like big books and you cannot lie, this is the book to pick up!
CHARMING AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM by L.J. Evans
Published: July 16, 2021 by L.J. Evans
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fairytale Retelling
Length: 548 pages
Format Read: Kindle eARC
Buy It: Amazon
Add it on Goodreads
Reviewed by: Megan
Challenges: 2021 AtoZ Reading Challenge – Letter “C” | 2021 Literary Escapes Reading Challenge – Virginia
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)
Heat Level: 🔥🔥
ABOUT THE BOOK
Today was a fairy tale …
I inherited a fortune from a dad I never knew, and a thoroughly charming guy asked me out.
Unfortunately, my fairy tale could disappear in ninety days … because there’s an impossible task to complete, and a greedy cousin plotting against me.
Plus, I’m not your typical fairy tale princess. I have secrets that might send my charming running, and threaten my future if the press finds out.
If today was a fairy tale …
Why does my happily ever after look so far out of reach?
From award-winning author, LJ Evans, comes a contemporary romance filled with all the magic, hope, and love of a fairy tale plus the slow-burn, old-soul vibe her fans adore. Inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Today Was a Fairytale,” this small-town romance is pure escapism.
>>> I received this eARC (digital advanced reader copy) as part of my participation in a blog tour for Charming and the Cherry Blossom with Grey’s Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by L.J. Evans. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it. <<<
Charming and the Cherry Blossom Definitely Fed My Fairytale Addiction 💘
While this isn’t a straight Cinderella or other fairytale retelling, there are so many references and aspects of fairytales (not to mention the little fairytale that L.J. Evans adds into the book with each new chapter). It definitely gave me the fairytale feels.
And let’s talk about that extra little fairytale. The Light Princess. I loved how each chapter started with a little blip from this extra fairytale, and you saw how the story of the princess, her horrible parents, and “enemy” prince progressed. Honestly, I found myself wanting to jump into this story, as well! And guess what? You can!! Read >>> The Light Princess <<< here.
Charming and the Cherry Blossom is a serious MOOD INFLUENCER!
This book seriously influenced my moods. The problem – there’s so much negativity for the first 65% (that’s like 350 pages!). Most of it is centered around Elle’s nasty cousin Nox. He’s pissed off that his uncle (Elle’s father whom she never knew) didn’t leave him the castle and the fundraising foundation that he left Elle. So he shows up and he’s fighting her claim and bribing judges. He’s a horrible person. And it takes sweet, earthy, almost naïve Elle and turns her into this sad, worried person. It even somewhat clouded everything with Hudson.
I loved Elle and Hudson!
This is the real fairytale of the story. For most of her life, Elle is unable to touch anyone. Whenever she does, she sees the ghosts of anyone they’ve ever lost. So it’s created this very solitary life for her. Along comes Hudson and mini spoiler >>> she tells him her secret <<< (highlight to read it). Suddenly, Elle is able to be touched without going crazy. A romance blossoms between her and Hudson, definitely on the more innocent-side. This was the only part of the book that felt like it was more YA than college-adult. Elle has been so secluded for so much of her life that she’s very naïve. Innocent.
Catia and Danon
Catia (Hudson’s little sister who was murdered) and Danon (Elle’s father who has passed away and left her the castle) make a wonderful addition to the story! I loved how they were integrated so seamlessly and Elle’s actually able to have something of a relationship with the father she never knew. It’s like a second chance. Throughout the book, we see how much Catia wants her brother to be able to move on from her murder and we get to see how much Danon really loved his daughter, even though he never got to be with her.
The Mom … I. Did. Not. Like. Her.
I had severe problems with Mina, Elle’s mother. The woman doesn’t have an ounce of maternal instinct in her. She’s taught Elle that she needs to walk her own path alone and to let anyone in is wrong. All logic, no emotions. And, as Elle is trying to figure out how to fit into the world her father has left her, Mina gets pissed off and makes everything 100 times harder for her daughter. Not to mention she intentionally kept Elle from knowing her father.
Mina has a few positive moments (mostly in the beginning of the book) but I 90% did not like the woman.
Final Answer for Charming and the Cherry Blossom?
While this was a beast of a book and I had a few problems with some of the characters, it was a very enjoyable read. The characters were very well-written (the ability to hate a character means that the author has done their job well). I definitely recommend it for any modern, contemporary, fairytale fans!