ARC Review: How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks

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How to Love Your Elf Book Cover How to Love Your Elf
Embraced by Magic #1
Kerrelyn Sparks
Paranormal Romance
February 25, 2020


Raised in isolation on the magic-shrouded Isle of the Moon, five girls became five sisters. Now women, they are ready to claim their places in the world—and perhaps change it forever . . .


Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border . . . well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.

Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go . . .


How to Love Your Elf is book four in The Embraced series by Kerrelyn Sparks. 

I’m not sure why the author or publisher decided to label this novel as Embraced by Magic series when it’s part of The Embraced series. It’s not a title that can be read as a first in a series. How to Love Your Elf needs to be read after Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon.

I’ve loved the previous titles in The Embraced series, but unfortunately this one feel off the mark.

If you’ve been following the series, Sorcha, is a princess and ‘Embraced’. She was featured throughout the series as a women with a fiery personality, but we soon learning that that’s just a front. She’s scared to love to the point that she makes herself physically ill. I was very disappointed to learn that Sorcha wasn’t the go getter she was portrayed. She lacked confidence in everything she did, even her Embraced gift is next to nothing. She was dull and spent the novel pining and obsessing over the Woodsman.

The Woodsman had a sexy appeal. I liked his confidence and strong personality. He was the only thing I liked about this novel. 

The store progressed at a snails pace. I was not invested in the characters or plot. The main plot focused on the angst caused by the romance between these two. We also don’t spend any time dealing with who the Woodsman is and his history. As for the ending it happens fast and things are put to rest way to easily.

You might be wondering why I read this one. Well I loved the previous novels, I also wanted to get the full picture on the Embraced prophecy; which is the secondary plot featured throughout this series, and to also get those surprise tidbits offered up in the novel.

How to Love Your Elf was not the book for me. It’s my least favorite and I was sadly disappointed. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you. 

Rated: 2 Stars

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Kensington via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

14 comments on “ARC Review: How to Love Your Elf (Embraced by Magic #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks

  1. Well that’s a big bummer. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, especially after loving the first ones. And a PS to authors you spinoff “new series” but are really just the next book in the existing series – DON’T DO THAT!! So frustrating.

    • The author and publisher should have done something to explain that this is book four in a preexisting series and not a new series. I understand that sometimes you have to change publisher, but It’s confusing for new timers to the series. I was disappointed I didn’t like it better, but also frustrated that their is no explanation that it’s part of a series and not a first. Thank’s for visiting!

  2. I’m so bummed you weren’t feeling this one. I did ask the author why the change in series name halfway through and she said it was because of a change in publisher.

    • Once my review published on Goodreads, ppl told me the change in series title was due to the publisher change. I just want ppl to know that it’s not a first in a series, because a few ppl I’ve talk to have picked it up as a first and they had issues, so I wanted to make sure everyone know. Ya, I was sad this one didn’t work out for me, but I’m excited for the final novel in the series.

      • I feel like more should have been done to make people aware that it was NOT the first of the series. I was massively confused when I saw the change and that the book was numbered as 1. I think new comers really need us bloggers to point out that this is definitely not the book to start with.

        • I agree!! I was confused until I got the explanation on new publisher, but for those new to the series they need us to explain it’s book four not one.

  3. I’m sorry it wasn’t for you. I liked this one.

    • It didn’t have the exciting adventure and enjoyable heroine as the previous titles in the series. Well they all can’t be hits. I did see your review and it was nice. Thank’s for visiting!

  4. Yeah I wasn’t sure this one would be for me either so I haven’t read it yet. Sorry you didn’t like it more.

    • Ya, it didn’t turn out as I hoped, but we do see the overall ARC progress and I’m excited for Brody’s story and the last sister. That novel looks to be good. The other gives us just a snippet of what’s to come at the end. The Woodsman was interesting. I just wish Sorcha had lived up to what we where seeing from her and that we got more from her on her powers. The whole love angst was too much. Thank’s for visiting!

  5. bummer it didn’t work for you because it sounds like a fun one
    sherry @ fundinmental

    • I loved the previous titles and well this one just didn’t turn out as I hoped. It’s ok. It happens in series sometimes. I did get little tidbits that helped the overall ARC progress, so that’s good. Looking forward to the last novel in the series.

  6. Oh no, bummer it was such a let down after you were anticipating Sorcha and her gift being tough stuff. Glad the hero was at least someone to take your fancy.

    • Ya, I was very excited to get more in this world and continue the overall plot of the Embraced, but Sorcha was a major let down and her gift wasn’t used as much as previous heroines and well it was not much of anything. The hero was interesting and I’m glad I got to see a snippet/epilogue into Brody and the last women who will complete the series. Thank’s for visiting!