A story of witches, blackmail, destiny and romance... The Glamourist by Luanne G. Smith (Review) @The_FFBC

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The Glamourist
(The Vine Witch #2)
By Luanne G. Smith
Adult Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 282 Pages
June 9, 2020 by 47North


A spellbinding novel of bloodlines, self-discovery, and redemption by the author of the Washington Post bestseller The Vine Witch

Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages. 

Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?

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My Review

THE GLAMOURIST is a story of two witches who are unwittingly entangled in each others' stories, the magic they wield and seek, those who would use them, and coming into their own. There's friendship, danger, romance, and a unique fantasy world. An entertaining read of puzzles as the reader plods along with the characters to figure out what to do and what exactly is going on. Recommended to fans of the first book and the genre.

It took me just a bit to get back into this series as I had to remember who everyone was. Once I did (and only by the second chapter when the main character from the first book comes on the scene), I was good to go with plenty of questions as to what was going on and why these specific witches were being targeted. I loved Elena and Jean-Paul from the first book, and they continued to grow on me here. Elena had still so much to discover about herself and the type of magic she was born to, as well as the one she was taught to use. She not only was trying to still recover from betrayal and a curse, she had to deal with those who governed her magic, try to charm her future mother-in-law, rescue a friend, and decide about her own future. I loved Jean-Paul's steadiness and loyalty! He's not involved as much in this book, but I still loved when he was! He's such a good man and willing to deal with a totally different world that he is newly aware of, as well as do what he could for Elena.

I enjoyed getting to know Yvette better. She grew up struggling to survive with a fairly shady past that definitely influenced how she saw others and the world. She had a similar background as Elena except she wasn't raised by a loving woman who taught her how to use magic. Instead she was raised in basically a brothel, and also had to steal and give in order to survive. Yvette also had a price on her head and knew even less about her past than Elena knew about hers. She really could have chosen differently, but she finds her strength and pushes through.

There were a few other new characters who I really liked... Alexandre, Marion, Henri, and the cat. They all played their roles well and the author did a good job making them distinct. I also appreciated that there was romance, but the main focus of the story was Yvette uncovering who she was and Elena's journey alongside her. 

Here is one line that stuck out to me:
"Sometimes all you topsiders need is a little light and a little dancing," Gustave said...

I did have one main criticism. I felt like the plot could have been farther reaching. It seemed like there should have been a better reason why a certain someone was targeted and the background behind some corruption. I think I just wanted there to be a reason and I didn't get the extent of the manhunt under the circumstances.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed this story quite a bit. It has such a charming, nostalgic feel to it and the author really pulls you into the setting in France. I loved the underlying feeling of danger and suspense, the strong female protagonists, and the men who stood by them. I'm looking forward to more from this author!

Content: References to prostitution and an affair, and swearing (including a couple uses of the s-word).
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through the Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

The Vine Witch
(The Vine Witch #1)
By Luanne G. Smith
Adult Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 268 Pages
October 1st 2019 by 47North

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Read my review HERE.

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About the Author

Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

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