Audience: Contemporary Magical Realism + Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: J.C. Cervantes
Publisher: Park Row
Release Date: May 16th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
When there’s magic all around you, the possibilities are endless…
When Harlow Estrada is abruptly fired from her dream job and her boyfriend proves to be a jerk, her world turns upside down. She flees New York City to the one place she can always call home—the enchanted Hacienda Estrada.
The Estrada family farm in Mexico houses an abundance of charmed flowers cultivated by Harlow’s mother, sisters, aunt, and cousins. By harnessing the magic in these flowers, they can heal hearts, erase memories, interpret dreams—but not Harlow. So when her mother and aunt give her a special task involving the family’s magic, she panics. How can she rise to the occasion when she is magicless? But maybe it’s not magic she’s missing, but belief in herself. When she finally embraces her unique gifts and opens her heart to a handsome stranger, she discovers she’s far more powerful than she imagined.
With unforeseen twists, romance, and a heavy sprinkle of magic, The Enchanted Hacienda is a captivating coming-of-age debut exploring identity, unconditional family love, and uncovering the magic within us all.
Thank you to Park Row for an ARC.
I liked this a lot more than I could have hoped when I took a chance on reading it. It very much has Encanto vibes but make it all about flowers and adult. I thought the magical realism aspects were woven in beautifully. I loooved all of the flower discussion and gardening and learning about the uniqueness of each bloom. That itself was really charming.
This was much more romance than I was expecting (yay!). I loved Ben and his entire demeanor and sense of self. He was sweet and I thought he and Harlow had some great chemistry. It’s fast paced without feeling like insta-love and I’m so glad there was an happy ending for them.
Lots of emotions and pulling at the heart strings as Harlow had to take a long hard look at what her life was like before she came back home and the newness of things that occurred over the book. Did she always handle it in the best way? No, but I liked that and appreciated the stumbling that it took to get to where she landed. The road isn’t easy, but hopefully worth it.
I was caught up in the the bit of mystery that was added and how the third act was going to be resolved. I LOVED the whole family, sisters, cousins, aunts, etc. Strong and tight family bonds are some of my favorite things in books and this had a great group. It’s a magical, good read and one to check out!
Overall audience notes:
- Magical Realism + Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: two almost open scenes, + 1 very brief/vague open
- Violence: low
- Trigger/Content Warnings: a loved one with memory loss (side character)