Friday, June 2, 2023

Guest Book Review: The Enchanted Hacienda

By Allyson Bales

If you are a fan of Sarah Addison Allen’s books and Disney’s Encanto, this is the perfect read for you!

Harlow, a quirky thoughtful writer working for a small indie publisher is dating Chad, a hoity-toity lawyer, and living in New York City.  After a heated argument Harlow heads to her family’s farm and enchanted hacienda in Mexico.  There we get to meet the Estrada women and follow along on Harlow’s journey of self-discovery.  There is magic, romance, and the Estrada Family!

I was incredibly charmed by the Estrada Family.  Harlow’s mother, sisters, aunts, and cousins are the perfect blend of support and truthfulness.  Their bond is intense and each family member, except for Harlow, has a magical power.  They can interpret dreams, erase memories, conjure ghosts, and heal hearts and together they protect and nurture those around them.  I love these women and their banter and unconditional love for one another.  They reminded me so much of my family and friends and women supporting women is so uplifting!

Harlow’s journey to find herself is one that is very relatable and also uplifting!  I love how invested she is in becoming a writer and her will to figure herself out.  So many people struggle with not giving up and end up settling and I love how Harlow refused to do that!  I also loved Harlow’s love interest Ben.  The way they meet and the relationship that grows between them was so fun and organic.  I am a believer of signs and I love how that is portrayed in their connection.  Also, Ben comes and goes a lot making the build up so worth it and the center of the story really about Harlow and I really enjoyed that narrative.  Harlow should be the main character in her road to happiness!

I was absolutely enamored with the scenery and also all of the descriptions of the flowers.  Did you know that the symbolism of the sunflower is devotion, opportunity, ambition, happiness, and good luck? I didn’t but now I do and I want to be surrounded by sunflowers and buy everyone I know sunflowers!  Mexico has always been on my bucket list of places and Cervantes’ descriptions of the beautiful landscapes made me feel like I was there.  Also Harlow goes to a coffee shop/bookshop with journals that made me wish it existed in real life.

I really hope this becomes a series and I get to see the Estrada women again!  The Enchanted Hacienda was such a captivating story and if you are looking for magic, family bonds, and beautiful scenery to escape to, this is the story for you!  

Thanks to Harlequin for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Allyson Bales lives in New Jersey.  She is an art therapist working with at-risk youth and loves making a difference.  Books have been her saving grace and really helped her manage being a front line worker during the Pandemic.  When she’s not helping others, she loves to travel and camp with her wife.  One of her favorite places to read is by a campfire with some good tunes in the background.  You can find her on Bookstagram at @readswithally.

More by J.C. Cervantes:

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