When eighteen-year-old Emery Leclerc is taken from her home by a man who claims she has magical powers, she isn’t sure who to call first: the police or the psych ward.
After discovering that the magic running through her veins is the reason her parents died years ago, Emery wants nothing to do with it. She’d like nothing more than to return to her boring, small-town life. But left unchecked, her newly awakened abilities prove dangerous. She must learn to control her magic or risk having it consume her—and dying before making it out of high school would seriously suck.
Unfortunately for Emery, learning magic isn’t as easy as her new housemates make it seem. As her frustration grows, she learns that, while she may not want her magic, there’s a Wielder who does… and the hauntingly familiar and wickedly charming Remington will do whatever it takes to have it. As Emery battles him, she struggles to unravel the truth about her magical block and the undeniable pull she feels towards her enemy.
They say the truth will set you free, but for Emery, it could be the very thing that kills her.
As a fan of Jessi Elliott’s New Adult Twisted series, when I heard she had a YA Romantic Fantasy standalone, I grabbed it. While I love my fantasy series, sometimes, it’s good to read a story that’s self contained, and this one delivers on the feels. It takes place in rural Georgia, where Emery discovers at 18 that she has magical powers and has to adapt as she tries to take back control of her life. Despite a slow start, I was immersed in the story about 1/3rd of the way of the book and it didn’t let me go until the very end with swift pacing and plenty of twists and surprises, several of them which broke me! The characters were fleshed out and I felt close to most of them, even if we don’t have too much time with them. Kit was an interesting supporting character and I felt for him by the end. I love the magic system and it’s easy to understand and the world was rather crystal clear, in a way I envisioned what is beyond the lands of Georgia in terms of the lore. The biggest attraction is the enemies to lovers romance, along the wit and sass in the dialogue that I’ve come to know Jessi for, and there are some winning lines as the romance blooms. My only negative would be I wished we spent a bit more time with some concepts as some smaller parts felt a bit rushed. But overall, a great story and if you’ve been waiting for a book with a great romance and fantasy blend that’s a bit less steamy than the Twisted series (there’s no sex scenes, but sex is implied/fade to black), pick this one up!
Read: August 2021 Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Length: 211 pages Read Time: 1 day Swearing in the Review: Yes. I was calm at first And then, the further I got into it, the angrier I got. Spoilers: Yes. Read with caution
I happened upon These Wicked Delights by pure accident. Another self-published author - I honestly can't remember who - had posted about it on their instagram and the title caught my attention. So I stalked Jessi Elliot's instagram and discovered it was the last day of the $.99 ebook sale. Never one to miss out on a deal, I rushed over to my Nook to check it out. The summary was intriguing enough that I decided to buy it. With a YA Fantasy Romance, I honestly don't know what I was expecting. I brought this on myself, I guess. So, let's crack into it.
First person present tense was not a good choice for this book. The problem with first person present tense is that if you don't pull it off correctly, your writing comes off as amateurish. These Wicked Delights suffers from this issue. There isn't enough emotion put into this narrative and it comes off more as someone writing their first ever short story in the fifth grade than someone who has written a good amount of novels. I don't ever feel like I'm in Emery's head and there isn't really any tension build up anywhere. Which is what a first person present is good for. Your MC doesn't know what is about to happen, so you should constantly be feeling their panic and uncertainty as events fly at them. Emery's voice had the feeling of a past tense narrative. There was no panic, no tension, no curiosity in her voice. It felt like I was being told a story that had already happened with present tense forced in.
The opening of this story is somehow rushed and too slow all at the same time. Opening on Emery doing school work with her friends is so boring. If Elliot really felt that she had to open on Emery stuck doing a school project, she should have at least worked to give us a feeling for Emery and her friends. We're told several times that Emery, Jessa, and Lana are best friends but I honestly don't see it. They act more like acquaintances than best friends. We don't get anything about their personalities or who they are - which is what we needed. We never get a feel for who Emery is (more on that in a minute). And then, by the end of the first chapter, we're already rushing into "Emery has magic and the whole world is crumbling at her feet and OMG, we have to get you out of here before you accidently kill yourself". All in the span of 15 pages. Holy shit, Elliot. Slow down. Give us some build up. Let us see Emery's life so that when it begins to crumble around her, we feel it.
All of these characters are so two dimensional. I can't tell you any of their personality traits, because they don't have any. Not even Emery. Not even any of the side characters. They're cardboard cutouts that have no life or ambition outside of Emery - who is about as interesting as wet cardboard to be honest.
Emery is pathetic. She whines, refuses to think of anyone but herself, refuses to do anything to help herself, and blames everyone else for the situations she gets into. "I like you, Emery. You're fierce and strong and about a million other things that make me admire you." - Kit (page 92). This line literally made me want to throw my Nook out the window. A character should not have to list out the traits you want your MC to have. We should see them ourselves. Emery has done nothing to earn anything. She isn't determined, she cries over spilt milk. She isn't fierce, she lets everyone shove her around and just follows along without question. I literally rolled my eyes so fucking hard here that I went blind for a minute. If you want your readers to think your MC is strong and fierce, MAKE THEM STRONG AND FIERCE! Don't have another character shove what the author wants us to think down our throats.
Kit is boring. He's supposed to be this smart, likable mentor. But he isn't. He flip flops between trying to be a sweet person and having a raging temper tantrum. There's a scene where Emery meets Remington for the first time and Kit gets possessive of her. Do you know what happens then? Emery gets butterflies in her tummy. *deep breath in* *deep breath out*. No, fuck it. STOP. TELLING. YOUNG. GIRLS. THAT. GUYS. BEING. POSSESSIVE. SHOULD. GIVE. THEM. BUTTERFLIES! Did I go slow enough for you? FUCKING STOP IT!
Remington is just fucking gross. He stalks Emery, tells her that he basically wants to steal a vital part of herself (rape, bro. That could be seen as an alligory for rape and you're painting him as the fucking love interest. Get out of my fucking face). And his backstory. I am so fucking sick of these "bad boys" with their sad, tragic backstories. God, I wish Elliot had just made him a secondary antagonist. I wish he was a better fucking villain. These "sexy villains have "cute" nicknames for the MC" has never been attractive. STOP. TELLING. YOUNG. GIRLS. THEY. SHOULD. BE. ATTRACTED. TO. CREEPY. BEHAVIOR. STOP IT! All Remington does is manipulate Emery and play mind games. He's human garbage. Who in their right minds would ship this?! For any young girls reading this: if any person tells you - in any sense of the phrasing - or vaguely hints towards "I'll destroy/ruin you", run away. It’s not sexy. It’s not cute. It’s dangerous and disturbing. YOU FUCKING RUN AWAY!
Yup, I'm only complaining about 3 characters. Probably because they're the only three characters that I even remember anything about. And, honestly, I can't tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
There's so many scenes in this that feel like they were just thrown in at random. The cafe scene has as much impact as it would if it hadn't happened at all. Its forgotten about a second later and Emery still wants to bang Remington after that. What the fuck is that? The scene where . The reason that Zoe hates Emery?! STOP TURNING GIRLS AGAINST EACH OTHER OVER FUCKING BOYS! STOP TELLING YOUNG GIRLS THEY SHOULD ACT THAT WAY! STOP IT! It's such a weak and disgusting reason. Why couldn't the reason Zoe hates Emery because a Dark Wielder killed her family? Or better yet, someone in Emery's family killed Zoe's family? That would have been a real and reasonable excuse.
This entire story is convoluted as fuck. It's so rushed. I have a problem with "entering a new world of magic" story. It's that Emery adjusts too easily. Okay, sure, she's been shown magic, so it's understandable that she believes it. But, she is way too at ease with everything in regards to magic. There is no awe in this story. There is no magic in this story. And everything is so rushed. I cannot tell you how much I hate the "we hide this vital information to keep you safe" trope. Once it's excusable, maybe. But this pops up 3 times IN 80 PAGES! That is unexcuable and annoying as fuck. This entire story, in which Emery is brought into an entirely new world and then overthrows and murders their entire governing body happened over the course of roughly 1-2 months (or at least that's the passage of time I got out of this story. And if I'm wrong, that's Elliot's fault for not giving me a clear passage of time). That's way too fast. Calm down fam!
The entire ending is so rushed and anticlimactic. Honestly, this should have been a duology. Or at least longer than 211 pages. There were hints to a "descent into darkness" briefly in this story, but it was glossed over/brushed aside. Which sucks. Because a descent into darkness might have been exactly what this story needed. But also, in order for a descent into darkness to work, I'd actually have to care about Emery. Which, I didn't. I didn't care about anyone.
There's probably a lot of issues that I'm missing, but at this point, I've already ranted for quite a while. So I'll stop here.
Overall, I was disappointed as fuck. I thought with the amount of books this author has written, this story would have at least not have been written so amateurishly. I can't tell you how many times I DNFed this book. I did not enjoy this experience. I forced myself through it because I am way behind on my book goals for 2021. Which, so far, 2021 does not appear to be a great year for my reading experience. I am so glad that I only paid $.99 for this because the full price of $4.99 is way too much for something that I could have read on a fanfiction forum. With a rushed plot and a limited, confused direction These Wicked Delights is a disappointing read with a lot of horrible messages for young readers.
One of the things that amazed me most about These Wicked Delights, as is the case with all of Elliott's work, is the ease and effortlessness of her writing style. She has a talent for hooking the reader right off the bat and not letting them out of her grasp. I have to admit, I don't read many Young Adult novels these days, as it's not my preferred genre, but I devoured this book in a single night. I correct myself. A single sitting. I couldn't believe it when I realized I was on the last chapter! Elliott's true talent is romance. This woman knows how to build tension like nobody else! I would say that it's the relationships in this book that makes it so hard to put down. The dark magic is fantastic, of course, adding plenty of suspense and wonder to every chapter. But Elliott clearly understands that magic alone is not enough to carry a contemporary fantasy. Take away the magic, and you still have an enticing novel full of characters that you genuinely want to know more about. All in all, if you like Young Adult, contemporary fantasy, and are in the mood for an enthralling enemies-to-lovers tale with a little darkness and a lot of sass, then you'll definitely want to add These Wicked Delights to your shelf.
dnf’d at 37% because i was just not feeling this book at all the plot is weird paced, things happen but they are not explained all the way through, scenes are weird, dialogues are kinda cringey and not realistic just …. No
I absolutely loved it. Jessi writes such intriguing and fun stories. I really liked all the characters and the magic system and the way the magic in the world works is so interesting and simple. The pacing was great and the atmosphere was top notch. A really enjoyable and easy read, Jessi is definitely an auto-buy author and I look forward to whatever she brings out next.
I enjoyed this book and I really felt like it had potential to be a fun read…but it just felt so underdeveloped. The pacing, the world, the characters, the reasoning for decisions that were made…all off it was just not quite fleshed out.
Do you like magic? If so, I have the book for you!
Jessi Elliott’s newest book, These Wicked Delights, released into the world today. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this beautiful book and I’m so glad that I get to spread the word about how you should definitely pick up this book!
This book combines the best parts of Charmed and Halloweentown, in my opinion. You follow Emery as she learns that she has magic and has problems mastering it. This isn’t a story of a witch finding her powers and knowing what to do from the get go. It isn’t even about her knowing how to use it all by the end. Instead, this story is a journey of a young woman learning who she is and dealing with every day problems while trying desperately to master something she’s new at. It’s relatable and that makes it all the more enjoyable to read.
In the first chapter of this story, you’re gonna get thrown into the deep end. Emery learns she has magic almost from the get go. This part was a little jarring for me since I didn’t feel like I had a good grasp on Emery’s life pre-conflict. However, I know many readers love to be thrown into the conflict as early as possible. And if that’s you, you’re definitely getting a dose of that! That being said, the more I read, the more I understood why the story needed that in the beginning. This is a quick read and Jessi has packed it with a lot of conflict and character building and world building. There’s a lot to get through, so it was important to get started quickly!
Speaking of characters: Jessi has once again not failed in the slightest on delivering well-rounded characters that grew tremendously from beginning to end. Emery learns so much in this story and all of its twists and turns completely shape her into the character she is by the end. But even still, she keeps to her core values and that’s something I love to see. This story is also full of great friends and family and alliances. Jessi has given Emery such an amazing support system and never let a character drop from the page. And then there’s Remington. Gosh… sometimes I don’t even know what to say about this character. He’s charming and positively wicked. Is there any surprise there? He’s the character you’re gonna hate from the get-go, but slowly find that you like him more and more as his story unfolds. You won’t be able to help it.
Honestly, if you want a dose of magic, chaos, and a great slow-burning romance, this is the book you NEED to pick up today. I’m giving this book 4.5 stars and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes Charmed or The Vampire Diaries. Or maybe, like me, you grew up watching Halloweentown and want an older, grittier version to sink your teeth into – this book is probably for you too!
*Note: I was given a free arc in exchange for an honest review of this book, but it has in no way influenced my opinions. I never recommend books that I haven’t read and enjoyed.
The author has created this world where Emery finds out about her family secrets and the things she can do, but she doesn’t want to accept this. She turned 18, finds out she has been lied to all her life about Wielders, she doesn’t trust anyone, and doesn’t know what to do. When she is brought to Nova’s house to help train her and discover her powers she is mentored by Kit. I thought Kit would be the guy for her, but fate has other plans for her. As more time goes on, she finds out those who she has grown close to have lied to her again and the secrets are driving her crazy. It’s not until she meets Remington that she feels this bond to him and knows she shouldn’t but can’t seem to help it. I don’t want to give too much away because the ride through this book had me on the edge the entire time wanting to know how things would play out because now Emery is facing the fight of her life but who can she trust, who can she depend on to stand with her, and will they prevail? This was such a great young adult read and the steam was low which I didn’t mind because I was so engrossed in this world and the storyline that I thought it was amazing. The author created an amazing world full of magic, heartache, and love that I didn’t want it to end and hope we get more of.
This was fast paced and enjoyable. Emery turns 18 and has her life turned upside down when an old family friend comes to town to tell her she has magic and he must take her away to learn to control it. Except Emery finds out that there is so much more that has been hidden from her. She is not cool with this at all, and is determined to get to the bottom of it all. I liked following along as everything unravelled and came to light, and seeing Emery's response, usually taking everything in stride, which is not how I would react lol! I will say, I don't think the title suits the book. It makes it sound way more sexy or witchy than it is.
Overall, fans of JLA's Lux, Wicked, and Cursed will enjoy this one.
In due su due libri dell'autrice, la narrazione si apre con una giovane donna strappata alla sua realtà e fatta venire a conoscenza della magia. Sì, è un trope comune... ma due su due? Vabbe, questo libro è Shadowhunters incontra X-Men (magari anche un po' Harry Potter), niente di troppo originale insomma. Però c'è un motivo se questo genere di trame funziona. Questa in particolare è molto improntata sulla parte romance (ovviamente, love interest bello e dannato, perché altrimenti che senso ha?) e si fa leggere abbastanza bene, quindi se è il vostro genere, potreste volergli dare un'occasione. (Nota: ho letto un'arc inviatami dall'autrice.)
Can I give this six stars? The author, Jessi Elliott, created a fascinating story. I could almost believe there are magic-wielded among us. I appreciate that the characters act age-appropriate, even in their romantic relationships. The story incorporates high ideals and sacrifice, but also the reality that some people just won’t be reasoned with. The different types of magic was fun, and different than I’ve ever read about. (And at my age, I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books; fantasies being my favorite.) The book had a very satisfying ending. I’ll have to see what else this author has written.
These Wicked Delights by Jessi Elliott was so much fun to read! It's about a woman finding out on her 18th birthday that she has magically powers and her quest to understand them. I loved the world building, the relatable characters, the magic and the spice! 🔥 My only complaint is that I wish it was longer or a series because I loved these characters! Which to me sounds like it was a success! 😉🖤
I loved this but I low wish it wasn’t a standalone I feel things could be drawn out alittle bit more in detail. But it was still enjoyable and entertaining. Just wishing to see more of these characters. 🖤
This book had me coming back for more. This book is full of magic, beauty, and wickedness. I need a friend like Kit and Lydia. These Wicked Delights take love triangles, enemies to lovers, and other tropes to a whole new level. I highly recommend reading this book!
I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked 25 pages in and finished it in a day. The magic system is well explained, the characters are mostly well fleshed out, and while the end was a bit rushed, I enjoyed the flow of the story. I highly recommend if you like YA magic/fantasy books!