Embellish Review
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Solis Burke keeps having the same nightmare over and over. When she was a young girl, the Treemount brothers raped her while their sister stood back and laughed, egging them on. Ashamed, Solis pulled herself together, but she didn’t tell her mother about it. Now, years later, the incident still haunts her, even though she’s overcome the tragedy and is well on her way to making a success of her life.

The Treemount brothers are a diabolical force among New Orleans’s gangs, but they’re nothing compared to their sister, Childress, who has just left prison on parole. She’s determined to seek revenge against those who put her there, and she’s as heartless as they come. And, to make matters worse, she uses black magic to get the job done. With the help of a voodoo priestess named Aldicia, she’s lethal at it.

Solis meets Nacio, a handsome stranger who seems to know everything about her. But there’s more to Nacio than meets the eye. He’s been Solis’s protector since the day she was raped. With Childress coming after her because of an old family feud, Solis will need Nacio more than ever as their destinies entwine to form a bond that cannot be broken or defeated.

Embellish is a decent read, though I did find Childress to be a bit ridiculous—especially when acting as a protagonist. Solis seems more interested in getting Nacio into her bed rather than fighting the evil that’s coming her way. And Nacio, meanwhile, isn’t mysterious enough—or even all that interesting. In short, the story’s characterization is definitely on the weak side. However, one of the characters, Grandma Olvignia, makes up for the lack with just a hint of intrigue, making me want to dig deeper into her character and find what she keeps hidden in her mind.

The plot isn’t exactly thin as much as it just wasn’t thickened enough to keep my interest for long. Also, as is sometimes the case with self-published novels like this one, the author’s writing skills still need some work. For that reason, I’d read for a bit, put it down, and pick up something else for a while before returning to it.

The premise of a 257-year-old feud involving vampires and voodoo gave Embellish the potential to be a great paranormal read. But, unfortunately, it still needs a lot of work—which would include a major rewrite—to get to that point. However, with her wonderful imagination, author R. L. Sloan has potential, so I’d be interested to see how much she improves with each future novel.

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