Saturday, December 10, 2016

Oak & Mistletoe (review)

TITLE: Oak & Mistletoe
AUTHOR: J.Z.N. McCauley
PUBLISHER: White Moon Press
PUBLISHING DATE: October 11, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: A Druid Curse, A Prophesied Love, A Consuming Vengeance.

Catherine Green, along with her twin sister and older brother, travels to Ireland on a college graduation trip.  Her vacation takes a permanent turn when she lands her dream job at an art and history museum on her beloved Emerald Isle. She meets a handsome stranger named Bowen, an expert of sorts on local ancient studies.  Though their first meetings are turbulent at best, Catherine finds herself drawn to him.

Unaware that she is the key to breaking a hidden curse, Catherine unleashes the evil madman Conall and his druid followers, imprisoned since ancient times.  Tragedy and loss ensue, sprouting within Catherine the deep seeds of rage that thrust her onto the damaging path of vengeance.  Confused by the enigma that is Bowen, his mixed signals, and her own feelings, she is swept away with him on an unexpected journey surrounded by myth and long-forgotten knowledge.  In order to stop the evil plans of Conall and his reunified army, Catherine must entwine her fate.  Her survival is trivial to her as long as Conall dies. She'll do whatever it takes.

MY THOUGHTS: The whole time I was reading this book I couldn't help but feel that I've read it or met the characters before.  While familiar in some cases, the story with "Oak & Mistletoe" is not redundant and I really enjoyed following Catherine and Bowen on their journey.  Catherine is an immediately likable character and perhaps the most mature in her family of three siblings.  I really liked observing the interaction between Catherine and family and almost wish there was more of it in the story.  In addition, it's nice to see a slow-developing relationship between Catherine and Bowen rather than an insta-love situation.  As the reader progresses through the book, it's clear the two have quite a connection even though they hail from different time periods.

I have to admit that I had one main pet peeve with the book.  Catherine's twin's name is Kathleen and I found it too similar.  In fact, in the beginning, I had to make sure I knew who I was reading about. It's a small peeve, but it exists nonetheless.

This book is full of Irish folklore, history and action.  I never felt bored while reading it and was pleasantly surprised it was not the Young Adult book I was anticipating (not that I don't enjoy the young adult genre as well).  The ending left me wanting to know what is next for these characters and I'm excited for the next book to be released.  If you like stories set in Ireland or learning about Irish myths and history, you'll most definitely enjoy this one and should consider giving "Oak & Mistletoe" a read.



  1. Not heard of this one but it sound interesting. :)

  2. I hate it when characters in a book have similar names. It confuses me to no end. I do like the fact that this one is a slow build up instead of the ever popular insta love. Great review!