Reviewed by Marie Loring
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Apothecary Tea is an ambitious novel by first time author Autumn M. Key. I’m pleased to say she drew me right into her action and her highly unusual premise, making me extremely interested in reading more about both Drake and Ember. Individually, their stories were quite compelling. Surrounded by angst and mystery they become multidimensional characters for whom I quickly and easily turned the initial pages.
When the two finally connect, their chemistry isn’t immediately apparent, which is a shame, because Drake comes off as a bit of a stalker. Once we receive Ember’s permission for their burgeoning relationship, however, we are back on track and involved once again in the pair’s mysterious trajectory.
Unfortunately, my interest waned as Ember became, in my opinion, somewhat whiny and needy as the book continued. I had hopes she would evolve into a powerful character on her own, but she became overshadowed by Drake, who is by far the dominant player. If a strong, take-charge male is your passion, this book will be perfect for you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you that Ember’s self-doubts, especially in regards to her parents, can become wholly annoying. I found myself wanting to yell at her to grow up and take some freaking initiative.
It is also my opinion this book could be several hundred pages shorter. The first few (graphic) sex scenes were stimulating and well written, but as the book progresses it delivers more and more of the same. I found myself skipping over the plethora of Drake and Ember’s intimate encounters. Also, there is a lot of repetition concerning these characters’ emotional baggage. We’re not in the dark about what makes them tick, so cutting back on the number of times we are made to read about their self-doubts would have made for a more intense read.
All in all, I give kudos to the author for a premise I found intriguing. I hope her next book is more succinct so I’m not wading through chaff to find the wheat, because she’s highly skilled and delivers plenty of wheat to satisfy the appetite.