To Free a Captured Heart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This instalment sees Kam, Tahm and Ash sent to investigate suspicious soul activity at a riverboat casino. It should be a fairly easy job with plenty of leisure time built in but things quickly go downhill when they find out the leprechaun mafia are running the show. It gets even worse when Tahm gets himself captured and now it's up to Kam to find a way to rescue him while keeping herself and Ash out of trouble.

To Free a Captured Heart is the final book in the Djinn Haven series and while I'm glad that Kam finally gets her happily ever after I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this instalment. There was a lot to like about this story but it didn't quite have the humour of the earlier books and I felt the pacing was a little off. I also would have liked a bit more focus on the relationship between Kam and Tahm since that has been building for three books now.

I do find the leprechaun mafia amusing though, they're always finding new ways to cause mischief and they've definitely come up with quite a scam this time around. I enjoy the friendship between Kam and Ash, they're more like sisters now and work really well together. I've been rooting for Kam and Tahm for ages now so I'm glad that things worked out for them but I did find the ending left me feeling kind underwhelmed.
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I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I was a little confused when read the description and then read the book. They did not quite line up for me. But that did not stop me from enjoying the book. There were times I kind of giggled at what was going on. Other times I grumbled and other I cheered for the characters. I think this is the end of a trilogy. IT was a good read over all.
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Since I did not read the first books this was hard to follow in places. I did enjoy the world created and the different beings. In the end, its s good love story with all kinds of twist and turns.
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The blurb for this book didn’t quite match the story so some of it confused me at first. But then, if you’d told me this was a book about a djinn and her friends trapped into being guests at a casino, I might have given it a pass. It wouldn’t seem like much could happen of interest. The story does all take place inside a casino hotel and the attached riverboat casino, however, and there is debt involved. The reasons and situations were not what I had expected, though. Instead, this is a strong urban fantasy with an often spunky tone and a lot going on. The main plot is a mystery full of twists and turns.

The story stands alone despite being a late entry in a complex world. I have not read the earlier series and had no trouble enjoying this one. I am considering looking up the other books, though, because the hints dropped in this one are intriguing. While the book has a lovely ending that lives up to the happily ever after promise of romance, I think people expecting a romance novel might be disappointed. If you go in with urban fantasy in mind, you should have a lot of fun with the read.

Like most urban fantasy, there’s a light level mostly in interactions within the team with a deeper, and darker, story underneath. The team is a mix of two djinns, one-half djinn, a wooden golem, and a ghost. Their responsibility is to help souls cross over by gathering them up and sending them on at the depository.

Kam’s team is sent to solve the mystery of why so many souls are gathering here. The costs of doing their job might be high, but the team is intent on saving both lives and souls, so it’s worth it. The master villain behind it all is both childlike and truly villainous for all he doesn’t seem to recognize the extent of his depravity.

What passes as a love story is between Kam and Tahm, both djinns. Kam ran away from home when her family betrothed her to Tahm, a much older friend of her brother. She had a huge crush on him and couldn’t bear being trapped in a marriage with unrequited love. The situation was more complicated than she’d assumed, as we learn throughout the book, but maybe she’s more ready for it now in any case. Despite what I said about this not reading like a romance, there is clear development in their relationship, and I like how it complicates their job.

Tahm’s brother is embroiled in the mystery on the other side. There are many possibilities offered for his role, both bitter and bittersweet, that the team uncovers in their investigation. Ash, the half djinn, has her own complications to deal with. The arrival and departure of other friends made in the earlier series does a good job of showing the true family Kam has made here among the Hidden (non-human intelligences with or without magic) on Earth.

I’ve tried to give you a glimpse of the characters and the strengths in the story without spoiling anything, and it has enough twists to make that difficult. This is a fun read with a very dark underside. It looks at the dangers of power and how something that sounds reasonable, but underhanded, can become unbelievably horrible. Redemption and forgiveness appear as themes as well, along with the love story.

P.S. I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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I enjoyed this book but I found it to be too slow at times, the pacing seemed to be off a bit at times.  I loved the characters, the relationships were really good and characters were well written and you can relate to them easily.  The story kept you interested and if it wasn’t for the pacing issues I’d probably give this 4 stars but it affected it too much. 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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As usual, excellent world building, intriguing character development and I will be definitely hand selling this as well as looking forward to the next installment!
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Tahm was trying to coax a lost Dryad soul out of a stolen tree and into his soul stone. Wisteria was the Dryad soul. Four of them sat on Kam’s truck: Kam, Ash her assistant who- she had taken under her wing-, Lily - the Dryad- who owned the stolen tree, and Tahm. He was silent and frustrated. Pete had been the Reaper who had first captured Wisteria wondering soul along with sixteen others before her was murdered. Kam accidently set the seventeen soul free. Pete took residence in the soul stone and he refused to vacate. Now he was a part of the team. He couldn’t really be any help. Kam went to sit in the cab of the vehicle  to think. A hundred years ago Kam had run away from the Djinn- which she was a djinn- world to avoid an arranged marriage to Tahm. He was Kam’s oldest brother’s best friend and Kam adored him. When Kam found out their parents had signed engagement papers Kam wasn’t happy. The binding ceremony Kam lost it. She was a sixteen year old kid madly in love with an older guy who was being forced to marry his best friend's little sister. Tahm loved Kam but had never told her.  Kam was captured and kept in a box for most of a century. Tahm had come after kam but lost her trail once she was locked up. He had his own problems until Kam popped on his radar, he came to find her. Tahm had captured his first soul . Tahm didn’t know why Kam had ran. He was probably going to simply ask for an outright explanation. A lot had happened in a century and Kam was no longer a girl a guy should marry- especially a good guy like Tahm. Kam had done things when she was enslaved . Bad Things.Kam was trying to make amends for what she considered her crimes while she worked for the Hidden Government.   They didn’t let their stones get to full after what happened to Pete and Kam . they took the stones to the depository box, waited the required two minutes per soul and then they pulled out a empty stone.  Soul Chasers take down souls when a soul believed it had unfinished business or was confused or simply feisty. It was Kams job to make sure souls weren’t stuck here. Reapers were sent to the scene of a likely imminent trail of death, encase the soul involved was too traumatized to leave the shell of a body and cross over on their own. Reapers drew the souls into their  stones. Soul chasers are sent for the opposite problem when a  soul believed it had unfinished business or  were confused or the extra feisty ones they shot out of their body after death and made a run for it. Chasers tracked them down and drew them into the stones. Kam and her team were the first to be trained as both Reapers and Chasers. No one saw them disappear through the illusion that surrounded headquarters. Kam, Ask and Tamh were sent to Omaha.  At  a gambling casino The Lucky Shamrock casino  there seem to be hundreds of ghosts there every day and Art said there had been a team he had fired and he was sure they were now working for the Irish Mafia . Tahm had angered one branch of the Irish Mafia in Denver and Art said they  weren’t connected and were even arguing at   the present time. Art would never send them into a place he knew they would get hurt or not make it back. Before Kan and the team can do anything Tahm is captured.  Flanagan who owns the casino- catch Tahm and was able to trap him for his service like the Irish Leprechaun Mafia threaten to do in Denver. 
I really enjoyed this book. It caught my attention on the first page  and  held it until the last page. But I do wish the author would continue the series and include more of Kam and Tahm and Ash. This had a very good plot and pace. I loved Tahm and Kam together. The ending did feel a little rushed to me. I loved the bond between Kam and Ash,. I advise you to read the previous books of this series for a smoother read. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.
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This is the second instalment I read in this series and I liked it as much as I liked the previous one.
This is a good urban fantasy with a detailed and wonderful world building.
The plot was engaging and I was hooked since the first pages.
I loved to read how the characters evolved and what could be their future. I loved the main characters and found the side characters wonderful.
The plot was great, so full ot twists and turns.
I think that there's still a lot of things in store for this characters and a lot of question left open so maybe there'll be another series or some kind of coming back.
I look forward to reading other books with these characters and other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Carina Press and Netgalley for this ARC
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To Free a Captured Heart is the final installment of R.L. Naquin’s Djinn Haven series - which is also a spin-off from her Monster Haven series. Naquin does a great job of catching up new readers by inserting just enough background information to keep us in the loop without being overwhelming.

Kam is a djinn captured by a human sorcerer and forced to obey his every command...…. finally free, she is making amends for what she considers her terrible crimes by working for the Hidden Government.
Sent to investigate a casino frequented by spirits, Kam is accompanied by Ash; Pete, the ghost of a former reaper; Gris, a tiny wood golem; and Tahm - the fiancé she ran from a hundred years ago ..... things get complicated and dangerous when the Leprechaun Mafia shows turns up .

I loved the development of the characters , the fact that familiar faces appeared and a satisfactory ending for Kam and Tahm and Ash was achieved .

I wish that this series could continue as I feel that there is more to come from the characters 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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3.5 stars

Djinn-chaser Kam, alongside her fiancé Tahm and her apprentice slash sister by heart, Ash, are tasked to collect hundreds of souls that have seen to be coming and going of Lucky Shamrock Casino while investigating illegal gambling facility run by the Leprechaun Mafia. Not an easy task, for sure!! But there’s no other team is trusted enough by their boss, so off they go to Omaha, Nebraska.

To Free a Captured Heart is the final installment of R.L. Naquin’s Djinn Haven series, which is also a spin-off from her Monster Haven series. Both are released by Carina Press. Honestly, for this being the final book, I was a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, there were still great times. The threat that Kam and her team member faces in the Casino is INTENSE – The Flanagan, owner of the Casino, is able to trap Tahm for his service, and Kam needs to find a way to free her fiancé.

But all the while, I also feel like there’s still SO MUCH to cover in regards to Kam and Tahm relationship, and this book doesn’t cover enough of that. I was feeling rather disappointed. Also, when we find out who has been helping the Flanagan, I didn’t get enough understanding on the why, and the ending of this book feels very abrupt.

There were still good times, mostly when it was related to lovely Ash, Gris, and Pete. It’s also nice to see cameos from the previous series popping in to help Kam – even if I don’t read that series, I’m sure it will make loyal readers delighted.
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I’ve liked Kam since she first popped onto the page in the Monster Haven series. Of course that meant I had to read the Djinn Haven books and I’m so glad I’ve been able to do so. Getting more Kam was exactly what I needed. I loved seeing her find her place in the world as more than just Darius’ partner and more than one of the people who fought in the war with Zoey. Kam is hilarious and a bit of a mess, but taking Ash under her wing gives her a higher purpose, one that she desperately seemed to need.

We get to learn a lot more about Ash and her background in this book. We get to see more development in the relationship between Kam and Tahm. The job of the week was interesting, bringing back the leprechaun mafia that we got a taste of in previous books. There was a great balance between that plot and developing the characters, especially given the fact that this is supposed to be the final book in this series.

I loved that we got a chance to see a couple of familiar faces in this book. We got a satisfactory ending for Kam and Tahm and Ash. My one wish is that we could just get a little more. Maybe a follow up novella so I can see what we’ve heard so much about, but never gotten a chance to see. I’ll continue to hold out hope for that glimpse. Definitely recommend this series. It’s fun from beginning to end.
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Title: To Free a Captured Heart (Djinn Haven Book Three)

Publisher: Carina Press/Harlequin

Author: RL Naquin

Price: $4.99

Pages: 213pp

Kam is a djinn. A century ago, she fled an arranged marriage for the mortal realm. She was captured almost immediately by a human sorcerer and forced to obey his every command. Finally free, she is making amends for what she considers her terrible crimes by working for the Hidden Government. ... Sent to investigate a casino frequented by spirits, Kam is accompanied by her trainee, Ash; Pete, the ghost of a former reaper; Gris, a tiny wood golem; and Tahm ... the very fiance she ran from a hundred years ago .... And then things get really complicated when the Leprechaun Mafia shows up ....

I have read several of Naquin's Monster Haven books and short stories, and very much enjoyed them. So, when I saw that an advance copy of To Free a Captured Heart was available through netgalley, I grabbed it. I didn't realize until I was several pages into the book that it was the third in a new series, but that turns out not to have been an issue: Naquin does an excellent job of catching up new readers by inserting just enough background information to keep us in the loop without it being overwhelming.

Kam is a great character. She is ashamed at having run away and caused her family so much pain, but at the same time she is uncertain as to her feelings for Tahm; she could not have married him then, and she's not sure that she wants to marry him now. She is angry at herself for being caught by a sorcerer, and feels tremendous guilt for the crimes she committed while under his control; she will do anything to protect her loved ones from falling into the same trap. She despises bullies, like Lucky, the head of the local Leprechaun Mafia; she will do whatever it takes to stop him, but she is as vulnerable to self-doubt and fear as the next person.

The supporting cast is great, too. Ash is sweet, supportive, and happy. After being raised in a series of foster homes where she was never fully accepted, she has discovered the secret world of the Hidden; now she has a real family and has discovered her purpose in life. Tahm is noble and decent, and he is giving Kam the time and space she needs to figure things out. Even Lucky, in his own way, is a great character; he is a pint-sized tyrant, a megalomaniac determined to make everyone dance to his tune; and he is sincerely confused when people just won't cooperate ... so, of course, he has to force them to do what he wants.

One thing that I found particularly interesting was the nature of the relationship between the djinn world and the human world. Humanity, it turns out, was born of the dreams of the djinn. And once humans became "solid enough," as it were, the mortal realm formed and became autonomous. The Hidden creatures currently living on Earth, such as the dryads, centaurs, closet monsters, and so on, have (in turn) been born of humanity's dreams; once they are solid enough, they, too, will spin off into their own world.

Naquin has created a richly-detailed urban fantasy of magic, danger, romance, and friendship. If you are curious, and don't want to invest in a full novel, start with one of her short stories, such as "Undercover Gorgon" or "Ill-Conceived Magic." Once you're hooked, start reading the books.

Recommended to fans of Jolene Dawe, Annie Bellet, Seanan McGuire, Hailey Edwards, and Ilona Andrews.
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I received a free copy of TO FREE A CAPTURED HEART by R.L. Naquin in exchange for an honest review.  This appears to be the conclusion of the Monster Haven spin-off arc where Kam (Djinni extra-ordinaire) pursues a career as a soul chaser and reaper.  I hope there is another arc because I’d really like to see what comes next for Cam and her family.  

I loved the Monster Haven series and this one, too.  I’d recommend these series, and this book, to anyone who enjoys Urban Fantasy with quirky, off-beat characters, who just happen to be monsters just trying to make a living in a normal world.  Surprisingly lighthearted, each book resolves a dark situation.

#ToFreeACapturedHeart #NetGalley
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