Today on the blog, my friend Tanya Kaanta reviews The Summer of Shambles (Ondine Book 1) by Ebony McKenna.
The Summer of Shambles (Ondine Book 1) by Ebony McKenna
Review by Tanya Kaanta
The Summer of Shambles is the first in the Ondine series and is perfect for Young Adult readers, or those who love a solid YA book.
This fantasy/romance is fun, humorous, filled with adventure, a touch of magic, as well as love. And I was pleasantly entertained throughout the story. No, this isn’t going to win a Pulitzer, but it meets all the criteria for a perfect beach read. Which, I might add, is where I read this book.
First off, we meet fifteen-year-old Ondine. She’s at Psychic summer camp, where she learns how to hone her special powers as a psychic. Except Ondine is failing as a psychic. At least that’s what she tells herself. She figures out a way to leave the camp, because let’s face it, she’s miserable without psychic powers. And that’s when her pet ferret named Shambles, one that she finds over the summer, begins to talk. Yet, solely to her.
She makes her way home, only to realize that her pet ferret is none other than a young man cast by a spell – for decades. A Lord Hamish whom is both swoon-worthy and upstanding. As the story unfolds, we learn Hamish became a ferret, turned by none other than Ondine’s great-aunt. And we also learn how he can become human again. Finally, we witness some shenanigans happening against Ondine’s family, and Lord Hamish is paramount in helping solve the mystery behind a nefarious foe.
As Hamish realizes he can lift the curse, though only intermittently, he and Ondine begin a new relationship. One that involves Shambles in human form as he earns his humanity through honor and turning over a new leaf. Once he switches to a human, it’s learning how to stay human that becomes the challenge. And Ondine can’t help but fall in love.
“I do believe you have changed, Hamish,” Old Col said. “I swear to you, I do care, and I have lifted the curse. You’ve had a glimpse of the man you once were and can be again. The rest is up to you.”
At her great-aunt’s words, Ondine couldn’t help thinking about the glimpse she’d had of the man Hamish could be. And That Beautiful Kiss. It was the kind of sense-memory that stayed with you.
Shambles looked up at Ondine and their gazes locked.
Please be human again, Hamish. Please kiss me again, Hamish.
As this is only book one of four, the story stops at a place that is both satisfying, yet leaves the reader wanting more. Because I’m sure it’s going to take the entire series before Ondine and Hamish—aka Shambles— get their Happily Ever After. And I for one am onto the next in the series.
Back of the Book
It’s The Princess and the Frog, except the Princess, is a teen who works in her family pub, and the frog is a ferret. Perennially confused Ondine is struggling to fit in at Psychic Summercamp and doubts she has any of her family’s magical abilities. Ondine is shocked when her pet ferret Shambles starts talking – in a cheeky Scottish accent no less! He is, in fact, a young man trapped in a witch’s curse. When he briefly transforms into his human self, Ondine is smitten. If only she can break the spell for good, Shambles can be handsomely human on a full-time basis. In this clean and wholesome romance, these two misfits uncover a plot to assassinate a member of the royal family and uncover the mystery of a secret treasure that has remained hidden for decades. This attracts the attention of the arrogant Lord Vincent, and Ondine can’t help being drawn in by his bad-boy charm. With so many demands on Ondine’s attentions – and affections – normal has never seemed so far away. The Summer of Shambles is the first in the four-part ONDINE series. Fans of The Princess Bride and other romantic comedies will love this coming-of-age series of teen romances.
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