Review: Talisman by Tam Derudder Jackson

Posted 17/04/2020 by Isabelle MBTL in review / 0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Talisman by Tam Derudder JacksonTalisman by Tam Derudder Jackson
Series: Talisman #1
Published by Warrior Romance Press on February 24, 2020
Cover Design: Steamy Designs
Genres: Romantic Fantasy, Adult
Pages: 338
Format: digital e-book
Source: NetGalley
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Time’s running out…

Rowan Sheridan is a warrior, a powerful being capable of bending time and space to take on the rogues and zombies the triple goddess unleashes on civilians. For centuries, his family has taken on the Morrigan, their successes against her legendary. But if he doesn’t find his talisman by midnight of his twenty-eighth birthday, he faces death—or something worse.

To convince her she belongs to him…

Wallflower Alyssa Macaulay has no clue a community of supernatural Celtic warriors lives alongside her. Nor does she know she’s a talisman, a member of that community. Orphaned at age four, she was raised by her grandmother, a druid of uncommon skill who deliberately kept Alyssa ignorant of her true self. A chance meeting in a bar on a cold winter’s night upends the bookish grad student’s life when Rowan introduces her to their world.

Their love can end a centuries-old curse.

Trying his sign on Alyssa and discovering she’s his talisman, his fated mate, should be cause for their celebration. Too bad Alyssa thinks Rowan’s only looking for a good time and she has no idea who and what they are. The goddess’s imminent arrival doesn’t give Rowan time to show her either. Somehow, he needs to compress the lifetime of training she should have had into a week—and convince her the one amazing night they shared is only the beginning of a lifetime of love. If they can live long enough…

Series Rating: four-stars

Romantic Fantasy; Adult

First Person, Multiple-POV

This is book #1 of the Talisman series.

For a man to be a warrior, he needed three things: his name, his weapon, and his talisman.

Addictiveness: 4.5/5  I loved it. From the first chapter I was invested in Alyssa and Rowan’s future. It was an easy, fast read! As addictive as ice cream!!!

Character: hero 4/5, heroine 4.5/5, secondary characters 5/5, growth 4/5, real 4/5 Multidimensional characters that had lot of layers and good backstories.

Alyssa was an amazing heroine. She was smart, loyal, friendly and a bit shy. Really she was the true warrior. So much was thrown her way in such a short amount of time and she handle it all really well. I loved her personal growth during the story. This was a journey of self-discovery for Alyssa.

Rowan was a good hero. Yes he was a warrior and had all this supernatural abilities that he has known from birth, but he was still a bit overbearing. I know he was working against time and gods/goddesses but he had a hard time putting himself in Alyssa’s place. I think he should have explained better. He was still dreamy, hot and a loyal mate. I just believe he didn’t have as much growth than Alyssa in the story.

Secondary characters… so many interesting stories to come. Yeah, the moment Rio entered the story I knew he would be for Josie. I’m really looking forward to reading their story, even though I don’t like Rio at all. The one story I can’t wait, because I know he is going to be an awesome hero is Seamus!

Villains.. antagonists… I enjoyed how the author transformed Morrigan’s three supernatural abilities into three different god/goddess for the story. The battles felt more powerful against several god/goddesses.

All characters were easy to love, connect and understand!!!

Cover: art 4/5, title 5/5, color-font 5/5, buy 5/5  I’m obsessed with book covers. I love to find snippets of the stories within the art. This cover was really good and sexy, even though a couple things felt a bit disconnected for me. I really liked the color of the background because it felt a bit like a fire, or fog. Before reading the book, I was trying to understand the ring on his necklace. I still don’t know what it was about. Also all the tall buildings and highway vibe in Montana, it didn’t really worked for me. One detail that I really enjoyed was the rainbow colors on the bridge, it sort of felt like how I would imagine Rowan’s warrior supernatural speed worked. I love the title and subtitle, their placement in the cover really worked. I would easily buy this book by its cover without needing to read the blurb.

Freshness: 4.5/5 This feels unique! It’s different than what it is out there. I loved how the author played with gods, goddesses, Celtic mythology and history. It worked for me! As fresh as ice cream in a hot summer day!!!

Plot: believable 4/5, conflict 4/5, dialogue 4/5, , ending 3.5/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 4.5/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 5/5, twists 4/5 A very enjoyable plot, with good conflict and dialogue. Excellent opening to an ok ending. Amazing pace, great setting, interesting subplots and good twist. High level of enjoyment!

I was really hooked in how the Celtic mythology was written for this story. The author did such a great job of exploring it, at the same time giving the reader a sexy romance. It was very well balanced the myth/history with the smutty romance.

Romance: believable 5/5, chemistry 5/5, description 4/5, development 4/5, steam 4/5  This is a real fast romance. The supernatural fact, the mating, paring aspect makes it believable. The couple’s chemistry was undeniable and the description of the smut was good. The development of the romance was so so for me but the overall love story was great. I loved them together and I hope I will see a lot more of them throughout the rest of the series. Mythical love!!!

Writing Style: 4/5 This was my first book by the author and I’m looking forward to read more. The characters were amazing and felt real. The plot was creative and new. The romance was hot and dangerous. Amazing writing!!!

Plot: The ending… I expected more focus on the end of the curse. Did it really end? I’m not even certain. I mean, it was barely mentioned at the end of the story. The battle was good, but also, I felt that something was missing. I didn’t end the book feeling “wow, they ended the curse!” Yes, I know this is a series, and I can’t wait to read the next book.

I decided to read this book, because I saw the second book of the series and was interested. I’m so glad, that I decided to give the series a try.

It was different! It felt fresh, different than most books that I read, at the same time offered me everything that I enjoy in a book. I got my romance, I got tasteful smut, but I also got complex characters and creative plot.

I’m not only really looking forward to read the second book, but I’m already envisioning Seamus book that I hope will be #3.

Can’t wait to

A fun love story within a promising new series!!!

29/35 STARS –  4 STARS (between 28 stars and 31 stars)

Addictiveness: 4.5 Character: 4 Cover: 4 Freshness: 4 Plot: 4.5 Romance: 4 Writing Style: 4

Action 4/5 Angst 2/5 Darkness 0/5 Humor 2/5 Romance 5/5 Suspense/Mystery 2/5

Would I recommend? Definitely! If you like unique, romantic fantasy, this is a good one!!!

Would I re-read this book/series? Yes!

Would I read more from the author? Yes, I will be on the look out for more.

…to be victorious in battle, a warrior must have his talisman, the one woman the fates chose to complete him, or he was nothing but an ordinary man with ordinary skill-a foot soldier easily bested in combat.

You MAY read this because you like romance; you SHOULD read this because these characters are amazing ; you MUST read this because myth, history and fiction have been blended splendidly well!!!


About Tam Derudder Jackson

After reading an article about risk-taking, Tam DeRudder Jackson left an award-winning career as a classroom teacher to pursue her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. It’s a risk that’s given her incredible joy. She is the author of Talisman and Warrior, the first two books of the Talisman series. When she’s not weaving stories, you can find her with her nose in a book at her favorite coffee shop or carving turns on her favorite local ski hill or hanging out with her husband at old car shows. The mom of two grown sons, Tam lives and writes in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where the views inspire her every day.

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