You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers! And this month, we’re anticipating the release of The Enchanted Hacienda, J.C. Cervantes’s magical adult debut.
The Enchanted Hacienda follows the Estradas, a family with the power to speak to flowers and use them to create elixirs and enchanted bouquets. Everyone is named after the flower to which they’re connected. That is, everyone except our protagonist, Harlow.
If you’re reminded of the Encanto movie, you’re not alone! It’s been a treat to read The Enchanted Hacienda by J.C. Cervantes, and we’re ready to share our three favorite things about it!
Content Warnings: deceased parents, death of a grandparent
Summary: When Harlow Estrada is abruptly fired from her dream job and her boyfriend proves to be a jerk, her world turns upside down. She flees New York City to the one place she can always call home—the enchanted Hacienda Estrada.
The Estrada family farm in Mexico houses an abundance of charmed flowers cultivated by Harlow’s mother, sisters, aunt, and cousins. By harnessing the magic in these flowers, they can heal hearts, erase memories, interpret dreams—but not Harlow. So when her mother and aunt give her a special task involving the family’s magic, she panics. How can she rise to the occasion when she is magicless? But maybe it’s not magic she’s missing, but belief in herself. When she finally embraces her unique gifts and opens her heart to a handsome stranger, she discovers she’s far more powerful than she imagined.
With unforeseen twists, romance, and a heavy sprinkle of magic, The Enchanted Hacienda is a captivating coming-of-age debut exploring identity, unconditional family love, and uncovering the magic within us all.
The Flower Imagery
One of our favorite things about The Enchanted Hacienda is the lush and vivid flower descriptions. J.C. Cervantes explains the names and meanings of every flower that appears in the novel, even the uncommon ones. From sunflowers and camellias to cantos and the Night Queen, we get to learn about them all! The depiction of the flower farm and its blooming flowers is so stunning. And it feels like a place that can only exist in our dreams. The Estrada family’s powers come from the Aztec goddess Mayahuel, and we absolutely love the allusion to indigenous folklore.
The Lovely Romance
You can call us a hopeless romantic all you want. But when will we ever meet a flirty and handsome stranger at a cozy café in our hometown? (We want a Y/N moment too!) When Harlow and Ben meet, their chemistry feels out of this world. Conversation flows naturally between them, especially once they start seeing each other more. Their fated relationship gets an unexpected twist, but what’s true love without some obstacles? Every date, conversation, gift, and gesture confirmed that these two were soulmates, and we rooted for them since the beginning.
The Happily Ever After
Good news: our main character, Harlow, is a firm believer in happy endings, and so are we! The Enchanted Hacienda does a beautiful job of tying up loose ends. We love the author’s attention to detail for each part of the conflict. And we even get a special epilogue to Harlow and Ben’s romance. But we don’t want to give too much information away! Just know that from Harlow’s journey of writing her first book to her coming into her powers to Ben finally realizing his dreams, we felt satisfied when we finished reading.
As fans of diverse books, we can’t help but admire the cultural references and the many interwoven Spanish words that don’t need an explanation. J.C. Cervantes’s debut adult novel, The Enchanted Hacienda, had us hooked!
The Enchanted Hacienda is out May 16th and is available for preorder here!
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