Initiate by Cilla Raven – A Book Review

Posted August 9, 2019 by Booksandblurbs in PNR, Reverse Harem, Reviews / 1 Comment

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(Beholden to the Balance – Book 1)

by Cilla Raven
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Slow Burn, PNR RH
Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Down and Dirty

An intriguing start to a new series, which, while entertaining, isn’t quite as strong as the concept promises. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

What is it about?

(Blurb from GoodReads)

REBECCA MASON: Adopted. Abandoned. Institutionalized. Attacked.
And now an initiate to a corrupt supernatural organization with the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Becks really wishes she could die.
She’s ready to end it all, prepared to tell the world how she feels with a drop to a fast stop on a swinging rope.
However, her body just won’t stop healing anything and everything she does to it.
She’s tired of being called crazy and done with her life in a dull and evil world where magic is labeled as psychosis.

That is, until her fiercely protective, foul-mouthed familiar shows up with a plan to convince her otherwise. A plan Becks isn’t sure she’s ready to tackle.

After all, how can the fate of the world rest on someone who’s clinically insane?

But her familiar has help in the back pocket of his toddler-sized onesie:
An authoritative spell worker, a sweet as sin psychic, and an angry shapeshifter form a team of three very distracting men that’ll whip her right into shape. Whether she likes it or not.

If only Becks can get over her past long enough to give all of them, and life itself a chance.

INITIATE is book one in a slow-burn reverse harem series, so there will be a cliffhanger. It also has drug references, foul language, violence, sexual situations, and content which could be triggering for some readers. It is only intended for readers 18 years and older.

Thoughts on Initiate

This was a fun read, but not quite as emotional as I think it was trying to be, especially when the aftermath of a rape is mentioned or dealt with. It tried, it really did… but there was something lacking in the narrative that kept me apart from it.

There are some deep moments and some very interesting world building going on, but the metaplot feels disjointed – at least right now. That will probably change with book 2. Considering the over arching metaplot and the foreshadowing we have been gifted with via some deep, and crystal clear premonitions, I have hopes that Book 2 will hit stronger and more solid than this offering.


  • Intriguing concepts.
  • Brax…. there is no way NOT to love that guy.
  • Good use of POV shifts.


  • Jumbled and disjointed in places.
  • A few too many skimmable parts.


First Person, Multiple POV

Ending Type

Cliffhanger, but not a harsh one.



Romantic Dynamic


Character Age Range



While this wasn’t my favorite book, I can see it gathering a large following and quite a few fans. The concepts are there and there is plenty of action to make a decent story. Available Free on KU.

Published July 3rd, 2019

261 Pages

Please note, this is a Reverse Harem series which features alternative sexual dynamics and romantic scenes more suited to an adult audience. 

If you enjoyed this review of Initiate, please consider checking out a few of my other articles.


Your Turn

What are you reading today? Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Leave a comment, I would love to talk!


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