The Cardinal Bird by Mia Smantz – A Book Review

Posted October 7, 2019 by Booksandblurbs in Contemporary, Reverse Harem, Reviews / 1 Comment

The Cardinal Bird by Mia Smantz - A Book Review #BookReview #Contemporary #SlowBurn #RH #WhyChoose #SpyThriller #NewRelease #KindleUnlimited #KU

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The Cardinal Bird

(The Cardinal Series – Book 1)

by Mia Smantz
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Contemporary Spy / Thriller Slow Burn RH
Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Down and Dirty

If you are looking for a different kind of RH, this thriller has you covered. Lush with bite, snark and mystery, it fills a void in the ever growing RH genre, carving out a sub-niche all its own. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

What is it about?

(Blurb from GoodReads)

Callie Jensen has always been a little bit different. She was made fun of for being a math-whiz in school up until she was kidnapped.

Growing up in the crime world from a young age, she was turned into a language savant and a hacker-expert. She tried to do what she was told and keep her head down…but…that was easier said than done.

Trouble seems to follow her like it’s her middle name. Eventually, things come to a head that puts her in the sights of a secret government organization. She finally has some allies in the form of several muscular, irresistibly handsome and talented guys.

Callie wonders if she’ll be able to find peace at last, but the struggles only keep piling up as she is shuffled around, wondering when or even if she will ever find somewhere she feels like is safe. People who she thought were safe might not be. And not only that, but her kidnapper is not willing to give her up without a fight, and he shows her all too well that he will go to some very dangerous lengths to get her back.

Thoughts on The Cardinal Bird

First things first, I do NOT know what is up with that blurb…. it’s horrible and doesn’t convey even a tenth of how good this book really is. I am not sure if it was composed by someone other than the author or penned under the influence of caffeine withdrawal… but you get my point. It sucks. Ignore it. Trust that this book is actually written far better than that jumble is, and it even has appropriate punctuation.


This is a slow burn adventure that grabs you, shakes you and doesn’t let you go…. all the while twisting your emotions on a spin cycle that envelopes the soul. It’s twisted, contemporary, spook heavy and emotionally thick. I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2!


  • Grabs you from the prologue.
  • Showcases the darker side of humanity.
  • Never quote know what’s going on.
  • Soooo many questions! Who is Kaz to her? Why does Aleks thinks it’s ok to be flirty? What’s with the CIA?


  • Need to see more of the Cardinals… book 2. Who the heck ARE they??


First Person, Single POV for the bulk of the narrative. Prologue and Epilogue are composed in third person, Multiple POV.

Ending Type



R… such an R. Not for sexual content, but torture, violence and PTSD.

Romantic Dynamic

MMMMMF……. or MMMF…. or? This one could go in soooo many directions!

Character Age Range



4.5 out of 5 Stars

A wonderful spy thriller and slow burn RH. Fans of the Ghost Bird will enjoy this grown up version, while those who normally indulge in more Paranormal offerings will find it a unique and refreshing take on the RH genre. Free on KU.

Published August 30th, 2019
277 Pages 

*Please note, The Cardinal Bird is part of a Reverse Harem series which will feature alternative romantic dynamics more suited to an adult audience. #WhyChoose*

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


Your Turn

What are you reading today? Have you read this debit novel by Mia Smantz yet? What are your thoughts?



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