The ‘Portal’ Series by Maggie Shayne (Book Review)

Book # 0.5
Amazon Kindle
“Once upon a time, there lived three witches….”

As a child, Amarrah loved her grandmother’s stories of three witches who were members of the king’s harem. But they were more than just stories. Amarrah knows she was there with them…and now their legacy, along with an ancient box that once belonged to them, lies in her hands.

Charged with keeping the box safe, Amarrah is heartbroken when it is stolen from her while she moves to America. Years later, she is shocked to see it on TV and is determined to get it back. Tracking the artifact leads her to Sergeant Harrison Brockson, a handsome soldier who stirs memories of a man she knew centuries ago in ancient Babylon. Is Harrison the key to finding the box—or could he be her destiny?

Prequel novella to Maggie Shayne’s exciting trilogy, The Portal.

I actually read this short story after I read “Mark of the Witch” and it explained a couple unanswered questions about the mysterious box. I wondered how it arrived at Cornell. If you decide to skip over this Prequel, don’t sweat it. You won’t get lost when you read book one. However, this story does introduce us to not only Amarrah and Harrison (Harmon) but also we meet Padre Dom for the first time and see a glimpse of his true colors. 
Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)  
Score: ❤❤❤❤


Book # 1
Amazon – Kindle Edition
Amazon Paperback

She was born to save what he is sworn to destroy

A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn’t believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she’s forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown. Then she meets mysterious and handsome Father Thomas. Emerging from the secrecy of an obscure Gnostic sect, he arrives with stories of a demon, a trio of warrior witches—and Indira’s sacred calling.

Yet there’s something even Tomas doesn’t know, an inescapable truth that will force him to choose between saving the life of the woman he’s come to love—and saving the world.


Have you ever had a nightmare so real that you woke up dazed, in a cold sweat, and for a minute thought it was real and thanked your lucky stars it wasn’t? Well for Indira, she didn’t have such good fortune. Or did she? Despite her reluctance to fully believe in magic again, her heart wouldn’t let her forget it. Her mind just needed a little catching up and when it did….WOW.

I was pleased she didn’t rush the rejoining of Indira and Tomas. She balanced flashbacks with present day events remarkably well, which kept the plot flowing smoothly. Great first book of the series!

Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 


Book # 2

Anything for their child

Lena Dunkirk is a practicing witch, Ryan McNally a wealthy playboy. Logic says mismatch, yet from the first they share a passion that defies reason, as if they know each other from another place, another time. Then Lena gets pregnant and runs for the safety of home.

Months later, when Ryan appears at her door looking to help raise their child, Lena doesn’t know whom to trust—particularly now that “guru to the stars” Bahru has taken an interest in her baby, offering gifts forged of magic.

Soon she and Ryan are sharing eerie dreams of ancient lands, while a vengeful demon plots to take possession of their child. As the moment of birth approaches, the demon’s power rises, forcing the hand of love to wield the blade that will decide the fate of a child’s soul—and the future of the world.



As I read the second installment in the series, not including the .5 prequel, I thanked my lucky stars all I had to deal with in my two pregnancies was a few days of morning sickness and wobbly balance. As for Lena full-blown running scene during labor – a mother is capable of miraculous feats when their child is in danger. For me at nine months along, I couldn’t manage more than a brisk walk but then again, I was in NO danger. 🙂
For the “villain” in this story, I knew who the bad guy was supposed to be but I didn’t expect the reason behind his evil intentions. Way to keep me on my toes. 
Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Book # 3

As an ancient king’s favorite harem slave, Lilia committed the worst of all possible crimes: loving another man. When the king discovered her treason, her lover was sentenced to lose his soul and linger in eternal imprisonment, and Lilia herself was executed alongside her sisters. While they reincarnated through countless lifetimes, she lingered alone between worlds for thousands of years, waiting for the moment to rescue her beloved Demetrius.

Now that moment has come. Demetrius has broken free, but without his soul and in the thrall of the same high priest who betrayed them so long ago; he has become a ravaging demon, devoting himself solely to pleasure and power. Somehow Lilia must convince him to reclaim his humanity, to abandon the enemy tempting him to give in to his cruel desires—or her life will be lost alongside his, both of them condemned to eternal damnation, eternal isolation, their love lost one final and irrevocable time.

I wasn’t too shocked with whom reincarnated into Father Dom’s body, but Gus, yup that was a total shocker. I absolutely adore authors who can surprise their readers so with that unexpected twist, this story deserved a 5 star rating. 
Demetrius and Lilia, their journey back together didn’t wow me but not every love story can be an earth shattering journey. Even though I wasn’t completely blown away by these two, I still liked their tale and how the Portal Series ended or is this really the end. The final pages had me wondering and I’m sure it will have you wondering too. 

Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.