Holy witchcraft, Batman!!! Cherie Colyer’s Embrace series is all kinds of cool and I am very excited to have two reviews for you today and a link for the event-wide giveaway. This tour is organized by AToMR Tours and if you would like to check out the rest of the stops on the tour, you can do so by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by and havea wonderful weekend 🙂
How far would you go to save the people you love?
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.
Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.
Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.
Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.
Up to this point, Madison has had a pretty normal life. Sure, she lost her mom years ago but her dad and little brother are pretty awesome, her best-friend Kaylee is delightful and loves coffee as much as Madison does and, the new, totally hot guy at school has his eye on her. All in all, not a bad life as far as high school goes. But this book would totally suck if something intense and slightly awful didn’t happen and this book is far, far away from being sucky J
For the most part, Kaylee and Madison’s lives are pretty normal; Kaylee is an excellent student, Madison not so much; Kaylee has a wonderful boyfriend, Josh and Madison is excited to be newly dating, Isaac. Even though he is new to town, Isaac quickly falls into place with Kaylee, Madison and Josh and the four friends instantly become inseparable. All seems right with the world until the morning Kaylee totally snaps the tether and has to be admitted to the hospital, heavily sedated and strapped to the bed. Though all the adults suspect drugs, the doctors can’t find a trace of any substance in her body that would cause Kaylee to scream uncontrollably and hallucinate. Determined to figure out what is wrong with her best friend, Madison begins to do some research only to be totally disappointed that the only real fit to Kaylee’s symptoms is witchcraft. Yeah right, like that exists.
As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures and when Kaylee shows no signs of getting better, Madison decides to cast a spell. Inexplicably, Madison not only manages to get the spell going but she over does it and damn near burns down her house. Thankfully, Isaac appears in the nick of time and puts out the flames, with magic. Isaac, you have some splainin’ to do!! And ‘splain he does J Isaac is a very powerful witch, Josh is a witch and now, after having cast her first spell, Madison has embraced her powers and truly become a member of the group. In order to save Kaylee, the three friends (and later Kaylee too!) form a proper coven and set out to magically protect one another and save Kaylee. Through this struggle, Madison begins to learn more and more about magic, her abilities, and her feelings toward Isaac. Though the two struggle to overcome some of the obstacles that face every new couple, they are determined to be together and neither can deny how perfectly they fit together.
The fight to save Kaylee turns into much, much more than the group ever expected and the unveiling of the evil behind the drama is pretty surprising. The big bad not only wields some super serious power but also acquired that power in a most unnerving way. When the truth finally comes to light, it takes all four of the coven members, a surprise visitor from Madison’s past and, Scooby Doo-worthy plan to shut down the big bad and restore everything to its proper place and form. Seriously, the last battle is pretty spectacular!
The Bottom Line: Though Embrace was a slow starter for me (hence the 4 star rating) once it really got going, I was reminded of why I love this genre. Colyer has produced a fine YA+ read about witches and witchcraft that is quite different from a large number of other reads currently available in this genre. I particularly enjoyed reading about how witches in Colyer’s world come into their powers, how they can use their powers, how they can acquire powers and how those powers manifest. I enjoyed reading how the Fearsome Four (my name for the coven) work as a team yet are led by Isaac because of his greater powers and experience. Each of the F.F. are fully-developed characters I honestly wanted to know more about and Colyer absolutely delivered. On to book two . . . .
What’s one little spell?
When you’re new to magic, one spell can be the difference between getting what you want…and ruining the lives of everyone you love.
Sixteen-year-old Madison has just embraced her magical powers. The trick now is learning how to control them. She and her boyfriend -and fellow witch- can’t even enjoy a simple kiss without getting shocked when their powers collide. Instead of mastering her new skills, though, Madison is stuck watching her kid brother and doing chores.
But being a witch does have its benefits. With a simple spell, Madison instantly conjures the help she needs around the house. Or so she thinks. Her idea of “help” invites trouble of its own as a pair of dangerous yet enticing beings enter her life. When a classmate disappears soon afterwards, Madison discovers she’s the next victim of a threat she’s powerless to resist…and there’s nothing it won’t kill to make her surrender.
Caught in the crossfire between two dashing but deadly creatures, Madison must figure out which one to trust and how to rid her world of the other—before one of them destroys her and everyone she cares about.
Round two of Cherie Colyer’s Embrace series opens with a very stressed out Madison trying to figure out how she is ever going to balance everything in her life. The house is a mess, her dad is working later and later all the time, her school work is seriously lacking and, her younger brother is always in need of supervision. Add to all of this the fact that Madison and Isaac can’t kiss for more than twenty-three seconds at a time because she can’t hold back her powers well enough to keep from zapping Isaac and you sort of have a recipe for disaster. What is a young witch to do?
Isaac, still the leader of the Fearsome Four coven has spent countless hours helping Madison learn how to properly and safely use and control her powers. After all, getting zapped every time you kiss your girlfriend is so not cool! More importantly, as Isaac has explained time and time again, for some witches giving into the darkness and abusing ones’ powers is just easier than learning proper control and restraint. While Madison completely understand staying away from the darkness, she needs help and one little spell can’t cause that much trouble, right? More importantly, what Isaac doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right?
And so, after a particularly funny conversation around the dinner table at Isaac’s house, Madison determines that it is in her best interest to summon a fairy to help her manage the house and her chores. Shortly after completing her spell, Brea, a beautiful fairy from the Seelie court appears and the house has never looked better. Furthermore, Madison’s dad finally admits to needing help with the business and hires not one but two new employees. For the first time in ages, Madison feels like she has a bit of breathing room. It’s time to be a proper teenager.
Except . . . .
The big news around town is the story of a missing teenage girl, a girl who just happens to be friends with Madison and the rest of the Fearsome Four. All anyone knows is that she had a secret admirer and was not seen again after dropping her best friend off at home after a party. Searches turn up nothing but an abandoned car and understandably, everyone is freaking out. As the F.F. delve deeper into the disappearance of their friend they discover that magic most certainly was involved but even Isaac can’t understand how. That is, until Madison fesses up to having summoned a fairy. At this point, all Hell breaks loose and Madison finally begins to truly understand how critical it is that she understands and controls her use of magic. Not only has Madison irrevocably harmed herself in the summoning of the fairy but also her family and her friends. No spoilers; you’ll just have to read this one for yourselves J
The Bottom Line: Hold Tight is even better than Embrace with more character development, the addition of new and slightly surprising characters, more seriously cool magic, a more intense plot line and a pace that really doesn’t slow down from beginning to end. There is absolutely no sophomore slump here and by the end of the read I was absolutely ready to dive into book number three . . . .yep, the one that doesn’t exist yet L Colyer has hit a homerun with both this book and this series and I am excited to see what kind of mayhem the Fearsome Four get into the next time around.
Cherie Colyer is the author of YA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE (available now), and HOLD TIGHT (August 2013), from Omnific Publishing. Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Twitter and/or Facebook for updates on writing, book and special offers.
Up for grabs is two (2) printcCopies of Embrace and Hold Tight– US/Canada; ten (10) eBooks of Embrace (emailed in PDF, mobi and epub ePack) – International. Approx. value = $70.50 USD. If you would like to read the FTC mumbo jumbo you can find it in the sweepstake terms and conditions. To enter for your chance to win, just click on the Rafflecopter links below and good luck 🙂