The Wild Ones by M. Leighton: Review

Format: Kindle Edition, 330 pagesPublished: August 1st 2012 by M. Leighton Books ASIN: B008QYHILGEdition language: EnglishSeries: The Wild Ones
Format: Kindle Edition, 330 pages
Published: August 1st 2012 by M. Leighton Books
ASIN: B008QYHILG
Edition language: English
Series: The Wild Ones

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15761241-the-wild-ones

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1152263.M_Leighton

Synopsis from Goodreads:

**MATURE CONTENT ADVISORY: May not be suitable for younger readers**

Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.
Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines.  She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses.  Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future.
But that was before she met Patrick Henley.
“Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her.  He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her.  And Trick needs his job.  Desperately.  His family depends on him.
The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles.  At least the ones they know of.
When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome.  It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.

Source: Author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: For no particular reason, I never use passages/lines from the books I read in my reviews.  Today, I am going to throw caution to the wind and lead with a super-awesome excerpt.  Hold on boys and girls, this one is kind of hot.

“Another of whatever Cami is having.”  He turns back to me, a wicked gleam in his smoky eyes.  “Sorry about your drink.  Not so much about your shirt, though,” he admits candidly.

Willing myself not to blush again, I tilt my head.  “So, do clumsy strangers have names in this place? Or are you just called ‘bull in china shop’?”

The lopsided grin comes back.  “Patrick, but my friends call me Trick.”

“Trick? As in trick or treat?  That kind of trick?”

He laughs and my stomach flutters.  It actually flutters.

“Yep.  That kind of trick.”  He sobers and leans in close to me.  “Cami, can I ask a favor?”

I’m breathless again.  He’s so close I can count every hair in the stubble that dusts his tan cheeks.  For just a second, his clean manly scent overrides the cigarette smoke and stale beer smell of the bar.

I lose my voice – again – so I nod.

“Pick ‘treat.’ Please, for the love of God, pick ‘treat’.”

Like an idiot, I say nothing.  I do nothing.  I simply stare.  Like a . . .a . . .well, like an idiot.

He makes a disappointed noise with his lips and then starts shaking his head.  “Too bad.  Woulda made my night.” (Kindle, 1%)

With that dear reader, I was totally and completely head over heels in lust with Trick!  Little did I know this naughty exchange was the first of many throughout The Wild Ones and set the tone for the entire book.  Trick is a bit down on his luck but is in no way giving up on his dream of becoming a veterinarian.  He has come home to help out his mom and little sister and until he can get back to school, he has taken a job as a stable hand at the local horse ranch which just happens to be owned by Cami’s dad.  Trick sure didn’t see that one coming and daddy has already warned ‘the help’ to stay the hell away from his daughter.

Here’s what I liked about The Wild Ones:

*Trick: absolutely, positively, and without doubt one of the best male leads I have come across in quite some time.  For me, the entire plot and novel is carried by this single character.  Trick is just good: he puts his own dreams and goals on hold for his family; he is gifted and passionate about horses – creatures he treats with the utmost care and respect; he is intelligent; he is confident and; he is smokin’ hot and knows how to turn a girl on.

*the almost naughty bits: I have to admit this is one of the hottest books I have ever read that has no actual sex scenes.  Yep, you read that correctly, there are no actual sex scenes but there are some mouthwatering flirtations that leave everyone all hot and bothered.  Trick and Cami do eventually do the big dirty but not before a lot of smoldering and frustratingly incomplete moments.  To be frank, there is a butt-ton of sexual frustration for Trick, Cami, and the reader 🙂

*the plot: this is a novel where the past and present come hurtling toward one another and crash violently in the present.  Cami and Trick’s respective parents absolutely forbid their children to see one another and neither has any idea why this would be so.  Once the past comes to light everything in Trick and Cami’s world comes apart and their tenuous relationship is threatened.  The secrets that come to light are as interesting as they are surprising and certainly enhance the plot.

The only thing I really didn’t care for with this novel is Cami.  I really wanted to like Cami but her fickleness and penchant for secrets in the beginning is as off-putting as her indecisiveness about her actual boyfriend and Trick.  I get it, Cami is young and doesn’t want to disappoint her daddy but her actions with regards to both her boyfriend and Trick are just wrong.  Cami leads both men on while waiting for the universe or someone to provide her with the one bit of evidence or truth that will allow her to make the “right” decision.  In the end, all Cami gets and causes is pain.

The Bottom Line: I really did enjoy The Wild Ones and think it would be a more than acceptable and certainly entertaining read for adults interested in both romance and a tiny bit of mystery.  For me, the entire novel was carried by a single character – Trick – and I am absolutely OK with it.  Trick is a character worth cheering for, the plot is fairly fast-paced, and the almost naughty bits are every bit as good as actual naughty bits.  Pick this one up and I swear you won’t be disappointed.

 

Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa: Review

Format: Paperback, 264 pagesPublished: September 20th 2011 by Bold Strokes Books (first published September 12th 2011) ISBN:  1602825645 (ISBN13: 9781602825642)Edition language: EnglishURL:http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Suite-Nineteen-%252d-by-Mel-Bossa#
Format: Paperback, 264 pages
Published: September 20th 2011 by Bold Strokes Books (first published September 12th 2011)
ISBN: 1602825645 (ISBN13: 9781602825642)
Edition language: English
URL:http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Suite-Nineteen-%252d-by-Mel-Bossa

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10629217-suite-nineteen

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4626596.Mel_Bossa

Synopsis from Goodreads: Drawn by the promise of change, young medium Ben Lebeau, moves to the big city, into the Shilts Manor—an old textile factory turned trendy loft space. There he meets seductive Lennox Van Kemp and his clan of Métis—guardians of the oldest lie. Ben is pulled into Van Kemp’s emotional circle, finally sating his most secret desires.
Against Ven Kemp’s warnings, Ben befriends his neighbor Ezra Collins—a scarred man who has taken a vow of celibacy. As Ben tries to get closer to Ezra and earn his trust, he also struggles to escape Van Kemp’s psychological grip on him. The harder Ben falls for Ezra, the more he suffers from hallucinations and memory losses. Soon, the Manor’s walls begin to close in on him and Ben must rely on his psychic abilities to survive the assault on his mind.
As Ben and Ezra unravel Van Kemp’s plans, they expose a spiritual conspiracy dating back to Christ—a conspiracy that will shake their very world and restore their Faith in humanity.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: Three very distinct emotions occurred to me while reading Mel Bossa’s Suite Nineteen: total frustration, fascination, and complete satisfaction.  The novel opens in Montreal’s Shilts Manor where we meet Benjamin, a troubled young man who fled his small home town after a failed affair.  Adding to Benjamin’s troubles is his gift, the ability to psychically connect with those around him.

The first half of the book deals with Benjamin and his interaction with the various residents of Shilts Manor.  There is the absolutely unnerving Lennox Van Kemp, his two companions Eevie and Happy and Ezra, Benjamin’s tragic and disfigured next door neighbor.  Benjamin is at the heart of this group and becomes inextricably linked to each of the other main characters as they all intrigue him in a variety of ways.  Lennox is charismatic, Eevie is easy, Happy is scary yet alluring, and Ezra is seemingly unknowable.  These qualities are irresistible to Benjamin to the point that he begins to feel is sanity slipping away.  Each interaction and event in the first half of the book always seems unfinished and this became quite a source of frustration.  I always felt as if I was missing something, as if Bossa was failing to tell me everything I needed and/or wanted to know about these characters.

The second half of Suite Nineteen is everything I could have possibly hoped for it to be.  Bossa further develops all of the characters revealing their schemes and motivations some of which are a bit stunning.  The motivations of each and every character are bound up in their lives and their histories and understanding these characters and how they fit into the overall plot was one of the most fascinating parts of this book.  I daresay you will change your opinion about nearly every character in this book!

The Bottom Line: the frustration I felt is the result of good writing: that is, Bossa set up a very complicated plot in the first half of the book and then spends the rest of the book revealing just how complicated the plot truly is.  One of the strengths of Bossa’s writing is the ability to appropriately pace the release of information.  Never is the unfolding of the plot rushed, everything is adequately explained, and there is never a lull in the reading.  Add to this the fact that what is being explained is absolutely fascinating and you end up with a completely satisfying read.

I will however offer one warning to all potential readers: although this book is very well written and offers a plot that is fairly original it is not a book for everyone.  Suite Nineteen touches on some sensitive topics like alternative lifestyles and radically alternate views of religion.  For those who are not bothered by these topics, read on, this book is worth it!

 

Speechless by Hannah Harrington: Review

Format: Paperback, 288 pagesPublished: August 28th 2012 by HarlequinTeen ISBN:  0373210523 (ISBN13: 9780373210527)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Speechless
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Published: August 28th 2012 by HarlequinTeen
ISBN: 0373210523 (ISBN13: 9780373210527)
Edition language: English
Original title: Speechless

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13069681-speechless

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4086928.Hannah_Harrington

Synopsis from Goodreads: Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4½ stars/5 stars

My Review: When I found Hannah Harrington’s novel Speechless at NetGalley I actually wondered “How good can a book about a teenage girl who takes a vow of silence really be?”  The simple answer: extremely good!

Speechless is a cautionary tale of just how damaging words and gossip can be.  Chelsea Knot is the central character and she is, without doubt, a bitch.  Chelsea has gossiped her way to the top of her high school’s social ladder and she doesn’t care who she hurts or how she hurts them as long as she maintains her position.  Chelsea wields gossip like a weapon without ever stopping to think how her words, true or otherwise, can tear apart another person’s life.  And then one Friday night Chelsea discovers how her chosen weapon can not only backfire but have tragic consequences for others.  One student is in the hospital in a coma and two others are accused of beating that student into the coma.  Chelsea knows none of this would have ever happened if she just could have kept her big mouth shut!

To Chelsea’s credit, she does do the right thing and with the help of her parents she tells the police everything she knows about the beating, how it happened and who was involved.  Chelsea understands that by doing the right thing it will cost her everything she holds so dear: her friends, her social standing, and thanks to her vow of silence, her voice.  Yes, a teenage girl takes a vow of silence – hell hath frozen over!  I really wondered how Harrington could pull off a novel where the main character doesn’t actually speak.  Turns out, inner monologue can be quite fun and can very easily keep a character moving and developing.  Chelsea spends a little more than a month honoring her vow of silence and it is during this month that she discovers what she once held so dear was not ever really worth holding on to at all.  Her old “friends” lash out at Chelsea for ratting out two of their own: she is taunted, teased, her locker and car are vandalized, and she becomes a social pariah.

Initially, I found it very, very, very hard to feel any semblance of sympathy for Chelsea.  Her words and actions caused the mess she and others find themselves in and she should rightfully face the consequences of those actions.  I really didn’t want to like Chelsea but in the end, she surprised me!  I honestly don’t think I would have been able to change my opinion about Chelsea if she were using her actual voice and not her inner monologue.  In her own head Chelsea acknowledges and faces many hard facts and realities about herself and her actions.  She learns words mean something and once out there, they cannot be taken back.  Chelsea begins to consider her words more carefully and when she does need to communicate (using a dry erase board) she thinks before she “speaks”.

Chelsea soon discovers that her vow of silence has some pleasant consequences to go along with the bad.  She meets a few other social outcasts and while everyone is initially wary of one another the group finally comes together and Chelsea begins to understand what it is to have true friends.  Chelsea also begins to understand that, like everyone else, she is human, has flaws, and will make mistakes.  Once Chelsea understands and appreciates these revelations she is able to once again use her voice.

The Bottom Line:  Speechless is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time and I really had no trouble getting through this book in short order.  The plot is solid, the characters (both good and bad) show development and growth throughout, and the overall message that words matter is clear without being preachy.   I can absolutely see this book appealing to a wide range of readers including more mature young adults and adults alike.

Soul Magic by Jennifer Lyon: Review

Format: Paperback, 391 pagesPublished: October 27th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published October 7th 2009) ISBN:  0345506359 (ISBN13: 9780345506351)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Soul Magic (Wing Slayer Hunters, Book 2)Series: Wing Slayer Hunters #2
Format: Paperback, 391 pages
Published: October 27th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published October 7th 2009)
ISBN: 0345506359 (ISBN13: 9780345506351)
Edition language: English
Original title: Soul Magic (Wing Slayer Hunters, Book 2)
Series: Wing Slayer Hunters #2

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6390162-soul-magic

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2759175.Jennifer_Lyon

Synopsis from Goodreads: KISS OR KILL
When an ancient pact is broken, powerful witches who once used their magic to help humanity become the twisted playthings of demons, and the mortal men who once protected the sorceresses become witch hunters, cursed with the longing to spill the witches’ blood: an irresistible craving that will cost witches their lives and witch hunters their souls.
The Wing Slayer Hunters fight this curse, guarding innocent witches until the urge to harm them grows too strong–then they must kill their own. Wing Slayer Sutton West has always honored that vow. His own father killed himself rather than go rogue. But now Sutton is tempted as never before by Carla Fisk, a brilliant psychologist and dynamic witch whose twin sister, Keri, was murdered by rogues.
Bound by blood and passion, Carla and Sutton dare not succumb to their deadly attraction. Yet when a mysterious rogue named Styx joins forces with the demon Asmodeus, witch and hunter have no choice but to work together. For Keri’s immortal soul is at stake–and with it, balanced on a knife-edge, is the fate of humanity itself.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: Round two in Jennifer Lyon’s Wing Slayer Hunter series is the story of Dr. Carla Fisk, a psychologist and earth witch whose sole purpose in life is to help victims of brainwashing and cult activity.  As both a shrink and a practicing earth witch, Carla is uniquely qualified to help her patients deal with their trauma while simultaneously easing their pain.  Carla’s compassion and desire to help others was born out of her inability to help her twin sister Keri, a powerful earth witch who was killed by rogue Hunters.  Since Keri’s death, Carla has remained true to her life’s purpose but has, in all other areas of her life, closed herself off.

By all accounts Sutton West is a tried and true bad ass techno geek who fights valiantly alongside the Wing Slayer Hunters.  Sutton is so absolutely committed to his vow to Wing Slayer that he would, like his father before him, rather kill himself than go rogue.  Unfortunately for Sutton his day of reckoning is closer than he would like to admit; the urge to kill an earth witch and bathe in her blood is becoming harder and harder to resist.  Just to make things interesting, Sutton is thrown into the middle of a mess that involves Carla Fisk and her dead twin sister.

Now, both Carla and Sutton have a few problems: Carla’s dead twin is trapped in the world between life and death and calling out to Carla to help her; Sutton is beyond sure that Carla is his soul mirror but can’t convince Carla of this; a new powerful rogue by the name of Styx is inhibiting Carla’s ability to reach her sister and killing Carla in the process; and Sutton is coming dangerously close to violating his vows and going rogue himself.  It’s time to get serious about fixing these problems.  As with the first book in this series, once the plot really takes hold and is established, things begin to move quickly.  With the help of the rest of the Wing Slayers and a small circle of brave earth witches, Carla and Sutton are able to track down Styx, kick his ass, and save Keri in the process.  Of course, there’s also a little naughtiness thrown in for good measure 🙂

The Bottom Line: What I like about this series is the fact that Lyon isn’t willing to sacrifice the long term plot for the sake of the immediate story and vice versa.  Sutton and Carla’s story is played out to completion while still advancing the long-term plot line at the same time.  We find out, as we expected too, that Styx is simply another piece or pawn in a much larger, more far-reaching, and sinister game than we ever could have imagined.  While Carla, Sutton, the Wing Slayer Hunters, and the witches do their part to eliminate the immediate threat, they are all well aware that the fight has only truly just begun.

 

Sleeping Kings by John Prentice: Review

Format: ebookPublished: April 12th 2011 by John Prentice, via Smashwords ISBN:  0011270802 (ISBN13: 2940011270802)Edition language: English
Format: ebook
Published: April 12th 2011 by John Prentice, via Smashwords
ISBN: 0011270802 (ISBN13: 2940011270802)
Edition language: English

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11399093-sleeping-kings-dark-force

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4819383.John_Prentice

Synopsis from Goodreads: Nik was a normal teen computer geek until her parents split up and her father dragged her off to France.
The move cost her everything; friends, family, even her obsession; an online computer game.
Then she meets a dead guy who’s protecting a secret as old as the mountains themselves, and suddenly people want her and the most gorgeous boy she’s ever met, dead too.
When she finds out who she really is, things get freaky. The race is on, and she’s got to beat the clock – a clock that’s been ticking for seven hundred years.
Time has just run out for Nicola Roscoe.
It could be…Game Over!

Source: Author for a fair and honest review

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: John Prentice’s Sleeping Kings is a young adult novel that revolves around the lives of Nicola, her geologist father, and super-nerdy neighbor, Daan.  After her mother and father divorce, Nicola’s father moves the two of them to a small town in France where Nicola is forced to give up her one true love, on-line gaming.  While Nicola is sure life as she knows it is over, she is about to find out that her life has only truly just begun.

Prentice moves quickly into the plot where, on a field trip with their class, Nicola and Daan unceremoniously fall into an old and uncharted cave.  As if this doesn’t suck enough, the two find themselves face-to-face with Pedro, a living, breathing man who can apparently turn any substance into another and died in the year 1213.  Okie dokie, Nicola and Daan surely bumped their heads a little too hard on the way down, right?  Not so much – neither were hurt in the fall and both become immediately embroiled in a conspiracy that stretches all the way back to the 13th century.

Prentice offers the reader an easy read that is moderately-paced and steeped in French Cathar history.  This history is one of the novel’s greatest strengths and it is used to help further the major plot line: the Cathar discovery of the secrets of alchemy.  Nicola and Daan are essentially forced into helping Pedro and his comrades put down a modern-day plot to recover the Cathar secret, known as the Power and destroy the world.  What is interesting about the kids’ involvement is exactly how connected they really are to both Pedro and the Cathar legacy.

I liked the characters in this book and in particular I liked Pedro and Daan.  Pedro is an honorable man who has literally sacrificed centuries to protect what the Cathars discovered.  Additionally, Pedro helps Nicola understand her role in the plot and protects her when necessary.  Daan, on the other hand is a contemporary character whose knowledge of history and spouting of historical facts is rather delightful.  Rather than dryly reporting the historical information that is necessary for the reader to understand the plot, Prentice uses Pedro and Daan to convey the information through dialogue; a clever and much more entertaining way to tell me what I need to know.

The only parts of the book that I found off-putting are the chapters that take place in a place called “Somewhere Else”.  I believe these chapters are meant to lay the groundwork for the continuation of the series but frankly, they added absolutely nothing to this first-in-the-series book.  For me, these chapters were annoying interruptions of an otherwise very good read.

The Bottom Line: even with the bothersome Somewhere Else chapters, Sleeping Kings is still a very good start to the Dark Force series.  There is plenty of action, good and very interesting historical information, and characters who work nicely within the plot.  This is a novel that will certainly appeal to both young adults and adults.

Sinful Magic by Jennifer Lyon: Review

Format: Paperback, 360 pagesPublished: May 31st 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published May 18th 2011) ISBN:  0345520084 (ISBN13: 9780345520081)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: Sinful MagicSeries: Wing Slayer Hunters #4
Format: Paperback, 360 pages
Published: May 31st 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published May 18th 2011)ISBN: 0345520084 (ISBN13: 9780345520081)
Edition language: English
Original title: Sinful Magic
Series: Wing Slayer Hunters #4

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9645328-sinful-magic

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2759175.Jennifer_Lyon

Synopsis from Goodreads: Roxanne “Roxy” Banfield refuses to be like her mother, a fertility witch who uses sex as nothing more than a magical weapon. Roxy rejects that life and is determined to become mortal to pursue her dream of real love and a family. All she has to do is avoid meeting the one man whose sensuality can release her powers. But steering clear of this magnetic stranger is easier said than done.
Wing Slayer Hunter Kieran “Key” DeMicca channels the dark violence that lives inside him into a popular comic book series about an ancient dragon named Dyfyr, but only Key knows that Dyfyr is real. Lately he finds himself drawing images of a young woman in peril, and assumes that she’s just a product of his imagination—until he meets Roxy. Struck by her beauty and her resemblance to his sketches, he feels compelled to protect her. As steamy magic, lethal danger, and timeless love collide, Roxy must become what she swore she would never be—and awake a part of Key that will threaten to destroy them both.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review: Sinful Magic is the latest installment in Jennifer Lyon’s Wing Slayer Hunter series.  Roxy Banfield has two goals: 1) to sign Kieran DeMicca and his graphic novel series to a long-term development contract for movie and TV and; 2) to never, ever give in to her fertility-witch nature and become like her mother.  So far, so good!  Goal number one is well within reach as Kieran DeMicca is attending the Comic Expression Conference and goal number two can certainly be reached as long as Roxy manages to stay away from the one man who can trigger her latent fertility-witch abilities.  Unfortunately for Roxy that man is Kieran DeMicca.  Balls!

Kieran DeMicca is the most unlikely Wing Slayer Hunter.  Oh, he’s got the build, the aggression, and the thirst for witch blood but what he truly loves is his art.  Since he was child, Kieran has managed to channel much of his aggression and anger into his art work.  As an adult, Kieran has turned his talent into a money-making graphic novel series about a dragon named Dyfyr.  For Kieran, Dyfyr is more than just a creature of his imagination; he is a being that has always been a part of Kieran and his life.  In fact, in Kieran’s darkest and most desperate moments, he is sure that Dyfyr has simply taken over and saved his life.  What more could a man ask for?

Kieran and Roxy’s lives collide when he spots the hot little redhead across the room at the Comic Expression Conference.  Roxy also spots Kieran but her reaction to him is much, more dramatic.  While Kieran is perfectly willing to make Roxy’s acquaintance, Roxy is perfectly willing to run fast and furiously in the other direction.  Fate has other plans for Roxy Banfield and she soon realizes that not only is Kieran the man who will trigger her fertility witch abilities but he is also a man that she simply can’t leave behind.  The problem, OK problems?  Dyfyr is quite upset at the prospect of Roxy being in Kieran’s life; Roxy is going to have to accept her nature if she is to survive; Kieran must accept that he is not the only being that loves Roxy; and the rogue Hunters are back in force and they want Roxy at all cost.

The Bottom Line: Once the plot begins to unfold, the reader is taken on a wild ride that involves lots of violence, one seriously pissed off dragon, some steamy sex, and a whole host of people willing to rally around Kieran and Roxy to help them survive the threats they face.  Roxy is one tough chick and she manages to hold her own in the face of danger.  With Kieran and Dyfyr by her side she is nearly unstoppable.  While the long-term plot is certainly continued in this novel and in no danger of wrapping up anytime in the near future, there are also several little clues and hints as to the shorter-term plots that are on the horizon.  I am absolutely ready for more Wing Slayer Hunter novels.  Bring on Ram, Linc, and Eli’s stories, Jennifer Lyon.  I can take it 🙂

Silver by Talia Vance: Review

Format: Paperback, 374 pagesPublished: September 8th 2012 by Flux (first published September 1st 2012) ISBN:  0738733032 (ISBN13: 9780738733036)Edition language: EnglishOriginal title: SilverSeries: Bandia #1
Format: Paperback, 374 pages
Published: September 8th 2012 by Flux (first published September 1st 2012)
ISBN: 0738733032 (ISBN13: 9780738733036)
Edition language: English
Original title: Silver
Series: Bandia #1

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10194637-silver

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575398.Talia_Vance

Synopsis from Goodreads: “As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision.  Before I can take a breath, the world falls away.”
Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can’t resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna’s charm bracelet slips off and time stands still.  In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she’s been hiding even from herself.
Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.
But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.
Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

Source: ARC from Netgalley

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review: “Beauty is pointless when no one’s looking. And no one ever looks.” But Brianna Paxton is used to no one looking at her and has resigned herself to the fact that this will likely never
change. Until the day it does change, and then, quite unexpectedly, everything and everyone around Brianna changes, too. And who would have thought all that change could occur simply because Brianna took off her lucky silver bracelet?

Silver’s plot revolves around an ancient feud that all began with a tragic case of love gone way wrong. Through the centuries the feud, and need for vengeance, has traveled through the generations of two families, the Sons of Killian and the Daughters of Danu. Silver’s plot is entertaining, interesting, and filled with action and romance. Mixed into the brilliantly unfolding plot is the backstory of the feud, Danu and Killian, as well as the backstory of a few of the novel’s major characters. While the plot moves along rather quickly, it is not rushed, and the backstory
is appropriately placed throughout.

While Silver contains a whole host of characters, this particular novel focuses primarily on Brianna, Blake, and Austin. Brianna had the potential to be a really annoying and angsty teenager, but Vance thankfully avoided this by creating a lead female that is smart, logical, rational, and not really your typical teenage girl at all. Brianna knows no one is ever looking at her, especially guys, but rather than wallowing in self-pity, Brianna chooses to focus her attention on her studies and hones her skills as a scientist who relies on empirical evidence rather than emotions. As the plot unfolds and Brianna begins to understand more about herself and her role in the ancient feud, she becomes even stronger and more confident. I love this about Brianna’s character and hope that her confidence and intelligence will continue to grow as the series grows.

Blake, God bless his stupid little heart! Blake is perhaps the most tragic character in the entire novel. He is beautiful, he is conflicted, he is physically strong, and he has a serious problem with inserting his foot in his mouth at every turn. Blake understands that he can’t help or control his
connection to Brianna, and this struggle often has very bad results. Being near Brianna makes Blake both stronger and weaker and the two must come to terms with their place in each other’s world. While Blake struggles to say and do the right thing, he often epically fails. With that being said, it is abundantly clear that Blake is good and well-intentioned, he just can’t ever say or do what he really means, properly. Thank goodness, Brianna was also written to have a healthy level of patience ☺

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Austin in this review, as he is such a major part of Silver, but he is also a character that is difficult to discuss without divulging too much of the plot’s secrets, twists, and turns. So, I will leave you with my impression of Austin: slimy, creep-tastic, over-the-top nice, and always seeming to have some ulterior motive. For me, Austin never “felt” right; his actions and his words never really align, but you don’t fully know and/or appreciate why that is until it is
nearly too late. Austin’s role in Silver is vital, and the plot just wouldn’t have been the same without him, but he still pisses me off!

The Bottom Line: Silver is an excellent read that had me hooked from the very first line. It is a book I had absolutely no desire to put down and, quite frankly, didn’t put down until I had plowed through the entire thing. With the exception of a few smallish and nagging questions, nothing about this novel didn’t appeal to me. This book is a fantastic blend of strong characters and great plot, and something I would certainly feel comfortable recommending to mature young adults and adults alike. Finally, it is clear that Talia Vance is far from done with the stories of Killian and Danu and Blake and Brianna. For that, I am very excited!! Write faster Talia Vance; I have the distinct
feeling you are going to have a very large group of followers anxiously awaiting the release of book two.