Rss Feed
  1. REVIEW & INTERVIEW: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    ROOMS
    By: Lauren Oliver
    Publication Date: September 23, 2014

    Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. 

    But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.


    The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.


    ABOUT LAUREN

    Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren's first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.




    What was the idea that inspired Rooms?

    Rooms was inspired by a lot of different things, one of them a beautiful, labyrinthine, and very strange old house I visited in England. But it was also influenced by the idea of memory palaces--supposedly a pneumonic trick that allows you to remember details by assigning them a place in an imaginary home. I became interested in the ways we attach significance to the places we live, and might literally become caught there.

    What is the weirdest thing you googled while researching this story?

    The evolution of bathrooms in the 1920s and 30s!  

    What was your favorite scene to write and why?

    That's so hard! I love the scene where Trenton and Katie first meet. It's dark but also funny. Trenton in general was a really fun character--he's so unselfaware, so tortured but in a way that becomes almost humorous in its inefficiency. 

    Did any of your characters surprise you by doing something you didn’t expect?

    Yes--Alice became a much more forceful character than I anticipated. She really came to life in a totally different way than I'd planned. Thank goodness, too--the book wouldn't have worked otherwise. 

    Did you always know how the story would end or did things change as you wrote?

    I knew the broad strokes, as I usually do, but some important details changed, notably who is ultimately responsible for the...liberation, I'll say (so as not to give spoilers). 

    What are you currently reading?

    I just finished I'll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson--it was so incredible. Now I'm reading A.A. Milne's only mystery/detective book! 

    You’ve written quite a few swoony book boys... Do you have any favorites?

    Mr. Darcy, hands-down. Like every other girl! 

    Any advice for aspiring writers?

    My advice is always really boring--the only thing writers need to do is practice. Make it a habit to write every day. And read!! 

    What’s next for you? Are you working on anything right now that you can tell us about?

    I have another teen novel coming out next spring--Vanishing Girls, about two sisters devastated in the aftermath of an accident trying to piece together a new relationship and simultaneously figure out several family mysteries. And I'm currently working on a new YA and a new adult! So lots to come.  

    5 Favorites
    Favorite Song (right now) - All About That Bass, by Meghan Trainor 
    Favorite Book (right now) - I'll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson...or The Little Prince, which I just reread! So brilliant.
    Favorite TV Show/Movie - The Princess Bride, always 
    Favorite Word - Yes 
    Favorite Snack -Ready? Pasta with butter and hot sauce and parmesan. Don't knock it till you try it! 

    Jaime's Thoughts
    Rooms by Lauren Oliver
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars


    “The biggest favor Richard Walker ever did for anyone else was die.”

    Richard Walker has just died leaving behind a house filled with memories and secrets. When his estranged family arrives at the house, the resident ghosts Alice & Sandra watch and reminisce about the past… but not all the memories are pleasant ones and as the story unravels so do the secrets hidden within the rooms of the old country house.


    I was intrigued by the premise of Rooms by Lauren Oliver. I’m a big fan of her young adult books, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy of her the upcoming Rooms, her first adult fiction book.


    This was completely different than anything I’d read by Lauren and I was pleasantly surprised. The thing that stood out the most for me in this story is the writing itself. It was just gorgeous and I found myself rereading passages just to soak up the words.


    Rooms is told in 11 parts and from several different points of view, and to be honest, at first I thought this would be hard to follow because of that, but the flow and pacing of the story worked perfectly for me. While the story isn’t filled with action, the way it is weaved together definitely kept me interested in what was happening.


    There is such a unique mix of characters here and I have to admit that I kind of like Sandra the best I think. She was the kind of woman I would have been friends with and I just connected with her thoughts and comments. That said, while I found some of the characters and their actions frustrating, I still understood them and I think it’s okay to not like everyone in a book like this!


    This is essentially a ghost story, but it’s not your typical kind of ghost story that’s for sure. Oliver weaves both the normal and paranormal in this seamlessly to create a haunting story filled with layered characters and a riveting story.


    Overall, definitely impressed with Lauren Oliver’s masterful writing here. This story has a bit of everything… drama, angst, humor and sadness. If you’re looking for well-written, wonderfully constructed adult fiction, look no further. You’ll definitely find it in Rooms.


    Thank you to HarperCollins for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.


    |


  2. HE'S SO FINE 
    By: Jill Shalvis
    Publication Date: September 30, 2014
    For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.

    Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor?



    ABOUT JILL 

    New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's latest, RUMOR HAS IT, on shelves and ereaders now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Also, visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.



    Jaime's Thoughts 
    He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    I seriously feel like a broken record every single time I read a Jill Shalvis book and then try to write a review. All I ever say is how she always writes a perfectly swoony romance and makes me forget all the things that are stressing me out by transporting me to the magical land of Lucky Harbor. I can’t say I’m sorry because it’s the absolute truth. I know exactly what I’ll get when I pick up one of her books and she’s never let me down.

    She has created this amazing harbor town that I can vividly imagine … she has created characters who will jump into your heart and make you care what happens to them… and she has created men that I wish existed in real life.

    In book 10 we finally get to know a bit more about Cole, who we met briefly in book 9. Partners with Sam and Tanner at the boat charter, he’s the town McGyver and so utterly endearing. I don’t know what it was about him but I wanted to hug him (among other things) every time he was on the page.

    Cole tends to see things in black and white and he doesn’t forgive easily. His ex could attest to that. But He’s honest, and he loves those in his life wholeheartedly, and he’s always there to lend a hand when he’s needed.

    Olivia came to Lucky Harbor to escape her past… she’s recreated herself and now runs the Unique Boutique and is trying to forget who she was growing up, even if her family won’t let her. That means she hasn’t really been completely honest with the new friends she’s made. She can’t seem to fight the chemistry that she and Cole seem to have from the minute she jumped in the water to save his life sparks fly!

    I can’t help it, I love every single character that Shalvis creates in this town. They’re certainly not perfect and most of them face struggles that we can all understand in some way… but Shalvis writes stories that sweep me up and take me away to a land of hot, sexy men who have a way of making me want to forgive all their silly man mistakes.

    I’m excited to read what’s coming next in Lucky Harbor, Tanner’s story. I can’t wait to learn a bit more about Lucille’s granddaughter Callie… I feel like Tanner may have met his match!

    If you haven’t started the Lucky Harbor series, what are you waiting for? Shalvis will make you forget your worries for the few hours it takes you to read each book!

    Thank you to Grand Central and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts!

    |


  3. REVIEW: Remember Me by Romily Bernard

    Friday, September 19, 2014

    REMEMBER ME (FIND ME, #2)
    By: Romily Bernard
    Publication Date: September 23, 2014
    Remember Me (Find Me, #2)

    In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?

    Wick had thought her troubles were over.

    But she should’ve known better.

    Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

    The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

    About Romily
    Romily BernardI graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.

    So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.




    Erin's Thoughts

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    How long do I have to wait for the next book?

    Remember Me is book two in the Find Me series and to say that I have been looking forward to this one since I finished Find Me is probably an understatement. I loved that book mostly because of the characters (don’t get me wrong, the story was great) and I was excited to see them return in this second book. I will do my best to not include any spoilers here but don’t get mad at me if you see something you didn’t want to know.

    Wick is still her usual sarcastic, computer nerd self and I love her. She is one of those characters that, if I knew her in real life, I would want to be friends with her. Her inner dialogue is awesome and I literally laughed out loud by page 13 (when you read it, you will know) and my sister looked at me like I was a bit crazy. Regardless, she happens to be on my list of favorite characters and not only because of her wit. She is also smart, loyal, and is willing to do anything for the people she loves.

    Griff is also back and super swoony and he makes me want to crawl into this book and hug him. Every time he calls her Wicked…*sigh*. Also, with Griff, Wick can be honest and show him what she is really going through. She even calls out how out of the blue he will say something that is completely unexpected and it makes her “melty.” I love that he can do that to her and she has accepted it for what it is…Griff being Griff. He is also willing to do anything to protect Wick even if he doesn’t really agree with what she is doing and, trust me, there is a lot she is doing in this book that he isn’t on board with. I can’t lie, a lot of my tags in the book are the swoony parts with Griff.

    This book picks up with Wick being pulled into another mystery. Because of her past, Detective Carson is able to blackmail Wick into helping him close out cases…and she isn’t necessarily providing him information that she obtains legally. When he tells her he wants her to track someone she knows from her past, at first she tries to get out of it but when he starts to threaten her sister, Bren, and Griff, she knows she needs to do what he wants. What she agrees to is getting a tracking device on a guy named Baines and to do it, she has to go to a party with Bren for Judge Bay. Eventually she gets pulled into a murder investigation (by Carson) because the judge’s assistant is found murdered at the party.

    While digging into this new case, a lot of other things are going on. One of the bigger items (to Wick at least) is she begins to find out more about her mother’s suicide and what really happened the night she died. Wick starts receiving videos of her mother’s interviews with the police from a while ago with some odd messages attached to them. As she digs deeper, she realizes that her mother isn’t just being questioned…there is more to it than that and the more she finds out about it, the more she realizes that it all ties back to her father and his “colleagues.”

    As Wick begins to dig into things, she realizes she needs new equipment. You may be thinking…so what Erin, why is this important? WELL – it is important because this is where Griff introduces Wick to his computer guy – Milo. Let me be the first to say here that I don’t have a problem with Milo. As a character, he adds another layer to this story and I am very interested in learning more about him. With that said, I am not a huge fan of some things that happen. Now, don’t hate me here but I can’t say much around this because I don’t want to give all the things away.

    As the story moves along, Wick finds out that some people aren’t exactly who she thought they were and she can’t control everything. Those around her also realize that they can’t change who Wick is and I have to say, things aren't all sunshine and unicorns in this book. If you are looking for a story that will take you through a number of emotions, contains quite a bit of action, sarcasm, and swoony bits, definitely check this one out. And if you haven’t started this series, you should go now. Book one was great and I have to say that after reading this book, the next one (Trust Me) has been put onto my Can’t Frickin’ Wait shelf.

    I am sure I rambled a bit here but don't hold it against me...just know that when I do that it usually means I really enjoyed the book - which I did.



    |



  4. What is Flashback Friday you ask?  

    I know... I know... As if you don't have a million and one memes to follow! BUT we're hoping that you might want to participate in just one more!  

    If you're like us, you read a lot... you add a ton to your 'to be read' lists and you sometimes forget about some amazing things because they get pushed down either your favorites list or that pile of books you need to read.  That doesn't mean those books are no less amazing!

    This is a way for us to highlight books that are older that maybe don't get as much recognition now because they have been out for a while.  Books that we read and loved or books that have been on our To Be Read lists for ages, but we just haven't gotten around to them yet.  

    On to the details - Pick a book... any book that meets the following criteria:  

    1.  Must have been published at least 2 years ago or 
    2.  Preferably is still in print or available to read

    Grab our button or make your own then simply feature it on your blog... See the example below, and then come back here and link us up!! AND Spread the word!!
    Jaime's Pick
    ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD
    By: Kendare Blake
    Publication Date:  October 17, 2011

    I really loved this book - I think this falls in the horror genre, but it's also a wonderfully done boy pov. I found by the end of the book that I had a slight crush on Cas, and book 2 was just as wonderful!  If you haven't read this one yet get to it soon! 
    Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

    So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

    Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

    Yet she spares Cas's life.


    ABOUT KENDARE
    So, I write books. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are horror, The Goddess War books are mythology, and Sleepwalk Society is contemporary. Different genres, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind. 

    There's more coming soon like Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and Ungodly in 2015, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end. 

    My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

    Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and great authors to be in charge of our days, and our nights.

    We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.


     Social Media FacebookSocial Media GoodreadsSocial Media Twitter
    Erin's Pick
    ULTRAVIOLET
    By: R.J. Anderson
    Publication Date: June 2, 2011

    I ended up picking up this book out of the blue and absolutely loved it.  The main character has something called synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that has her seeing sounds and tasting colors.  There is a mystery here and as the reader you have to figure out what happened to make Alison confess to murder...when no one knows what really happened. 

    Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)

    Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
    This is not her story.
    Unless you count the part where I killed her.


    Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

    ABOUT R.J.
    Author Photo - RJAR. J. (Rebecca Joan) Anderson was born in Uganda, raised in Ontario, went to school in New Jersey, and has spent much of her life dreaming of other worlds entirely.

    As a child she immersed herself in fairy tales, mythology, and the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and E. Nesbit; later she found inspiration in books by Ursula LeGuin, Patricia A. McKillip and Robin McKinley, and learned to take as much pleasure from their language as the stories they told.

    Now married and a mother of three, Rebecca reads to her sons the classic works of fantasy and science fiction that enlivened her own childhood, and tries to bring a similar excitement and timeless wonder to the novels she writes for children and teens. She currently lives in the beautiful theatre town of Stratford, Ontario.
     Social Media FacebookSocial Media GoodreadsSocial Media Twitter
    |



  5. When we were asked if we wanted to take part in the Blog Tour for Paula Weston's Rephaim series... there was no hesitation!  We love these books... enough that I even order them from Australia (And pay the god awful shipping) just so that I can get a copy as soon as possible. (if you don't already know this, the books release waaaaay earlier over there than here!)  That said, I have read the next book in the series and OMG THERE WAS FLAILING!  I'm so excited for the next and if you haven't started this series yet, please go grab book 1 - Shadows ASAP!  READ MY REVIEW HERE We also had the chance to ask Paula a few questions so make sure you check out our interview down below!! 
    Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed. 

    But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive. 

    And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.


    ABOUT PAULA
    I'm the author of the Rephaim series.I'm also an avid reader and blogger, a huge fan of Australian literature and fantasy/paranormal stories, a closet comic reader and TV addict...and I'm borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters.








    Where did the idea for The Rephaim Series come from?

    Shadows started as a scene with a girl and guy who were attracted to each other, but who had a complicated history that only he remembered. I knew there were supernatural elements in how she’d lost her memory and that they were both part of a wider conflict. When I started researching world-building options to work out their story, I came across the Book of Enoch. It’s a two-thousand-year-old text that talks about angels being kicked out of heaven for getting a little too friendly with human women (a book not considered doctrine by mainstream churches). I got to thinking about what would happen if those angels got free again and fathered children. And then what the consequences would be for those half-angels, and how that could relate to my two characters. From there, the world of the Rephaim was born and Gaby and Rafa’s story came together. One of the main drivers for the series for me has been the fractured nature of the Rephaim society, and if there can be hope for broken relationships (whether they been romantic, friendship or family). I knew early on it would take four books to unfold the story the way I wanted to.

    What is the weirdest thing you googled while researching for this series? 

    Wow, there are so many… Top 3: ‘how to sharpen a katana’, ‘shark-bite wounds’ (obviously ‘hellion bite’ wasn’t going to return scientific results) and ‘demon names’.

    What has been your favorite scene to write and why?

    That’s a tough one. I always have fun writing the scenes where Gaby and Rafa are arguing (particularly in Shadows, when Rafa is giving her a hard time when she first meets Ez and Zak, and in Haze, when they arrive in Dubai). I also enjoyed exploring Gaby’s friendship with Micah in Shimmer (sorry, I know that’s not out in your part of the world until 2015!) because it was a chance to show a different side to both of them. But if I had to pick one single scene as my favourite, I’d have to say it’s one I’ve recently written for Burn (still in draft form), so I can’t tell you about it!

    Were there any scenes that had to be cut that you wish would have stayed in?

    In Haze, I originally had a scene in Dubai with Ez, Zak, Gaby and Rafa playing cards while they waited to go to LA. It was a lighter scene that showed the dynamic between all four of them at that moment in the story. We (my editor and I) decided to drop it and slightly re-work the order of events in Dubai because it didn’t quite work with the pacing. Haze works better without it, but I did quite like it. 

    Did any of your characters surprise you by doing something you didn’t expect?

    Mya surprised me a couple of times, especially in Haze when the Outcasts go to LA. Her reaction outside the nightclub wasn’t something I’d been planning, but it fit nicely with the layers I wanted to create for her, so I went with it. 

    And Malachi. I originally thought he’d be more like Daniel, but – while he’s not particularly lovable – he turned out to be less antagonistic, and that definitely shaped his growth in Haze and Shimmer. 

    Did you always know how the story will end or have major things changed as you’re writing?

    I’ve always known generally how the story will end, but the fine detail only really took shape once I started writing Burn. There have been a couple of things that have changed, mostly about how everything comes together in the last quarter of Burn, but all within the general ball park of what I’d planned. All the general plot threads have stayed pretty steady and my plans for Gaby and Rafa, and Gaby and Jude, are how I’ve intended them to be (even if there have been slight changes in the execution along the way).

    What are you currently reading? What books boys make you swoon?

    I’m currently reading Head of the River by Pip Harry.

    My favourite swoony book boys would be Jonah Griggs from On The Jellicoe Road and Finnikin from Finnikin of the Rock (both by Melina Marchetta); Ed in Graffiti Moon (Cath Crowley); Mycroft in Every Breath (Ellie Marney); Cole in Linger/Forever (Maggie Stiefvater) Four in Divergent (Veronica Roth); and I still have a soft spot for Adrian in The Vampire Academy series (Richelle Mead).

    Do you have a dream cast, because we would love to see this on the big screen! 

    Thanks! It’s not so much a dream cast, but photos where an actor has the right ‘feel’, even if they’re no longer age appropriate! (But can I say, I’m happy for readers to picture my characters however works for them.)

    Gaby (Mila Kunis)
    Rafa (Charlie Hunnam before the beard)

    Jude (Taylor Kitsch)

    Any advice for aspiring writers?

    My advice is the same you’ll hear from most writers: read lots (so you get a feel for good storytelling), write lots (so you can discover your own voice and style) and finish what you start. 

    What’s next for you? Are you working on anything right now that you can tell us about? 

    I’m working on Burn (Rephaim #4) right now, and then I’m going to start on a new stand-alone novel that has nothing to do with angels or demons, but will still sit somewhere in the speculative fiction spectrum. I’m quite excited about it, and hopefully it will distract me from the fact I’ll be saying goodbye to the Rephaim.

    5 Favorites
    Favorite Song (right now) 
    Love You Deserve by Stonefield (an Australian band of four teenage sisters who play like 1970s rockers) Love them.
    Favorite Book (right now) – The Girl with All The Gifts by MR Carey
    Favorite TV Show/Movie  - Friday Night Lights (TV show – still!). And Orphan Black.
    Favorite Word – epiphany 
    Favorite Snack – chocolate coated coffee beans

    Jaime's Thoughts
    Haze by Paula Weston
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    4.5 stars - I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I’ve tried writing this review a handful of times and stopped because I wasn’t quite sure what to tell you. This has become one of my favorite series out there … enough that I bought the books from overseas because I couldn’t wait until they finally came out here.

    Haze actually picks up shortly after book 1, Shadows. Gaby is no longer having the nightmares that brought her and Rafa together, but she still struggles with remembering her other life. The life where she and her brother Jude were at odds. Mystery still plays a big part in this story because Gaby has no idea what happened with Jude… what caused the accident that has her believing he is dead and the question arises as to whether Jude is truly gone. Rafa is convinced he’s not.

    Gaby struggles with moving forward… and continues to find reason after reason not to go on the search, which kind of stalls the progression of the plot of this story, but in no way took away from the enjoyment of reading for me. I can understand her struggle with hoping that Jude is still alive and I can understand her hesitancy to find out the truth about what actually happened a year ago. That doesn’t mean I’m not impatient and want her to suck it up and get going. I love Gaby. She has her vulnerable and soft side, but we almost never see it. She’s kick-ass and tough and snarky.

    Rafa glances at me as we walk. His hair looks fairer out here in the sunlight. Right now I’d like to run my fingers through it, get a good handful, and smack his head into the brick wall we’re passing.

    We do get to see some relationship type of things develop between her and Rafa here. But I have to say that the more Rafa refuses to tell Gaby about their past the more I’m curious to know exactly what kind of past it was. It only makes me more eager for Gaby to get all her memories back, and yet I'm afraid of what those memories will bring.

    Rafa of course is arrogant, sexy and brooding … he’s determined to find Jude, but he needs Gaby’s help.

    "But what if we can’t find Jude?"

    He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. "We will."

    "How can you be so sure?" I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember.

    "Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to."


    I love that the story hasn’t become about the romance between Gaby and Rafa … it’s hovering out there in the distance, and we get bits and pieces of it, but it’s not what Weston is focusing on. Instead we get to see snippets of the evolution of their relationship… the tenderness that Rafa is starting to show towards Gaby, the confusion that Gaby has because of her missing memories and how that impacts them together… I am really loving how Weston is pacing this part of the story. But what I really love about these two is that Rafa sees her strength and pushes her to try to remember who she used to be. Despite the fact that it may change her feelings for him going forward.

    All that said, what Gaby’s stalling early on in the story does lead to, is a handful of subplots that while interesting, kind of slowed the book down a bit. We are drawn into several other dramas before we get to the meat of the story that I really had been dying for since the end of Shadows. Don’t get me wrong, they are interesting in their own right and definitely add to the overall arc of the story, but I was dying for these two to get to Melbourne. Let me just say I was so excited when we finally got there. We readers got some resolution!

    And that’s all I’ll say about that.

    What I will say is this – if you aren’t reading this series yet, go get it. Weston has created vibrant, wonderful characters that jump off the page and a story that will have you captivated from the start of book 1. If you’re looking for something amazing in the paranormal / fantasy genre then this series should be on top of your list. Filled with mystery, action, humor and romance… there is a little bit of something for everyone and the end will have you begging for the next book. I know I am!

    |