Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Collector's Society - Review

Let me start all of this just by saying how much I adore this cover.  You guys know I am a cover junkie and this is one of my favorites.  I am 'curiouser and curiouser' to see how they will handle book two's cover since this one is so brilliant! 

Author: Heather Lyon's
Publication Date: October 23, 2014
Publisher: Cerulean Books
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult
Age Recommendation: 17 and up
Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

From the author of the Fate series and The Deep End of the Sea comes a fantastical romantic adventure that has Alice tumbling down the strangest rabbit hole yet.

After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.

It’s there she discovers villains are afoot—ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?

 My Review:

This is one of those books where you have to sit back and question an author's sanity because how the hell did they ever come up with this amazingly insane and totally unique idea if not for a bit of insanity on their parts.  All I can say is thank goodness for Heather Lyon's and her crazy thoughts, Collector's Society is......I can't even explain it, just know that it IS, this quote from the book IS everything.  

“Let us, in this moment, focus on those who find books to be an escape or an extension of their imagination. These readers see, within their mind’s eye, the characters and settings in the pages below their fingers. They feel the emotions woven between worlds. They live through every heartache, every embrace, every terror. Books, to these people, become tangible, living things. The characters they read become genuine souls. – People like this are often accused of living within their fantasies. They’re said to have their noses stuck in books.”  - Van Brunt

Tell me that didn't take your breath for a minute.  I know after I read that passage all I could do was sit there staring at the words wondering at how easily Heather Lyon's summed me as a reader up and yet how utterly complex it all is.  That is this book, it is utterly complex in its simplicity, it is captivating, it is thought provoking, it is beautiful and harsh.  It will suck you right down the 'rabbit hole' and not let you go until the end.  

This is not the Alice of your childhood, this Alice's story has been full of heart ache, battle, love, and loss.  This Alice is a  (hardened) fierce warrior, she is a woman who takes in every detail, a woman who will not back down, this is a strong heroine who will fight her battles proudly and protect those she cares for and those who can not protect themselves.  

"Don't treat me gently, Finn. My looks are deceiving. I will not break, no matter how many times I am thrown to the ground." - Alice 

I am honestly amazed and in awe of her fierceness, this is the Alice you never even realized you wanted when you read Alice in Wonderland.  This is the Alice she had to be and she is amazing.  

The Collector's Society is told form Alice's point of view (single person POV) and while I normally like to hear the thoughts of all the main characters I found that Alice is all you need here.  She is a strong voice (as our fierce warrior should be) and I never felt as though my understanding of events was lacking even though it was all one sided.  I will say I would definitely not mind a certain some ones POV at a later time. *Grins like the Cheshire Cat*
I know that you have heard me say this other times, but there is only so much I can tell you about this book with out giving things away and I do so hate spoilers.  What I can tell you is this book will pull you in, the concept, the worlds, the characters they live in those pages, you can feel their beating hearts with every turn of the page.  Heather Lyon's does more than write about them she brings them to life in a way that you would never expect.  In a way that tugs at your own heart and begs you to join them; if only we could fall through a 'rabbit hole'.  

"In Paginis Mundus invenimus. In verbis vitam invenimus. In pages, we find worlds. In words, we find life." - Van Brunt

While I consider this to be a fantasy book in genre I recommend this book to everyone.  There is something in here that every reader will love.  Romance, mystery, fantasy, SciFi...  There is a poetry to Heather's words that will captivate you a realness to her characters that will make you wonder if we aren't all just a character in our own Timelines.  I can honestly not say enough good things about this book, it is absolutely one of my favorite reads of the year and I am so anxious for more.  It may take you a minute to figure out what is going on, but once you do you will be amazed and hooked!  Do not miss this book!!!!

 * P.S. don't worry about writing down all the books and trying desperately to figure out who came from where...Heather seemingly knew that we readers would have minor palpitations trying to keep them all straight, figure them all out and gave us a lovely little bibliography in the back.  Breathe deep readers and just let yourself go into this amazing world! *

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—she’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All Broke Down - Release Day Launch

ABD RDL Banner   

 I am extremely excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack's ALL BROKE DOWN!! I have been so anxious for this book since the minute Silas came into the picture in All Lined Up and am so happy he git his book so quickly!

ALL BROKE DOWN is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 2nd book in The Rusk University Series. the 2nd  book in The Rusk University Series. 

All Broke Down

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes


 Book Description:

 In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love. Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one. Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all. 

 ABD Teaser 1  


I think I get it then. That decision I saw in her eyes back in the kitchen. That’s what this, what I’m about for her, too. I’m just another part of whatever rebellion she started earlier today. About doing what she wants, not what’s expected of her. “We’re not talking about me, though,” she says. “So you went to meet your friend, and then what happened?” She keeps her eyes down as she picks up the gauze and begins winding it snugly around the knuckles of one hand, and then the other. “He said the wrong thing.” “Which was?” “Dylan.” Now it’s her that’s pushing too hard. I didn’t want to talk about things with my friends, and I won’t talk about them with her, either, no matter how gorgeous she is. “I’ll guess. You were mad about what he did, and he wasn’t sorry.” “This isn’t middle school, Pickle. He didn’t hurt my feelings. He said some shit he had no business saying, and it pissed me off. The end.” “But you don’t think some of that anger stems from what you feel is a betrayal of your friendship?” She finishes taping down the last of the gauze, but doesn’t let go of my hand. “I think you’re analyzing me again. Making things more complicated than they are.” “And I think you’re just a guy who doesn’t like to admit he has feelings.” She drags out the word, teasing me with some goofy smile on her face. I turn my hand over so I can clutch her wrist. I curlmy other bandaged hand around her waist and pull her closer. “I feel plenty of things.” The teasing stops. She swallows. “I wasn’t talking about that kind of feeling.” With her standing and me sitting, I’m eye level with her chest. I see the sharp rise and fall as she sucks in a breath. I want her in my lap again, straddling me this time. “Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about that kind of feeling. Or experiment with it.” “Is that Stella girl an ex?” I cough, surprised. My throat twists uncomfortably, and it takes me a couple of solid breaths to get a hold on myself. “Ah, no. Stella and I have never dated.” “Have you—” “Do you ever run out of questions?” “Not ever.” She turns playful again, and I’m done doing this the careful way. If she wants a rebellion, I’ll be the one to give it to her. I want her against me, and I’m tired of waiting. I pull her forward, insinuating my knees between hers, and her body naturally follows, settling across my thighs. Her lips part, but she catches herself before she gasps this time. I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.” Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment. “Okay then. Are you—” I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.” I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

All Lined Up

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes



HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.      

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Author Goodreads ~ ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads


ABD Teaser 3

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Love in the City - Series Tour and Reviews

Book One - Wanted By You 

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo


Author: Steph Nuss
Publication Date: February 23rd 2014
Publisher: Bandit Publishing
Series: Love in the City, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Age Recommendation: 17 and Up
Rating: 4 stars
Book Description:

Carter was captivated by Ellyson Evans the moment he laid eyes on her,
but she was the one girl who didn't beg for his attention.
He wanted her.
Ellyson vowed to never fall in love, because love can destroy you,
but then she met Carter Jennings.
She wanted him.
Unwilling to risk their comfortable friendship, neither confessed their desires.
Losing touch after college, a chance meeting reconnects them.
They want each other.
But love in the city is never quite that easy.

My Review:

Wanted by you is a charming story of friendship and love.  Carter and Elly became fast friends their first day of college both secretly harboring feelings for the other, but each afraid to act on it and loose the friendship.

"Looking up at me through long brown lashes, she tapped her bottle with mine.  "To new friends."  My skin burned from the trails her eyes made over my body and I immediately regretted using the term "friends."  I definitely wanted to be a lot more than friends with Ellyson." -Carter

Sadly after college they are pulled apart by Carter's obligations to his family and while they at first try to remain in touch as the years pass they loose contact, but never stop looking back on their time together and thinking of one another.  Five years later Carter finds himself  'free' and moving back to New York to work as a professor at this alma mater with thoughts of  Elly running through his head.  

I enjoyed how sweet and simple this story is.  This is not a love story fill of angst and heart break.  No love triangles that make you want to choke someone (although I wouldn't mind getting my hands on Carter's mom, lol), no major disasters.  Just a sweet tale with a few difficult moments (as in any relationship) that Steph Nuss deals with beautifully.  

Carter is the sweet, caring, intelligent, good looking boyfriend we all want.  The guy that will take care of you when your sick, love you through your worst days, and when needed give you a good ravishing.

Elly is the quiet naturally beautiful girl next door.  The girl that has learned to live with heart ache and never looks at herself as anything special even when everyone around her sees how amazing she truly is.  

I loved meeting all the characters of the Love in the City series in this first book and I am looking forward to seeing how each of their stories unfolds and how they twine together.  I think one of my favorite characters is Elly's dad Keith.  His love for his daughter is a beautiful thing and the way Steph Nuss incorporates Elly's mom into the story is so touching.  It made me want to go snatch up my daughters and hug them for hours. 

If you are looking for a sweet, fairly realistic ( I say fairly just because everything falls together so perfectly) love story that will leave your heart full of happiness and maybe a few tears this is the perfect romantic tale for you. 

Pinterest Board for Wanted By You:

Book Two -   Fantasized By You

Author: Steph Nuss
Publication Date: July 13, 2014
Publisher: Bandit Publishing
Series: Love in the City, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Age Recommendation: 17 and Up
Rating: 4 stars
 Book Description:

Celebrity fashion designer, Harper Jennings is only months away from turning thirty, and her dream of living a happily ever after has yet to come true.
She's given up on her fantasy.
Personal trainer and gym owner, Maverick Jones isn't thrilled about having a designer mentoring in his new clinic, but after meeting the brunette beauty face-to-face, he dreams of having his way with her.
He's ready to turn his fantasy into reality.
But when their fantasies collide, love in the city becomes more complicated than they ever imagined.

My Review:

Book two, Fantasized by You, in the Love in the City series is another sweet romantic tale, although with a bit more grit and a little bit of angst then we saw in the first book, but it works perfectly for this couple. 

Mav is a bit of a tattooed playboy trying to break away from the past of his parents failed marriage, running his successful gym, Jones Jym, and trying to make something wonderful out of the tragic loss of a friend and a huge chip on his shoulder against the fashion industry for the role he believes it played in his friends death.

Harper is a renowned fashion designer trying to find a way to help others after her own battle with bulimia.  Watching her younger brother, Carter, fall in love she is feeling lost in her own world and is struggling to make her dreams of love and family a reality...until she meets Mav.

I appreciate how Steph Nuss tackles the topic of eating disorders in this books.  She doesn't try and sugar coat it or make it out to be something glamorous.  She lays it out there and does it in a way that makes you think about the physical and social impact eating disorders cause.  I especially enjoy how Harper handles Kingston, knowing that while she needs to be understanding and caring she also has to be tough with her to make her understand what anorexia is doing to Kingston's future.

"I swallowed hard, and told myself I had to be strong or else I wasn't going to get anywhere with her.  She was just a kid, and I never wanted to play the bitch card with her.  But I did it anyway, "I'd never let you walk for me."" -Harper 

Not only does Steph Nuss tackle the difficult subject of eating disorders in this book she also brings in stalking which after the last few days has become particularly scary for all bloggers and authors out there.  I would have liked to have seen her go deeper into both of the subjects but I know the focus of the book is the love between Harper and Mav and she could have had a very long book on her hands had she tried to delve more into the psyche of Kingston and Diana.  

Mav and Harper's love story while it moves fast is again another realistic tale, that Steph Nuss does well.  This is a 'grown-up' love story.  Don't look for whisy-washy feelings from the two of these characters, they both know what they want and they know how to get it. 

I again enjoyed getting to know more about the other character's in the series and am really looking forward to Fletcher's story (Book 3), I can not quite imagine how it will play out compared to the last two as he comes across as such a smart ass in this book.

Again, if you are looking for a sweet easy romance to read this is the perfect book for you.  It does tackle some more difficult subjects, but Steph Nuss does it elegantly and ties things up nicely.  

All of these books can be read as stand-alone's which I really like, each story is wrapped up at the end with no cliff hangers and you are given a peak into the next story through out the book. 

Pinterest Board for Fantasized By You:

The Cast of the Love in the City series:

Book Three - Pleasured By You 
Expected Release Date: January 20th, 2015
The Love in the City series continues with Bayler and Fletcher's story.

Pleasured By You (Love in the City, #3)

Steph Nuss was born and raised in rural Kansas, where she currently resides with her black Labrador son named Gunner. She grew up with a passion for reading and writing. When she’s not immersed into the land of fiction, she enjoys listening to music that came before her time, watching movies and reruns of her favorite shows, and hanging out with her family and friends. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology that she’ll never use…unless she’s profiling her characters of course.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rowdy - Release Day Launch

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I am thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for ROWDY by Jay Crownover!!I love this series and this is in the running for one of my favorite books in the series.  

Sorry Rowdy but I think Rome will always have my heart, but you almost knocked him of that tower!  :-)

ROWDY is the fifth novel in her Marked Men Series published by William Morrow, and imprint of HarperCollins and you do NOT want to miss it!



Amazon US ~ iBooks ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo ~ IndieBound

Book Description:

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances. After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned. Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister. Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good. 

Rowdy Teaser 2    


 WHEN I PUT THE key he had given me in the door to his apartment it felt like the end of a long journey. Really it was only a little over twelve hours and I had stopped to nap once along the way, but it still felt like too long since I had seen his face or been able to touch all that toned and tattooed skin. Jimbo greeted me at the door when I pushed it open. His tongue lolled out of his mouth and he jumped up and put his paws on my legs. He was going to be huge when he finally grew into his fuzzy body and I was overwhelmed at how happy I was to see him. I dropped to my knees and rubbed my face in his neck as he licked me all over my face. I was obviously missed and I had to say it was just one more reason I knew I was finally where I was supposed to be. It was late, so the apartment was dark. I checked the dog’s food and water, trying to be quiet in case Rowdy was already asleep. I was winding my way toward his bedroom when a haphazardly discarded sketch pad lying on the couch caught my eye in the dim light. I paused for a minute to pick it up and felt my heart stop and then start to race as I flipped through the first few pages. There were a couple of drawings that were obviously for clients, tattoos that hadn’t made it from paper to skin yet, but most of the pristine white pages were covered with images wearing my face. There was mermaid me, and naughty- sailor- girl me. There was sassy Indian girl me with long Pocahontas braids and there was sexy devil me standing next to angelic me. There were dozens of them all in different shapes and sizes, but every single image was undoubtedly modeled after my distinct look. I wasn’t sure if he had drawn them all over this last week while I had been gone or over the months we had been chasing each other in circles. Either way it made my heart swell and the full certainty that I was it for him settle deep inside my bones. I set the pad down and tiptoed through the hall. Jimbo took one look at where I was going and huffed out a disgusted- sounding snort. The poor guy had learned early on that he wanted no part of what happened between his humans when they were together in the bedroom. The light was off and Rowdy was sprawled on his stomach across the covers. His blond hair was sticking up every- where and he hand one arm bent up under his head. The only thing that could have made the sight better would have been if he hadn’t bothered with the black boxers before crashing out. Even with them obscuring the view, I couldn’t complain. I let out a breathless sigh and crept closer so that I could lean over and touch my lips to that anchor on the side of his neck. I felt his pulse leap and tasted the salt on his skin as he murmured sleepily and rolled over onto his back. Those infinitely blue eyes glowed at me in the dark as a grin pulled up the corner of his mouth. “Hey.”  
Sensual portrait of beautiful girl with tattoo lying on bed.

  About Jay Crownover: Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this last summer starting with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Stone Cold Touch - Release Day

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I am over the moon thrilled to help in bringing you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's STONE COLD TOUCH! 

STONE COLD TOUCH is the second full-length novel in Jennifer's The Dark Elements Series, a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen!!

  Cold Stone Touch

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo ~ iTunes

  Book Description:  

Every touch has its price Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could. But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay... 

SCT available now 


 I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there. I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings. It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself. Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron. After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey. Where r u? R u skipping, u ho? A minute later: Your locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp? Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts. Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this. Bio is lonely. My boobs miss u. How weird is that? That was notably weird and yet not surprising. If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault. Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!? Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them. U have no idea who just walked into bio!!! Roth is here! Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this? Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing? A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect. Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one. He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t. Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead. “What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open. 


****And don't forget! The choice is yours... Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website,, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath. At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick. To prevent early spoilers, we're not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait! Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to and vote for your choice!

I know who I want it to be do you? Leave a comment letting me know...I am so curious.

Author Photo  About Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.   She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.  

Series Website | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads | STONE COLD TOUCH Goodr

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Outlanders - Review

Author: Erin Rhew
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: BookFish Books LLC
Series: The Fulfillment Series, Book Two
Genre:Older YA, Paranormal, Romance
Age Recommendation: 16 and up
Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:
With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts herposition, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened aftercenturies of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discoveras much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.  

My Review:

I am sitting here staring at my computer trying to think of the best way to describe this tale.  A tale full of mystery, intrigue, danger, friendships, and love.  Oh the love, this book is the mother of all love triangles.  I typically am not one to get all wishy-washy about who I believe should be together.  It doesn't always work out the way I hope, but I almost always am able to say who I think it should be, but not in this story.  I am so torn up about the love triangle in this that I can barely see straight. Who will it be in the end Layla and Wil or Layla and Nash and who do I want it to be? Gah, I have no idea thy are both two halves of an amazing whole...really I think maybe they should just all live together in some happy little three-some so I can find peace and no one gets hurt, haha.

The story of The Outlanders picks up right where we left off in The Prophecy.  The battle between the two armies has been fought, but the battle for the Kingdom, for peace and for Wil continues.

Wil has been struck down by 'King' Vance and we watch as he slowly begins to slip away.  He's given the kingdom to Nash and Layla as well as given them his blessing.

"A crackle pierced the air as the energy coursing between the three intensified.  Wil believed it to be a sign from the First Ones, a confirmation of his choice.  He would die loving Layla and she would live loving Nash." -Wil 

With Wil on his deathbed, the kingdom of Etherea in turmoil Nash, Layla and the Queen Mother will be lead to make difficult and painful choices while struggling to understand the secrets of the First Ones, and their roles in the prophecy.  Add to that a new player to the game, Mia...self-proclaimed Fulfillment.  Could she be the real Fulfillment and not Layla or is she playing her own dangerous game?

Layla is as strong as ever.  I loved in The Prophecy how she never backed down.  Does she question herself everyday, her faith waivers, her belief in who to trust falters, but she never gives up on doing what she knows to be right.  She is loyal to her family, to her friends, and she is trying to be loyal to her heart.  The last proving to be the most difficult.  I suppose that is the only thing that truly bothers me when it comes to Layla her back and forth and indecision when it comes to loving Nash and Wil, but then again with Elder Werrick's binding, the turmoil that she is continually thrown into and the fact that she spends so little time with Wil or Nash individually I can understand her not being able to differentiate between platonic love and 'physical' love.  

I missed seeing more of Nash this book, his situation takes him out of much of the action and I would have really liked to have gotten to know him better...but that leaves me to hope in the next book we will see more of him.  What I can say about Nash is that my heart is breaking for him.  I don't know where his story is going, but I am afraid it will be one rife with heart ache and disappointment.  Please, Please prove me wrong Erin Rhew.  He is an amazing character, (as are Wil, and Layla) strong, loyal, and caring.  I suppose he would be considered the bad boy of the trio, but considering what he learns about his family and they way he grew up you can't blame him.  Also his bad boy streak is simply his need to take care of those he loves and he will do it his way. 

Quick discussion on Mia...I don't like her, I don't trust her and neither should you, haha.  I don't know what she has planned but I think someone could use a little torture to get it out of her.  She's cunning (or at least trying to be) and she's using everyone for her own benefit I just wish I knew what it was exactly.  She's always there, but a bit in the background.  I think that would be my only negative for this book.  Mia is brought in as this new integral character but by the end we really know nothing about her and seriously I just want her gone, haha. 

"Everything about Mia felt wrong.  The girl, who looked so much like Layla, just happened to be where Samson could find her and came with him to the home of her enemy without any resistance?" -Layla

All in all I am really loving this tale and am so glad to have had he opportunity to read it.  I think Erin Rhew does an amazing job building the world these characters live in.  Her characters are characters that you can't help but love (well, except Mia *wink*) and feel for.  They are loyal and dedicated to one another, something we don't see a lot of these days. I'd like the mystery to unfold a bit faster, but that is simply because I lack patience and I want to know what is going to happen.  We've been left with another cliffhanger, left not knowing what is happening to Nash, but knowing he's likely broken, left with out answers about Mia, and left still in the midst of this love triangle that is going to leave my heart a achy mess on the floor I am afraid.

This is a wonderful story for any one who loves paranormal or fantasy books.  Don't let this one pass you by! 

Book Excerpt:

Everything about Mia felt wrong. The girl, who looked so much like Layla, just happened to be where Samson could find her and came with him to the home of her enemy without any resistance? Whole generations of Ecclesiastics searched for entire lifetimes and never found the Fulfillment, yet Samson encountered two potentials in short succession. She couldn’t pinpoint the reason for her unease, but something tickled the back of her mind, inching toward the surface with painstaking sluggishness.

“I don’t understand why she would just come with you to Etherea.” Layla struggled to keep her voice level and calm to avoid raising Samson’s hackles.

            “She didn’t have anywhere else to go. Vance killed her family in Vanguard.”

            Layla made a mental note to confirm Samson’s version of the story with the information Nash managed to extract from Mia. “If she’s a Vanguard, why would she come with you to Etherea?”

            “You came here,” Samson shot back, his inexplicable protectiveness for the mystery girl heightening her concern.

            She treaded with care. “Well, some insane man in a black and purple robe stole my brother, so I didn’t really have a choice.”

            Mia stared at the young man before her with a mixture of curiosity and weariness. She understood why others found him so handsome—rich, dark hair and those shocking green eyes. If she succeeded, he would be her…she stopped herself, determined to keep her mind clear. She had to give off an air of mystery, to lure the Ethereals into her web so they followed her plan. More than anything, she needed them to follow her plan, so much depended on it. She could not slip up. She could not make a mistake.

            Taking a steadying breath, she refocused her thoughts and slid her amethyst colored eyes across the prince in front her. She wouldn’t even think his name or give any indication she already knew about him. She had to forget how much she’d been told about him…how much she’d been told about them all. Feigning ignorance factored into her plan.

            “Who are you?” he asked, after spending an inordinate amount of time regarding her.

            She noted how his gaze bounced from her eyes to her hair and back again. As planned, her appearance intrigued him. Though he’d asked a different question, she heard the real one layered beneath it. He wanted to know why she resembled the proclaimed Fulfillment. That question would then lead him to an inevitable one…could Mia be the Fulfillment instead of Layla? And if she were the Fulfillment, what did that mean for him? For Wil? For Layla?

            “I’m Mia.” She almost grinned, pleased she’d answered his question but given him nothing more. When his lips twisted, her grin broke into a full smile at his evident irritation. “And you are?”

            He hesitated. “Nash, brother of the king.”

            “The injured king?” He flinched, a subtle movement most might miss, but she caught it.

            “According to our friend, Samson, you’re an Outlander.”

            “He found me in the Outlands.” The less Nash knew, the better.

            Frustration flickered across his face, marring his otherwise handsome features. She smiled to herself, not trusting his patience should her lips turn up yet again.

            “Sooo,” he dragged out the word. “Are you an Outlander?”

            “No. I’m a Vanguard.”

            Nash cocked his head to the right. “Why were you in the Outlands then?”

            “I went to escape Vance’s oppression.” Mia stared at the wall behind him until her vision blurred. She willed tears to form. Given the pressure she’d been under, summoning them proved easier than she expected. When the familiar tight burning started near her lids, she blinked at the prince. He shifted in his seat. Mia wanted to snort at his reaction. Tears always made men uncomfortable. “Vance killed my family.” She paused and swallowed, hoping he believed she needed a moment to collect herself. “I ran as far as I could and ended up in the Outlands. Samson found me.”

            Nash cleared his throat and shifted again; she increased the flow of her tears in reply.           “What do you know about the Outlands?”

            “Very little.” She sniffed. Looking as pathetic as she could manage, she attempted to wipe her eyes, an impossible feat given her bound hands. Nash frowned as his gaze landed on her restraints. She bid him to unbind her hands, and for a moment, she believed he might. To her disappointment, he gripped the side of his chair until his knuckles turned white and left her tied up. Mia ground her teeth.

            “Do you believe you are the Fulfillment?” Nash kept his voice steady despite the turmoil she read upon his face.

            Mia waited a moment to respond, both to further escalate his frustration and to collect herself. In this moment, she needed to be most convincing, to begin what she’d been tasked to set in motion. She gestured with her chin, drawing Nash’s attention to the blazing “F” upon her upper arm. The dark purple birthmark matched the shade of her eyes.

            “The First Ones speak for themselves.”

            Nash shook his head. “It’s too obvious.”

            Mia’s head jerked back. She struggled to maintain her composure as his reaction, so unexpected, derailed her careful planning. Her mind racing, she grappled for a response.

            “Too obvious?”

            “Yes. See, Mia—” His clear distaste tainted the sound of her own name. “I know about the First Ones.”

            “Who do you think you are? An Ecclesiastic?” She smirked at him, acting like she retained complete control, but her insides knotted. She couldn’t lose her ability to direct the conversation.

            To her surprise, Nash laughed, though she noted no pleasure in it. “The Prophecy states, ‘In a time of war, when the land is divided amongst the two, she, with raven black hair, purple eyes, and a special blessing from the First Ones shall bring peace.’”

            “I think everyone in the three kingdoms and in the Borderlands is familiar with The Prophecy.” Mia rolled her eyes for effect. “What’s your point?”

            “My point is, the special blessing wouldn’t be something as simple as a birthmark. If it were, the First Ones would have just said raven black hair, purple eyes, and an ugly purple ‘F’ on the upper arm.” He flicked his hand toward her arm. “Special blessing is vague, indicating something mysterious. There is nothing mysterious about your birthmark.”

            Mia’s heart pounded as she felt the tables turn and the conversation slip away. “And there is something mysterious about her?”

            The word her hung between them for a moment. Mia took another deep breath, worrying she’d pushed him too far. Beneath his shirt, she saw Nash’s muscles ripple and hoped she’d managed to touch a new nerve.

            Mia clenched her teeth. She hated acting this way, so out of character, but she had to press on. No one could know the truth. She had to win this game…

Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer, Deek Rhew, and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.   

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Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks

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