Tag Archive | 3.5 stars

Review: Temptation

TemptationTemptation (Temptation #1) by Karen Ann Hopkins

Book description (from Goodreads) –

Your heart misleads you.

That’s what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.
And he loves me.

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms.

It should be ROSE & NOAH forever, easy.

But it won’t be.

Because he’s Amish.

And I’m not.

Review

I love stories about forbidden romance – they just seem so romantic – and in Karen Ann Hopkins’ Temptation, the relationship between Rose and Noah is definitely forbidden. While there are sweet moments between Rose and Noah, I didn’t get swept away by their story. I feel that the reason for this is because there were several times while reading the novel that I found myself getting irritated and annoyed with Noah.

Noah is Amish and as such he has been raised in an Amish community with strong beliefs and opinions. Through no fault of his own – it’s just the way he has been raised – Noah also has many strong opinions about the English (as the Amish refer to anyone that is non-Amish). This is where my irritation with Noah lays – the fact that he doesn’t really make an effort to understand Rose’s world. Rose is trying to understand Noah’s lifestyle; she doesn’t understand the reasoning behind a lot of Noah’s Amish beliefs but she makes an effort to understand and take his feelings into consideration. I don’t feel that Noah extends Rose the same courtesy. He expects Rose to be the one to make all the sacrifices – to become Amish.

Their relationship moves very fast; they are just getting to know each other, but because of Noah’s Amish lifestyle they are already discussing marriage. Rose is such a sweet girl and she really does love Noah, but she has to make such serious decisions at such a young age and I don’t think that Noah truly understands how overwhelming it is for her.

I just feel that Noah is quite selfish. He can be – at times – quite the gentleman but his selfishness just over-rides all his gentlemanly qualities. It was just impossible for me to get swept away by the story as there were so many times while reading the novel that I wanted to shout at Noah.

I think the fact that I have such strong opinions about Noah means that author Karen Ann Hopkins did a wonderful job as a story-teller– she got me thinking, she made me feel. I also enjoyed that the story was told in both Noah and Rose’s points of view.

While I didn’t find myself getting swept away by Rose and Noah’s story or swooning over Noah, I will read the sequel because I find the story very intriguing. I just can’t see how a relationship between Noah and Rose is going to work. Will Rose become Amish? Will Noah become English? I’m just so curious as to what author Karen Ann Hopkins has planned for Noah and Rose.

3.5/5

*Thank you to Harlequin Teen Australia for providing me with a copy of Temptation to review.

_____________________________

Published by:  Harlequin Teen Australia
Release date:  August 2012

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Review: Illumine by Alivia Anders

Illumine (Illumine #1) by Alivia Anders

Book description (from Goodreads) –

For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she’s like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they’ve begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.

Review

When Essallie is made the unwilling human sacrifice in a demonic ritual, her life is turned upside down. She may have survived the attempt on her life, but she cannot escape the memories of that night – images of her boyfriend being killed by the demon haunt her. Essallie was the intended victim that night, and she has no idea why the demon was unable to hurt her.

Trying to forget what happened, Essallie moves from New York to the small town of Belfast, Maine to live with her brother, Jayson. All Essallie wants to do is make it through her senior year of high school, but when the demon, Kayden, that was summoned to kill her shows up at her school, Essallie knows that her attempts at a normal life are over.

Kayden informs Essallie that he wants to help her find out who she really is. There has to be a reason why Kayden can’t touch her. The answer comes in a way Essallie never expected – when Essallie gets angry, her skin begins to heat and she can produce blue fire from her hands.

Is Essallie human? Does Kayden really want to help her, or does he have an ulterior motive?

~*~

I love the title and cover of this novel; it suits and captures the story perfectly. Illumine by Alivia Anders is a very intriguing, and at times a little creepy story, that kept me guessing. Throughout the novel there were quite a few moments of mystery, intrigue, and suspense.

The main character, Essallie, is very easy to like and feel empathy for. She finds it hard to fit in at her new school, as rumors of her attempted murder have followed her. She hears the whispers and feels the stares of her fellow students with every step that she takes at school; she can’t outrun her past. Essallie is confused as to what is happening to her, and she is irritated that the only one who can help her find out is the demon who tried to kill her – Kayden.

There is so much mystery surrounding Kayden. Why does he want to help Essallie all of a sudden? Can he be trusted? Kayden is a character that I shouldn’t like at all as he is an evil demon; however, there is something about him that makes him likeable. It’s kind of impossible to hate him.

There were a few times during the novel where I was a little confused by some of the minor details, but I was still able to follow the story line.

Illumine is a suspenseful novel filled with moments of creepiness, that I think fans of television shows such as Supernatural will enjoy. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequel, Obumbrate.

3.5/5

*Thank you to Alivia Anders for providing me with a copy of Illumine to review.

Review: Spellbound by Samantha Combs

Spellbound by Samantha Combs

Book description (from Goodreads) –

Logan Daniels has always led a sheltered life in sleepy, predictable Lancaster, New Hampshire. But when beautiful Serena suddenly appears at school one day, his comfortable existence becomes anything but as he finds himself falling in love with her. There’s something special about Serena Starr. He realizes what it is when he sees her unleash her spells. Soon, a mysterious and foreboding presence settles over his placid home.

Logan and Serena find themselves battling darkness and evil with an ominous mission: it wants Serena and will stop at nothing to have her. Tearing apart Logan’s town, threatening his friends, even causing harm to his family, the demon will spread its doom over every facet of Logan’s once placid life. Logan matures in ways he could never have imagined as he struggles to protect those he loves, including Serena. But he can’t do it alone.

Serena hails from a long line of able and powerful women who will aide in the battle and perhaps settle a score of their own. The strength of the coven and Serena’s love will be behind him, but ultimately this is Logan’s fight to win. But, will he?

Review

When Logan meets the new student at school, Serena, he has no idea just how much she is about to change his life. With an immediate attraction to each other, Logan and Serena find themselves falling in love, but Serena has a secret: She is a witch.

Before she has the chance to tell Logan, he witnesses Serena use magic, when she casts a spell at school without fully realizing it. Logan is about to discover that Serena’s magic is only one of the many secrets hiding in his hometown, secrets that he doesn’t know he is a part of.

A dark force is coming for Serena and it is Logan’s destiny to protect her. Will he embrace his destiny and his future with Serena or will supernatural forces tear them apart?

~*~

Spellbound by Samantha Combs is a novel that combines magic, action and suspense with a sweet romance, to create the perfect novel to introduce younger readers to the supernatural/paranormal romance genre.

When I think of Spellbound the first thing that I think of is the romance between Logan and Serena. Their relationship is very sweet and Samantha Combs perfectly captures the all-consuming feelings of love. Logan and Serena have an immediate attraction to each other and while I did find that they fell in love with each other very quickly, I enjoyed reading about them and seeing their connection grow.

I really liked the character Logan as well as his sister, Jade. Some of their conversations made me smile and it was easy to see how much of a gentleman Logan is. He loves his mother and his sister very much and is very protective of them. I found it a little hard to connect to Serena but I did find her character likeable.

There were many surprising moments throughout the novel. Secrets were revealed, that left me stunned and I liked how Samantha Combs put a unique spin on witches. In Spellbound, a teenage witch is not known by the term witch, they are referred to as a twitch.

As mentioned earlier, Spellbound is a great novel for introducing a younger reader – who has just started reading the young adult genre – into the world of paranormal/supernatural romance. The relationship between Serena and Logan is very sweet and the paranormal and supernatural elements contain action and suspense, that will leave the reader eagerly turning the pages to find out what happens to Serena and Logan next.

An entertaining read that fans of romance and the supernatural will enjoy.

3.5/5

*Thank you to Samantha Combs for providing me with a copy of Spellbound to review.