Emilina Flores, powerless princess of Ruina, has lost everything she holds dear. Her parents were both murdered, her baby sister Olivia kidnapped, and her country torn apart by war. Her lack of Ruined power has lead her enemies to believe she is not a threat, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Determined to rescue her sister, Em has devised a plan to infiltrate the enemy castle by taking the place of Prince Casimir’s intended bride. She plans to discover where her sister Olivia is being held, and help to ensure an attack against the kingdom of Lera, but if she is discovered, it will mean her execution. Once her plan is put into motion, Em finds herself married to Prince Casimir of Lera, the next in line to the Lera throne, and the son of the man who murdered her mother. The marriage between Prince Casimir and Princess Mary had been arranged by the king of Lera, to ensure that the orphaned princess’s lands became his own. Once Em takes her place and marries Prince Casimir, she finds that he is not anything like his father and over time she grows to care for her husband. What will he do when he discovers that she is not who she says she is and will Prince Casimir help her find her sister and save her people or will she find herself another victim of his vicious father?
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Em Flores is a well-constructed character, driven by her anger and her love for her sister. She has suffered at the hands of others and has transformed her pain into pure hatred and a desire for revenge.
Her unchecked need for revenge has made her numb to the actions of herself and others in their mission. However, the realization that Prince Casimir is not the evil young man that she had envisioned, opens her mind to the horrors committed on both sides of the war and allow her to truly see who she has become.
The story line is fast paced, combining riveting action, compelling arguments, heartbreaking confessions, and touching, clean, romance.
The passion, hurt, and anger are realistic and come through to the reader, helping them to connect to the characters and their situations. The circumstances and some of the more minor characters come across as two dimensional, however, their involvement with the main characters is limited to a few points of interest and are not completely unrealistic, despite their lack of depth.
The main characters, and the secondary characters, exhibit depth and strength, and growth of character throughout the story. All of the main and secondary characters exhibit growth and have multiple faucets, both good and bad, to their personality.
This was a wonderful read, which I enjoyed and I hope to read the second installment before too much time has elapsed.
I would recommend this book to fans of “The Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas and “The Orphan Queen” by Jodi Meadows.
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library and have permission from the publishers to use the cover artwork image featured above.
Davis Morgan, a book store owner and former preacher, lives in Adairsville, Georgia. Though he has never been a police officer himself, he enjoys riding in his good friend Charley’s patrol car with him. One night during a terrible storm, Charley is asked to create a road block around a downed power line, and Davis goes with him. After securing the road, they stumble upon a body at the bottom of a large ditch.
This body leads Charley and Davis on an interesting journey that leads back to a cave on the property that Davis’ daughter Amy, and her fiancé, intend to purchase. Now Amy and Jay may be in danger, unless Davis and Charley can solve the mystery before someone ends up seriously hurt.
I found this book to be well written, though there were some missing punctuations, especially in the dialogue, that were rather noticeable. I found a rather substantial amount of missing quotation marks.
Davis Morgan’s character is very interesting, though I felt like there were pieces missing. Though the fact that this is the second book in the series, a fact I was unaware of when I began reading, would probably explain this. Charley seemed much more realistic.
As for the mystery, I found it very interesting that this mystery did not begin with a murder. Besides Sherlock Holmes, I have read very few mystery stories that did not begin with a murder. Perhaps that is my own failing, as there are probably many of them out there. The mystery was interesting for me in this way, but I felt that it lacked depth at points. By the end, I was completely surprised by who was behind the whole mystery.
I must admit I did enjoy this novel though I felt that it could have had more mystery to it.
I would recommend this novel to fans of mystery and self-discovery.
I received my copy of this novel from BookCrash, and have permission from the authors to use an image of the cover artwork featured above.
Bianca Piper is an intelligent seventeen year old girl who values friendship, honesty, and sarcasm. There are a lot of things Bianca hates about high school, but Wesley Rush tops her list. Wesley is one of the hottest guys in their high school but he also happens to be a man-slut, and he calls Bianca “the Duff,” or designated ugly fat friend.
When Bianca’s family life takes a dive off the deep end, she ends up searching for a way to emotionally escape, and ends up locking lips with none other than Wesley Rush. After realizing that kissing Wesley helps her to mentally escape, Bianca and Wesley develop a friends-with-benefits type of relationship, minus the friends part.
The more time Bianca spends with Wesley, however, the more she realizes that he isn’t as bad a man as she thought he was and he is struggling with things just like she is. As time passes, Bianca is shocked to discover that she actually cares about Wesley, the one man that she thought she hated more than anyone else. Could Wesley ever care for a Duff like her?
Before I go any further with my review, I feel the need to inform my readers that I saw the movie first. Ultimately, that didn’t mean much because the book and the movie are not the same story, they are just slightly similar.
When I was a teenager, teenage high school stories and movies never got much worse than the movie “Mean Girls.” When I saw the movie, I was rather shocked by the amount of uncensored honesty.
When I began reading the book, I wasn’t entirely shocked by the content. The pure honesty, though not honest to my own high school experience, is unique and somewhat refreshing. This book also deals with a lot of subjects I think teenagers are dealing with on a daily basis, and that are rarely addressed.
This book dives into sexual relationships, the consequences of such relationships, and family issues such as divorce, dysfunction, and responsibility. It also discusses alcoholic relapses.
Obviously, a large part of this book deals with self-esteem and social judgments. The word “Duff,” designated ugly fat friend, was not originally used to mock or belittle the main character, Bianca. Instead, it was used as a way of pointing out the differences between three friends. To Bianca though, the word was very hurtful. Though Wesley did not understand that the word hurt her, over time, when he continued calling her “Duffy” it ate at her more and more. By the end of the novel, it is revealed to him the impact his words had.
Throughout the novel, we also learn that, at one point or another, we all feel like the duff, and ultimately we are all duffs to somebody.
I would recommend this novel to mature readers who are struggling to understand that they are not the only ones going through difficult times or are struggling with their self-esteem.
I bought my copy of this novel at my local Dollar Tree and am currently seeking permission to use an image of the cover artwork above.
For four years Kate O’Brian has lived a quiet life in the small town of Shelter Cove, Arkansas. Kate entered the Witness Protection Program after testifying against the man who attacked her and murdered her twin sister. When her attacker is released due to faulty evidence, Kate faces a subpoena calling her back to St. Louis to testify again. U. S. Marshal Tony Deluca, who guarded Kate during the first two trials, is sent to Shelter Cove to escort her back to St. Louis. When Kate’s attacker disappears, it becomes a race against the clock to keep Kate safe and stop the Blue-Eyed Serial Killer.
I recently discovered the Defenders of Justice series and I must admit that I am happy I did. This novel is the second installment in the Defenders of Justice series. In this story we have different main characters than we did in book one. There is Kate, a survivor of a vicious crime, and U.S. Marshal Tony Deluca, who helped her get through the original trials. Since the U. S. Marshals are involved in the Witness Protection Program I wasn’t surprised by the fact that Kate was in the program.
I found this novel to be well written and constructed, the characters are well developed and realistic, their struggles understandable and thought provoking. I also found the age gap between the two main characters to be interesting, and I enjoyed the fact that the character of Kate was around my own age.
The night that Kate was attacked, and her sister killed, was something straight out of “Criminal Minds,” though I was thankful that it was not overtly descriptive with all of the horrible things that happened to the two sisters. I love a good mystery, but, for me, the less blood and gore the better.
I live between St. Louis and Arkansas, so reading about the weather in this novel, as well as in book one, was interesting. Though I have not, and hope not to, live through the any mudslides caused by torrential downpours in Arkansas. I am well aware that this does, in fact, occur and can be extremely dangerous to anyone caught out in it. These details helped bring this book to life for me. I must admit though, when Batterson seemed unaware of the danger of the mudslide issue, I was surprised. I understand that the two locations are far apart, however, it struck me as odd.
As for the Blue-Eyed Killer, in the beginning of the novel, he did come off as a very realistic killer. The differences between previous cases and Kate’s attack are substantial, however, could easily be explained due to his own ignorance. Even the most careful killer is human and prone to mistakes.
By the end of the novel, the Blue-Eyed Killer had moved into an almost unrealistic, unbelievable realm. Though I suppose it is possible, it seems highly unlikely.
After reading book one, “Fatal Frost,” I had held some hope that my unanswered questions from that novel would be answered, in at least a small amount, in this novel but they were not, which was somewhat disappointing, though not unexpected. However, you do learn a little bit more about some of the characters in book one, and I hope the same thing will happen again in book three.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Christian romantic suspense.
I received my copy of this novel from the publishers at Bethany House through their book reviewer program for the sole purpose of providing an honest review. I also have permission from the publishers to use an image of the cover artwork above.
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