Standalone Sunday: We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!
Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list

My Standalone Pick this week is: We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union.

BLURB: In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.

ADD TO GOODREADS

I chose this book because I love Gabrielle Union aka Miss Mary Jane. She seems to be a down to earth person and a straight shooter. My husband said it was an interesting look into her life and views. I believe I will enjoy it because she keeps it real.

Midnight Unbound (Midnight Breed #14.6) by Lara Adrian

Series:
Narrator: Hillary Huber

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Midnight Unbound by Lara Adrian
Series: Midnight Breed #14.6
Release Date: March 11th, 2017
Format: Audiobook (3 hrs and 53 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Fantasy, Romance
Published By: Lara Adrian, LLC
Narrator: Hilary Huber

A lethal Breed warrior is called upon by his brethren in the Order to bodyguard a beautiful young widow he’s craved from afar, in this new novella in the “steamy and intense” (Publishers Weekly) Midnight Breed vampire romance series from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian.

As a former Hunter bred to be a killing machine in the hell of Dragos’s lab, Scythe is a dangerous loner whose heart has been steeled by decades of torment and violence. He has no room in his world for love or desire–especially when it comes in the form of a vulnerable, yet courageous, Breedmate in need of protection. Scythe has loved–and lost–once before, and paid a hefty price for the weakness of his emotions. He’s not about to put himself in those chains again, no matter how deeply he hungers for lovely Chiara.

For Chiara Genova, a widow and mother with a young Breed son, the last thing she needs is to put her fate and that of her child in the hands of a lethal male like Scythe. But when she’s targeted by a hidden enemy, the obsidian-eyed assassin is her best hope for survival . . . even at the risk of her heart.

four-half-stars

I loved this book even though I normally prefer full stories to novellas.

Somehow the author made this short story feel familiar so the pace was pretty fast. As I was reading this story, I was wondering, who is Trigg, Savage and Bella and what book were they in. I was able to follow the action well though.

Scythe is a Gen One Warrior created by Dragos back in Deeper than Midnight to be his assassins/hunters. He gets a request from the Order to protect a widow Chiara Genova and her 3 yr old son Pietro, and this loner hunter is forced to interact with the woman he can’t get out of his head for the past few months. Their journey to discover who was after Chiara gave them the opportunity to really get to know each other in an isolated environment, which also created more intimacy.

The way the story was written was so smooth and the author kept the tension and chemistry between Scythe and Chiara so palpable. The narrator had a foreign accent that made the characters extra sexy. The anticipation of them getting to get together kept me reading just as much as the mystery of the stalker’s identity. I was able to deduce that I didn’t read the novella prior to this one and that’s where they were introduced. Scythe and Chiara were a pleasurable couple to read and I am amazed that Lara Adrian keeps this series so engaging.

This couple is one of my favorites in these new Gen One hunter stories. They just fit and this story hit the spot for me.

Ezi

Audiobook Review: Drawn That Way by Bronwyn Green

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Drawn That Way by Bronwyn Green
Series: Bound #2
Release Date: April 9th, 2015
Format: Kindle edition (168 pages)
Genre: Contemporary romance, BDSM
Published By: Bronwyn Green
When video games evolve into sex games, she has no idea what she’s risking

Tristan Weaver, accountant for a successful video game company, is in way over her head. Honestly answering a company-wide survey and criticizing the sexist stereotypes used in the company’s games was enough to catch her boss’ attention. But speculating on his sex life within his earshot has unexpected consequences when her hot, but nerdy, boss invites her to model for him.

Owner, artist and lead developer of Brecken Games, Rory Brecken, has a strict no fraternizing with employees rule. However, when he overhears Tristan’s conversation with her friend about his rumored kinks and begins to suspect her curiosity in the submissive side of sex, he’s more than a little tempted. When her interest is undeniably confirmed, he suggests a onetime only, colleagues with benefits hook-up.

Though neither want a relationship, once isn’t enough for either one of them. As their encounters become more intense, Rory makes a huge mistake that may cost him the woman he’s coming to love.

three-half-stars

I enjoyed this audiobook more than I expected. The narrator, Tatiana Sokolov, did an impressive job with this office romance. It was light and fluffy with a very surface emphasis on BDSM. The story flowed very well and entertained from beginning to the end.

Rory Brecken, CEO of a videon gaming company named Brecken Games, sent out an office survey in hopes of improving employee relations as well as find out new ways to improve the video games he offers. When he overhears his accountant Tristan Weavers discussing the one dimensional characterization in the video games as well as the rumors about the CEO’s sex life, Rory decides to indulge Tristan’s curiosity. The rest is a journey of mutual exploration and personal growth as Rory and Tristan have to deal with their perceptions about sex and relationships.

The author did a great job in telling the story in a snapshot of moment style. There wasn’t a lot of character building or development as to who they were. Instead, the narrative is a present accounting of the Tristan and Rory in the workplace and who they are right now. I enjoyed their banter, their trysts, and their discovering of their own personal desires in and out of bed.

This author is new to me, but I will be reading this author again because I found the writing style kept me interested and engaged. The narrator did a great job with the various voices and I listened to the entire audiobook within two days. I docked it half a star because of the very little character development. I had wanted a little more information to truly understand why the characters were unfulfilled and hesitant in asking for what they truly wanted. Still, it was a good read.

Ezi

Audiobook Review: Lost and Found (Twist of Fate #1) by Lucy Lennox & Sloane Kennedy

Series:
Narrator: Michael Pauley
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Lost and FoundTitle: Lost and Found by Lucy Lennox & Sloane Kennedy
Narrator: Michael Pauley
Series: Twist of Fate #1
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Format: 9 hrs 25 mins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: SKLL Books LLC

He promised to never leave me. But when I needed him the most, that was exactly what he did. Wilderness guide Xander Reed has spent fifteen years trying to forget the night he turned to his best friend in his darkest hour, only to find the young man who’d sworn to always have his back was turning his on Xander instead. Two thousand miles and fifteen years of building a new life in the quiet backcountry of the Rocky Mountains should have been enough to put the memory of Bennett Crawford out of his mind forever, but old wounds run deep and when Bennett suddenly reappears in his life as part of a wilderness expedition Xander is guiding, the scars he thought long healed break wide open.

two-half-stars

I found this book to be quite disappointing. The characters were not developed well and the plot was quite flimsy. The narrator was spot on but that wasn’t enough to save the slow paced story.

The main characters Xander and Bennett were best friends growing. An unfortunate event (and miscommunication) led to a 15 year grudge by Xander against Bennett. As the story unfolded, I found it Xander’s behaviour immature, bitter and irrational in that he wouldn’t even give his best friend an opportunity to explain himself. When the event was finally revealed, I rolled my eyes like nobody’s business. It seems like Xander never gave his best friend the benefit of the doubt despite the many things Bennett did to show his love and loyalty. Also, Xander took our his hurt over life’s painful lumps on a convenient target, the one person who really had his back. Talk about a bunch of big babies. Xander was a like a big kid for most of the book, and Bennett was the sympathetic friend trying to defend him or make things better. I actually thought Xander was self-centered and ungrateful. It’s not Bennett’s fault for Xander’s family situation but Bennett kept trying to compensate.

Then there was the added new bestie Aiden, whom alternated from being Bennett’s protective friend to a jealous ex while trying to mediate between Bennett and Xander. I didn’t feel Aiden’s character because I wasn’t sure what his true motivation was. It felt like he was waiting in the wings to be the clean up man.

The story ended in a reconciliation but since I never felt invested in the relationship, it didn’t create that satisfaction I normally get when all ends well. I just felt relieved that these two grown men finally put on their big boy panties and acted like adults.

Ezi

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About Sloane Kennedy

Although Sloane Kennedy always dreamed of being a writer as a teenager, she didn’t take the plunge until March of 2015 when she released her first novel as an independent author. Since then, she has released more than a dozen books including the Amazon best-selling “Barretti Security” series, “Finding” series and “Protectors” series. While she initially began writing M/F romance, she found her true passion writing gay romance and all four of her most recent releases reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Gay Romance bestseller list and Freeing Zane, her final book in the Barretti Security series, made it to Amazon’s overall bestseller list. Sloane was born in Germany and grew up in Virginia and Wisconsin. Although she currently lives in Wisconsin, the place where she has always felt most at home is Seattle and many of her books take place in the Emerald city. Although she is unmarried, a menagerie of 2 dogs and 3 cats keeps her busy enough and 3 young nieces take care of the rest of her free time. Sloane loves being able to share her passion for romance with readers and she is truly humbled by all the support she’s received from fans and fellow authors alike.

Audiobook Review: Olive Juice by T.J Kline

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)


Title: Olive Juice
Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Derrick McClain
Release Date: August 30, 2017
Category: Contemporary Gay Romance,
Length: 5 hours, 11 minutes

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:
I want to see you.
He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.
David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.
Phillip offers redemption.

three-stars

Derrick McClain did an outstanding job in this one. He really embodied David’s inner turmoil and Philip’s cajoling voice.
I am thankful that the author tackled this very important subject. The narrator and the actual event at the heart of the couple’s hurt was the only saving grace in this melancholy read for me. I kept hoping the story would get on to actually dealing with the pain but it was slow trot to the end. The narrator bumped up my rating to a three stars.

In the beginning of the book, I thought the main character David was having a breakdown, a blurring of what was real and imaginary. Being privy to David’s thoughts and feelings for most of the book was depressing and miserable. I felt like I came into the middle of the book and the author would slowly drop crumbles leading me slowly through the stages of grief journey. David and Phillip had a traumatic event that created a rift between them. For most of the book I was trying to get a handle of what happened, what was said, and at the end when everything was out in the open, I was left still feeling unsatisfied. I felt sad for the couple but I didn’t really connect with their character. I did feel sad and I was hopeful that they would find comfort but I think I came in expecting romance and happiness. The constant flashbacks didn’t evoke feelings of love so I didn’t really feel the couple’s connection.

It is hard to say more without giving away the meat of the story. I will just say that I didn’t enjoy this book and felt unfulfilled after reading it.

Question for those who have read it: What was the point of the character Mateo (the bartender)?

Ezi

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.

Grievous (Scarlet Scars #2) by J.M. Darhower

Grievous (Scarlet Scars, #2)Title: Grievous by J.M. Darhower
Series: Scarlet Scars
Narrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 23 mins)
Published By: Tantor Audio

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairytales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know – the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairytales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But lucky for Morgan, there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you face every day in the mirror.

three-stars

I had to start this one as soon as I finished the first book due to the cliff hanger. I liked the characters more in this book than I did book 1. Lorenzo Gambino and Scarlet (Morgan Myers) were more fleshed out as well as their motives for their not so legal actions. I also liked the fact that this book had less angst because it didn’t quite work in the first book. I also liked that Lorenzo seemed less of a random sociopath and more of calculated mobster. The villain was more prominent and definitely abhorrent, so it was easy to root for Lorenzo and Scarlet.

In book 1, there was a lot of suspense and for most of the book I was trying to figure out what was going on and who the players were. In this sequel, that suspense was gone and it was a matter of figuring out how Lorenzo and Scarlet would win this battle. The tone of the book shifted and the characters seemed less broken and more hopeful. The author dragged the story out a bit but the conclusion was sweet and satisfying.

The Epilogue was definitely my favorite part to the novel and painted a picture scarred people who were healing as a unit as Lorenzo’s kindness towards the child showed that he did in fact have a heart.

I wanted to like this series as Sempre is one of my favorite series but I found this series underwhelming.

View all my reviews

Review: Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: by Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker
Release Date: June 27th 2017
Format: e-ARC (320 pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: Atria Books
Purchase Links: • •
3.5 stars
This book is hard for me to rate because the writing was like a 5-star but my enjoyment was more like 3-stars.

I chose this book because K.A. Tucker past stories have been raw, gritty and mesmerizing authentic. This one was slower paced, methodical and well developed. It just lacked that gritty angst that I was hoping for.

The heroine Catherine Wright was a young student who made a mistake with her teacher that shadowed her life for a long time. This story was the growth, maturity and reconstruction of Catherine’s life.

As a single mother Cat works as a waitress in a diner owned by the only person in town who gave her safe place. She found support and even friendship at the dinner. On her way home she came upon an car accident. Cat rescued the occupant to only discover he was a famous hockey player Brett Madden.

The author slowly begins Catherine’s journey to reclaim her sense of self worth and trust in others. I really liked Catherine, her daughter, dad more than mom, her brother Jack, friend Keith and her boss Lou from the diner. Even with a good supporting cast, this story was the same cliche famous guy falls in love with poor downtrodden girl and saves her. I appreciate the systematic development of the Heroine but I found the pace too slow and frankly boring.

I lost interest about 60% into the story and struggled to finish it as the end was so predictable. The best part for me was that the teacher got his just due. At the beginning of the book, I disliked Catherine’s mom but by the end, I saw her for what she was, a mother trying to protect her daughter Catherine the only way she knew how. They paid a price but in the end, I truly comprehended what she was trying to do as a mother.

KA Tucker is a great writer but this one just lacked excitement and angst for me. I would recommend it to those who enjoy chick lit as it’s still a good story.

About K.A. Tucker

K.A. Tucker is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 books, including Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water.

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Audio Review with Giveaway: Texas Family (Texas Series, Book 4) by R.J. Scott

Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Length: 4hrs 19 mins
Texas Series
The Heart of Texas (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

Texas Winter (Book #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Blurb:

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes begin a journey that will change their lives forever.

Set against the backdrop of the Double D, the cast of the Texas audiobooks face changes that won’t leave a single one of them untouched.

Jack and Riley want to extend their small family of three. Their first choice is surrogacy with Jack as the father, and when all this begins smoothly both men can’t help but contemplate at what point would things go wrong. After all, their lives are far from normal, and nothing is ever smooth.

Add a small four-year-old boy in foster care into the mix, and suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated.

four-stars

I really enjoyed this one as much as book 1. It is book four and I am still shipping Riley and Jack Campbell Hayes. These two continue to be a great place in their relationship and we got more emotional moments in this installment. I love what the author R.J. Scott did in this book, adding to the foundation of the main couple and expanding their family. I also love that author writes realistic relationship and family dynamics, nothing over the top and ridiculous. The narrator Sean Crisden did a great job delineating the various characters. I was able to follow each story with no mix-ups.

Riley and Jack are at a point in their marriage where they decided to expand their family. This story takes us through the process as the couple finds a surrogate, deal with their individual as well as collective fears as a gay couple having a child in Texas.

My favorite part of this story was how the surrogate really made it a seamless process. She was communicative and kind as Riley and Jack navigated this new terrain. I was both excited, happy and full of angst for the couple. the new children will definitely make the next book very interesting because the Campbell-Hayes family really grew in size. I was hoping for more clarity with Eden and Sean. This couple has been struggling for some time and I thought this book would deal with it but it wasn’t really resolved. I still found this journey endearing and entertaining.

If you want a romance that revolves around family with a western feel, you will love this story.

Ezi

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About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Texas Heat (Texas Series, Book 3) by R.J. Scott

Series:
Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

Title: Texas Heat by R.J. Scott
Series: Texas Series, Book 3
Release Date: May 4, 2017
Format: Audiobook (4 hrs and 18 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Published By: Love Lane Books Limited

Against the backdrop of 20 half-naked models on DD land, and in the midst of fighting the oil establishment that just won’t give Riley a chance, Texas Heat is the story of one hot summer in Texas with a Gay Rodeo, humor, angst, and a love between two men that just grows stronger every day.

Jack hires Robbie, a man recovering from a great loss, to be his right hand man. Meanwhile, Riley’s mischievous photographer friend, Eli, decides the DD is the perfect backdrop for a cowboy themed model shoot. Eli has secrets not even Riley knows about but despite what he is hiding he falls in lust with Robbie at first sight. Everyone except Robbie can see how perfect Eli would be for him.

What happens when secrets spill and lies are discovered? And just how far will Riley and Jack go to play matchmaker?

three-half-stars

Honestly, I don’t enjoy the narrator Sean Crisden’s work in this series. His voice makes the characters sound like early twenties college dudes and not like the mature men I picture in my head. Thankful, the writing and plot remains very solid so I enjoy the story because Jack and Riley love was a gift that touched all those around them.

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes are settling into family life with their daughter Hayley and their extended family are finding their own way to love. The Double D Ranch is growing with new employees and Riley is trying to find a way to expand their oil exploration endeavors. The main couple is still crazy about each other and then of course, we get a blast from Riley’s wild past in the form of a man named Eli. Eli was a photographer who had been a prankster/irresponsible work, but now Eli is trying to clean up his work image. In order to secure his “comeback”, he asked to use the Double D Ranch for his photo shoot.

While Eli is taking pictures at the Ranch, he meets one of the ranch hands Robbie, a hurt soul who came to the Double D to heal from a past of abuse. For the first time in this series, the reader is taken on a journey to couple-dom featuring people not bearing the Hayes or Campbell last names. From Jack’s sister Eden and her boyfriend Sean to Riley’s mom getting married to her vet fiancée, it just feels like Jack and Riley’s relationship balanced the people around them. It is clear that they still are trying to find ways to make time for romance and putting their relationship first, but as a couple, they still make me smile. I’m thankful that the author doesn’t make them have those unnecessary relationship miscommunications and issues. Jack and Riley are the reason I love this series but I am looking forward to finding out what’s wrong with Eden’s boyfriend and having them back on solid ground.

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

Series:
Narrator: Austin Butler, Emily Rankin

Title: Carve the Mark by Veronica Mark
Series: Carve the Mark, Book 1
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Format: Audiobook (14 hours, 56 mins)
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance, Magic
Published By: Harper Audio  

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not – their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power – something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: She is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive – no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive – or to destroy one another.

three-stars

I was hesitant to start this book until the series was finished. I just didn’t want to invest in another series like I did with Divergent only to be gutted by a terrible ending. But at alas, I couldn’t help myself so I got the audiobook.

I came in with an open mind and avoided all reviews. This book was alright, nothing super engaging. The characters are an alien planet where there are various factions vying to rule their planet. There are the Shotet people who are currently in power and subjugation the other faces such as the Thuvhe people using their magical powers. Each race has unique powers, but only one race has the ability to raise Oracles. The oracles are useful because they can be used to predict the future. The current Shotet ruler, Ryzek,invaded Thuvhe to get one of their oracles in order to know what to expect or how to anticipate his enemies moves.

The main characters are Akos, who was kidnapped along with his younger brother who is a budding oracle and Cyra, whose brother tyrannical ruler Ryzek wants Shotet to dominate all the races on their planet. Akos and Cyra are pawns and when it is discovered that their individual magical talent complements the other, Akos is forced to move in with Cyra as her slave. Then they begin to get to know each other and see what the effect of Shotet rule is having on their planet and the citizens. They had to decide how to deal with their individual family dynamics, their feelings and their society as a whole.

The story was slow in developing but it is a book 1. I did like the characters Akos and Cyra but I wish they were developed a little more. Also, I realize there are a number of controversies regarding the racial stereotypes, many reviews address this issue. I do think the author should have done a much better job on that issue.

At the end of the day I found Akos and Cyra as a couple as well as the storyline to be a bit boring. I was interested in enough to see how Ryzek would be defeated because he was terrible. I was interested to see how Akos would rescue his brother. Akos and Cyra were not as engaging but I am glad they found love together.

It was okay but nothing memorable. Though I may read book 2 when it comes out.

Ezi