Review: Delight Me (Stark Ever After #6.4) by J Kenner

Title: Delight Me
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 12/19/19
Length:  40 Pages
Series:  Stark Ever After #6.4

Overview

There’s one special gift Damien wants to give his wife Nikki and their daughters for Christmas… but with a storm approaching and time running out, can he make it home in time for the holidays?

My Thoughts

So i think that the description for this book isn’t the right one, but we’ll leave it at that. What we have here is the sweet novella that links us back to the days before the Brussels conference that we remember Nikki participating in for her tech business. That was around the same time that the Cortez development got green lit, with Jackson at the helm, but if i recall correctly from back in the main series, i don’t know that we knew the link between Jackson and Damien yet.

Regardless, the scenes that we have between Nikki and Damien in this novella are TRUE TO FORM for what we have always come to love and expect from the couple as well as how our amazing author J Kenner writes them. There’s a bond and connection between them that surpasses anything that you could imagine. They don’t need to talk to be in sync, they rely on each other to survive but in a romantic sort of way.

Nikki has nerves over her presentation but wants to prove herself as her own woman, and Damien is a powerhouse in the industry that can give her help if she wants it. She gives him the freedom to make suggestions and together they create something amazing.

Add to that bit of the story, we get the usual romance, chemistry, intense passion that we can’t live without. The way that they come together in every scene is so hot that it requires a cold shower after reading, and it makes you wish that you could have that in the real world too. I think that i’m damaged forever in hoping that i could find my own Damien. Oh well. So, on that note, enjoy this short novella (i’m sure i got some odd looks on the subway this AM while reading it since it’s so steamy in places) and we’ll be back with the next book soon!

Review: Savage Hunger (Savage Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Savage Hunger
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 12/17/19
Length:  185 Pages
Series:  Savage Trilogy #1

Overview

The first book in a new savagely intense trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

Rick Savage, but they call him Savage and for a reason. He can make you laugh and then rip your heart out. No one knows that more than me, Candace Marks, the woman he left bleeding from the heart. I loved him. Lord help me, I’ve never stopped loving him.

Now, I’m engaged to another man, a brutal man I’m trapped into marrying, when to my shock, Savage returns home. Savage who I haven’t heard from in years. I want to hate him. I have ever reason to hate him, but I can’t. I still love him and I fear he will save me just to leave me bleeding one last time. He stirs my desires, a dark, delicious, and dangerous man destined to hurt me and leave me. This time I’m not sure I’ll survive.

My Thoughts

i LOVE Savage – you all probably know that by now from all the endless stories from LRJ that have anyone from Walker involved. He’s mysterious sure, but he’s got this amazing sense of humor that comes out at all times, and he’s loyal to a fault. We saw him get close to someone sort of in a previous series, when he was protecting a girl from a man who everyone thought was dirty CIA, and now we see why he’s so quick to defend and protect.

We pick up this series when the Walker guys are blowing off some steam at a bar, and someone from Savage’s past that he’d rather keep there comes around, cashing in a favor that he feels he’s owed from their shared days in black ops. Mind you, this guy Tag is dirty and everyone knows it. Savage decides that he can’t say no to this debt because 1) it’s a blood oath of sorts that he can’t back away from and 2) he needs to protect Walker from his past and this is the only / best way. So this mission that Tag needs him to go on, sends him straight back to his past in San Antonio, to kill someone, and to dig up all the ghosts from his past in the form of his family and his love.

This is where Candace comes in – the one woman that Savage ever loved and the one woman that could break hm. There are clearly still feelings between them, and feelings that neither can deny, even though Candace feels so betrayed and angry at him for leaving her all those years ago.

The irony of all this is that Savage starts to connect the dots that his mission is tied directly to the man that is engaged to Candace now, the man who also is a dirty ex CIA and politician, and a man who seemingly wants her father dead, and has connections that even the Walkers can’t dig up . And yes, the entire Walker firm is behind Savage on this as they protect their family.

In this first installment of Savage’s series, we see him reunite with his love, a woman that he’s not willing to let go again, and we see him still unclear on the motives of Tag and who he wants Savage to kill. There are so many unknowns and as a result, so many different angles that they need to explore in order to keep everyone safe until they get instructions and clarity.

This of course all comes to a head where we are left off in this book with a car chase and no clear idea of who’s behind the wheel of the other car.

In true fashion of our author Lisa Renee Jones, we get quite a bit of emotions in this story. We have intense chemistry and passion between Savage and Candace, we get deep rooted family hatred between Savage and his father. We have mystery and intrigue with the idea that we don’t know what these guys are walking into and we have anxiety since there’s so much illegal connection making going on that there’s no way that everyone will come out unscathed. I’m bummed that i have to wait until the end of Feb for the 2nd book since i’m completely tapped in, but i guess i’ll have to be patient. Enjoy!

Review: Strange New World (Brave New Girl #2) by Rachel Vincent

Title: Strange New Girl
Author:  Rachel Vincent
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 5/8/18
Length:  272 Pages
Series:  Brave New Girl #2

Overview

Dahlia 16’s life is a lie. The city of Lakeview isn’t a utopia that raises individuals for the greater good; it is a clone farm that mass-produces servants for the elite. And because Dahlia breaks the rules, her sisters–the 4,999 girls who share her face–are destroyed. She and Trigger 17, the soldier who risked his life for hers, go on the run, escaping into the wild outside the city walls. But it turns out Dahlia has one remaining identical, one who shouldn’t even exist.

Waverly Whitmore is teenage royalty, a media sensation with millions of fans who broadcasts her every move–including every detail of her wedding planning, leading up to the day she marries Hennessy Chapman. Waverly lives a perfect life built on the labors of clones like Dahlia. She has no idea that she too is a clone . . . until she comes face to face with Dahlia.

One deadly secret. Two genetic sisters. And a world that isn’t big enough for both of them.

My Thoughts

This story continues as we see what it’s like living outside Lakeview and trying to keep things a secret. Waverly is quite possible the most noticeable face out there and ironically the Administrator doesn’t even know what’s happened – meaning that Waverly has 5000 identicals. This story takes us from seeing Dahlia and Trigger try to escape Lakeview, to getting ‘discovered’ by Waverly’s friends as a means to get out of Lakeview (without even knowing who Waverly is mind you) and then figuring out how everyone can move forward once everything comes to a head.

We left off book 1 seeing the car pull up to the Witmores house and seeing Waverly in shock, her mother Lorna freak out, and Hennesy and the others really confused. From there, we see eyes become open, and we get to see things unravel and yet get pulled together all at the same time.

Lorna is forced to explain what she went through with her husband years ago to have a child, giving Waverly’s father a shock of a lifetime since the decision wasn’t his to go the route they did. We watch Waverly come to terms with the notion that she’s a clone and as a result, she’s not able to have children, and she has an expiration date. We see her also being forced to take a back seat to her wedding etc since there were events that have taken place that force Dahlia into the role of lead.

There’s also the undertone that continues here of young love – Trigger and Dahlia have a story line of their own that we want to root for, that we want to see flourish since they are a couple that’s fighting the odds to be together. They still don’t know what the future holds for them, but what they feel for each other is real. Just what Hennessey and Waverly have.

Then there’s the political bit of the story. Knowing that the Administrator has recalled all of Dahlia’s genome, 4,999 girls to be euthanized, yet we learn that the intention isn’t that at all. It’s for the girls to be sold at a discount price now since killing them would mean a significant loss of revenue. There’s a battle between what Waverly’s mom means to do with them and what Lakeview will do and we have to hope for the best since we know that neither can be trusted.

At the same time, we see Waverly truly come to terms with what she is, and what that means for her once the truth is out. She’s not the original, so she essentially is a clone with no rights, and that means that whatever she wants to do isn’t possible. She also has her eyes opened by the other clones in her family’s employ to the notion that clones are fully capable of free thought, of being unique and of being normal, and it’s a quest that she takes on to help prove her point. When Dahlia inadvertently forces her hand to make a grand statement that they want to make clones people, well the crap hits the fan yet again.

From this point on it’s a rollercoaster. There’s a plan crafted to make everyone in the world know the truth about clones and that they are fully capable of being the same as everyone else. there’s the education to the folks in Lakeview that what they’ve been told their whole life is very far from reality and that they should have a chance at something more.

Trigger, Dahlia, Hennessey and Waverly take it upon themselves to try to change the world, and that’s not an easy pill to swallow. There’s going to be destruction. There’s a high chance at failure, and we know that there’s no way for a complete happy ending. At least we should hope for the best, and if you read this second book of the series, you’ll get to watch how it plays out. Enjoy!

Review: Brave New Girl (Brave New Girl #1) by Rachel Vincent

Title: Brave New Girl
Author:  Rachel Vincent
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 5/9/17
Length:  272 Pages
Series:  Brave New Girl #1

Overview

In a world where everyone is the same, one girl is the unthinkable: unique. A high-stakes fast-paced series launch from New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent.

Dahlia 16 sees her face in every crowd. She’s nothing special—just one of five thousand girls created from a single genome to work for the greater good of the city.

Meeting Trigger 17 changes everything. He thinks she’s interesting. Beautiful. Unique. Which means he must be flawed. When Dahlia can’t stop thinking about him she realizes she’s flawed, too.

But what if Trigger is right? What if Dahlia is different? But if she’s flawed, then so are all her identicals. And any genome found to be flawed will be destroyed, ONE BY ONE BY ONE. . . .

My Thoughts

I was looking for something different to read and I have to say that t here are times w hen good cover are really manage to get me sucked in. This cover though seems to remind me of something else that I’ve read over the years, I’m just not able to put my finger on what exactly yet.

Anyhow, just like the summary tells us, we are in a time when people are manufactured based on genomes, with the intention to make the best of the best for an entire generation of sorts. Essentially 5,000 girls and 5,000 boys in each year, created for a specific purpose. No one knows exactly what, but that’s part of the intrigue.

we follow Dahlia 16 from the time she was Dahlia 6 i think until now, when she’s grown, she’s showing traits of being the best in her age group and she’s got pride for that – she’s competitive and proud. Yet, that’s a problem since the genomes are developed so that there’s no competition, that no one feels better than anyone else. When she’s recognized for her gardening ability, the way that she’s able to grow better fruits and vegetables faster and of better quality than almost anyone else. That’s when things go in a different direction for her. She’s called to the management bureau and there she’s given the proposition of being an instructor, which is an interesting proposition for her. It means that she wont’ go into the work force like her identicals, but it’s a prestige role. On her way out of the office though, if she felt that her life hadn’t changed enough, she gets stuck in an elevator with a cadet. Trigger17 and that is what throws her path completely off.

Trigger17 is the best in his cadet class, and that’s allowed since Defense personnel are supposed to have competition and pride. When there’s an immediate attraction between the two, and we know that Dahlia’s not supposed to talk to anyone, we can only imagine what is going to happen next.

The balance of the story is intense. We watch how these two can’t stay away from one another, but they know that it’s too dangerous to be together. They also find out more about Dahlia’s history and make-up which completely changes everything that we knew. We’re left on such a cliff hanger of sorts seeing how things have evolved and the trouble that’s occurred. There are mass killings, hope is lost, fugitives, an entirely unknown society and town. Everything that people knew from Lakeview their town proves to be something completely different.

I’m excited to see where this story goes since we’re now in a completely different place both physically and mentally than where we started and this means that there’s an opportunity to see these teens grow and learn things for themselves. We don’t know who we can trust and who’s going to go against us. There are so many questions and so few answers to this point, but the notion of the wild, freedom, and teen romance is enough to keep this story going at full speed. Enjoy!

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Review: Wish List by Sylvia Day

Title: Wish List
Author:  Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  Sylvia Day LLC 12/02/05
Length:  39 Pages

Overview

When Nicholas James draws Stephanie Martin’s name in their law firm’s Secret Santa exchange he knows he’s in for a merry Christmas–if he can figure out what to give the woman he’s wanted for months. When he works late and finds a crumpled piece of paper listing Steph’s personal wish list, he knows he’s in luck. Because all Steph wants for Christmas is him, in a number of naughty ways.

And not-so saintly Nick is going to make every one of her wishes come true.

My Thoughts

It’s been a while since i’ve been in the land of Ms Sylvia Day, and this novella reminded me of what i enjoyed most from her. She’s straight to the point, and packs a punch in a way that makes even a forty page book something that you feel like you’ve been able to sink your teeth into.

This story is so appropriate given the time of year, which i’m guessing is how it came onto my radar. Steph and Nicholas work together at a law firm and we know the kind of personalities that usually run in those places. People who are driven and who often put themselves aside so that they can take care of work and others is the alpha. Both of our leads really fall into that space. But of course, the story is deeper and more complex than even just that.

During Secret Santa, Nicholas is given the chance take action in something that he’s wanted for a long time but thought he’d never have. Steph on the other hand is the recipient of something that she’s not inclined to admit out loud that she wants, so when she gets it, it creates all sorts of problems.

Nicholas, on a silver platter, to serve her fantasies exactly as she’s laid them out. And that’s almost too much to handle.

The story progresses over a matter of a weekend and then several days after where they have no choice but to take action on what’s being offered in front of them, both with the hope that it will scratch an itch that they’re feeling. The challenge though is that this has been building up for so long that there’s really more than meets the eye and that means that someone’s likely to get hurt.

Nicholas pulls out al the stops for Steph, and she doesn’t hesitate to let the fantasy come true, for just a moment. And when that happens, she’s quick to make an exit because she has far too many complications in life that this doesn’t need to be another one. We don’t know much about these complications yet but i think that they are significant to send her running.

When she runs, the trajectory of the story changes and it’s a quick sprint to watch things crumble and send Christmas up in smoke. It’s no surprise and i think that the way that our author writes it shows the reality.

In true form of Ms Sylvia Day, we get to see the intensity and heat shared by this couple, and to watch how quickly they take flight and then crash is on par with the dynamics of other couples that we’ve read in series past. It pulls you in so quickly and makes you not want to let go. I’m not off to find something else to enjoy as a pre-holiday read. Enjoy!

Review: Two Together (Naked Trilogy #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Two Together
Author:  Lisa Renee Jone
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 11/19/19
Length:  228 Pages
Series:  The Naked Trilogy #3

Overview

The thrilling conclusion to the Naked Trilogy. He came into my life. He took me off guard, consumed me. Claimed me. But there is more to Jax North than meets the eye. There is more to this man than the way he makes me tremble, sigh, and even smile when I didn’t believe I still could smile. And as it turns out the two of us together are far more than fire and passion. The two of us together threaten to expose a secret about Jax, and our families, that not even we know. A secret that someone doesn’t want exposed. A secret that someone will do anything to hide.

My Thoughts

This story is one that is so full of twists and turns that i’m never quite sure what i’m going to get as this final installment takes us on it’s journey. We’ve left off in a complicated space with Jax and Emma. They were brought together by less than savory motives, but they seem to continue to have forces outside of them trying to tear them apart. They are no closer to finding out what happened to Hunter and who was behind it. They don’t know the motivations behind what Chance and Randall are doing, and we know that there’s going to be massive amounts of loss before this book is done.

We pick things back up during the Harvest, when Echo (the long time caretaker of the castle) has gone missing, without a trace. Emma has received a letter that discloses that Hunter is actually her half brother, meaning that he’s not Jax’s full brother but his half brother as well, so there’s even more complexity in their family back story.

We see Jill and Brody continuing to go after Emma, and we see that Chance wants her back home at all costs. This gives the opportunity of success for romance barely a fighting chance. The good thing is that Jax and Emma are true to themselves and true to each other and are willing to be open minded as they see what’s constantly thrown at them.

There’s darkness in this book. We see struggles with addiction, and what that turns into as a result of festering jealousy and hatred. We see excessive measures being taken in the form of kidnapping and where it leads is a very perplexing place. We’re challenged to understand why, who’s behind it and why the drop off location. Whomever is behind it isn’t who we thought.

The struggle is real here and what comes of it is a story of proving out what family truly is. That it’s not necessarily blood since they are the ones who will let you down, but those who chose to be in your life for the right motivations. Secrets on both sides of the coin are revealed and Chance clearly knows more about things than he let on.

Savage continues to play a great role and that’s something that i really love about all series that include a touch of Walker Security. He’s the man that i’ve wanted to see have his own story and a happy ending for a lONG time and based on what i’ve read in the closing notes by Ms Renee Jones here, i’m going to get my wish next week! book 1 of his series i think comes out on December 17th!

I also love that we got to see more of Grayson and Eric – they were favorites of mine from their own series and i’m glad to see that Grayson seems to be getting more to his story as well. So i’m going to sit tight knowing that while Jax and Emma have their closure, we get to see more of the characters that we love the most. on that note, enjoy!

Review: Enamored (The Accidental Billionaire #3) by J.S. Scott

Title: Enamored  
Author:  J.S. Scott
Publisher/Year:  Montlake Publishing 10/15/19
Length:  251 Pages
Series:  The Accidental Billionaire #3

Overview

Like his brothers and sisters, Seth Sinclair went from blue-collar to billionaire overnight, and he’s decided to invest in what he knows best: construction. There’s only one thing in his way—the endangered birds nesting on a piece of prime beachfront real estate. And fighting for the birds is Riley Montgomery, a stubborn, pain-in-the-ass, drop-dead-gorgeous environmental lawyer. The worst part? Seth will do anything to keep her around—even if it means hiring her to be his fake girlfriend.

With a cause to fight for, Riley agrees to Seth’s scheme. If she keeps the superficial women away from Seth, then he’ll leave the wildlife sanctuary alone. But pretending to be his girlfriend comes with ground rules: No ass grabbing. And absolutely no sex. Ever. The problem? The sexual tension sizzles when they’re together.

Seth isn’t so keen on Riley’s rules, but he’ll keep his word, at least until she decides otherwise. But bringing Riley into his circle has brought her past back to haunt her in ways that neither of them expected. Now it’s less about broken rules and more about broken hearts, and Seth will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he loves.

Overview

I really enjoy this series and the family that we’re following throughout each installment. The story behind the Sinclairs is one that is so complex, and watching how each family member’s own tale unfolds makes it that much more interesting. We’ve seen things work out for Jade, and for Aiden, and now it’s Seth’s turn to see what his path becomes.

Seth is a commercial developer who’s trying to build a resort on a beachfront property that now is apparently the home to an endangered species. This is where Riley comes in – a lawyer who’s personal quest is to ensure that the birds have a place to live forever. Riley has an ally on her side in the form of Jade since she’s always an animal conservationist, and watching the two women double time Seth makes for a great read.

The dynamic between these two characters is different from what we’ve seen in the series so far. They spent more time fighting with each other than is necessary, since Riley has walls that she needs to keep up while Seth wants nothing more than to break them down. We don’t know exactly what’s made Riley into the tough woman that she is, we only get a bit of the story, but we know that it has to be deep and that’s something that Seth’s willing to be patient with.

The journey that these two go on is an interesting one. Seth agrees to let the property go if Riley complies with a need that he has – to not only have an appropriate girlfriend on his hard in looks, but also as a means for him to get to know Riley better and see what’s there. He’s like all other Sinclairs in the sense that when he falls, he falls hard and that’s what happened when he met Riley. On the other hand though, Riley has no desire to be in a relationship, she’s shunned that for a while now and the innuendos that Seth puts on make her uncomfortable.

We go up and down with them during this installment, watching emotions develop but at the same time seeing what jealousy and distrust do as well. It’s hard to see how this can have a positive outcome, but we can only hope for the best. It’s only after a series of events lands someone in the hospital that we’re forced to see the bigger picture in how things should be. That may be apart though , and i think that as a reader we need to come to terms with it.

It’s a roller coaster but a good one! As was the case as well with the prior books, we get a tease as to what the next installment will be like. My guess – Noah. the eldest brother, the one who’s had to take on all the responsibility in the past to raise the kids and keep the family together, and that’s shaped him into a man who’s too serious and stressed and who thinks that there’s no one out there for him because he has no need to look. I can only hope that he finds a woman who will flip his world over and i’m sure that book will be intense. I can’t wait – enjoy!

Review: The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) by Amy Engel

TitleThe Revolution of Ivy
Author:  Amy Engel
Publisher/Year:  Entangled Publishing 11/03/16
Length:  202 Pages
Series:  The Book of Ivy #2

Overview

Beyond the fence. I am still alive. Barely.

My name is Ivy Westfall. I am sixteen years old and a traitor. Three months ago, I was forced to marry the president’s son, Bishop Lattimer—as all daughters of the losing side of the war are sold off in marriage to the sons of the winners. But I was different. I had a mission-to kill Bishop.

Instead, I fell in love with him.

Now I am an outcast, left to survive the brutal savagery of the lands outside of civilization. Yet even out here, there is hope. There is life beyond the fence. But I can’t outrun my past. For my actions have set off a treasonous chain of events in Westfall that will change all of our fates—especially Bishop’s.

And this time, it is not enough to just survive…

My Thoughts

The path that this story has taken is a sad but expected one. If you recall from the first book, we are living at a time where nuclear war has ‘destroyed’ America, likely the planet, and there are only small groups of people assumed to be living in communities spread out all over the place. We are in Westfall, somewhere i’d guess in the middle of the country, a town that was established and founded by the Westfall family but where leadership and governance is by the Lattimers. In the first book, Ivy was forced to marry Bishop, a Westfall marrying a Lattimer, but what no one expected and understood is that Ivy and Bishop are not at all like their families, so what society hoped would happen is the polar opposite.

We saw the relationship develop and solidify between Bishop and Ivy in the first book, however there was the underlying threat that we were aware of, that Ivy’s sister and father had this master plan to kill Bishop, then his father and then to take control of the city. Ivy had always followed what she was told because she didn’t know better, secrets were kept from her that she didn’t even know existed, and when she’s with Bishop and her eyes are opened up, she quickly realizes that life is very different and she’s been given the gift of freedom and ability to see what’s real on her own.

Along with this though comes the issue that she’s been tasked to kill Bishop and she’s some how fallen in love with him. So to save him, at the end of the first book, we see her sacrifice herself which ultimately turned into her being put out of the community, to the other side of the fence, with the intent for her to die. Ivy however will not die.

The journey in this second book is one of self discovery, seeing through Ivy’s eyes what it takes to survive, to become your own person and to live by making your own opinions and thoughts, not living by what others tell you. Trust and Loyalty are the only things that matter outside the fence and that’s something that’s hard for her.

On her quest to freedom, she of course almost dies, injuries from her release, the return of a man who was put out for raping a young girl chooses to attack Ivy as well, and she’s left for dead. When she’s discovered by Caleb and Ash, two people who’ve lived their whole life outside the fence, we see the story start to turn, and we have hope. She’s able to find friends, shelter, food, and family. That’s something that she thought she had with Bishop but that’s a life that’s gone. Or is it?

I really enjoy how our author paces this story – there’s so much growth and turmoil that happens that we get to see how that develops and then when the dust starts to settle, new challenges arise. The biggest of course is the return of Bishop. We know how he felt about Ivy, and we know that he didn’t truly believe that she was going to kill him, so it’s no surprise that he turns up, but the question becomes what will that mean for everyone.

Why is he outside the fence? What did he do and what does that mean? Will he and Ivy be the same since we know that they have both changed, and we know that Ivy has put up walls against him. What does all this mean for Westfall, and of course what’s going on with Ivy’s sister and Father?

All of these are questions that we beg to have answered in this story, and of course they all are. I think that the way this story resolves itself is realistic yet a bit quick. but i think that’s what it calls for. I can tell you that not everyone that we have read and endeared ourselves to survives, and that’s ok since that’s life. But i can tell you that story lines are tied up and we see what the present looks like. I’m sad this is a 2 book series v. a trilogy so now i have to find a new story to dive into. Enjoy!

Review: The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

TitleThe Book of Ivy
Author:  Amy Engel
Publisher/Year:  Entangled Publishing 11/11/14
Length:  227 Pages
Series:  The Book of Ivy #1

Overview

What would you kill for?

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

My Thoughts

I’m a fan of this genre, looking into the future when we know that man kind will wipe out society as we know it, and when things return back to what it was like before technology, with different rules in place to keep peace, it makes you realize that maybe we’re all going to be lost and up a creek without a paddle if that day ever comes.

So we start this story in a point that’s roughly 10 years into the future from where we are now, which is kind of scary. Nuclear war has wiped out much of America, and there are so few people left that we know of because of what happened, and that means that there are only a few left to live in a town that was itself once divided.

There was war in this town to determine how it would be run, some were for democracy and some were for one ruler who was president and set the laws. That side one, and what it means is that there are families who draw a line in life. As a result of this divide, there’s a tradition that every year olds marry someone from the other side in the hopes that war will be avoided since it means that everyone would be warring with their loved ones, and there’s hope that marrying people off at a young age will allow for a higher chance to have more children who are healthy and can revive the country.

The president’s son has managed to delay his marriage because he’s the President’s son, but as such, he has to marry the daughter of the founder of the losing side. The irony here is that the Westfalls, the losing side, have a daughter that’s the same age as Bishop, but he delays his marriage to wed the younger daughter. As we all know, it’s always the younger daughter that’s been the spare in life, and that means that her value is unexpected, undervalued, and well, everyone thinks she’s less worthy. Everyone except for Bishop. We learn his motivation later in the story and it gives you hope.

Ivy is our leading lady, sixteen and forced to marry a man she doesn’t know, whom she hates because of who he is and what his family has done to hers, and at the same time, there are pieces of this tradition that give her freedom. That get her away from what her father and sister have been forcing her into, and gives her the opportunity to grow her own wings.

Bishop is the son of the President, a boy that everyone looks to as the future of society, and a boy who has different feelings on how things should be than his father, but he’s biding his time so that he’s able to make changes.

The development of their relationship is on par with what we see in other stories in this genre. Bishop isn’t what we expected and as such, he gives Ivy time to adjust, gives her a chance to get comfortable with him, to let some type of relationship grow and develop and hopefully make it into a marriage that’s more than in just name only.

The challenge here though is that Ivy’s family has revenge in their minds. They want to take power back from Bishop’s family and the only way to do that is for Ivy to kill Bishop and then for her father and sister to kill the President and take power over. The journey that we go on here is one where we hope there’s a way to change minds, or to avoid doing things that will go too far, but we also know that will never happen.

There are similarities of this story and several others though where there’s a fence that surrounds their community. The fence is the edge of civilization, and outside of that is deemed unsafe, uninhabitable and that’s where they put people out who break laws. From what we’ve seen in other stories, there’s far more out there than anyone knows, and it’s far more civilized, but that’s not for book 1 i don’t think.

What we worry about here though are the hopes and dreams that both Ivy and Bishop share. They both crave to know what’s out there, to see the ocean and to be free. That means that some how we know that they will go outside the fence but we don’t know the circumstances and if they will succeed, survive etc. What we do know though is that this story lets us off at the fence. One on one side and one on another, with limited hope of resolution or success. Too much is at stake for anyone to go against beliefs, but too much is at stake to sit and do nothing.

So on that note, i can’t wait to get into the second book here since i’m really curious how things will turn out. People are planting ideas, people are planting lies, and those who are in power are abusing it for their own worth. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Enjoy!