Thursday, 20 July 2017

REVIEW - DELIVERED BY ANGELS - ENTERTAINING ANGELS BY EMERALD BARNES

Title: Delivered by Angels
Series: Entertaining Angels
Author: Emerald Barnes
Release Date: 14th June 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
Determined to escape her abusive father and drunken mother, Lexi Johnson turns to the blade to numb her pain, but it isn’t enough to end her misery. She’s convinced that not even God could save her now.

Roxy Taylor is the new girl in town, and Lexi doesn’t trust her, especially when she teams up with DJ Tucker to try and break down the barriers that Lexi has put in place.

Little does Lexi know, there are greater forces battling for her life, and as Lexi begins to open up to both Roxy and DJ, she’ll see that she isn’t alone in this world.

In the heart-pounding sequel to Entertaining Angels, everyone’s favorite angel, Zach Taylor, is back, and he’s there to make sure that Madison and Chase Sanders are on the path that God has chosen for them, a path that could deliver Lexi from the demons who want her soul.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I honestly didn't realise I hadn't read this book! So once I found out this book was available I knew I had to read it. I was particularly looking forward to catching up with some of my favourite characters, such as Madison and Chase a young married couple, then I noticed the blurb says that Zach Taylor is back too in this book so that kind of made it a must read! I am fully aware that there will be references to Christianity and God within the book, and I know I say I don't read religious books but for this series I make an exception as it is well within the plot and doesn't make demands about the characters or authors thoughts on religion and how it should be fitted into your life.

The cover shows a girls face looking upwards towards an angel which fits well in the book as the angel on the cover is the guardian angel of the girl on the cover who I would say is Lexi. I love the halo above the word Angel on the cover. This cover would draw my attention and cerrtainly have me picking it up from a bookstore shelf to learn more about it.

So the new character we are introduced to is called Lexi, she is a teenager who is going through a lot for her age as well as the usual teen angst issues. Lexi is a verbal punch bag for her alcoholic mother and a literal one for her angry abusive father. Her father takes his frustrations over Lexi's mother always being drunk out on Lexi. Lexi mum just seems pleased that her husband is beating someone else other than her so does nothing to help her daughter. Lexi quite naturally feels upset and frustrated by her situation, which is why she regularly sneaks out of her home to a neighbours tree house with a towel and a blade to cut herself. The cutting sessions are increasing in frequency and in the amount of cutting she does. It's almost like a ceremony Lexi has to complete to release her emotions. Who can help Lexi break the vicious circle of self harm? Who can help sort out Lexi's home life?
The angel God sends to specifically help Lexi is a new angel to the series called Roxy. It is Roxy's first time "being a human again" to help someone. Previously she has supported people invisibly in her natural angel form. Zach has accompanied Roxy on this assignment both to help the fledgling human/angel as well as introducing her to the people she would be staying with, Chase and Madison. Zach is also looking forward to catching up with Madison and Chase and it turns out though they perhaps wouldn't admit it, they too may be in need of a little help from God and his angels.
Madison is now a counselor to a group of children who attend both group and individual sessions with her in the room of the parish church. She is doing what she loves helping teenager, though at the moment her position is an unpaid one. Chase is now the manager at a coffee shop and its his steady wage that they rely on. Their life is a fine balance and when suddenly two things maybe changing their world looks set to fall down around them. It is their faith that keeps them continuing as they have been trusting that any setbacks or differences to their lives are what are meant to be.

Delivered by Angel's combines quite a few genres such as the social issues or verbal and physical abuse, drinking, cheating, anger, anorexia along with more day to day issues and other situations that may arise during a marriage such as losing a job, marriage finances etc.
This book also deals with the death of one of the teens that attended Madison's groups, so it not only impacts the other teens and youngsters attending the group sessions but it also upsets Madison very much.

My favourite character from the new ones introduced in this book was Brandi, a young pre-teen anorexic that attends counseling sessions both the individual and group ones with Madison. Brandi is such a sweet, yet forthright character.

So I really don't want to say anymore than I have as you need to read the little clues and build up to the ending of the story. The book is written in chapters from varying points of view of the characters. There is a psalm at the very beginning of each chapter that somehow fits what happens in that chapter. 

REVIEW - ENTERTAINING ANGELS
Title: Entertaining Angels
Author: Emerald Barnes
Release Date: 24th July 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep.

Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.

Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?


PURCHASE LINKS

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed other books written by Emerald Barnes, so I was looking forward to this one, hoping it would be something like "Read Me Dead". I also enjoy emerald's writing style, so I guess this should be an easy, enjoyable read.

MY REVIEW

I downloaded this one from Amazon UK . The cover features a female, probably Madison from the book, looking quite happy, sitting in grass. There is also a male pictured, so that could be Chase or Zach.There is the usage of "white light" on the cover which I initially thought was to go with the "Angels" part of the book title. I like the way the halo is used over the "g" of the word angel, it brings a little cute touch to the cover which suggests "fun". Would the cover make me pick up the book in a bookstore? I think I'd pick it up and take a look at the blurb so yes.
First of all it does say in my review policy that I do not read heavily religious content/books, having said that I tend to break every one of my reading and reviewing rules for Emerald's books. I chose to buy this book and read it as I have read and loved two other books written by Emerald. I totally admit I don't go to church on a regular basis though if someone asked my religion I would say Church Of England probably without thinking about it. I tend to believe "God" is everywhere and you can pray/speak to him when and where you wish. I do also believe in the "afterlife" too. Now having said all that I did enjoy the plot of this book, hence the 4/5 stars on Goodreads. The main characters are Madisons or "Mads" to her friends who is on the larger side, who is unhappy with her body and image. (Come on ladies we've all thought this at some point in our lives), she puts herself down, regularly skips meal, to the point of not eating or drinking at all and ending up collapsing. You may presume that Mads doesn't have supportive friend & family, which is definitely not the case. Her parents but her new pretty clothes and so on but she is constantly picked on by her younger brother Connor who regularly call's her names such as "fatty", or drawing attention to her weight or what she is wearing and even making nasty comment when she is eating too. Mads parents do tell Connor off and on one occasion in the book take his phone from him. I do feel they should have told him off and perhaps punished him more especially when they realised how affected Mads was by it. Mads is also being bullied and picked on at school by what I can only describe as the "popular, built like a twig (you know what I mean ladies). This girl threatens Mads several times in the book that she will make Mads life hell and she really means it and does it too. Mads best friend Chase tries his best to support her, as does newcomer to the area Zach. Zach is both figuratively on a mission to support Mads when he see's her being picked on by the popular girl and her followers at school. As you read further into the book you realise that Zach truly has been sent on a mission.
This book is about growing up, the "coming of age and more independence" of Mads and there are positive messages throughout. Madison's parents also quite forcefully encourage her to get a job and start earning her own money. This book is set in America so some things easily translate over to us in the UK, whereas others may not be the same as they would be in the UK.
I can imagine this being read in junior school, Sunday schools and the like. It really does make you think. It certainly made me think of bullying I underwent both in childhood for being "different" to others and within my adult life from peers within a home and work situations. The book is religious, which normally puts me off a book. Each chapter begins with a bible verse, which I really found myself enjoying a lot. It was towards the end of the book, that it became more about going to church, accepting God into your life etc. Which I know some people will love, sadly I felt like the book became a little too pushy on the religious parts. At one point I felt that Chase, his mother and Zach were "badgering" or being overly forceful in suggesting Madison going to the church with them. I also know from reading the book that they all had her best interests at heart but it did come across a little aggressive.
There are also two bonus sections, the first is Zach's story, about his mission, who sent him, what he was thinking and feeling at different parts in the book. The other bonus section is told from Chase's point of view. I did enjoy both bonus stories though of course they were quite religious in content too.
So did I enjoy the book? I enjoyed the actual basis of the plot, and the "moral of the story" part. It was just a little too pushy with the religious content. I felt the over use of the religion kind of spoilt the book a little for me. Would I recommend the book? Yes, to younger YA readers, and for schools to help teach better tolerance of one another and use within an anti bullying campaign.
Would I like to read another book in this series? ie. about the same characters? I think I'd want to read more about Chase and Madison, but my "star rating" would still probably reflect the fact that I do not like overly religious themes/books. Would I read other titles by Emerald Barnes? I have read other titles by this author and always look out for new titles by her and I will continue to do so.


REVIEW - BEFORE I SAY I DO
Title: Before We Say I Do
Series: Entertaining Angels
Author: Emerald Barnes
Release Date: 13th January 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
It’s been one year, and Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?

Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.

Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.


PURCHASE LINKS
Nook  
Kobo  
iBooks


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I don't know how I had missed reading Entertaining Angels as I do seek out books by this author as I do enjoy her writing style. I actually bought an e-copy of Entertaining Angels to read first as this is a novella about the same characters. After reading Entertaining Angels I did want to know how the main characters were doing so I was looking forward to reading this novella. I know some will see my review of Entertaining Angels, saying about it being overly religious for my personal reading taste and wonder why I wanted to read this novella. . . the reason is that I love Emerald's writing style and her plots are so interesting and she draws you in, she is a thought provoking author. Emerald writes in a way that makes you feel part of the journey of the characters within the book. You feel invested in the characters, and attached to them. So I simply had to read this novella.

MY REVIEW
I answered a call from Emerald Barnes, asking for reviewers that could also do a release day blitz. The lovely author sent me a free e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. The cover is. .. well I already loved the cover before I knew it was an actual real life wedding photograph! I love it, the clasped hands, the bride and groom at either side of the door keeping the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride prior to the wedding. The cover perfectly depicts a scene from within the book. Would this cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes!
So this novella takes place a year after the story of Entertaining Angels. Mmmm forgive me for being vague but I am trying not to give away major spoilers if at all possible from the book or novella. We arrive on the scene of Chase and Madison's wedding day. Madison's mum is being the main wedding planner checking everything is running to time and plan. Chase's mum is a little more relaxed about the day. Chase and Madison are getting married in the church they have visited together for over a year now. Madison began visiting the church in Entertaining Angels. The young couple are so in love and totally sure in their love for one another. So it is a surprise and a little shock when Zach turns up at the church prior to the ceremony. Zach has been travelling since helping Chase and Madison find each other, and recognise their love for one another. Those of you who have read Entertaining Angels will know why it could worry Chase and Madison somewhat that Zach suddenly appears. Those who read book one will also know exactly why Zach is so special too. Chase is immediately worried that something is wrong or going to go wrong between himself and Madison. Zach reassures both Madison and Chase that they are both fine, that he returned to see them wed. However you could say Zach has an ulterior motive. Chase's father has been trying to reach out to his son for a while. Chase is still hurting a lot about the way his father abandoned him and his mother. His parents went on to divorce and his father literally dumped Chase and started a new family. His father is now divorcing his second wife and wants to make amends with Chase. Zach is here to try to encourage Chase to let go of his negative memories and thoughts around hi father so that it doesn't mar his happiness with Chase. Chase made the decision not to invite his father to his wedding so is understandably shocked and becomes angry when he see''s his father at the church. Chase has to do a lot of soul searching, he is desperate to speak to Madison but also knows how important the tradition of not seeing the bride before she walks down the aisle is to Madison's mother. The young couple end up holding hands around a door so they can speak to each other without seeing each other. Madison is really supportive whilst at the same time trying to help Chase see both sides of the whole "should I forgive my dad" argument. Madison also kind of tricks Chase into actually answering his own questions and doubts with the use of bible verses and proverbs which although I would state I don't really read religious books when it comes to Emerald Barnes and how her religious references really fit the plot of her book and her characters, and I do like to read.
So did I enjoy the novella? I honestly did yes. Hence the 5/5 stars on Goodreads! Would I recommend the novella? Yes, but please read Entertaining Angels Bk1 first! Would I want to read another book or novella in the Entertaining Angels Series? Yes please! I read the sneak peek of Entertaining Angels Bk2 novel which I also rarely do as I prefer to start a book fresh and read it when it's all available to read. I break so many of my usual reading and reviewing rules with Emerald Barnes titles! Would I want to read other titles by Emerald Barnes? Yesss! I SO want to read Bk3 and learn more about Lexi's story. Emerald's book are really thought provoking, she makes you look back on experiences you have had yourself and persuades you to look at them in a different way. Emerald's books leave you with a feeling of contentment and perhaps what I would describe as peace. After reading one of Emerald Barnes books I want to tell everyone to read them and shout out about them too!


Monday, 17 July 2017

REVIEW - THE HUNTED - KNIGHT'S ACADEMY BY EMERALD BARNES



THE REVIEW
Title: The Hunted
Series: Knight's Academy
Author: Emerald Barnes
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Vampire, Werewolves
Publisher: Clean Teen
Release Date: 4th July 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Myka Williams has been forced out of Knight's Academy and is on the run, constantly moving to keep the vampires off her trail until Preston's venom is no longer coursing through her veins. But she isn’t alone. 

Brent Jacobson is her protector, training her and teaching her how to be the werewolf she’s destined to be. He's annoying, stubborn—and hot. But there’s something he isn't telling her.

Myka has to come face-to-face with the truth of who she really is. Will she find safety, or will she always be hunted?


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
After reading and loving Marked, book one, in the Knight's Academy Series I absolutely had to read this one! I am really looking forward to reading this book as I want to learn more about the plan Marcus has, as well as discovering what Myka's birthmark is and what her place in the pack will be. I am also looking forward to catching up with Olivia, Luka, Milo & the rest of the Knight's Academy. Yep even the bad guy Preston!


I still love the different blue hues used both within the series covers so far and on this cover. I'd definitely conclude that the female on the cover running is Myka, the main female character in this book. The male holding her hand and featured heavily in this book is Brent, the shifter given the task of protecting her and delivering her safely to the pack. 
Once again there's a full moon in the background as well as two werewolves lurking about in the background, which I'd say are Myka's wolf as she is silver like her mother and grandmother before her. I guess some would count the full moon and werewolves as spoilers but really they just confirm that this book series has werewolves featured in the book along with other paranormal beings. I love a great byline, it can be a great opportunity to give a clue towards what will be happening in a book. The byline on this book says,"Everything she knew, was a lie, and now she's the hunted" which certainly fits Myka's situation. She has gone from a human art student sought out for a scholarship to a rare werewolf whom Headmaster Marcus Knight would kill to have, to include in his race/species experiments.

This book more or less picks up a few days after book one Marked ended. So we know that Myka has escaped the Knight's Academy with Milo's help and is on the run with fellow werewolf Brent. Myka has been told Brent is taking her to the pack for both protection and to be taught the ways of the wolf and pack. They are camping in various fields as far away from civilisation as possible. Myka has learnt her wolf loves the open spaces and feelings of freedom. Brent's attitude varies from seeming to be irritated by Myka to quite openly flirting with her. The two wolves occasionally stay in a cheap off the beaten track motel so they can have a night in a comfy bed and a shower.
Preston is under orders to find Myka and bring her back as soon as possible. After a bungled kidnapping attack when during a lapse of judgement Myka revisits her old home, Preston is in disgrace and ignored in favour of Milo searching for her. Marcus wants to get on Milo's good side and keep up the pretense of wanting Milo with himself and Milo's mother living under the same roof. Much to Milo's disgust his mother is not only Marcus' donor but confesses to Milo that she still loves Marcus.
Myka has a lot to learn about her pack background and has a few surprises sprung on her about her wolf mother and her human father. Finally she meets her grandmother and realises how important to the pack she is and why. 
Milo contacts Brent and explains what Marcus thinks he is doing and they inform the Shewolf, who eventually decides they should first attempt to talk to Marcus and if that doesn't work, then there will be a fight. Milo gathers vampires who want to take down Marcus but will they be enough? And are the lies Milo is telling keeping Marcus placated and unsuspecting?
Myka has some difficult choices to make from, who she truly loves, to putting duty before love and then choosing to try and bargain with the unscrupulous Marcus for the lives of those she loves. Then there is a super cliffhanger with favourite characters being in eminent danger. Sadly Myka has lost some of those she loves but she is unsure who and it may be some time for that to be revealed.

My favourite characters in this book were Brent (definitely #BookBoyfriend material!) the gorgeous guy who is protecting Myka and helping her become used to her feelings as a wolf.
I suppose some would say its a good problem to have, but for Myka, it is a muddle of mixed feelings and emotions with three possible partners, Milo the vampire hybrid, Brent the protector & werewolf and finally the one she is expected to marry for the best outcome for the pack, Colin. I had mixed feelings about the She-wolf head of the pack. . . as she professed to love Myka, and even demonstrates she knows what it is like to be expected to marry someone who you don't love for the sake of duty to the pack, yet she expects Myka to do exactly that. We also learn much more about Luka's pack and what hold Marcus has had over him. Luka is determined to care for and protect Olivia. Olivia is eventually re-united with Myka and remains to be the anchor of "normal". Myka and Olivia have both been in danger and still are because of Marcus Knight. Just when you think there is the possibility of a solution, and a way to prevent Marcus Knight continuing with his crazy breeding and taking over the world, something else happens!

My thoughts when I first finished the book was. . . Oh No! How could it end right there!?! Who survived/was killed in the attack? And Olivia! I did not see that one coming!! 
To say I am (im)patiently waiting for the next book is an understatement. If I had it I'd be reading it right now!


EXCERPT
Preston had been hot on their trail for two months now. The werewolves hoped the venom would be out of her system soon. Apparently, Preston had been filling her full of it since she’d first been assigned to him. It bothered her that she hadn’t known what he was doing, and even now, the memories weren’t accessible. The only memory she had left of one of his bites was when he’d kidnapped her and tried to make werewolf/vampire babies with her. For all she knew, they still planned on capturing her and using her for exactly that, and that’s why she had to go on the run with Brent. There was something he wasn’t telling her, though. She had gathered that much, but Brent wouldn’t let on to the real reason he had run away with her. It had something to do with her birthmark, though he never opened up about it.
The worst part about being on the run was not knowing when—if ever—she’d be able to see the people she cared about most. She had to leave everyone behind: Jilly, Barry, and Olivia. Milo. What was worse, she had to leave a stupid letter about running away because she was adopted. She couldn’t care less about that. Barry and Jilly were her parents.
And then there was Milo. He knew the truth, but it didn’t matter. Myka knew they couldn’t be together. He was a hybrid; she was a werewolf. It wouldn’t work no matter how much she wanted it to. She exhaled slowly and closed her eyes.
Brent’s phone rang, distracting her from her pity-party. She stood from the bed and wondered if she should pick it up or not. Brent would be angry if she did. She walked to it, knowing that she should let it go to voicemail, but when she saw who was calling, there was no way she could ignore it.
“Hello,” she said, her voice shaking and her heartbeat pounding in her ears.
“Myka?” Milo whispered her name, and tears stung her eyes. “How are you?”
“I’m fine.” Ugh, that was lame, she thought. She was far from fine.
He hesitated before asking, “Where’s Brent?”
“In the shower. You want me to get him?”
“No. I’ll call back.”
She nodded, fully aware that he wouldn’t be able to see her, but she couldn’t speak. All the emotions she’d been holding back wanted to burst out right then, and she wanted to say so much. I miss you was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t say the words. It made everything seem too final.
“Myks, you still there?” he asked.
“Yeah.” She wiped away a tear rolling down her cheek. She refused to cry. “How’s Liv?”
“She’s good. Fighting mad that you left.” Milo laughed, and she had forgotten how much she’d missed hearing it. She could almost see the rare smile of his, the one he had around her and no one else.
“Will you tell her that I’m sorry?” Myka asked.
“I will.”
“Who did you call?!” Brent’s angry voice made her jump. She turned around to see Brent, soaking wet and in nothing but a towel.
“No one. Milo called. I just answered.”
Myka put her hand on her hip, frustrated at the way Brent was acting. He held out his hand, and she placed the phone in it.
“What do you want, bloodsucker?” Brent asked, annoyance heavy in his tone.
Myka stared at Brent, her frustration faded as she watched his chest move up and down with each breath he took and how the water dripped off his body. The man was ripped. He was probably around six-foot-three and around 220 pounds of pure muscle. His abs were well defined, extremely well defined. She turned her head away as a hot blush burned her cheeks.
Brent swore, and Myka turned back to face him, curiosity and fear coursing through her. His body was the last thing on her mind at that moment. His eyes narrowed as he watched her, and she hoped that anger wasn’t directed at her.
“Thanks for calling,” Brent said before hanging up the phone and tossing it on the bed.
“Why did you answer?” he asked, his anger rising.
“I wanted to talk to him.”
Myka wasn’t backing down from Brent. She didn’t regret her decision. Well, not much, at least.
“I told you that life is over. Stay away from him.”
Brent stormed back into the bathroom, and Myka jumped as he slammed the door. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks, and she buried her face in her hands. Something was going on at the academy, and Brent hadn’t told her what. Was Olivia okay?
When Brent came back out, he had put on his jeans and t-shirt, but his hair was still a wild mess. He looked sexy, but she pushed that thought aside, focusing on her anger at him.
 “You should never answer my phone again. What if that hadn’t been Milo? What if it had been Preston instead?” Brent ran his hands through his wet hair, making it stand on end.
“But—”
Myka was about to go off on him about how he wouldn’t let her talk to Milo and that’s all she wanted, but he interrupted her.
“Stop thinking about how much you miss that bloodsucker and get over him. He’s not good for you, Myka. I don’t know why you can’t see that!” He paused and paced the tiny space between her bed and the bathroom. “I’m just trying to protect you.” His last words were barely a whisper.
“I know. Thank you,” she whispered, matching his tone. She knew everything he had risked for her, but she didn’t like being told who she could and couldn’t talk to.

“Just be careful, kid. We can’t lose you to them.” Brent walked to Myka and leaned close to her face. Her breath caught when he wiped away the tears on her cheeks. “You’re too important.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EMERALD BARNES
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. She’s addicted to tv and binge-watching shows, and she has a thing for superheroes.

CONNECT WITH EMERALD BARNES
Website 
www.emeraldbarnes.us
Blog 
ebarnes23.wordpress.com
Pinterest 
www.pinterest.com/emeraldbarnes
Facebook 
Twitter 
Street Team 
www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesstreetteam
Fan Team 
www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesfans
Instagram 
Goodreads 
http://www.goodreads.com/emerald_barnes
LinkedIn 
www.linkedin.com/in/emeraldbarnes
Amazon Author Page
https://www.amazon.com/Emerald-Barnes/e/B004PL38QS


REST OF THE TOUR
July 17
Book Stalking PR

Jeanz Book Read N Review


July 18
Unicorn Quester

July 19
Community Bookstop

July 20
Belinda Witzenhausen

YA Book Divas

Ashlee McNicol Books

July 21
Professor Owl's Book Corner

Tabitha Caplinger

www.tabithacaplinger.com

REVIEW OF THE MARKED
Title: The Marked
Series: Knight's Academy
Author: Emerald Barnes
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Vampires
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Cover Art: Cora Graphics
Release Date: 10th January 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods.

When she's offered a full scholarship to Knight's Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennes-see, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight’s Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed.

As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she’s at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight’s Academy has in store for her—a fate worse than death.


PURCHASE LINKS


REVIEW
As I have reviewed other titles by this author and really enjoyed them I was quick to jump at the chance to read and review this book. After reading the blurb I was interested to know more about both it's characters and the direction the plot would go in too.

The pace of this book is a medium pace, which I liked a lot and became almost immediately captured my attention and held it throughout the book. I really enjoyed the direction of the plot. I found characters that I became quite quickly attached to, had empathy with, and I found I really cared about what would happen to them. Of course for every great character that you love you also have one you dislike, but I'll go into that further on in my review.

I love the different blue hue's used on the cover. I'd definitely conclude that the female on the cover holding her books, and wearing the Knight's Academy Uniform, is Myka, the main female character in this book. There's a full moon in the background as well as a werewolf lurking about in the background, which hint at the paranormal's featured inside. I guess some would count the full moon and werewolf as spoilers but personally they just confirmed I had chosen a book I would enjoy. The building at the very back of the background on the cover is a school/college, Knight's Academy. I adore a great byline, it can be the difference between choosing which book to read first or even be the final thing that pushes me to purchase a book too. The byline on this book say's, "She'd been marked; can she escape a fate worse than death?". So to sum up the cover on this book would certainly make me pick it up from a bookstore shelf, and the combination of cover, byline and blurb would make me put the book in my basket to buy!

The genre's that this book is listed as being, on Goodreads are, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires and I agree the book falls into those. I think both YA, NA, and Adults can read and enjoy this book. As I was reading the book, the Knight's Academy reminded me just a little of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead which is a series that I read and loved.  

This book has a prologue which give's us, the reader some background, and lays the foundations to help us to come to the correct conclusion about one of the male characters. It also gives insight into what looks like a great offer for Myka actually has a hidden ulterior motive. 

The actual book begins on a normal, usual day at school for Myka, she is struggling through her math's lesson, she really doesn't like algebra. Myka would much rather be outside in the fresh air and open spaces, with her sketchbook. So Myka is sat in the hot, humid stuffy classroom dreaming about sitting in the woods with her sketchbook. Then Rachel the freshman who helps out in front office knocks on her classroom door, the very beginning of Myka's life changing beyond recognition! Rachel brings a message that Myka's presence has been requested by Principal Adams. Myka immediately worries about why she is summoned to the Principal's office and Mrs Childress the secretary indicates for her to go straight into the office. Once in the Principal's office Myka notices the two strangers also in the room. Both men are wearing suits, though in totally different ways, creating totally different impressions. The older man, roughly forty has jet black hair, not a hair out of place. His suit is pristine and finished off with a hunter green tie. The man looks eager to be here unlike the younger of the strangers who looks like he doesn't care and he certainly doesn't want to be right there in the room they are in! The younger male looks about 17, so a similar age to Myka. He has dirty blonde hair, rolled up shirt sleeves and a loose hanging hunter green tie. He has bright green eyes that seem to look right into Myka's soul. Myka is so intent on checking out the younger male stranger she imagines kissing his lips and running her fingers through his hair. . . . Myka is brought abruptly back to the present as Principal Adams introduces the men. The older male with the pristine hair and suit is Headmaster Marcus Knight, he looks eager to begin speaking, but the Principal is introducing the younger dirty blonde haired guy now, his name is Milo. . . .Milo Farrar he is one of the students at Headmaster Marcus Knight's school, which is called Knight's Academy. Headmaster MArcus Knight, begins to explain that her Prinicipal has told him about Myka's love of art. then Marcus Knight asks Myka what she would say if he offered her a full scholarship at the Knight's Academy. Myka doesn't immediately say yes, she has the sense to question the offer, noticing that Milo has the faintest smirk on his lips as she does so. Headmaster Knight explains that they make a point to search out students with excellent grade and amazing skills. By the way Marcus Knight stresses the word skills, Myka is in no doubt that her grades alone have not secured this generous offer. Myka has never heard of Knight's Academy before today, but knows private schools are normally very good. Myka enquires about the Knight's Academy art program, Headmaster Marcus Knight assures her it is a marvelous program and equally marvelous offer, but he goes on to say she should come on a tour of the school with her parents. Hmm, her parents are another great reason to accept the scholarship offer, it would mean much less expense for her adoptive parents Jill and Barry Williams.
The next Chapter begins two months after the Knight's Academy tour. Myka is being dropped off at her new school, she had thought she was ready and it was not a big deal until the car stopped in front of the dorm building.  Jill and Barry help Myka move her things into her dorm room, and meet dorm mother Ms Carolyn Peters, who reassures Jill and Barry that she is always available to all the girls at anytime of the day or night. Myka soon settles in with room mate Olivia. They meet some older girls who are in their second year at the Knights Academy, they befriend them, telling them what happens next, the welcome assembley, being assigned a guide etc etc.
Myka soon settles in, she has Preston as her guide who seems to be glued to her side and becoming increasingly possessive over her and her time. Initially it seems a nice, friendly thing but soon becomes more irritating and Preston becomes possessive both during classes they have together like Archery to his insistence he walks Myka to classes, or be with her during her free time. It begins to make an already claustrophobic Myka feel as if she is trapped. Preston seems to think he is boyfriend material for Myka. The first efforts by Myka to remove herself from being glued to his side. Myka honestly much prefers the mysterious and moody Milo. Things look like they are going well when he purchases her a gift of something he has seen her admiring, but then he just falls off the radar for a while. Then there's a parents/family weekend and it turns out that Myka's quiet mild mannered adoptive father Barry takes an immediate and quite strong dislike for Preston! In fact at one point Barry tells Myka to use him, and the fact he doesn't like Preston as an excuse to get rid/avoid him! Sadly even that doesn't deter the possessive suitor.
I don't want to go into more detail as I prefer not to reveal spoilers as much as possible. I will say if you loved the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead I think you'll truly enjoy reading this one too!

Naturally one of my favourite characters is Myka Williams, she is a bit of an outcast, so I guess that's one of the reasons I empathise with her. When given the chance of a free scholarship she has no qualms about acceptiing as she doesn't really have very many friends to leave behind. Myka isn't a fashion enthusiast, preferring to feel comfortable and covered up. Myka especially prefers to hide the strange birthmark she has, that becomes more relevant as the book goes on. In fact Myka doesn't know anything about her life or parents before Jill and Barry adopted her.
I also really liked Olivia, the girl that Myka shared dorm room 4C with. Olivia is the louder, more outwardly confident "Miss Socialiser" friend that Myka needs to help her make friends and settle into the Knight Academy.

My thoughts upon finishing this book were, I want more! When can I read more? Could Milo and Myka ever have an "out in the open" official relationship? What about Luka and Olivia? If it comes down to a war between the human's and vampire's, whose side will the hybrids be on and what about the Knight's Academy staff? Who will dorm mom Ms Carolyn Peters and Teacher at Knights Academy, Mother to Milo,Girlfriend to the headmaster, Ms Farrar, side with in such a war. I am also looking forward to Myka's biological parents being revealed or discussed in the next book too.