Today, we are happy to be a part of the Strength Blog Tour
hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Find the other tour stops here.
Strength (Mark of Nexus #1) by Carrie ButlerGoodreads:
Release Date: March 7, 2013
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.
Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…
Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.
They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.
(Upper YA/New Adult)
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I must be honest and say that I wasn't sure that I was going to like Strength, but I requested to be a part of the blog tour because it sounded so interesting and I wanted to give new adult another chance to blow me away. I am so glad that I did because Strength was a delightful surprise!
Rena is a college student, who until she runs into outcast Wallace, is pretty normal. Intrigued by his reputation for having psychotic breaks in his dorm room, Rena begins to spend more time with Wallace. Wallace is reluctant to share the truth with a too-curious Rena, but as the two fall for each other, it becomes harder and harder to hide secrets. Soon Rena is swept into the dangerous world of Wallace's supernaturally-powered family and must fight with him to save his family from war.
I loved this book. I loved it. It was extremely entertaining, so much so that I read it in one day. The plot, prose and relationships between the characters were fascinating. I could barely put it down to be productive. There was just something about it that drew me in and locked me there until the very end. Even then, I was sad that this first part of the journey the author provides her audience was completed. And finding out there is no news on book two was heartbreaking because I am not ready to let go of these characters!
Wallace and Rena were a great couple. They are both strong, brave (sometimes irrational) characters. Easily relatable and realistic interactions made for a smooth progression of the story. Rena is one of my favorite female leads for this line alone, "'Feels like I'm going to kick you in the face if you don't stop bugging me about it.'" I talk like that all the time, and this may be the first time I've read of someone using "my threat." Wallace was hot, too. He's a bit of a typical character, minus the sleeping around, but he was sexy and sweet and swoon-worthy times ten. These characters were just awesome. While I cared most about Wallace and Rena, I really liked the way the minor characters were involved. No one felt out of place, or forced. (Though, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I wanted to punch Cole in the junk several times.)
This was definitely an original tale. From what I've read thus far, new adult novels have not impressed me. Strength helped turn that around though, because while it was directed for an older age group, it was not focused on sex, or outrageous stereotypes. Most of the other new adult novels I've read have been extremely sexual, to the point where I was annoyed rather than intrigued. There are some minor religious themes in this. Normally, I am turned off by stories that really incorporate religion, but I found that in Strength, the story was actually enhanced by it. Though I must be honest and admit, there was one scene where I noted annoyance.
Overall, Strength is a good read for fans of paranormal new adult novels. Fun and sexy, this was an excellent debut. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel! (Also, yay for another story set in Ohio. BAM! Love it.)
Thank you to Giselle from Xpresso Reads and Carrie Butler for letting us be a part of this tour!
I received an e-copy of this novel for my honest opinion and review from the author.