More than Meets the Eye: a book review

 Description:

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

My Review: 

This novel has what is probably the saddest start to a Whitemeyer novel i’ve read yet. It drags you in and wrenches your heart at the pain these children suffer, and oh, does it make you care about them.

But thankfully the story doesn’t stay sad. Within a chapter or so, Witemeyer begins weaving a healthy dose of her trademark humor into the story. The scene involving Logan and the “wild boar” is pure gold.

Both Logan and Evie are great characters. Logan’s pain is palpable as he fights to try and right a grievous wrong that wrecked his family – yet struggles painfully with the concepts of justice vs. revenge. Especially once he finds out that the man he wants to take down is not the kind of man he thought – and going through with his plan might just destroy his budding relationship with the girl he’s coming to love.

Evie is an incredibly sweet, quirky, and loving girl. She’s a bit too naive for some, and a bit too odd of everyone else. That girl has suffered so much tragedy and heartache, and still suffers the fear and disgust of most of the town for her strange eyes, but she has never let her pain turn to bitterness. She’s a gentle soul that wants to help everyone whether they want it or not sometimes – particularly her grumpy new neighbor Logan.

I totally loved the makeshift Hamilton family – and Zach in particular. The grumpy, loyal, and slightly mysterious big brother who made a lot of bad choices for a lot of good reasons.  You feel so bad for him as he watches the family he cares for grow up and move on, leaving him behind in a way. I really hope to see more of him in a future book.

I adored this book. A little bit of mystery, a little touch of action, and a sweet romance with a health dose of good humor. Witemeyer brings all her characters to life on the pages. The main theme of this book is forgiveness and the subtle differences between revenge and justice  – and how easy it can be to confuse the two.

Witemeyer weaves her lessons with a skilled and gentle touch. The romance is clean and sweet, and filled with feeling. All of the characters choices are understandable and realistic. you’ll laugh, you’ll sigh, you just might cry.

Don’t know about everyone else, but I’m dying to read the sequel – there is a sequel, right?

My Rating: Five Flames

flame-croppedflame-croppedflame-croppedflame-croppedflame-cropped

 

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Author Website

Happy Reading y’all!

 

Advertisements

Flower: a Book Review

H l burke Description: 

Kitrin always assumed her overprotective parents were just paranoid—until the trees started talking to her.

For sixteen years, Kitrin has longed for freedom from her parents’ secluded manor. However, one day her emotions trigger flowers to bloom, roots to grasp, and trees to bend. Unable to control her unexplained abilities, she finds an anchor in a young man with sad eyes and his own secrets. A man who sends sparks through her, but who might be tied to her destruction.

Palace outcast and nephew of the king, Prince Bryce lives under the shadow of his father’s execution for treason. To escape the toxic court, he takes comfort in the company of the kindhearted Kitrin. However, as the mysteries in both their pasts are revealed, he realizes the girl he loves is someone his family wants dead.

My Review: 

Fleeing the stifling confines of her mother’s controlling presence, Kit’s first act of rebellion brings her face to face with the shunned Prince Bryce – and her life falls apart. Turns out her mother had good reason to keep her separated from the world – and Prince Bryce in particular.

Bryce has always been the outcast, the son of the traitor. Bullied by his cousin, the crown prince, and distrusted by the court, he has always done his best to prove his loyalties. He quickly falls head over heels for sweet Kitrin, who doesn’t treat him any differently from any other.  But his father’s betrayal touched more than he imaged, and even the best kept secrets have a way of coming out – secrets that put his new love in danger.

I really liked both Bryce and Kit, they were such a sweet couple. I can’t wait to see where their story goes in the sequel.

The magic system is an interesting twist. I admit that I saw quite a few of the mysteries involving that system and the characters unravel well before the author said anything – and I suspect a few more that look be coming in the sequels. It did involve a few common fantasy tropes, but Burke still managed to make them feel fun and fresh.

The ending was a cliffhanger and I really badly want to get my hands on the sequels – like right now! Book 2 can’t come fast enough. I need to know what happens next!

I removed one star for the swearing.

My Rating: Four Flames

flame-croppedflame-croppedflame-croppedflame-cropped

Heat Advisory:

Romance: Clean for the most part. There is one off screen consummation of “marriage vows” though it is a bit of an interesting question as to whether or not they are truly married. They made their vows to each other and meant them, but there were neither witnesses or preacher/priest. Nor is the marriage legal by the laws of the land. An interesting dilemma.
Language: A handful of mild swear words are peppered throughout the book.
Blood/violence: There are a few violent deaths, fights, and one offscreen suicide. Very little blood.
Other: Magic usage.

Amazon Kindle Link
Amazon Paperback Link

Author Website

Happy Reading y’all!