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Reviews: The Charmed AND The Charmed Souls by Christine Wenrick

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The Charmed
The Charmed Souls
Author: Christine Wenrick 
Release Dates: Aug. 29, 2012 & Nov. 18, 2012
Publisher: Red Treehouse Publishing
The Charmed Trilogy #1 & #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s):  e-book
Book Source: Author

Keep reading for your chance to win a copy of one of these books!


About the books:

      In The Charmed—Book One of The Charmed Trilogy—Olivia Ann Greyson sees only one future for herself—to compose and perform the music she has loved since she was a child. But that future changes in an instant when a commuter train taking her to the city crashes and is attacked by, unbelievably, a coven of vampires! As the rabid creatures feed their thirst on the surviving passengers, Olivia is spared from an unthinkable fate because of the intervention of another vampire—Caleb Wolfe, a figure from her past who, for reasons he doesn’t understand himself, would do anything to protect her.
      After one familiar touch, Olivia recognizes the man behind the vampire. Soon love, and a powerful supernatural connection, begins to grow between them. But with that connection Olivia starts to notice startling changes happening within herself, and violent events make it clear that the vampire coven which wanted her the night of the train crash won’t stop until they have her.
      Time is running out for Olivia and Caleb to discover why all this is happening. And the answers they find may painfully tear their new love apart.
      In The Charmed Souls—Book Two of The Charmed Trilogy—Olivia Ann Greyson is a Charmer, a Dhampir with the power to lure the supernatural world’s most dangerous of creatures – and she’s in an impossible situation. She must leave behind Caleb Wolfe, the strong, protective vampire she has fallen madly in love with, in order to learn how to protect herself from the vampires, shifters and demons that will be drawn to her for the rest of her life.
      Human Guardian, Alec Lambert, has been assigned to see to Olivia’s training by the organization he belongs to, which is known simply as The Brethren. He takes Olivia to the group’s stronghold in the mountainous regions of Alberta, Canada, where she discovers the answers to her family’s painful past and the extent to which those hunting her will go to capture her. But she also uncovers many secrets and even more questions about this mysterious group she has trusted to protect her – secrets that will have her fighting to get back to the man she left behind.
      . . . but will it be too late?

What Nimas talking about:

      The Charmed is a surprisingly intimate book.  Told in first person, the story unfolds very slowly.  The reader has both time and space to create mental pictures, but isn’t left feeling like the story is dragging.  Every detail is deliberate.  There is action.  There is blood.  There is sex.  There is emotion—a lot of emotion and it sucks you in.  When I look ahead to see if my favorite character’s names appear, if I’m worried about them, then I know I’m hooked.  Yeah, I looked ahead.
      Wenrick’s characters are likable.  Heroine Olivia Ann Greyson, from whose perspective the story is told, is a graduate student finishing advanced degrees in both music composition and performance.  I especially liked that music played an important role in the story and wasn’t downplayed as simple set-dressing. Her love-interest Caleb Wolfe also has personal passions that show up to shape the flow of the story and are integral to a very significant action scene.
      Debut author Christine Wenrick takes advantage of traditional vampire and paranormal folklore to create her tale.  Like Stephenie Meyer’s “good” vampires, Wenrick’s “Daywalkers” intentionally don’t attack humans for blood, but they do drink it.  I think I actually liked Wenrick’s treatment of their reasons and methods better than those of the Twilight cast.
      One of my disappointments was an insufficiently explained connection.  When Olivia and Caleb meet up at the beginning of the book, it’s apparent that they’ve met each other before the reader arrives on the scene.  That first meeting is given a cursory once over, but never explained in the same detail that typifies the rest of the book.  That’s disappointing because the story surrounding that first meeting seems to have a lot to do with who Caleb is… something I hope will be addressed before the trilogy resolves.
      The Charmed Souls, the second book in the Charmed Trilogy is shorter and better than the first.  Also, the books must be read in order.  Without the sequencing, all that was set-up in book one would lose its significance.  Everything, the action, the romance… it’s all escalated.  Olivia’s music becomes very significant to her relationship with Caleb.  Additionally, new connections are made and small details that the reader glances over in the first book become significant in this volume.
      Being a new author, Wenrick’s novels seemed to lack some of the polish of a more experienced writer, but she shows a finesse and attention to her plot lines that leads me to believe she will only improve with successive attempts.  I’m very much looking forward to reading the third installments of the trilogy.

Nimas Rating:

The Charmed: 
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
The Charmed Souls
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)
 
 
Purchase Info: 
The Charmed: Book One of the Charmed Trilogy
The Charmed Souls: Book Two of the Charmed Trilogy

GIVEAWAY Thank you to Christine Wenrick for graciously giving away an ebook copy of either one of her first two books: The Charmed or The Charmed Souls (winner’s choice). To be entered, please use the RAFFLECOPTER form below. As part of your entry, please leave a comment answering the question which paranormal being is your favorite to read about. You do not need to be a google friends connect follower of my blog, but it is always appreciated (I’m trying to reach 600 followers before Dec. 31!). Contest is open from December 10, 2012 until Friday December 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST. Contest is open internationally and wherever not prohibited by law. One (1) winner will be selected from eligible entries. If you have problems with the RAFFLECOPTER form, please email me at twimom227 (at) gmail (dot) com.
 

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