Two of my favorite books are being released today, so I thought it would be a perfect time to Spotlight them! I truly loved both, so if you have not read these already, I highly recommend picking up a copy!
Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: Re-released on June 4th 2013
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
I have always loved an array of different genres in the Young Adult spectrum – paranormal, dystopian, mystery, and of course contemporary fiction. Every once in awhile I find myself craving just a good character driven love story, something that focuses on building a relationship. The Sea of Tranquility came at the perfect time and I fell totally in love!
Now, this book was not completely without a deeper plot beyond the romance. We follow the journey of Nastya, who is dealing with a tragic event that took a part of her away. She chooses to deal with this incident with silence and doing whatever she can to scare off people from getting close to her. Words cannot say how much I loved her. She was emotionally vulnerable, but at the same time she was also such a fighter with determination and a lot of snark and sarcasm. She had built all these walls around her that no one could break down, including her family. That is until she meets Josh.
Josh isn’t without his own demons. He is also dealing with tragedy and heartache. People around him tend to let his circumstances define him, but he does not let them define himself. He has such a maturity about him. And I am pretty sure woodworking was never as sexy until he came along! He was so sweet and amazing, just so perfect. I couldn’t have loved him more.
“I wished my mother was here tonight, which is stupid, because it’s an impossible wish.” He shrugs and turns to me, drowning the smile that cracks me every time.
“It’s not stupid to want to see her again.”
“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to see her again,” he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years in his eyes. “I wanted her to see you.”
*dreamy sigh* I could go on and on. These two together was such a brilliant dynamic. They were exactly what they needed for each other. Everything started off small, with an almost dislike they had for each other, that there was some sort of draw happening between them that they didn’t want. Everything built slowly, but at exactly the right pace. They find a way to mend each other without knowing it, but not just that, they find a way to mend themselves. Don’t even get me started on the ending. *sigh* Such perfection.
This is one of those novels for me that I just have a hard time finding the words to express how much I loved it. It was heartbreaking and beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for a better novel. Oh, and the secondary characters are outstanding and well done too, especially Drew! I highly recommend this novel to EVERYONE!
One… Two… Three… Four…
I Declare War
Serah always believed the world around her was perfect. As a Power, one of the warrior angels, she has spent her existence defending the innocent from evil. After tragedy strikes, tearing Serah’s brother from her life, she’s given the task of stopping the approaching apocalypse before it’s too late.
Only one thing, though: she has to venture to Hell to do it.
Lucifer—or Luce, as he prefers to be called—has been biding his time in Hell, longing for revenge against those who oh-so-easily cast him into the pit. When the heavenly beauty shows up at his gate, he’s just as captivated by her presence as she becomes of him. The attraction between them is palpable, and Serah’s willpower slowly slips. How can this charming creature, this scarred Archangel, be the one annihilating the world she so loves?
As the war wages on, the world entwined in chaos, Serah starts questioning everything she ever knew. When the light and dark, hot and cold, finally collide, she has to make a choice—a choice that sets her world on fire, black and white exploding into colorful flames.
Serah has questions. She wants answers.
Luce just wants to play a game.
She sensed him before she saw him, felt his presence like the bitter breeze. He smelled like lit matches, crackling fire with a hint of peppermint. The electricity in the air intensified, the sky stirring, a red and black swirl of clouds blocking the much-needed sunlight. A storm was coming on fast, and that storm had a name.
If anyone reading this review does not already know this about me, I am a huge fan of author J.M. Darhower. Seriously, if she wrote the phone book, I’d read it. Grocery list? Send it on over! So when I hear she is writing a new paranormal romance, I flail all over with excitement and glee! Add in angels and a bad boy (Satan, nonetheless) and I’m a hot mess of anticipation.
Extinguish tells a different tale of heaven and hell than I am used to in angel reads. This is no human falling in love with a fallen angel story. Here we have Serah, a warrior angel who enjoys spending her time watching over children and making love with the Archangel, Michael. When she learns a fellow angel near and dear to her heart has fallen, Serah is assigned the task to confront Satan himself and demand a cease-fire in the war of good and evil. And so it begins…
These characters could not have been more different from each other. Serah is the sweet angel who is obviously selfless and deeply compassionate. The angels don’t truly know what it is like to have senses, to smell a flower even, or to really feel something. But then there is Lucifer, or Luce as he prefers to be called, who changes all that. I don’t even know how to describe him. He is bull-headed and selfish, everything you would associate with Satan, a total bad boy. But somehow he was endearing, and dare I say, charming? A truly wicked personality on the outside, but on the inside is that Archangel, brother to Michael, and Serah makes him feels things he didn’t expect too. This never took over Serah and her resolve though. Of course she goes through this change around him, but in the end she doesn’t allow herself to forget who she is and where she came from, and I admired that about her character.
It was a slow burn with these two in the beginning, but once that fuse was lit, their world exploded with heat and passion!
“Tell me you don’t feel it then, the fluttering in your chest; the hair on the nape of your neck rising as your nerve endings stir, your fingers tingling with the need to reach out and caress something.” His eyes raked down her form. “Tell me your body doesn’t ache at the mere thought of me between your thighs, on top of you, inside of you, giving you what my brother never could – real feeling, the kind of feeling that makes you scream so loud your throat feels like it’s bleeding. Agonizing pleasure, the kind that torments your every thought, driving you to the brink of insanity only to pull you right back from the edge, over and over and over again. Unbearable pleasure, the kind that makes you beg for it to stop, but the moment it’s over, you feel like nothing but an empty, useless shell – a shell that needs more.”
H-O-T! Gah, I swear I highlighted full pages of this. These two had chemistry coming out their ears! Each moment and interaction sizzled with sexual energy with a huge payoff that left me wide eyed and blushing. Of course, there are repercussion and let’s just say, a couple tissues were needed by the end.
I cannot say enough good things on the writing and how this world was portrayed. Heaven is described as an idea, whatever you make of it and different for everyone, whereas Hell is an absolute place inside the earth, your worst nightmare set on repeat. I found the details rich and beautiful in both light and dark. Everything was so vivid, so clear, and just plain perfect. As I write this review, I find myself re-reading huge sections, just to relive it once again.
Extinguish is seductive in it’s glory with a blazing hot romance and a touch of grace. I, for one, am on the edge of my seat, waiting for what else J.M. Darhower can throw at us. Bravo!