23 July 2013

Strength (Mark of Nexus#1) by Carrie Butler

Strength (Mark of Nexus #1) by Carrie Butler.
Audience/Genre: Upper YA/New Adult, Paranormal Romance.
Publication: March 7th 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing (first published March 5th 2013).
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.

Reviewed by Kelly.

This book had me at the beginning. Rena is creeping in the 7th floor hallway to get to her friend’s dorm room, trying to avoid the “madman”. She unwittingly runs right into him. He catches her to avoid her falling. She doesn’t realize that he is the supposed crazy guy. He leaves handprints on her arms where he caught her. She is totally taken with him and goes to debunk the “madman” theory. By so doing, she starts to fall for him and he for her.

But, Aiden, her friend and his dorm mate, isn’t so sure. He wants to know about the bruises. Rena is mortified that maybe she had a hand in everyone believing the theories. After all she heard it from Aiden and talked about it with others.

Gabby, Rena’s roommate, is too busy with any guy she can get her hands on too pay too much attention. But when Rena and Wallace (the supposed crazy guy) start becoming close, Gabby wants to know more. Then there is this guy in one of Rena’s classes, Maverick, who nudges his way into their lives and becomes one of Gabby’s personal play toys. Rena isn’t impressed with him. Gabby is usually a one night stand girl.

As Rena and Wallace become closer and Rena spills secrets from her past, she wants to know about him. She learns he has a twin brother, Cole, and they don’t get along well. Wallace tells Rena to leave him and his brother’s relationship alone. She runs into them arguing and decides to have an intervention to bring them together. Well, Cole put his number into her pocket so why wouldn’t she help, because she thinks he wants it. Thing is this is where Rena is really stupid. She drives several hours away to see Cole and ends up in a not so good situation. Why would anyone drive far away and not tell anyone where you are when you don’t even know the guy yourself. Stupid, stupid, stupid!! I wanted to throw my kindle across the room; I was so frustrated with her. So Rena finds herself injected with something to knock her out and then awakens handcuffed to a bed. Cole said he needs his brother’s help and she was leverage. Cole cuts her, takes a picture, and then cleans the wound and sends the picture to his brother. He also moved really fast in the room. Too fast for Rena to keep up with. Hmm... Not too long after that, in fact not enough time to have even driven hours to get there, Wallace knocks down the wall to get to her. He breaks the handcuffs with his bare hands and frees her and tosses his brother across the room and Cole crashes into the wall. What the????

After that, Rena finds herself in a whole new world and no way to turn back. Not that she wants too. After all, Wallace is this really good looking hunk of a guy. And tall too!! And has really nice manners. He is considerate, sweet and chivalric. Gee, there is nothing at all wrong with him. Wallace is my kind of perfect man. Except, he has one secret.

Cole and Wallace make up and even Rena starts to warm up to Cole, a little. Why would anyone do that you ask? Well you will have to read it to find out.

Rena meets Wallace’s grandmother. I love that woman! She is so funny, grandmotherly and downright loveable. I was cracking up at her. She loves her grandsons and only wants them to be good and happy.

After that, all hell breaks loose and it is nonstop action. I was so caught up in certain things that I didn’t see some of it coming. Stupid me! I was on the edge of my seat as there is a supernatural war about to start and Rena is smack dab in the middle of it! Rena makes a deal in the end, without that deal, something bad would have happened. She had no choice. And she really kicked butt in the end too!

The ending was perfect and funny.

I love Wallace and Rena. (I know I go back and forth with past and present tense, I still love them not just while reading) She’s all spunk and he’s pure in heart and they compliment and need each other. There romance is slow and sweet.

The other characters are great and some threw me for a loop. There is so much more to the book. I just don’t want to give it away. I read it through the night and fell asleep then woke up and finished it an hour later. Yep, that good!

I love the tattoos or Mark of Nexus too, but you have to read it to find out about that. It is part of the fun of the book, ya know; to throw out little teasers to get you wanting to read it too! I am mean, I know, but it was really good.The title is perfect for this book. I can’t wait to read the next book!

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