Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Strength (4.5 stars) & Courage (5 stars) by Carrie Butler

About Courage

Rena Collins never thought she’d long for the past—back when affection from Wallace, her freakishly strong boyfriend, was the most dangerous aspect of her life. But now that the human-altering organization known as ERA has gone on the offensive, nothing is safe. Her bloodline is exposed, her relationships torn apart, and just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, ERA ups the ante. To save mankind from forced evolution, Rena will have to mend her broken ties and form a resistance... hand-in-hand with the one she hurt most.

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As if loving Wallace wasn't dangerous enough, now Rena must face a terrifying evil. One that could destroy everything. Plus, Rena discovers that Wallace isn't the only one with powers. There are so many factors at play, and so much Rena can't control.

After all, what is strength without courage?

Wow. It's not very eloquent, but it's the perfect word to describe how I felt about the second book in the Mark of Nexus series. From page one, you jump right into an amazing story with well-developed characters. Not only were all the characters I loved from Strength back, but their roles were amped up. Corynn, a girl whose power has major implications for Rena and Wallace, is introduced. Right away, I wanted to know her story. I suspect she will continue to play an important role in book three.

But my favorite addition to this story was the changing point of views. Although I love Rena as a character, there was an added intensity with Wallace's perspective. Now I just need some Cole thrown in. I'm Team Wallace, but Wallace's brother is piquing my interest more and more.

It's been a while since I felt this connected to a story--lost in it from page one of book one and seamlessly through book two. Book three can't get here soon enough.

Rating: 5 stars

About Strength

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, she’s stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she’s ever wanted in a man—except he can’t touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there’s no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.

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What if you fell for a man with secrets, a man whose touch could cause you pain? Would you have the strength to love him anyway, even if it meant you'd be in danger?

Rena Collins has no clue she'll be facing these questions when she runs into the hard body of Wallace Blake. He is hiding from everyone, but he feels drawn to Rena.

Soon, Rena is deep in a world she doesn't understand. What is she willing to sacrifice for love?

Rena is headstrong and determined, traits I love in female characters. She doesn't turn and run in fear. The heat between Wallace and Rena is palpable, but their deeper connection is what I found more captivating. Plus, huge kudos to Carrie Butler for an intriguing new species in the paranormal genre. I was captivated not just by Wallace, but by his family and the mark of Nexus.

I wasted no time moving from Strength straight to Courage, especially with a promise Rena has to make. One that is destined to bring even more danger into her life. This book left me with so many questions? But more importantly, a burning desire to know more.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About the Author

Carrie Butler daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Her passion for New Adult fiction led her to co-found NA Alley—a widely recognized informational hub for the category. She is the author of STRENGTH (Mark of Nexus #1) and COURAGE (Mark of Nexus #2).

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Thanks to Grapevine Book Tours for including me on this blog tour.
Visit more stops on the Courage blog tour page.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.