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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ARC Review: The Charmed Souls by Christine Wenrick + Giveaway

Format: pdf (provided by author)
Release Date: November 22, 2012
Purchase Links: Amazon l Smashwords

Olivia Ann Grayson 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?

The followup to Christine Wenrick's debut book, The Charmed (which I recently reviewed) is even more engaging than its predecessor due in part to having already established the main characters and most, if not all their backgrounds. This left more time to focus on the storyline and the conflict at hand.

One major concern when reading a series is that the consistency of the characters will be lost from one book to the next but that is not the case in The Charmed Souls. Each character continues to grow and come into their own without losing what essentially made them who they are in the first place. Very reassuring when reading this book and preparing for the third in the series.

Olivia is still stubborn, but she's also grown up more, if that's possible. She was figuratively dropped on her head right into the middle of a paranormal mess and rather than spending an obscene amount of time whimpering, whining and complaining, she has stepped up and stood her ground as best as she could. And even though she misses Caleb, who she is convinced is the love of her life, she continues to learn about her past, her abilities and how to protect herself from harm so that she is not a burden on anyone. Very admirable indeed.

Caleb is still somewhat of a mystery to readers, partly due to the fact that The Charmed Souls, like its predecessor, is told from Olivia's point of view. This makes Caleb appear even more mysterious, brooding and overall appealing to readers.

The Charmed Souls is shrouded in more mystery than the first book but thankfully doesn't waste too much time before revealing some major secrets about Olivia's family, the Brethren and even Caleb. Cleverly revealed towards the end of The Charmed Souls, the secrets serve, in my opinion to keep the reader interested enough to await the third book in the series which isn't due for release until March 2013 *sobs*

The heat and intensity of Caleb and Olivia's relationship hasn't dimmed a bit since The Charmed first brought them together. If anything, their relationship is hotter and more confident now that both Caleb and Olivia know their love is real. There are some very tender scenes between the two and provides an emotional balance to the story.

It's not all about Caleb and Oliva though. Alec, Gemma and Jax also have some page time in The Charmed Souls that reveals a little more about these otherwise background characters. Their scenes help push the story forward and give the reader a break from Caleb and Oliva's relationship. 

While The Charmed, the first book in the series, inevitably draws comparisons to Stephenie Meyer's mega popular Twilight series, Christine Wenrick's books are a completely, one hundred percent adult series that just happens to be told in first person.

The Charmed Souls effortlessly picks up where The Charmed left off and keeps the adventure alive. Olivia now knows about the paranormal world around her, she is a part of it and though she fears for the lives of Caleb, Alec and the rest of her adopted family, she isn't going to stand back and let the enemy triumph and take what she loves most in her new world.

Fans of paranormal romance looking for something a little different should pick up book one (The Charmed) before reading The Charmed Souls in order to avoid being lost or missing out on the foundations of each character. The third book isn't due out until next year so that's plenty of time for readers to get caught up with this first person, adult paranormal romance. 


Find Christine Wenrick:

That's not all my lovely readers, Christine is graciously offering one e-copy of either book one (The Charmed) or book two (The Charmed Souls) to one lucky entrant! So fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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