Author: Wenona Hulsey
Publisher: Wenona Hulsey
Published: July 7th 2011
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Nicole, a small town Alabama girl, and her best friend Kat take a weekend trip to Panama City, Florida. Kat looking to have a good time and Nicole hoping to escape the pain of losing her mother for a little while. Little did Nicole know, the escape would awaken a ancient power that is hidden in her blood. A power that evil wants for its own and will do whatever it takes to have it.
This short story is a look into best friends’, Nicole and Kat, life before a centuries old grudge and Nicole’s emerging powers rips them apart. A power that Nicole wants no part of as it brings her to her knees and forces her to walk away from her small town life and everyone she loves.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆
This is a lovely short novella that is a great backstory for Burden of Blood. It follows the story of a weekend trip spent in Panama city between two lifelong friends. It is full of fun and silliness and really builds up the relationship between the two girls and I feel that having this there really helped to make their characters real within the first novel of the Burden Blood series. It is a nice way to get to grips with Wenona Hulsey’s writing while not being full of too much seriousness or confusing moments.
I enjoyed witnessing how Kat and Nicole acted around the guys and how you could almost see Nicole rolling her eyes at her best friends behaviour without having to read it. It was easy to see that these two girls have known each other for years and just knew how to be around each other, even when things took a turn for the worst. It was a nice scenario where Kat wanted to get Nicole away from their small town and away from the misery that was surrounding her best friend there. Little did she know, of course, that this trip would be the start of so many things.
I liked how it was all set together, how it wasn’t until about halfway through the novella before more “serious” topics were introduced to the story and the real reason for the novella come to light. I liked Nick and thought it was cute that, despite all that happened he still wanted to get to know Nicole more. I especially enjoyed the little twist towards the end of the novella and felt that it was the perfect opening to the first book. Which, luckily for me I was able to start straight after.
This is a little novella that I would say works well to read before the series, it’s a nice addition to the book and I feel like I know exactly what Nicole is referring to in the first book because I read this. Therefore, I would recommend reading this novella before starting the trilogy, but I’m sure it would be just as interesting to read it after as well! But for getting set for the upcoming books, it certainly helps to get the interest piqued!
Author: Wenona Hulsey
Published: July 28th 2011
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Summary: (From Goodreads)
No one wants to know everyone’s darkest secrets, especially not police officer, Nicole Keenan. All she wants is a blissfully normal life in the small, Alabama town where she was born. But as generations of power running through her veins start to wake up, an ancient grudge is ignited that threatens to push her over the edge. She can hardly believe in what she is, let alone that a dark force will not stop until she’s joins them. Or is dead.
Nicole Keenan’s life enters into a dangerous dance with warriors and gothic fairies. Southern tradition collides with Irish folklore as she learns about love, heartbreak, and The Burden of Blood.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆
If there is one thing that Wenona Hulsey can do, it’s grabbing the audience’s attention from the very first chapter. From the start, this novel pulls the reader into the action and truly sets up the scene for the rest of the book. Instantly you are shown how much strength the protagonist has and how good she is at her job, but you’re also shown a world that isn’t quite normal. It is just such a brilliant way to start a novel as it really just pulls the reader in. I, for one, was instantly hooked and it only gets better from there. This book kept me going and I always wanted to return to it, instead of carrying on with my normal life. A great novel and a great start to what looks to be a brilliant trilogy.
I adored Nicole. She was this woman who was so full of strength and completely self-less all at the same time. She pushed her personal life aside to battle the evils of the world because, in her mind, she was too damaged and derranged to have a personal life in the first place! As the story continues, it is so great to see her open up a little bit, to let people in, including her best friend Kat. There were times throughout the novel when I wanted to whack her upside the head and point her to what was right in front of her, but at other times, I felt like I could understand where she was coming from.I truly enjoyed witnessing the journey that Nicole led but, in all honesty, I preferred the side characters in this novel to the main protagonist. While I liked her strength of character, and the way she always put others before herself, I also found her to a tad annoying at times.
So, therefore, I feel it should be good to mention the other characters here. Like Kat. Ah, Kat. I have a friend just like Kat and I think that this is probably why I love her so much. She’s fun, she’s full of flair and she sure as hell won’t take no for an answer and I love it. She’s always there whenever Nicole needs her and she never, ever, bats an eyelid or demands anything in return. In fact, I think it would have been nice to know a little bit more about Kat, to see a little bit more of her life, especially when she starts to get pulled into this new world, but I do also see how difficult that would have been through Nicole’s POV. But I think a little bit of history just of their relationship would have been good. Obviously I had a bit from the novella I read beforehand but I think even more than that would have been good to see. But I really hope to see more of Kat in the next book.
Then there is Luke. Ah yes, Luke. He is the chiselled good-looking Warrior who will protect Nicole with his life. I love him. But not because he’s chiselled and good-looking. In fact, the comments on his appearance often left me rolling my eyes, (yeah, yeah, we get it, he’s extremely handsome.), no, I loved him because of his personality. He was gentle and kind with Nicole, he never over-stepped any boundaries she put up and he was patient and just always ready to be there for her. When I heard his story I felt as shocked as Nicole and then I was right there with her, wrapping my arms around him in an embrace. He is the ultimate hero, in my eyes, and I really, really, can’t wait to see more of him in the next book! I just wish that Nicole will see past her own naivety to see that he’s there to help her, to make her stronger than she already is.
I liked the plot of this book. It was fast-paced, but not too fast-paced. It was interesting and really kept the reader hooked and on their toes. Just when it seems like things are starting to slow down, like Nicole will finally get a break, something else happens and she’s pulled back into a world she doesn’t quite understand yet and I absolutely loved it. It was the perfect pace, the perfect balance between action and calm. It wasn’t constant, and yet, at the same time it was and I enjoyed that completely. It left the reader in a constant state of fear, wondering what would happen next and how Nicole and the “team” (I am referring to them as a team because I feel that, that is what they were by the end) will win, or ultimately, lose, if it came to that.
I enjoyed the world and the world-building. I would still say that I’m new to the fae genre and this was the first adult faerie book that I have read but it is definitely a good story. It is one that makes me know just how much potential this genre has and how much I want to go out and read many, many more books like it! It wasn’t confusing and I felt that it was well-explained throughout, and this probably works because Nicole was new to the whole fae world as well so as she was getting clued in, so were you. It was really interesting to read and I still want to know more, I want to know what will happen now, what will happen next.
A few problems I did have the novel are the fact that at times the conversations between characters felt flat. Like, they were just happening because they needed to be in there but they didn’t feel real. I also couldn’t get my head around Rhys or why he even had to belong to the story in the first place. I’m curious to see if this will be explained further along in the story. Luckily, these few bumps along the way don’t detract from the novel as a whole and I still thoroughly enjoyed myself reading it. I laughed when it was funny and I felt an emotional pull when it got heavy. And I will admit, there were a few tears at the end.
Oh, the ending! It was so powerful, so emotional, so amazing and just.. gah… how could it end… like that? I don’t have the next book yet and I don’t think this is fair because I need the next book now. I need to know what happens next. I do, I do, I do!
This book is a great, fun, action-full, romance-included novel that really pulls the reader in and gets them turning pages faster than a yo-yo. It was emotional and interesting and inspiring and definitely leads the reader wanting more. A great start to what looks to be a very interesting and good new trilogy! I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good faerie story or likes a bit of action but wants something with a bit of a new twist to it! I would say that readers of sixteen and over would enjoy this novel and urge people to go and buy it so that they can read it!
** I received both of these books from the author in return for an honest review **
If you just read both of those reviews and feel that they are the books for you, then today you are in luck because the author, the wonderful Wenona Hulsey is offering one copy of both ebooks to one of my followers!
All you have to do is FOLLOW my blog!
There are extra entries that you can do but these are, by no means, mandatory.
This giveaway is open internationally, so long as you have a means to read the ebooks.
Winners will be contacted by e-mail.
Please read my Giveaway Policy before entering.
Giveaway ends: 17th April 2012