Book Review of Stolen by Shiloh Walker

Title: Stolen

Author: Shiloh Walker

Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 30th, 2012

Shay Morgan has stayed hidden for a long time. Living a reclusive life in Earth’s End, Alaska, she’s as far away as she can get from the trauma of her childhood and the man who hurt her long ago. But terror takes over Shay’s life yet again when an unknown stalker steals away the fragile peace she’s built for herself—targeting not only her but the one man who’s ever managed to get past the walls she’s built around herself.

Elliot Winter has lived through being falsely accused before—it ruined his military career. Now it’s happening all over again. And this time, his accuser is a twisted impostor who’s targeting his ex-girlfriend, Shay. Despite a fierce mutual attraction, Shay and Elliot broke up because Shay couldn’t let her guard down, couldn’t let Elliot in. But now they both need to trust each other to confront a psycho who seems to know all their secrets.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: I fell in love with Shiloh’s writing when I read her Ash Trilogy (which I highly recommend if you have not read them) so when I saw Stolen come up on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. I do not read a lot of romantic suspense, but I love Shiloh’s style and will make an exception when it comes to her books.

In Stolen, we follow Shay who lives in Alaska to try and hide from her past. And what a twisted past it was. We get snippets of it a little at a time as the book unfolds, but I never saw the true horrors that she had lived through coming. It was a deeply emotional book because Shay’s life was shattered at an age when she should have been just acting like a kid and having fun. In Stolen, she is starting to gain some of her courage back and live her life the way she wants to. My heart was breaking for her at many points during the book, but Shay was stronger than she realized and I enjoyed being with her on her journey as she discovered this.

The guy in her life, Elliot, wants to be with her more than anything, but struggles to because she will never open up to him. He breaks things off because he wants an open and honest relationship and fears he will never get that from Shay. I really enjoyed getting Elliot’s point of view in Stolen because he was trying to decode Shay’s past right alongside me. We are both left in the dark and only get tiny fragments of what she is thinking so it was nice to hear his thoughts about what was going on and riddle it out alongside him.

Shiloh also gives us a look inside the person behind all of Shay’s troubles and wow! That person is one sicko! I thought the villain in the Ash Trilogy was bad, but this girl took the cake. I do like getting into the head of the bad guy, just so we have insight into how their thought process works, but what was going through her head was hard to read at some points. It was truly necessary to add depth to the story, but I don’t know how Shiloh can spend time in a mind that sick and twisted.

As for the story, there was plenty of suspense and quite a few surprises as well. Shiloh is a master at telling a chilling tale while still weaving tender and sweet romance into it. Stolen had a perfect balance of both elements. The romance was especially tender because Shay had so many issues to overcome, she was afraid of letting Elliot in. Her head is filled with hateful, vicious memories and she just wants to be happy.

“I want you to touch me. I’m so tired of the strongest memories I have being those memories. Give me better ones, Elliot.” She turned her face to his and pressed her lips to his cheek. “Can you give me better ones?”

I loved how Elliot respected Shay’s wishes and tried to take things as slow as necessary with her. He was not perfect by any means, but he tried very hard to work things out with her and he put his heart and soul into everything he did and I loved that about him.

“I miss you.”

Closing her eyes, she whispered, “Don’t.”

His lips brushed across the side of her brow. “Don’t what? Tell you that I miss you? Miss us?”

I was also happy to see that once they put their faith in one another, it did not waiver. No one went off on their own and did anything stupid, they trusted one another and decided to get through the situation together.

Overall, this was another great book by Shiloh. It is dark, twisted and while the characters were a little bit bruised, they learned to rely on one another and get through the awful events that unfolded around them together. If you have read Shiloh’s Ash trilogy, I was recommend checking out Stolen as well. Or if you are just in the mood for a great romantic suspense, this is a book you cannot miss.

FTC: I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday Snapshot – Tree Sap

Saturday Snapshot is hosted over at At Home with Books and is just people sharing a photo they have taken and telling a little about it. A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk in my old neighborhood and when I was walking back to my car something caught my eye. I stepped back to try to figure out what it was and stumbled across this tree with a small drop of sap reflecting the sun. I just had my phone with me, so I could not get as close as I wanted too, but I did manage to get this picture of it. It is amazing that we have cameras on our phones today so I could get this picture, but I do wish I had my good camera with me that day.

So what do you think? Have you ever had a moment when you wished you had your regular camera around too and not just your phone? Or do you have a Saturday Snapshot to share?

Book Review of The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Lost Prince

Author: Julie Kagawa

Release Date: October 23rd, 2012

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: Julie is own of those authors that I will automatically buy whenever she publishes a book. I fell head over heels in love with her Iron Fey (The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight) series and was ecstatic when I heard she was going to do a spin off series in that world.

In The Lost Prince we follow Ethan, Meghan’s brother, who is trying to get through life without drawing the attention of the Fey. The last time we saw Ethan, he was being rescued by Meghan and was very young. So seeing him now, as a teenager, was quite an adjustment. I think it was a brilliant way for Julie to keep us engaged in this world, because we really did have great resolution with Meghan’s story, but the world Julie created was too magical to not write about more. Ethan was a great character to spin off with considering he had a large role in how this series began. With his traumatic entrance into the world of the Fey, there is no way he would leave it unscathed and The Lost Prince explores that.

While Ethan does share similar characteristics with his sister, his dealings with the Fey and barely there sister, have left him with a harsh outlook on life. His friend Kenzie calls him on it:

“Anyway,” Kenzie continued, “we’re still on for that interview, right? You’re still planning on showing up, I hope. I’m dying to know what goes on in that broody head of yours.”

“I don’t brood.”

She snorted. “Tough guy, if brooding was a sport, you’d have gold medals with scowling faces lining the walls of your room.”

Who can blame the guy though? He has had a hard life and no one to talk to about it or vent out his frustrations. Even though he keeps everyone at arm’s length and feigns the “tough guy” attitude, he is lonely. I loved getting to know Meghan when she was on her journey and I enjoyed getting to know Ethan just as much. His sarcastic nature and quick wit had me laughing numerous times throughout the novel.

While he has been trying his hardest to stay out of Fey affairs, he get sucked back into it when a friend of his goes missing. He tries his hardest to keep a low profile, but cannot ignore all the strange things happening around him. Though he is not happy about it and comments about it to a familiar “friend”:

“Dammit, I don’t know why I’m here. Why am I here? I was hoping I’d never see this place again.”

“Please,” the cat said in that annoyingly superior voice, eyeing me over its leg. “Why are you even surprised, human? Your last name is Chase, after all. I was expecting your arrival any day now.”

As you can see, Julie did have some familiar characters make cameos in The Lost Prince and I was so thankful that we got to catch up on how life in Faery has progressed since we last visited. The book is still focused on Ethan, but the characters we have come to know and love still play a part in that and I appreciated Julie incorporating them into Ethan’s story. I thought I would miss all of them and not like Ethan as much, but the opposite was true. Julie nailed the male point of view and as a result Ethan really grew on me.

One of the secondary characters I was particularly interested in was Kierran. If you have read this series before, his name might look familiar with you. I was happy that he appeared on the page so many times and we got to know his character more. I was a little disappointed with some of his decisions towards the end, but I think those will make the next book very interesting.

As for the plot, something very strange is happening in Faery and there is not too much I can say without ruining the story. Julie has an amazing ability to come up with interesting and engaging stories that keep me glued to the pages and The Lost Prince is no exception.

The Lost Prince has a unique plot with memorable characters that will keep you coming back for more. The world Julie has created is mesmerizing and I enjoy every trip I take to Faery when I read one of her novels. I am looking forward to future books in this series and seeing where Ethan’s life will take him next.

FTC: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.