Book Review: Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

It has been a while since I have actually sat down and read a book. With school, work, and my daughter, I just haven’t been able to find the time. Well, last night, I finally did it! I read a whole book in about three hours with interruptions, of course, such as bath and bedtime routine. It was a quick read, relatively short book, but it packed a whopping punch.18053913

Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

Rating: 4.5 Stars

I love Cynthia Eden! I have read her entire Bound series which hooked me on her as an author, and just recently found this novel since it was a freebie on Amazon. (One of the best ways for an Indie Author to market themselves because I went searching for the next book in the series and purchased it!) She is a semi-Indie Author who has been published by various firms, but takes pride in her independent accomplishments, and as well she should. I have yet to read a novel that I did not thoroughly enjoy by her! And Mine to Take is no different.

Skye Sullivan is a talented prima-ballerina who had a car accident which maimed her leg and stripped her of her ability to dance professionally. With a long past of darkness, Skye is used to feeling fear and pain, but for months before her accident, she feels as if someone had been watching her, breaking into her apartment and moving things, even stealing her underwear from her drawers. The police didn’t believe her before, nor after her accident, so she turned to the one man she knew she could count on. A man from her dark past she had never been able to forget.

Some men left a mark on a woman, a mark that went far beneath the skin. – Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

Skye seems to be a frail woman, but her soul is strong. After her parents died when she was a child, she bounced through the system, never feeling safe or unafraid. She lived with the fear and pain until she found her way to a dance floor. She had found her release and her passion, but one man would always trump her need to dance.

Trace Weston is a self-made millionaire who pulled himself from the slums and into high society in a way he would never admit. His security firm based its riches on corporations, but when Skye walks into his office with a bone chilling story of a stalker, he dedicates all of his resources to protecting, including himself. He had let her go once before, and he wouldn’t make that mistake again, but before he could have her the way he wanted, he had to make sure she was safe.

There were some things a man could never forget. – Mine to Take by Cynthia Eden

Trace had met Skye as a teenager, saved her the first night they had met, too. He was a dominate man, strong and powerful in demeanor, and when it came to Skye, his reflex was to keep her close. She was the one that got away, but he wouldn’t let her go a second time.

***SPOILER ALERT***

There were so many twists and turns in the short novel that I absolutely loved. The pace kept you on the edge of your seat, and you constantly questioned who the stalker was. Eden almost had be convinced that it was Trace when the detective was grilling him at the police station in front of Skye, but the scene where she was dancing in the club and practically begged Trace not to be the stalker convinced me it wasn’t him. The vulnerability of Trace and Skye in that moment was beautiful!

The only thing I wish that would have played out a bit more was the captive scene toward the end when Loxley went to where he had Skye imprisoned, and he was going to take her away, so that Trace or anyone else couldn’t find her. It seemed so very short that he was going to clean her up, and she thought that Trace was dead, but on the other hand, it was kind of a relief that it wasn’t too drawn out. Stalker situations like that can be a bit dark and aggressive, so not pushing the boundary too hard was a bit welcoming after all the main characters had been through.

All and all, a great quick read when you are hungry for a good book, but are strapped for time. Now on to homework. Boo! I want to read Mine to Keep!

What Draws a Reader In

As a fellow seeker, I’ve been contemplating what exactly it is that draws us, the potential reader, into a new novel. Is it the cover? Is it the title, or synopsis on the back cover? How about the first few pages? Or the reviews? Could it be a combination of all the above?

As an author, each time I begin putting the final touches on my finished work these questions always pop into mind. I try to remember what it is exactly that brings me to each novel I choose to read. I picture my latest exploration into a different world and run the initial face value of the novel through my mind before settling on what aspect had hit my interest first.

Take one of my latest reads as an example, the Callie & Kayden duology by Jessica Sorensen.

As I usually do when I am looking for a new novel, I found the list for what is recommended for me based on a book I have previously read. As I scrolled through the works listed, the first thing that caught my eye was the title, “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”. The alliteration within the name rang in my ears, and I have to say the actual characters name’s really intrigued me! For many potential readers I’m sure when something seems to strike our interest, the first thing we do is seek for more information.

As I clicked the title, the second thing to really ignite my curiosity was the cover, a young couple shared a kiss in the rain. The contrast of the dark background to their white shirts and tan skin causes your eye to search rather than rest on any one aspect. Not to mention, what I could make out of the guy, he seems to be rather attractive. (I’m a sucker for a strong jawline.)

Finally, the last deciding factor to whether or not I was going to purchase and read this novel was the synopsis, the brief explanation on the back cover. This blurb really brought my emotions to the surface, connecting me to the characters while reiterating my infatuation with their uncommon names. After reading the summary, I knew I would find this newly created world a worth while read. (I try not to focus on reviews. I usually really like what others say is bad.)

After reading “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”, I went on to read the continuation of these characters in “The Redemption of Callie & Kayden” as I was already drawn in from the first novel.

What I have learned from so many authors, including Jessica Sorensen, is to appeal to the senses of your readers if you want them to consider enjoying your work. In this example, the title brought me in because of the alliteration, the cover sunk me a little further because of the contrast in colors, and finally, the synopsis triggered my emotions. Remember these steps, and you’ll have a novel a reader can’t help but read.

What intrigues you?

Book Review: Any Duchess Will Do

As I continue on my journey of self publishing, I at some times get stuck in a block and need to find some sort of inspiration. I call this little necessary nudge of creativity my Muse. This little imp comes in all sorts of forms for my mind. I can find it in writing, but if there is a block obviously I need to seek it elsewhere; reading, whether a novel or some sort of creative writing; watching a movie, either an old favorite or a new curiosity; or dancing, either with friends or in a studio. Most always, though, when I am looking for my Muse, I can count on my favorite authors to bring it out in me!  

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare is no different. This is my first introduction to the author, and I found her by a GoodReads group that I am a part of for romance genre fans! This romance novel is part of the historical sub-genre with many hot and steamy moments! Her novel is very well written with such strong characters, you almost forget who to root for. Overall, I gave the book a 4* rating.

***SPOILER ALERT**  This review contains spoilers, please stop here if you do not wish to know the full description of the novel.

As we meet Pauline, a barmaid and farmers’ daughter, I immediately knew I was going to love her as a strong female character. Her temperament at an old hag mocking her family is so reactionary that I found myself questioning what I would have done in the situation, and I don’t think I would have done anything different.

As we meet Griff, I found immediately that he was a sly, desirous man, but so full of pain that I wasn’t sure how he would end up with Pauline, but the bargain he and his mother strike up reminds the reader of date and structure of the world.  Once they meet and he says “Her. I’ll take her.”, the fun definitely began!

The Duchess, Griff’s mother, is another strong character, sly and purposeful just like her son. I knew her purpose as a character, to get Pauline and Griff together, but honestly, once Griff brought Pauline back to his manor, I am not sure that the Duchess really had much else to do than dress Pauline up.

From divulging their dreams to the first kiss to the numerous love scenes, each one more steamier than the next, you can literally feel the characters fall in love with each other. You can also feel how hopeless their situation becomes. He a Duke, she a barmaid, there was no way for their union to ever be solidified in the eyes of society.

The last love scene, since we already have found the hurt in Griff as he exposes he lost a daughter, when he asks Pauline if he could potentially create a life within her, the pain Griff holds no longer becomes a weight holding him down in despair, but it all crashes around them when Pauline pushes too far and begs Griff to tell his mother about his lose, a secret he’s been holding for a year.

It literally breaks your heart as Pauline prods for Griff to say his passed daughters name, as if he were ashamed of her, like Pauline thought he was of her. Break, break, then shatter as she runs out of the house.

Being talked into attending the ball as herself, a barmaid and not the Duchess’ friend, proving she is not ashamed of herself to all of London, she meets Griff, and he proves to her his love in front of every watching eye. Happily ever afters are my favorite, and Tessa Dare does not disappoint!

 

My first Christmas gift to you!

I have a pleasant surprise for you, my friends! My previous post stated that it isn’t about what to give during this beautiful Christmas season, but what that gift would mean to the receiver! This Christmas, I would like to give you the opportunity to read my first novel “See You Soon” completely free!  

This season, I would like to give you, my friend, the only gift that I know can signify a piece of me. I worked extremely hard on my first piece, putting slices of myself within the novel. With this gift, I know that I can take part in making your holiday even brighter! So far my novel has received a 4 Star review on GoodReads and a 5 Star review on Amazon!

Please take a second and enter this coupon code into Smashwords: HL59X

Once you have entered the code, you will be able to choose which version, kindle, nook, etc., you will need in order to enjoy my novel, “See You Soon”! I hope you have a great holiday!