Friday, July 19, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW: Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Title: Branded
Author: Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Dystopian
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. 

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. 
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. 
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Author Bios:
Abi Ketner Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan. 

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter 

My Thoughts:

I spent the majority of my life between four walls. I was abandoned, neglected, starved, betrayed and abused. I've already been treated like the scum of the earth, so the Hole is nothing new.

So another dystopian story that I loved. I guess I can't continue to say that dystopian isn't my thing when I've loved every one that I've read can I?. Especially when it is so well written and contained such a beautiful romance as Branded did. But besides the romance it contained beautiful friendships. Oh, and one pretty awesome dog named Zeus!!!

Lexi Hamilton is being hunted. Hunted for a crime that is not hers. The seven deadly sins are what will get you sent to The Hole. And Lexi is about to be caught and branded as a sinner in bright, bold blue for the crime of lust. The band of blue is placed around her neck so that with one glance everyone knows exactly what crime's been committed. The Hole is run by The Commander and everyone is watched over by his band of cruel and evil guards. It's an oppressive society where you do as you are told or you are killed. There is no justice. If you've been accused of a crime, you are guilty. 

After the humiliation of being branded Lexi is placed with her guard Cole. Unlike the other guards with their lusty comments and suggestive behaviour, Cole is caring and protective of Lexi. And the more time they spend together, the more their feelings for each other grow. But a relationship between a guard and a sinner is the most forbidden crime of all. It's a love they will have to put everything on the line and fight for.

Let me start by talking about Lexi. She has had so much pain in her life that there were times that I wondered how she managed to come out of it all. I think that all of the trials she has faced gave her so much strength that when something good happened in her life she would fight for it to the very end. In the bleakness of The Hole she managed to find goodness in the form of love and friendships. She was strong but caring and protective of those she loved. And the one she loved the most was Cole. Her guard. Her forbidden love.

I don't want him to touch me, yet I do. I don't want him close, yet his closeness is the only thing that makes me feel safe.

Cole was a bright spot in the bleakness. He knew better than anyone the risks of loving Lexi but love her he did. With his whole heart. He was passionate, caring and protective. I absolutely loved the relationship that him and Lexi had. I loved watching as they fell in love. But keeping that love a secret is hard. Living with the fear of being found out is harder. Their love is plain to see. But their lives depend on no one finding out. 

This book also had some pretty awesome secondary characters as well who each play a big part in Lexi's life. From friends to father figures to protectors and even Zeus the dog, all knew that Lexi was worth fighting for and would do whatever it took to keep her safe.

Branded is a gritty, well written read. Set amongst the exquisite romance are scenes of fear, devastation and horror. But it all blends beautifully together to bring you an absolutely captivating story.

“I love you... I don't want you to ever question it. I'd give up my life for yours. That's how much I love you. Don't you dare ever doubt that.” 

4.5/5 Perfect Cole Stars!!

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