Thursday, October 17, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Courage (Mark of Nexus #2) by Carrie Butler

Welcome to my stop for the Courage blog tour, organized by Grapevine Book Tours.

Title: Courage
Author: Carrie Butler
Series: Mark of Nexus #2
Expected publication: October 15th, 2013
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)

Making a deal with the bad guys wasn’t the highlight of Rena Collins’ semester, but, hey, it saved her boyfriend. Now, in order to appease the human-altering organization known as ERA, she’ll crawl under their microscope while they study the Mark of Nexus and plot their eye-glazed version of the future—until she realizes that’s not all they’re plotting.

Wallace Blake has always known his girlfriend is unlike most girls. But now that information has surfaced regarding the two bloodlines that balance his supernatural race, he finally understands why. Rena belongs to one of them. She’s been augmenting his power, all along...

Enter: Corynn Catley. Brought into the country under the guise of an internship, she’s intended to become ERA’s secret weapon. Kind of. Her abilities cancel out Wallace’s, rendering him powerless, but that’s exactly what he’s always wanted. Too bad it only works when his girlfriend’s not around.

All the while, Rena fails to notice the crush her geeky best friend, Aiden Ross, is nursing. He’d give anything for her to see him in a new light—even reinvent himself through questionable means--but there’s a reason people are told to be careful what they wish for. Finding the courage to tell her could put everyone’s lives in danger.

Courage (Mark of Nexus #2) is a New Adult paranormal romance that features four unique points-of-view. While the novel stands alone, it is best enjoyed after Strength (Mark of Nexus #1).

My Thoughts:

She knew the rumors, knew the supposed danger I posed, but she didn't back down. For the first time in my life, I felt like a man. Just a man. And that stirred something inside me.

Wow!! What a fantastic read Courage was!!! The whole time I was reading it my thoughts kept going to the fact of how amazing this series is. Of how much I love Carrie Butler's writing and her characters. This book needs to be taken to all corners of the globe so that everyone can fall in love with this author's amazing writing skills and her characters just as I have.

I'm not going to go into the storyline too much. The synopsis is pretty descriptive and I don't want to give away too much. Courage is the second book in the Mark of Nexus series and is told from the point of view of four different characters. Rena, Wallace, new character Corynn and Aiden. A lot of the time, that just doesn't work. It's too much jumping from one voice to another. But this time it was perfect. It was needed so that as the reader we were able to understand the choices that each character was making. And since Aiden and Corynn play such integral parts in this story I think the story would have lacked without getting their take on things.

When I first read the synopsis for Courage I admit to being worried. I was a worried about the role that Corynn would play. I knew that Wallace and Rena loved each other. But that love is new and filled with challenges. Could someone come along and place a wedge between them? Well Corynn turned out to be so different than what I expected. I ended up really liking her. She was pushed to make some decisions that I didn't like but her heart is good.

Aiden plays a much bigger role this time around, The direction his storyline took just blew me away. The choices that he makes were ones that I didn't see coming and the outcomes of those choices... Boy!!! I cannot wait for the next part of his journey.

Cole, as always is a scene stealer. The guy has it in spades!! Charming, witty, hilariously funny, cocky and beyond confident. He just exudes appeal. He needs his own books!!! I simply adore his relationship with Rena. They have an ease about them, yet at the same time they rib each other constantly.

Her heartbeat resonated with mine; her emotions melted into my own. There wasn't a minute of the day I wasn't intimately aware of her presence.

And that leaves us with Rena and Wallace. How can a relationship work when your strength is so strong that you can barely touch? Touching is such a huge part of a relationship. Is love enough to get you through? Rena and Wallace encounter a few bumps in the road this time around. There were times I wanted to scream at Rena to stop being so stubborn. But for the most part she is so strong. She's not whiney or whingey. She just decides what needs to be done and gets on with it. And there is no denying her love. Not just for Wallace, but for her friends as well. Wallace!! He is just so perfect. As a couple they are perfect. But Wallace holds my heart. 

"Don't wake me up, don't wake me up..." he muttered under his breath.

"Baby, this isn't a dream." I looked up at him through a film of tears. "This is normal"

This part of the book had me all teary. This whole scene was perfection. Beautifully written and emotional. It's such a big part of the story, so unless you read the book, you won't really understand the significance of those two lines. This guy is just so incredibly special.

I felt that the characters really grew throughout the story. They faced changes and challenges and came out the other end as better, stronger people. I think Wallace's growth has had the biggest impact. He was so alone before Rena came into his life, but he's evolved into this confident, loving man.

One of the main things that I love about Carrie Butler's writing is that no one aspect of her story overpowers another. The romance blends perfectly with the paranormal. Everything fits together seamlessly. If you haven't started this series yet, please do. And then tell everyone how much you loved it so that they too can get the same enjoyment that we have.

5/5 Wallace Owns My Heart Stars.

Title: Strength 
Author: Carrie Butler
Series: Mark of Nexus #1
Publication: August 16th, 2013 (First publication: March 7th, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing)
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Author bio:
Carrie Butler daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Her passion for New Adult fiction led her to co-found NA Alley—a widely recognized informational hub for the category. She is the author of STRENGTH (Mark of Nexus #1) and COURAGE (Mark of Nexus #2). 

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