Tag Archive | medieval romance

Guest Samantha Gillespie reviews one of her fave books #YAauthor

This guest post is by Young Adult fiction author Samantha Gillespie.

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden) by Kagawa, Julie (2012) Hardcover


The Book Blurb

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.

The Nitty-Gritty
Meet Allison Sekemoto (Allie), a girl who lives in a post-apocalyptic world where the Red Lung plague has wiped out most of human civilization, and those who survived have become blood cattle to the ruling vampires, to whom they give their own blood willingly in exchange for food, shelter, and protection from the rabids – humans gone mad and bloodthirsty from the plague ­– that stalk the earth in search of humans to bite.  Allie refuses to become a blood slave; she lives out in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in vampire city, where she hides from the vampires at night and scavenges for food by day.

Starving for food, Allie ventures outside the walls of the vampire city and manages to find a forgotten place with loads of canned food. Unfortunately for Allie and her friends, they are attacked by rabids, and Allie is fatally wounded. She knows that if she dies, she will come back to life as a rabid. But before that happens, a vampire finds her and gives her a choice (Interview with the Vampire, anyone?): Die as a human. Or become a vampire. Despite her loathing for the creatures of the night, Allie chooses the latter, a decision that will haunt her for the rest of the book.

After some training in the ways of the vampire, she is separated from her sire and stumbles upon a group of humans in search for the fabled place called Eden—a city without vampires. Allie joins them, passing off as a human. But spending time with the group puts Allie to the test as she struggles to cling to her humanity and fight the Hunger, which will drive her to madness if she goes too long without human blood. To further complicate things, Allie soon finds herself falling in love with a boy in the group, a boy who would kill her the moment he realizes what she really is.

The Verdict

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. This book was engaging and heart-wrenching. There was not a single thing about it that I did not like. The world building is dark, bleak, and very well-developed. I felt very connected and attached to Allie. She is one tough chick and I admired her courage and moral compass. I also loved how the author made her internal struggle so realistic, that she wasn’t always strong enough to fight her vampire nature, and that as much as she wanted to be human, she did not negate the fact that she had become a monster.

I must admit, Ms. Kawaga had me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, I laughed and cried and probably held my breath one too many times. The Immortal Rules is one of those awesome books in which I become truly invested in the characters and their story, and I just can’t get enough of them. I absolutely loved it. This is, in fact, the BEST vampire story I have ever read.

The Immortal Rules is the first book in the Blood of Eden series. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA fiction.

About Samantha Gillespie

Samantha Gillespie is a creative, helpless romantic who was born in Mexico, where she grew up with her family until they returned to the States at age eleven. An avid reader from a young age, Samantha finally gave into her passion for writing, making her debut with The Kingdom Within.

Samantha considered pursuing a degree in English Literature while in college but despite her family and friend’s encouragement, she opted for a more practical career in Business. Now, with the publication of her first book under her belt, she occasionally hits herself on the head for it. Samantha currently lives in Houston, TX, and besides being a sucker for romance, she has a soft spot for helpless kittens, and all things Pride & Prejudice.

THE KINGDOM WITHIN is a Young Adult fiction work by Samantha Gillespie. The book depicts the story of Meredith, a young princess who is destined into a marriage with a prince she’s never met, in order to save her Kingdom from imminent conquest. And while initially willing to do what is needed, everything changes when she is thrust into a fight for her life and love meets her from an unexpected front, causing her to question all she had prepared for, her purpose and actions.

Website:               http://www.thekingdomwithinseries.com
Facebook:              http://www.facebook.com/tkwseries
Twitter:                 http://www.twitter.com/S_Gillespie_
Book Trailer:         http://www.youtu.be/OhXVILEzHjE
Goodreads:           http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22875768-the-kingdom-within

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Destiny’s Disguise

Destiny’s Disguise

In this medieval romance, Lord John, earl of Farleigh, was a landless knight until the death of his family to sickness. He had no expectations of ever being titled, but now he is earl with many responsibilities. He has to marry and protect his family lands from the evil baron Elwood of Eye. Lady Gwyneth is a widow who suffered greatly at the hands of her first husband when he married her at 14 years old. When she hears that Lord John is to marry her 15 year old sister, she devises a plan to prevent that from happening. Knowing that her sister is in love with a young man closer to her age, Gwyneth is ready to sacrifice herself because she does not want her sister to experience the horrors of marriage to an old brute.
At first, I was annoyed with the author for the very similar names she gave Gwyneth and Gwendolyn (her sister). There were times that I could not tell the two sisters apart. But it started to make sense, when I realized part of went deceit had to do with the fact that she was changing places with her sister. It made the story even more believable that John would not be able to keep the two sisters names straight as well. Then I started thinking of the author as somewhat of a genius. I get it! There was a method to her madness.
Gwyneth endured so much abuse at the hands of her father and her first husband that she could not begin to understand how to do to take John. He was a man, so she expects him to mistreat her as all the other men in her life did. But after marrying John, she experienced many new pleasant sensations **wink wink**. Since married life to John was nothing like she thought it would be, she was suspicious. She wanted to enjoy it, and, at the same time, did not want to let down her guard. There were times when John was trying to be considerate, and she mistook his actions for some type of devious behavior to demean her. At times it was a little exasperating to me as the reader, but then I would remember she had already been through a lot from a very young age and who knows how I would have reacted in the same situation. If the author had not spent so much time on Gwyneth’s character working through her trust issues, it would have not seemed as realistic. Plus the story would have been less interesting.
John, on the other hand, had fewer internal issues to deal work through. I really did like John’s character. He was a true knight in shining armor. He went into the marriage with the expectation that if he treats his wife well, everything will be okay. Granted, he thinks she is her younger sister who he imagines is delicate and inexperienced. I thought it was sweet nonetheless. I admit that I concerned how long Gwyneth would wait until she told him the truth about her deception. They were getting along so well and I knew there would be some fall out once everything was revealed. I was hoping that there would not be a rush at the end to wrap up the story. When John finds out the truth, I found myself reading and holding my breath trying to imagine the heavy tension in the scene.

Overall, I think the author did a very good job with this story. The characters were so developed, I felt like they were real people. I was totally engaged in the story that I could not put the book down until I reached the end. I am happy that Gwyneth found someone to love and care for her. John needed a strong woman by his side that would be loyal no matter what. With all they went through, I am convinced they had a happy-ever-after ending.

Rating Scale of 1 – 5: ♥ ♥♥♥♥

Click Destiny’s Disguise to buy on Amazon