Of Fire and Roses
Nathaniel West’s mother is dead, his father a lost cause. Anger has become a way of life, until he meets and falls in love with Cora Ewell. Only Cora has a secret, one that could kill them both.
An age old dark magic resurfaces and it becomes a race against time for Cora and Nate to find the long buried secrets to saving everyone they love and each other.
After a near fatal accident leaves Nate in limbo, he must find a way to get through to Cora before time runs out and she is forced into life eternal with the evil wizard, Elias Stafford.
I came to stand on the branch that I would jump from. Holding on to the branch above me, I edged my way out to the dangled rope. With one hand, I grabbed the rope and pulled it toward me. I inched back a few steps to give myself a decent amount of swing room. The rope was fraying, coarse, and rough in my hands. I could hear loud shouts and whoops of encouragement from below, but I blocked them out, shut my eyes…then jumped.
Free…Swinging out in the air, I forgot everything in that brief moment of peace. Letting go of the thick rope for that split second of suspension, I felt like I was flying. Then, I was no longer flying. I was slamming—slamming into the cold, glassy lake. The impact shattered every cell in my body as the pain of hitting a sheet of solid water turned me to jelly. Then I was under. I opened my eyes. Murky darkness surrounded me.
I don’t know how far I was submerged but I could see rays of sunlight piercing through the surface into the depths. I waited for the moment my feet would hit the bottom so I could push off and resurface. Feeling the sludgy sand between my toes, I closed my eyes again and prepared to launch myself skyward. I don’t know why, but my feet were stuck. Something cold and slimy had wrapped itself around my left leg, tendrils crawling like ants around my calf. All the air in my chest escaped in a single cloud of air bubbles making a frenzied dash for the surface.
Kicking and flapping about, I tried to dislodge whatever had caught my foot. I needed air but every time I opened my mouth it filled with the ceaseless rush of muddy water.
Don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic! I crunched myself into a ball and stretched my arm down in a vain attempt to remove whatever it was that had the vice grip on my ankle. I wrapped my hand around the offending root that held me. Terror stopped my heart and froze my blood, and my eyes shot open. Clamped around my leg was a grizzly, white-knuckled hand extending out of the lake floor. I struggled and fought to pry the digits loose. It was no use, my ankle was locked fast, and I had nothing left.
Given the go-ahead, the murky liquid hungrily searched for any way to penetrate and take over my body. A thousand knives pierced through me as I battled for every last scrap of oxygen. My arms and legs spasmed once, then twice, then stopped fighting and went deathly still. An ethereal calmness took over. I knew right then I was dying. I thought of Cora, imagining her warmth and fire, and I found peace. I pictured her arms wrapped around me, holding me tight forever and never letting go.
What can I say? Harlie loves the Evernight Teen books. This is my first PNR from them and I was impressed. Paranormal is not my favorite genre to read at all. I don’t like my vamps to sparkle. I don’t understand the whole shifter culture either. What I do like in paranormal are ghosts, demons, angels and gargoyles. Yes, I know. I’m weird. This book had a creepy factor that revolved around a curse from a wizard and ghosts. I’m so there…
From the first paragraph to the last I was hooked. I will admit that the beginning of the book didn’t make a bunch of sense to me but once the story started rolling (see the above excerpt), I didn’t stop reading. Ms. Belwater has a way with words. Whether they are from a teenager or her descriptions of the surroundings. If I had one thing to say…her Australian showed up in Georgia. 🙂 It was weird at first but I just went with it and it made the story that much richer. Josh and Nate related better to me as a reader. Their friendship was easy going and free.
Nate oh my Nate. I felt for this kid. Losing a mother and essentially his father at the same time. He literally had no one but once he met Cora and Josh it was like he was home. Watching him find himself again was a treat. I did like how he and his dad interacted. It made sense to me. I just went back to how my brother and our dad interacted and it was perfect. Mother or not. The grunts, nods and actions…
Cora was a different kind of heroine. You find out about her in bits and pieces throughout the story. I didn’t understand what her age was until the end of the book. Yes, it is never revealed until the end. But I will say when it was I was floored. Once her full back story was introduced, I didn’t know what to think of her. She seemed weird but also, worldly. Protective, too. Of herself and the surroundings. Again, I liked her a lot but it wasn’t until the end of the book that she made sense to me.
Josh and Annie are great secondary characters in the book. They are mother and son. I wish I could say more but I will let you in on a secret…Josh plays a HUGE role in Cora and Nate’s romance. He never flinched when asked something and in the end he figured it out…in a way. His plot twist…I NEVER saw coming and it made me….Sorry, you need to read the book.
I can not implore you enough to pick up an Evernight Teen book. The authors that write for them are brilliant. They don’t dumb it down for the reader and the plots/characters are always engaging and fun to read. Ms. Belwater’s story is that type of YA book that I like to read. Of course, her description of the librarian was sorta lost on me. Don’t hate because I haven’t seen any of the Harry Potter movies. My kid isn’t old enough to see them yet. Soon…
Danielle Belwater adores the concept of true love and thoroughly believes everyone has their Prince Charming or Snow White out there somewhere, even if they have to fight demons, ghosts, and wizards to find it.
Danielle has been having a love affair with words since she was young and in primary school, writing some rather imaginative tales. This love has followed her into adulthood.
She lives in rural South Australia with her husband, young daughters and way too many animals to mention. She spends most of her time dreaming up characters, stories, ghostly tales, and watching Firefly re-runs. She also cooks the odd meal for her family to avoid them looking like skeletons at official author functions!
Danielle is passionate about reading and her interests include pretty much anything with words from rolling four volume epics to the daily newspaper.
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