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Review: Oath of Servitude (Punishment Sequence #1) by C.E. Wilson

Oath of Servitude (The Punishment Sequence) - C.E.  Wilson

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I am a girl who loves fairy tales, and Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite! This book may not have been a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it had a lot of the same elements as that classic story. Teague is not suffering from disfigurement, but he has been severely injured, and the way he chooses to deal with the limitations that his injury places on him is to drink. He drinks a lot, he drinks often, and when he drinks, he becomes a beast.

When our story begins, Teague’s father Owen is at his wit’s end when it comes to dealing with his son, and he has no idea how to help him. I really felt for Owen. His son was hurting so much, and the only way Owen could even get Teague to speak at all was to supply him with alcohol. He felt that it was better to have a drunken beast for a son than an empty shell. However, I completely disagree with the way Owen enabled his son. I am not going to mention what Teague’s injury was but I will say that plenty of people live happy and succesful lives who are in the same predicament. Teague was still strong, healthy, and very capable of having a wonderful life; he just wasn’t flawless anymore, and was now going to have to work harder to do things that used to be simple. But Owen does realize that getting drunk and hiding in his room all day is not an acceptable way for Teague to deal with his pain so he calls in a favor from an old friend.

Thirty years ago, Nolkrin, a pixie, swore an oath of servitude to Owen, a human; but it is Nolkrin’s daughter, Caillin who is called upon to pay her father’s debt. When a pixie gives their oath they are bound to complete it, and it is nearly impossible for them to break it. Owen wants someone to spend time with his son so he calls upon Nolkrin who suggests that his daughter Cailin would be right for the job. This arrangement is also desirable for Nolkrin because Cailin has been sentenced to serve six months in the Darkness, (A terrible place where pixies are sent to be punished) but her father steps in and convinces the pixie leaders that sending her to live with Owen and Teague for a year would be a just punishment. Pixies consider humans to be monsters, but Nolkrin knows Owen well and trust him with his daughter’s safety.

When she first arrives at Owen’s house, Cailin is understandably fearful and uncomfortable. She is being forced to spend the next year in a house filled with giant objects and two men who are six times her height. The only information that she has about humans comes from a book that she has read, and that book did not paint a very favorable picture. She believes that humans are monsters who derive pleasure from torturing pixies and ripping their wings off, and it doesn’t help things when Teague comes crashing out of his room in a drunken stupor her first night there and starts calling her names. But Cailin is an extraordinary pixie. After her initial shock wears off and Teague sobers up, she demands an apology for his actions and refuses to put up with any more of his tantrums. Of course Owen’s reaction is to tell Cailin to be more careful with his son’s delicate feelings (That’s what an enabler does.), but Teague actually likes the fact that Cailin doesn’t treat him like a fragile child and respects her for her spunk. I love a man who recognizes that a woman with a smart mouth can be a good thing! Who wants to be with someone who never speaks their mind?.

After their rocky start, the relationship between Teague and Cailin becomes much smoother. She is very compassionate towards him, but she won’t allow him to sulk and feel sorry for himself either. Being different and speaking her mind is part of the reason why Cailin gets in so much trouble with the pixies, but Teague loves how unique she is, and for the first time she feels like she is actually appreciated for who she is.They accept one another flaws and all, and that is the mark of a true friendship. There relationship was adorable.

My only real complaint about this story would have to be the number of mysteries. There are so many that I wasn’t able to keep up with all of them! The worse part is that none of the questions that I have are answered by the end of this book. I know that there is something magical going on with Teague and Owen, but I have no clue what it is. I also don’t know why Cailin’s family is so hated by other pixies, why cailin was punished in the first place, or who her mother is. This is a series so I expected their to be some mysteries, but it would have been nice to receive one or two answers. The great thing is that the second book is already out so I don’t have to wait forever to get some answers!

If you like fairy tales, cute and clean romance, or pixies, you’ll enjoy this story!

Because of language, I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up.

Review: Where You'll Find Me

Where You'll Find Me - Erin Fletcher

You can also find this review and more on my blog Live a Thousand Lives!

 

 

I received a free copy of this book from Entangled Teen Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

I have read a lot of books in the Contemporary Romance genre over the past two years, but lately I have had a taste for more action and less romance. Because I am out of practise when it comes to romance novels, I was not sure if I would be able to give this book a proper review. But I am happy to announce that reading a particular genre after taking a long break from it is like riding a bike again after a few years. It takes a little while to get used to it, but once you settle in and go along for the ride, it is a lot of fun. At least that's how it feels when you luck out and read a good book!

 

Where You'll Find Me dealt with some heavy issues, but the overall tone of the book never became depressing.The only complaint I have about the story telling is that it was a bit rushed. Everything progressed too quickly. It's a short book, and I like the fact that it moved at a steady pace, but it could have benefited from an additional 50 pages. The characters were very interesting, and it would have been nice to spend more time with them.

 

When the story begins, Hanley (Love that name by the way.) has closed herself off from everyone around her. She hides behind sarcasm and drinks until she can't feel anything anymore. All her relationships are either superficial or antagonistic. Her best friend has been placed into a category of  someone who is only good enough to drink and have mindless fun with, her sister is just a nuisance, and, of course, she fells like her parents don't understand  or care about her. As the story progresses, Hanley learns that maybe she doesn't know everyone as well as she thinks she does and the people around her are capable of more than what she gives them credit. Often times when I read these types of stories, I find myself wishing that the main character would step outside of their own pain and look at things from another perspective. Hanley is one of the few characters that I've encountered who actually does this. She thinks about more than just herself, and I was impressed with all of the different emotions the author was able to explore in such a small amount of pages. 

 

The relationship between Hanley and Nate was very sweet, but again I wanted more!  I am not a fan of insta love, but even though the connection formed between these two overnight, it made sense in this setting. Hanley was suffering from grief over loosing someone very close to her, and was doing everything that she shouldn't to ease the pain. She internalized, pushed every one away, and drank way too much. It was very believable to me that she would form such a tight bond with some kid who sneaks in her garage at night because she was not making very smart decisions in other areas of her life. She was just lucky that it was Nate who showed up in her garage and not some deranged serial killer.

 

When reading a romance novel,  the most important thing to me is that the bond between the two people feel real. I need to understand why they feel so strongly about each other. I don't care if it takes them 24 hours or 24 years, if I don't get why they have such intense feelings for each other,  I chalk it up as a romantic failure. Even thought they fell for one another quickly, I know why Nate loves Hanley, and I am very sure of why Hanley loves Nate. They understand each other, don't judge each other, have some very important things in common, and meet each other in the right place at the right time. Everything aligned perfectly, and two kids that needed a friend met and found a safe place together.

There are a few twist and turns in the story that involve Nate and why an intelligent, charming, and seemingly normal young man has no place better to sleep at night than Hanley's garage. Even though I wasn't brought to tears, I felt for him and what he went through. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future because I think she can challenge her readers a bit more with a longer novel.

 

Where You'll Find Me is adorable and well written, and that is high praise coming from someone who has read hundreds of books in this genre. If you're in the mood for a  very sweet book that will have your heart aching towards the end, then you should give this a read. It also had an ending that put a big smile on my face.  ;) 

 

Because of language and minor sexual content, I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up.