by Carrie Butler
Series: Mark of Nexus #1
Publication: March 7th 2013
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
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.
Strength has a little bit of everything in it: some paranormal hot guys (twins!), a cool setting (I’m from Ohio, OK? Don’t knock it!) and the best thing about this book…Rena. Rena is awesome. She’s snarky and silly and totally up for just about anything. She’s also thoughtful and a good friend. In fact, all her good friendliness is what gets her in trouble most of the time.
Our hero is Wallace, I admit I’m not crazy about his name. He came off as nerdy at first and it took me a while to warm up to him as the hot guy. But Wallace has issues. Big, life-stopping issues. And everyone on campus, well, at least those in the dorm where Rena and Wallace live, think he’s a freak.
And he sorta is, but Rena, being the compassionate person she is, wants to try and figure him out after she literally runs into him in the hallway and he helps her out.
But getting to know Wallace is not as easy as she thinks, so she has to resort to some underhanded sneakiness and go behind his back. Which really gets the whole ball rolling as far as the plot goes. I think this book could’ve started off later in the story and not lost much. I did enjoy a lot of the dialog in the beginning as Rena is trying to figure out what Wallace’s secret is. I hate to say that part was unnecessary, but I can totally see why it was kept in and it was fun, but it slowed the beginning down a little bit.
Also, this book has a good versus evil theme running through it, and I’m not against characters showing their spirituality in a book at all, in fact, I enjoy that. But I didn’t see the connection in this book with the spiritual part beyond a character development thing. So maybe in the next book that will all fit better, it just felt extraneous in this one.
I enjoyed Strength, and I’m not sure if anyone cares, but I don’t ever (like ever) re-read the book descriptions after I decide to sign up for a tour, so I’m always surprised by what’s happening as I move through the book. In this case, the title is literal. It took me a while to get that but once I did, it all fell into place and I had an ah-ha moment. Most books have a title drop, all my books have the title drop. But this one didn’t really, so it was subtle and cool.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carrie 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.