by Liz Schulte
Paperback, 318 pages
Published by 4 Corners Press (first published November 19th 2011)
Source: VBT tours
GoodReads | Amazon
While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn't know and sometimes what you don't know can kill you.
This is a story of angels, demons, and the underworld battle for human souls. Olivia Martin is a photographer who's lonely life is only getting more solemn as mysterious men follow her and people closest to her kill themselves. And as if life wasn't eerie enough, her dreams have become more lucid and dangerous. But discovering the truth behind the suicides, the identity of the stalkers, and the meaning of her unawakened hours will only put her more in harm's way.
Secrets was a treasure trove of intricately woven motives, lies, and hidden truths. This novel was like a rubric's cube in the fragile hands of a toddler. No one person could possibly unravel the plot alone.
The writing and conveyance of emotion was absolutely beautiful. The chapters alternate the point of views between Olivia and Holden. I have quite a few bookmarks and highlights from Secrets; as well as catch phrases I will be quoting until the end of time.
Initially I wasn't sure if I would like this book, because there was a lot of consecrated barely concealed violence in the leading man's (Holden) persona. So much so that I didn't find it enduring. His internal battle and overall dark undertones, overshadowed the intended romantic focal point. I also didn't initially understand Olivia. (She had feelings of being watched then two mysterious guys enter her life.) She wasn't the least bit suspicious. I like how the author addressed that tad bit; yet I still found it to be unbelievable and not very convincing. As I continue to read I discovered, that unfortunately, Olivia was a bit naive to the point of oblivious. She's the type of person anyone would be happy to call “friend”. Yet the things she sacrifice for others aren't always in her own best interest. Her character was alluring and interesting enough to look pass her flaws out of curiosity. The supporting cast was also interesting and aided to the overall air of mystic. At one point I anticipated a love triangle with Quintus; yet the other character was keep at a bit of a distance, allowing room for the two main characters to advance.
The romance was frustrating at times with the couple's fighting against the magnetic pull of phenomenal chemistry. I was almost afraid that the holding back would hinder the relationship from progressing beyond infatuation. The battle waged back and forth continuously, even in spite of the outside danger factor, and I found myself yelling at the pages...either be together or don't be together. But please....my goodness...come to a resolution!
The conflict between love and safety was an interesting battle. If you had the choice between “the love of your life yet always in danger” or “lonely but safe”; which would you choose? Of course things aren't always black and white and; this story isn't that easy to figure out. There wasn't a quick and easy solution for any of Olivia's issues and I found this novel absolutely hypnotizing.
Oh and the ending AHHHH took the wind out of my sails....Devastation! I did not see that coming.
by Liz Schulte
Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published March 26th 2012 by 4 Corners Press
Source: VBT tours
GoodReads | Amazon
Hearts break. Loved ones are lost. Life keeps moving.
Olivia Martin’s afterlife was more dangerous and confusing than her life ever was. She thought she was ready to come back, to forget about Holden and to let go of the rage consuming her. Fulfilling her destiny as a guardian was all that mattered—the past could stay hidden in the crevices of her mind. However, when guardians are murdered and the evidence points towards jinn, she has to do something. To save anyone’s future, Olivia will have to confront the one person from her past she is terrified to see.
Holden waited for Olivia with the hope he would see her one more time. But when she didn’t return, he found salvation in darkness. The black and twisted road made it easier to forget what he lost than to live with the memory of what he had. An unexpected promotion shoves him into a world of intoxicating power and influence. Holden will have to choose between his new life and the woman he thought was gone forever.
From the ashes of Secrets, Choices are born that will change everything..
If you didn't read book one, this WILL contain spoilers. In book one Olivia revealed the secrets surrounding her. She was introduced to the parallel universe of beings with an interest in the sway of good and evil. She was left with a choice between living with the love of her life as a creature of sin, or serving with Heaven as her lover's swoon enemy. Ultimately the choice was taken from her by Holden in the form of a bullet. Which is pretty ironic because “Choice” is the title of book two.
I was NOT optimistic and hopeful for this next book. I was absolutely devastated from the betrayal in “Secrets”. Yet like watching a really horrible event in the flash, I just had to see what happened next. This story starts a few years after the incident that ended book one. Holden is trying to get over the decision he made in book one by over indulging in his Jinni duties. I was really shocked at how low he was stooping in an attempt to rid himself of memories and guilt. Olivia is ALIVE. Except now she is no longer human. (All this is kelp hidden from Holden).
The reader really get's a tour of the underworld culture as well as the guardian hierarchy and politics initially hidden in book one. Other supernatural creatures are also introduced and incorporated.
With Olivia's relationship assumed to be severed from Holden, another romance forms. I was excited to see my suspicions from Secrets manifested: *clears throat* Quintus & Olivia.
The main conflict in this novel involves an impending war between Heaven and Hell due to missing Angels. One thing that I really enjoyed was that it nothing was ever really fully exposed. Everyone had a trick up their sleeve. Even though the supernatural was no longer secret, secrets still prevailed.
Even as a new being, Olivia isn't normal. A greater destiny lies ahead. An unlikely friend and foe emerges in this story that was definitely shockers.
This book adds another element to the points of view. This time it includes Quintus' perspective. The writing wasn't as poetic as the first novel yet it did not lack in suspense and action.
Overall I was thoroughly entertained. This book ended in an intense moment, that will definitely have you wanting more. I am highly anticipating the final novel of this trilogy.
Tour courtesy of VBT tours!