Paperback, 389 pages
Published March 7th 2013
by Sapphire Star Publishing
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.
(Upper YA/New Adult)
When I first read the blurb of this book, I was pulled in by the idea of magic and mystery that it suggested. I absolutely could not resist the idea of the two warring magical bloodlines. I was every bit as curious as Rena to find out what Wallace's secret was, why he was screaming and banging on the walls of his room at night. I was certain he was battling some sort of demon, or evil relative trying to suck him into a magical war or something like that. My imagination ran away with me the moment I was done reading the blurb.
Strength was definitely a page turner. The characters were vivid and funny, and I adored each of them. I have my doubts about one of Rena's friends. Something about that character niggles at me, and I'm curious to see what role that person will play later in the series. Because each of the character so far has been key to the storyline in ways that I thought were rather unexpected at times. And what a storyline we have! It's action packed, romantic, full of great dialogue and twists and always engaging.
Rena: I really connected with her character. She's small, but feisty and she lets Wallace know that she is perfectly willing to take him on, no matter what that means. I love that she stands up to him and wants to fight for them. I admired that she stood up for him to all of her friends who thought that he was some sort of sociopath because of all the pounding and screaming coming from his room. I liked that she accepted responsibility for her part in the rumors about him, and that she wanted to make it right with him by letting people know what was really going on there. I haven't anyone so truly kick ass in a while.
Wallace: Oh, how I feel for Wallace. I can't imagine what it's been like for him living with his special gifts. They are something of a burden, and I admire him for dealing with them so gracefully. For such a big, intimidating sort of guy, he's really very warm and caring. When he said he wanted to be an elementary school teacher, I had a moment of pure awwwww. I love how fiercely protective he is of Rena, and how careful he is around everyone. I also like that he hasn't let his isolation isolate him emotionally. There were times were I felt he was really showing Rena how to understand and empathize with others.
A great page turner, and a wonderful debut novel! I am definitely looking forward to book two!
4 glittering stars