PJV Quickie: I LOVED this book. LOVED it. At 7% in I knew that I would devour the rest of the book!!! It took me something less than 4 hours to read. Wow.

Title: The Charmed

Author: Christine Wenrick

Genre: PNR UF/Adult

Published: Aug. 29th, 2012

Source: Author provided .Mobi

5 Stars

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In The Charmed—Book One of The Charmed Trilogy—Olivia Ann Greyson sees only one future for herself—to compose and perform the music she has loved since she was a child. But that future changes in an instant when a commuter train taking her to the city crashes and is attacked by, unbelievably, a coven of vampires! As the rabid creatures feed their thirst on the surviving passengers, Olivia is spared from an unthinkable fate because of the intervention of another vampire—Caleb Wolfe, a figure from her past who, for reasons he doesn’t understand himself, would do anything to protect her. After one familiar touch, Olivia recognizes the man behind the vampire. Soon love, and a powerful supernatural connection, begins to grow between them. But with that connection Olivia starts to notice starling changes happening within herself, and violent events make it clear that the vampire coven which wanted her the night of the train crash won’t stop until they have her. Time is running out for Olivia and Caleb to discover why all this is happening. And the answers they find may painfully tear their new love apart.

Let’s start off on the right foot here. I am a zombie fanatic. So when I see vampire in the blurb, it’s not my first choice. I am so glad that I didn’t pass on this one because of the that one little word. “Say it.” “Vampire”. You remember that part in TWILIGHT, I know you do. It’s unlike any other vampire book I have ever read. Yes, there aren’t too many ways you can riff on a vampire tale. Ms. Wenrick managed to toe the line of traditional and new age vampires and came up with something great!

So what did I love about this book?  Besides every single minute I spent reading it?! The characters. Alpha male fans heads up. There are a lot of them in this book. I just don’t know which one to pick as my book boyfriend. Yet. There is Caleb. The main love interest. I really like Caleb. He’s smart, he’s sensitive, he is buff. He’s protective but still allows Olivia to have freedom. Yet, I liked him but I didn’t fall in love with him. He’s great and I think he is great for Olivia.

For me it was her guardian, Alec, that stole my heart. He had swagger, and a sense of humor. Sarcasm is a way of life and I live it. It gets Alec (and me) some dirty looks from time to time. He is a leader. He is the least willing to let Olivia have her own way. But in the end he does. Because Olivia is no wallflower.

Jax is like an older brother but has all of those Alpha male qualities. Buff, big heart, protectiveness, leadership. He is well balanced as well.

Olivia, I liked her too. Someone in another review compared her to Ana from Fifty. I didn’t see it. Maybe because she is incredibly naive? She is that, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It was cute and endearing. Not annoying and overdone. She is a little innocent for a woman in her mid twenties but not so much so that she comes across as a high schooler. Like I said before she is no doormat. She doesn’t let these Alphas talk her into things, or make her decisions. She just keeps blundering into disaster after disaster on her own free will.

The book is set in the northwest. Around the city of Seattle. It was beautiful. If it wasn’t so cold I might actually move there. The house Caleb built is amazing. A giant tree house. Who doesn’t want to live there. Like most dramatic, there- is- someone- trying- to- kill- me books, the characters tend to bounce place to place. Because of this we don’t get a real view of the outside world. Cellphones are hardly mentioned along with other things that place a time period on a piece. This story could be timeless. She could have easily set the plot back 50, 75. 100 years and it still would have worked. The amount of time Olivia spends cooped up in their tree house should have made me feel caged in. It didn’t though because of Ms. Wenricks sweeping descriptions of the forest and the house itself.

The writing was amazing. By 7% I was sold on this book. I knew I was going to lose myself in this story. And I did. 😀 It was solid and kept my interest throughout the day. I could not wait to pick it back up. Every second I had to spare was spent reading. I’d even sneak off to another room just to get some sentences in.

There are twists in this book that I did not see coming. Olivia has her fair share of secrets and Ms. Wenrick manages to leave us enough hints without giving everything away. There is genuine surprise when the big reveal comes. It wasn’t blow me away surprise, but it was a giddy sort of “oh I was hoping that was what was going to happen” surprise.

What I didn’t like about the book is very small and kinda nit picky. I was tempted not to mention it… The little “shades of gray” comments were not to my liking. They really don’t add or take away from the story, but I personally prefer not to be reminded of “that book”. Personal preference and really quiet silly. I know. I was almost afraid to post it because it is so silly and I didn’t want to be accused of being shallow but I figured it might be something others might notice. Do not take this for more than it’s worth. I think Olivia says it maybe four times and really the supreme awesomeness of the other book overshadows them. 😀 *Ms. Wenrick expands on this in her interview, which I did after I wrote the review.

Oh I almost forgot…these vampires. They do get covered in blood. I am and always will be a horror fan. When I read vampires I prefer them to be sexy and bloody with just the right amount of scare factor. Ms. Wenrick wrote those vampires. Caleb and Jax are very human like but as capable of creating horror. I love that!

Christine was a doll and agreed to do a short interview and Giveaway!!!!

Lori: What made you decide to become a writer?

CW:I think like many wannabe writers you have to have something that inspires you to take that next step—a story that you believe in and the conviction to know you are the right person to tell it.  For me, that inspiration was the final scene of The Charmed.  I love powerful endings . . . the kind that gets you choked up a bit as you read it.  I had an absolutely crystal clear image of that ending pop into my head one morning and I remember walking to work thinking, “what the heck am I supposed to do with that?”  By the next day I had my answer, because I went to Costco and bought the laptop devoted solely to my writing.  That laptop, my favorite recliner and a few animal crackers (one of my favorite sweets) are all I need to crank out that next chapter.

Lori: What inspired you to write about Vampires and Dhampir’s?

CW: Actually, in the beginning, I played around with several different types of supernatural beings for Caleb and Jax’s characters—everything from shifters to warlocks to demons.  But the more detail I wrote on Caleb’s character the more I began to see him only as a vampire, especially that side of himself he struggles to keep control of with Olivia.  Once that was determined, the choice to integrate Dhampirs and Nightwalkers (the dark vampires) into the story was an easy one.  Throughout the series one of the core themes is how there are different levels of supernatural beings . . . some good, some trying to be good but often failing, and some really, really bad ones, just like people in the human world.  I didn’t want things to be black and white, but rather, exploring the shades of grey.

Lori: What is your favorite thing about writing?

CW:I love that, as a writer, I have the power to go back and change anything I want to at a moment’s notice.  Rewrite it in a different voice, or change the outcome of a certain scene.  We don’t get to do that in real life.

Lori: Any advice for new writers out there?

CW:If you really want it and believe you have a good story to tell—don’t give up.  It feels like we are told “no” a thousand times a day in this business, especially if you are a new writer like me.  That’s where that conviction comes in I was talking about.  You are the only one who can tell the story that’s in your head.  Make it a good one!

Lori: What is coming up next for you? Hopefully the next Charmed book (Please?)

CW:LOL.  Yes, the next Charmed book.  The Charmed Souls will be released on Thanksgiving Day, and the third and final installment of the Charmed Trilogy, The Charmed Fates will be released in early spring.  I am actually currently working on the third book for a second 5-book series based on characters you meet in The Charmed series.  So I hope readers like this first book . . . because there is a lot more Charmed on the way.  Happy reading everyone!

NOW For the GIVEAWAY Christine is awesome and is offering up one ecopy of the Charmed. You don’t want to miss this one!!! It was soooo good!

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