Monday, October 29, 2018

ARC Review: Embolden by Syrie James and Ryan M. James

Author: Syrie James & Ryan M. James
Series: Forbidden (Book 2)
Publication: Independently Published (Aug. 10, 2018)

Description: Internationally bestselling author Syrie James and her son Ryan M. James bring their trademark drama, humor, action, romance, and suspense to Embolden, the second book in this critically acclaimed series.

The world is trying to tear them apart. Will they stand together and fight back?

After a season of psychic visions and super-powered drama, Claire Brennan and her angel-gone-AWOL boyfriend Alec MacKenzie can finally be together. Under the protection of Claire’s grandmother, they are trying to lead a normal life, going to high school at Emerson Academy and hanging out with their friends. But jealous teenagers, vengeful enemies, the city’s new Watcher, and even the school play threaten to break them apart. Not to mention Claire’s surprising second power, which could sabotage the trust of everyone she holds dear. And just when they need to stick together, they finally get a lead on where Claire’s missing father might be. The threats, which come not only from without but also from within, will test the strength of Alec and Claire’s relationship. Is the love they share enough to keep them safe? If they want to stay together … can they learn to fight together?

My Thoughts: This second book follows FORBIDDEN (2012). Claire has learned that she is half angel and her boyfriend Alec has left the ranks of the Grigori who track down Fallen and is trying to be an ordinary teenage boy.

The main problem that Claire is facing is trying to find her father who disappeared when she was a baby. Her own visions and her grandmother's visions have indicated that he's still alive but they can't track him down. Claire has a number of questions about her life and her gifts, including one that is just manifesting. Her grandmother has told her that it is a dangerous gift and that she shouldn't use it. Nothing could make it more tempting for Claire.

Her new gift has made her particularly attractive to the Fallen who will do anything to try to recruit her, even telling her that they know where her father is. They also threaten to let the Guardians know where Alec is and Claire will do anything to protect him.

Alec and Claire both try out for the school musical. Claire winning the part in Guinevere almost ruins her friendship with her best friend Erica who also wants the part of Guinevere and has wanted it for much longer than Claire. Claire tries out for the musical mostly so that she can spend more time with her friends who are involved in the production. With Alec cast as Arthur, things should be good. But Claire's former boyfriend Neal has been cast as Lancelot which is making Alec jealous. With Erica mad at her and Alec jealous and Brian dating a new girl, Claire's circle of friends is disintegrating.

Alec is also feeling some regrets about leaving the Guardians to spend time with Claire. He still feels the need to stop the bad guys but doesn't have the authority to do so. He and Claire begin keeping secrets from each other; Claire has been experimenting with her new power; and Alec is trying to track down a Fallen plot. That puts even more pressure on their relationship.

This story was entertaining. It was filled with teenage drama, scary but charming villains, friendships tested, paranormal powers, and romance.

Favorite Quote:
"If you were about to step into danger, I would know, remember?" Helena's hazel eyes were reassuring, but Claire knew that her grandmother's psychic ability wasn't foolproof.

"And if you're wrong? A breaking-and-entering charge will look great on all of Claire's college applications," Lynn warned.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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