Absolutely just love all of these mugs. If you haven’t seen them all, you MUST check them out.
We at Just My Opinion Book Reviews are thrilled to have been given an ARC copy of Shannon Mayer’s first book in her newest series. Read on….it’s an incredible beginning to an intriguing series.
My name is Larkspur, and I am an Elemental.
My people use the power of the earth to sustain life and defy our enemies. I should be at my father’s side as a royal princess. But as a half-breed, bastard child, that isn’t going to happen.
I’ve been accused of attacking the queen, my wicked stepmother, and my life is suddenly on the line. I have only two options left to me: banishment, or training to become one of the King’s Elite Guards, an Ender.
Option one will kill me.
Option two is meant to break me, but it’s the only way to survive.
Did I mention I have no power like the rest of the elementals, and my connection to the earth is worth next to nothing?
Could things get any worse? Of course they can. Welcome to being an Elemental.
Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her.
She is the author of the The Rylee Adamson Novels, The Nevermore Trilogy, A Celtic Legacy series and several contemporary romances. Please visit her website at http://www.shannonmayer.com for more information on her novels.
“Recurve is a slow burn….a waltz with incredible depth and creativity.”
Shannon Mayer is one of those rare authors who can cross genres with a fluid writing style that makes her stand out from all others. The Rylee Adamson Novels are my favorite urban fantasy series and have a very unique style to the writing. Rylee has her own voice without a doubt. The Nevermore Trilogy is an incredibly unique take on the apocalypse that no one else has done before and her romances are the type which take chances and break out of the normal New Adult mold. With Recurve, she’s introduced us to yet another voice of hers that is absolutely incredible. This story is full of love, betrayal, scheming, plotting, true friends and true possibilities.
The story of Larkspur begins with Recurve and is written in a manner which feels similar to a waltz. It isn’t the racing ahead full on action packed frenzy that Rylee Adamson is or the intensely suspenseful romance that The Nevermore books are, but it’s almost more enticing because of that. It’s a slow burn that by the end of the book leaves you feeling fulfilled and wanting more. We find another strong female protagonist in Lark, but one full of questions, insecurities and an inner strength she is only beginning to grab a hold of. The character growth of Lark just within this first novel is incredible – I can’t imagine how much more she’ll grow through the whole series. I felt like I just smoothly moved through this book. I was never once bored and the end came far too soon even though it’s a full length novel. I was left with actually FEELING this book. The descriptions of everything is so in depth and unique, you’re not reading, you’re constantly feeling everything. I experienced this book, I didn’t just read it.
The elemental world Ms. Mayer created is unlike any other I’ve read. The characters are so unique and each has their own purpose and future-it leaves things open to so many possibilities. While not a huge fantasy fan myself….I have found with Recurve, I am incredibly addicted to this elemental world and these characters who plot, love, inhabit and grow within it.
Maybe it’s just me….but I’m noticing something trending in the romance genre.
With Historical Romance, the dashing rake and innocent maiden ALWAYS works no matter how many times it’s been redone. Seriously, it’s always romantic and believable and different. There are so many authors writing it and yet it never gets old or stale. Probably why Harlequinn is still a force to be reckoned with.
With New Adult Romance, the bad boy and the good girl or the damaged characters with awful and haunting pasts being done over and over is driving me NUTS. I haven’t bought a NA Rom in FOREVER because of it. Seriously, every book is the same story just tweaked a bit. BORING!!!!
Why is this happening? Why am I feeling this way? Could it be because we’ve seen plenty of Historical Romances become classics yet never a New Adult Romance? Maybe because it’s such a new genre?
I don’t think so. I think it’s more the quality of writing and focus. First of all, in NA Rom, every book is almost guaranteed to have a sequel or God help me, different POV written as a follow up. Even when the original story was perfect as it was, many authors (especially self pubbed) feel they HAVE to write a follow up. Sometimes this is a great recipe for success, but many times, it’s just feels forced. Sometimes, it’s okay to write a great story and leave it at that.
In Fantasy and Paranormal, a trilogy is a home run. It’s expected. When did we start expecting this from our romances though? What works in one genre doesn’t necessarily work in all genres. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE doesn’t have a sequel and it’s one of the top ten romance novels of ALL TIME. Interestingly, if you look up the Top Ten Romances of All Time on Google, you’ll get a few lists, but the top 50 on GoodReads is really interesting as it doesn’t include even ONE New Adult Romance. Not one.
With Historical Romances, I’ve noticed that while they have companion novels (you see the XXX Family in a whole series of works), they are still stand alones. They don’t beat the first story into the ground or even rehash it, but take some of the characters you were introduced to and just expand on their world with a whole NEW and original story. Although I will admit, if you put Fabio on your cover, I will NEVER read it. Seriously.
Don’t get me wrong…there are some Historical series out there that I adore, it isn’t like it’s never done. THE OUTLANDER Novels by Diana Gabaldon are AH-MAZING!!
Maybe it’s just me….maybe I’m in a funk….I haven’t read Historical Romances since I was in my teens and twenties (no that’s not me in the picture), but I’m going back. I’ve already branched out into Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Horror and Mysteries (there are some fantastic and FUN comedic mysteries out there right now)…..but I’m literally feeling pulled back to Historical to get my romantic fix.
I can’t take another DEEP and EMOTIONALLY DISTURBING cast of characters and events to get my romance. I want light-hearted and fun again. Remember those romances where you wanted to BE the heroine??? I’ve never wanted to be a woman with so many issues I’m dysfunctional and come with TONS of baggage and fall in love with a man full of tattoos, mysteries, violence and ambivalence. While those first few were great reads, I still didn’t want to BE the heroine and never LOST myself in the book. Never.
I’d love to see some of these new self pubbed authors take a venture into Historical and see what they can come up with. Some of them have some great talent. I just think the NA Contemporary Romance is a bit misguided and the same story is being told over and over, with few exceptions. So….off I go to get a Historical fix on….but I’d love to know what you all feel! Please post on my FB page or Tweet me your thoughts on this subject (I may be WAY off base in my thinking)…..what are YOU reading now??