Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Midnight Burning by @KarissaLaurel - Review Tour and Giveaway @BPICPromos

Midnight Burning
by Karissa Laurel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Cover Designer: Streetlight Graphics
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in the foothills of North Carolina. But a nightmare of a vicious wolf devouring her twin brother changes everything. When Solina learns her dream was real, she journeys to her brother’s home in Alaska, the Land of the Midnight Sun, to search for answers.

Solina soon suspects her brother’s friends are more than they seem, and they know more than they’re willing to admit. Skyla, an ex-marine, is the only one willing to help. As Skyla and Solina delve into the secrets surrounding her brother’s death, Solina learns her own fate is tied to his friends, his murder, and a dark history of forgotten myths and legends.

Solina also discovers a powerful new ability. She must learn to control it if she’s to keep everyone safe. If she fails, a long-lost dominion will rise, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

My brother, Mani, once told me Alaska was the first place he had ever traveled where he knew he was somewhere different—somewhere decidedly not home—before he ever set foot on the ground. I didn’t understand what he meant until now. Outside my airplane window, the glassy waters of Cook Inlet reflected a bright blue late-summer sky. Dark and looming, the Chugach Mountains encroached from the east. Far to the north, the ghostly, snow-crusted visage of Mount McKinley rose above the landscape, an ancient king, high on his dais, surveying his kingdom.
By comparison, Mani and I had been raised somewhere a little more commonplace. Home was a small town in the foothills of North Carolina, over three thousand miles away. And this was the first time I had ever left it. I probably should have eased into long-distance travel in the same way I eased into a cold swimming pool—one toe at a time. A trip over the border into Gatlinburg. A weekend visit to D.C. But no, I had taken a plunge from the high dive instead, and boy, was I in over my head.
The captain’s calm and assuring voice spilled across the cabin, announcing our approach and descent into Anchorage. Seatbelt signs chimed and flashed. A pair of flight attendants swept down the aisles, collecting trash and reminding passengers to raise seat backs and lock away tray tables. I closed my eyes, drew in a deep breath, and urged my heart to return to its regular pitter-patter pace, but it refused to obey.
I breathed in again and trapped the breath in my lungs. Chill, Solina, I told myself. It’s only a week. I could survive anything for one week, right? And I wouldn’t be on my own. My brother’s best friend, Val Wotan, was at the airport waiting for me. Val had texted me a dozen times to make sure I hadn’t missed my connecting flights or fallen out of the plane somewhere over Canada. Val was expecting me, and I was a glutton for fulfilling others’ expectations. I also owed this trip to my brother, to the honor of his memory. How could I ever look myself in the eye again if I gave in to my doubts? If I didn't give Mani my absolute commitment?
Val deserved my loyalty, too. In the few years I'd known him, Val had risen from casual acquaintance to something I wasn't quite ready to label, but just thinking of him made my heart beat a little faster, my breath come a little quicker. Val had earned my regard by being the sibling I couldn't be for Mani after he’d left home. He had watched Mani's back, made him welcome and comfortable in a strange and foreign place. He had even saved my brother’s life once.
I chuckled, remembering how Mani had loved to recount the story of the raging bull moose—deep in a rutting frenzy and crazed by the need to mate with anything female and fight anything that wasn’t. Not long after Mani had first arrived in Alaska, he and Val had gone off on a backpacking trip. They came upon the moose on the edge of a meadow and caught it off guard.
The moose turned its hostile gaze on Mani, lowered its rack, and charged. Stunned and uncertain how to react, Mani stood frozen in place and watched his life pass before his eyes. Meanwhile, Val calmly drew a .44 Magnum from the side pocket of his backpack and fired off a warning shot. The moose reconsidered his challenge and lumbered away into the woods.
If only Val and his gun had been there the night my brother died. Then I might be coming to Alaska for an entirely different set of reasons.

I just love when a book takes me by surprise, and Midnight Burning certainly did that! I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started the book and this book delivered so much – mystery, suspense, mythology, strong, kick-a$$ women, and of course some sexy alpha men.

The book started a bit slow with background being provided and the characters and some of the lore being built, but once the stage is set things begin to pick up and I was drawn into the story and couldn’t wait to get to the next page to see what would happen and what other information would be revealed. The plot unfolds as Solina investigates her brother’s death, and we learn bits and pieces of information as she begins to uncover what happened and she herself becomes a target. It’s hard to get into specifics without giving spoilers, but the author does a fantastic job of revealing information in just the right doses and at just the right time to keep the reader satisfied yet wanting more.

Solina started off as someone who was very unsure of herself and weak and had me doubting she would find her strength. She has been haunted by the nightmares of her brother’s death and is determined to shed her quiet, reserved nature so she can uncover the truth behind it. I loved watching her gain confidence in herself. She may not have been physically strong, but as her confidence grew I loved watching her stand up for herself. As she learns more about herself, her brother’s friends, and the other people she encounters in her quest for information about her brother’s death, she becomes more committed to learning the truth and making sure she does everything she can to keep herself safe.

Thorin and Val were both such alpha males, and as the truth about both of them is revealed…well, let’s just say alpha male is definitely a good descriptor. They both want to help Solina, but since they are hiding some important truths she finds it hard to trust them. As the truth begins to unfold, it was interesting to really begin to see who they are as they let down some of the pretenses. I really loved watching Thorin develop over the course of the book – as his truths are revealed and some of his vulnerabilities are exposed he became a really great character for me. Where Val started off the likeable character, as more of his true nature is exposed I quickly changed to #TeamThorin!

Skyla was awesome and I loved her commitment to keeping Solina safe. As she begins to unravel some of the mysteries with Solina, she only becomes more committed to helping Solina – definitely someone you would want as a friend! She’s smart, capable, and a former marine – definitely someone you want having your back!

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves not just urban fantasy or even paranormal reads, but anyone who likes mythology, suspense, and mystery will quickly find themselves wrapped up in the world that Karissa Laurel has built. I can’t wait for the next book to find out more about Solina and what happens next!

Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you'll find her on the slopes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Amazon Romance Book Search

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...