I'm so excited to be a part of the WONDERFULLY WICKED blog tour, organized by the lovely ladies at Kismet Book Tours! A new adult fantasy novel? Um, yes please! Check out my review, and don't forget to enter the giveaway for Wonderfully Wicked swag and a $50 gift card at the end!
Published May 13, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Format: e-book, provided by the author
Genre: new adult fantasy romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) A dreamcaster with the ability to channel creatures from her nightmares, headstrong and cynical Kalila Montgomery longs for a peaceful, picket-fence life… until the man literally of her dreams kidnaps her.
Survival quickly becomes her number one goal, yet a growing attraction to the man in her nightmares is impossible to ignore. While she fears he will kill her, other, more terrifying enemies surround her, and Kalila succumbs to his scheme to escape. She may be his one hope for freedom…
A deadly combination of power, cunning, and cold-hearted charm, Lydon v'al Endrian fears nothing. Feels nothing. Chained to a brotherhood of men with the supernatural ability to invade dreams, he hunts dreamcasters to be harvested for their dreams and killed. His target: Kalila Montgomery. But Kalila awakens an undeniable dark desire and a longing for a freedom long-lost.
To gain everything he craves, Lydon must seduce Kalila before his plot is discovered… a hopeless challenge which, if failed, will earn him a death-sentence. Caught up in a dangerous world of secrets and obsession, doubt and betrayal, Kalila and Lydon face the nightmare of their lives, where love will either deliver them—or destroy them both.
In the new adult genre, too often do we see the typical contemporary romance story played out. I've said to many bookish friends that there needs to be more new adult dystopian or fantasy books out there. So, when I learned of WONDERFULLY WICKED, I had to applaud C.J. Burright for reaching inside my head and my heart and giving me what I wanted.
Kalila - Lils as those who know her best call her - is a dreamcaster, which means she can make her nightmares come to life. One day, she's kidnapped and taken to a fortress in the Pacific Northwest where she's promised she'll be safe. She soon learns she's anything BUT safe, and the one who imparts that wisdom is none other than her kidnapper, Lydon. The worst of the worst. But, Kalila can't deny her attraction to him, and she soon learns way more about him and her own abilities than she had ever bargained for.
I loved Kalila. She's exactly what I need in a heroine - someone who isn't afraid of making the hard choices but she's not so hard that they don't affect her. She doesn't have many people in her life that she's close to, but those that are, she holds very dear. She knows her abilities come with problems, and she jumps at the possibility that they could finally be taken away. I empathized with Kalila - actually meeting the monster in your closet must be terrible. So, I get why the initial things that are told to her when she reaches apparent safety seem so alluring.
But, the allure of Lydon is much stronger. Her relationship with him is adorable. She has this very volatile love/hate relationship with him right off the bat. I mean, he kidnapped her! It's understandable she should hate him. But, there's this instinctual pull toward him too that she just can't deny no matter how much she wants to. Their words with each other are biting and caustic and completely adorable.
Lydon was the same. He was brought up to kill and destroy. He's literally the worst of his kind, and his task was to find Kalila and essentially destroy her. He just can't do it, and he spends a large portion of the book trying to convince himself to go back to the unfeeling bastard he has been his whole life. When he finally gives up and gives in was a great part of the book.
This book was also very frustrating in that both Kalila and Lydon believe the other could never truly love the other. They never really communicate properly until the very, VERY end. I thought I would scream waiting for that point to actually arrive.
The premise of the dreams coming to life and what that means is a super cool one. I was, however, a little confused as to how the dreamcasters worked with the V'alkara. It was explained throughout the book in bits and pieces, but it feels like there were too many layers to the concept, which muddied the waters a bit. I get that the V'alkara can control the nightmares that Kalila can manifest. I think if it would've stopped there, it would've been perfect, and this could've been a five-star book. But, there was more there about how the dreams must sustain the V'alkara, and the naming of them by the dreamcaster and the dreamwalking... it got to be a bit much.
But, the romance is what I ultimately read NA books for, and in this case, it was great. It wasn't nearly as steamy as some I've read - it was rather tame in that regard, actually. But it didn't diminish the intensity of Kalila's and Lydon's relationship in the least. I definitely would recommend this book to any fantasy or NA fan.
About the Author
C. J. Burright was born and raised in Oregon and loved it so much she never left. While she has worked for years in a law office, she chooses to avoid writing legal thrillers and instead leans toward urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or—since all things medieval and magic fascinate her—fantasy romance. A member of Romance Writers of America and Secretary for the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal special interest chapter, C. J. also has her 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and believes stories should always include a gratuitous fight scene. In what spare time she has, she enjoys working out, reading, gardening, and rooting on the Seattle Mariners with a nice glass of wine. She shares a house with her husband, daughter, and a devoted herd of cats.
Check out all the stops on the WONDERFULLY WICKED tour!
- Monday, September 8th - A Bookish Escape
- Tuesday, September 9th - Curling Up with a Good Book
- Wednesday, September 10th - Supernatural Snark
- Thursday, September 11th - Krista's Dust Jacket
- Friday, September 12th - Parajunkee
- Monday, September 15th - Nocturne Reads
- Tuesday, September 16th - Seeing Night Book Reviews
- Wednesday, September 17th - Mother, Gamer, Writer
- Thursday, September 18th - Her Book Thoughts
- Friday, September 19th - The Book Swarm
- Monday, September 22nd - Bewitched Bookworms
- Tuesday, September 23th - A Dream within a Dream
- Wednesday, September 24th - A Thousand Words, A Million Books
- Thursday, September 25th - Alison Can Read
- Friday, September 26th - What's Beyond Forks