December 23, 2014

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Inspire (The Muse #1)

INSPIRE by Cora Carmack was absolutely brilliant. It's my pleasure to help her roll out her first paranormal new adult book with my stop on her blog tour, organized by Inkslinger PR. Check out my review, and don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour. Make sure you keep going and enter the giveaway at the end!

Inspire (The Muse #1), by Cora Carmack
Published December 15, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: new adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

If you begin reading Inspire thinking that you know the type of story it will be because you've read Cora's other books, I can tell you with certainty that you will be surprised. I've read everything Cora Carmack has written - some of her books more than once. INSPIRE is so different, both in the style and in the type of story it is. 

Kalli has been around the block... a few thousand times. She gets no joy or happiness from her life any more. She's just sick of it all. She surrounds herself with artistic people because she needs their creativity to sustain her existence. But, she lacks a real connection with another person. She hasn't allowed herself that in a very, very long time. And, then she meets Wilder while in line at the convenience store. She is instantly drawn to him, and better yet, he's not artistic, so she feels like she can safely be around him without hurting him. After a lot of starts and stops, Kalli decides to give things a go with Wilder. And, then she discovers something about him that destroys her dream. But, Wilder isn't willing to let her go so easily. 

Inspire caused catches in my breath and stutters in my soul. It was one of those books that you just feel this intense emotional attachment to from the very beginning. Before I even got to know Kalli or Wilder, I felt completely invested in their happiness. Perhaps it was because Kalli just seems so lost and dejected. And, who could blame her?

Kalli's situation is one that just guts me. She's been around for thousands of years. Can you even imagine what that would be like? How utterly bored you would be with just your daily existence? And, the fact that, because of who she is, Kalli has gone through those thousands of years all alone. I'm a social person. I love people and forging relationships and knowing I have people I can count on. Kalli has NO ONE. The only relationships she has are with men (mostly) who unknowingly use her for her inspiration. My heart broke for Kalli immediately. 

When we first see Wilder, he's buttoned up and hanging with a little girl - definitely not the type of artsy guy Kalli usually is drawn to. When she bumps into Wilder later, on the street after stumbling out of a club, he's totally different. He's rougher, wilder (pun intended), and sans little girl (who we find out is his sister). Yet, Wilder is in full-on protector mode. He whisks Kalli away to his place to take care of her, and he doesn't stop there. He's as drawn to her as she is to him, and although she tries to keep him at arm's length for his own good, he doesn't stay there. He tracks her down, insinuates himself in her life, and makes sure she has a place in his. 

It's something Kalli never had before, and it should be a happy thing for her, but it ends up stressing her out. She's waiting for the other shoe to drop. For her to harm Wilder with her power. And, she's immortal - he isn't. Their time together is finite anyway. It seems like an impossible situation for the two of them. And, it was the impossibility of it all that hit me the hardest, I think. When I'm reading, even when couples are going through the hard parts (you know - the stuff that usually happens between 70 and 85%), you can still see a way through, if the characters will only take it. I could see no way through the roadblocks for Kalli and Wilder. And, that made me almost desperate for them to be together. 

In Inspire, that "hard part" actually happens around the 75% mark, and it SUCKED (in the best bookish way possible). I had my own cathartic thread started on Cora's street team Facebook page, and at that point, there were lots of OMGs and !!!!s and uuuuuugggggghhhhhhhhhs. Kalli makes a discovery about Wilder that shakes her new-found confidence in their relationship. The pair end up spending some gut-wrenching time apart before things finally start looking up. Aaaaaaandddd then bomb number two goes off. It was like getting literary whiplash. The ending is one crazy cliffy that will drop your jaw and make you beg and plead and promise your first born for book number two. 

Inspire is told in dual POV, and thank goodness for that. I loved being all up in Wilder's head as he tried to figure out what Kalli's deal was. The heat between them was scorching too. I loved their chemistry and I loved who they were with each other. They were obviously better when they were together than they ever tried to be apart.

For Cora Carmack's first foray into the paranormal genre, I'd say she hit it out of the park. 

About the Author

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.


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1 comment:

Val said...

I so loved this one. The beginning was a little slow for me but once it got rolling, it was oh so good! AND I am so in need of book 2.