Series: Undertow #2
Publisher: Self Published on August 13, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Prequel and Sequel Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge
Not long ago Eila Walker’s choices were limited: death by a bullet to the head, or at the hands of her beloved bodyguard, Raef. Now, five weeks after Raef triggered her power and she nearly leveled a historic mansion, Eila is dealing with the fall-out of her decisions. While she doesn’t remember dying in the arms of the soul thief who loves her, she knows that Raef remembers everything about the night he nearly killed her.
Now on the mend and attempting to keep one step ahead of the FBI, Eila and her team of misfits are desperate for a bit of normal. Eila is trying to navigate high school, while her BFF Ana is cautiously hanging with past-boyfriend and soul thief, Kian. Shape-shifter, MJ, is trying not to piss off his mother, while Raef is coping with his fears that Eila will never be safe.
But just as “normal” seems within their grasp, a powerfully built newcomer arrives. Raef knows the scarred man as a Blacklist Dealer – a soul thief, who peddles the names of humans who deserve to die. Eila, however, knows him as the protective hunter from the woods, who she nicknames Thor. Before long, Raef and Eila realize they’ve met the same killer, and he has one hell of a story to tell the five friends . . . if Raef doesn’t murder him first.
Check out my review of Undertow (Undertow #1)
“I loved my friends. Loved everything about them. They were my world, my family, and I’d do anything for them. And Raef? Raef was so much more than my guard, more than just a boyfriend. I felt as though he was a piece of me, his heartbeat shadowing my own. He was a gift, sent from another era, to stand with me, and face Fate with me, hand-in-hand.”
I absolutely adored Undertow so of course I needed to get my hands on this one!
Stormfront was full of unexpected surprises, new characters, and a whole lot of action. Regarding plot, it was definitely more engaging than book one, which I wouldn’t have thought possible. The pacing in this book was fast which kept me absolutely glued to the book. I put a lot of emotional stake into what happened to the characters. There wasn’t a single dull moment in the entire book and I found myself wishing that I could read faster so I could know what happened next.
“She just went for it—for life, for new experiences. She was fearless and didn’t hold back. She gave of herself freely, never expecting repayment. She loved fiercely, lived fiercely, and consumed my universe like an endless star.”
Eila grew stronger in this novel. Of course Raef was as protective as ever, but she refused to let him smother her. She wanted to be able to defend herself which I find admirable. She was tough in the fights that she was in. She also learned more about her heritage in this novel than the previous one. I was nice to see some of Elizabeth’s history and how that affected Eila. I can’t wait to see how much more she comes into her powers. Other than that, she was still selfless as ever. And funny. And just great overall.
“Though I had hoped to make a friend or two once here, I never dreamed I would find a boy like Raef. He was handsome, strong, intelligent, caring, compassionate…come to think of it, I wasn’t sure he actually had any faults, aside from the whole ‘soul thief’ thing. We had become so entwined with one another, that I could never imagine a future without him. To lose him would be to lose a huge part of who I had become. I was a better, more compassionate human being because of him.”
Raef, as I mentioned, was just as protective as always and that got him in trouble with Eila a few times. He had to learn to take a step back and let her be her own person. He chillaxed a bit more in this novel. He always put her first and I adore that about him.
“She was, is, my everything. My need to love her is like a physical demand that must be met for my survival, and for that reason, the fear that I may hurt her again is crushing. The terror that I may fail her again, as I failed her grandmother a century and a half ago, weighs more than the world. She trusts me, loves me, and I will not lose her again.”
The romance in this novel was just as flaming as in the first once Raef let go of his idea of not being with Eila until she could defend herself. I knew it wasn’t going to last long. The chemistry between the two characters was just too undeniable. Raef and Eila seem to forge a deeper emotional connection in this novel with their fears for each other and Eila’s want to protect herself. They get a lot of things out in the open, complete with a few arguments, but it really just made them closer. I loved them and I want more of them!
“MJ brought laughter and comfort to my life. He was that sweet kid who you knew could be counted on to make you laugh or save you from the side of the road when you ran out of gas. He was a genuine, good soul—a rare find in a jaded world and I knew he would be a lifetime pal.”
“Then there was Ana. Despite her best efforts at being non-emotional, she too was someone who could be counted on to have our back. Though she occasionally protested about the fluff in life and dressed as though she couldn’t identify a skirt, she was a beautiful, honest person. She cut you no slack, but at the end of the day, her brutal honesty was what made you a better person.”
“Kian I had judged unfairly when I first met him. He had seemed arrogant (okay—he still does), but was also a man of few words. In some ways, he was, and is, very similar to Ana—another locked vault. I couldn’t say I blamed him though—he, like Raef, had no competition in the good-looks department. But in my eyes, Kian redeemed himself a thousand fold when he saved Ana and me months ago. He did it selflessly, with no regard to his own safety. Every once in a while he would let me see him as he truly was—a man, damaged, but with a big heart.”
We see more of the other characters in this novel as well. For the most part, the quotes above speak for themselves. MJ was as quirky and supportive as always. There was more development and glimpses of Ana and Kian’s past together and I liked the lead up that we have for Cruel Summer. I want more than anything to know what exactly happened between the two of them. We see more of Christian in this novel as he has taken up residence in the Cape to look after Eila. And finally, we are introduced to a new character from Elizabeth’s past that I won’t talk about for fear of spoilers.
As I mentioned, we get more of Elizabeth’s past in this novel and we also pull in some unexpected characters. I really enjoyed piecing together the information that we discovered over the course of the novel. It all lead to an absolutely evil cliffhanger that left me gaping like a fish. Hopefully we’ll get the next book soon!
Stormfront was even better than Undertow: it had double the action, double the unexpected twists, and double the history. An engaging book that I refused to put down, it is definitely one that I can recommend.