Thursday, 18 April 2013

Mini-reviews: Turning Amber and Breathless

Turning Amber by Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: February 28th 2013.
My rating: 4 stars

Meet Amber - Thrift Store employee, mood manipulator and human lie-detector - she's forsaken boys (because all of them have one-track minds) until the day she meets Ryder, who has an uncanny ability to make her forget all her previous notions about the male of the species. But Ryder's mixed up in some seriously dangerous business and not even Amber's ability to deflect raging psychopaths and defuse any situation is going to keep them from being drawn into it.

“People talk about sparks flying, about electricity jolting and I know better than most that those things are true. When two auras collide, in good ways and bad, sparks can fly. But this is different. There are no sparks flying when Ryder and I shake hands. There are no electricity jolts. Instead, the feeling is akin to diving into an ice-cold river. Instantly I’m swept up in a rushing eddy, and then whipped away on a wild current. It’s total surrender. No fight. Just pure adrenaline thrill ride.” 

Turning Amber gives us a brief yet tantalising insight into the characters from one of my favourite series, Hunting Lila; Ryder and Amber. I admit I never really paid much attention to Amber and Ryder before, maybe because they didn’t have the chance to shine amongst such a fine set of characters, but I’m glad Sarah Alderson decided to give us this sweet novella of how it all began for them both. 

Amber has the gift of reading what a person’s like by the colour of their aura, it makes her a great judge of character, but it also makes her realise what’s most important to her; and that’s being honest. And that consequently doesn’t make her the most popular person but that’s the way she is. Having Amber’s gift people would assume would be hugely beneficial; you get to know what a person’s like before you properly know them. But Amber doesn’t see it this way, as at some points when everyone’s auras are blurred together it can be excruciatingly overwhelming, so Amber doesn’t consider her power a gift at all. 

Despite having to go through a tough time, Amber was a resilient character; using her grandmother’s teachings she tried to use her gift to the best of her ability. It was fun watching her stumble across Ryder and come to the realisation that she wasn’t the only one with a rare gift. Honestly I had forgotten what Ryder and Amber’s gifts were. So it was great getting to learn about these characters all over again. And watching the relationship bloom between the two. 

Turning Amber was a joy to read; with glimpses of favourite characters and uncovering secrets, this was the perfect lead up to Hunting Lila. I hope we get more fun novellas from these wonderful characters as they truly do hold a special place in my heart.

*At the time of writing this review there were no immediate plans that I was aware of, of further novellas from other characters from Hunting Lila. But then Sarah announced this. Which totally 
made my day! 

Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publication date: April 30th 2013.
My rating: 3.5 stars

Too many secrets. Not enough time. Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic. But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive. His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark. He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

Breathless was yet again another charming instalment in what has quickly become one of my hottest favourite series yet. I have discovered that anything with the name Merrick on I will read and anything with the name Brigid Kemmerer the same goes. 

As my love for these brothers has been established numerous times I was quick to snatch up a copy of Breathless, I needed a Merrick fix and I needed it now! Nick in my eyes has always been the quietest Merrick brother, well if you have a twin like Gabriel around it's kind of hard to find your own light to shine in. But this novella made me love Nick even more, (I know I say this with every single Merrick brother, but that is beside the point), he already has tons of pressure; with helping Michael with the family business, thinking about whether he wanted to leave his family and go to college or not and then this new revelation happened, which I so did not see coming. Having brothers like the Merrick’s I could see why Nick would always quash these feelings down, but I suppose at one point it just became a little too much for him. 

I always adored Nick in the previous books and my reasons for doing so are easily justified with this thrilling novella. Nick in my eyes is always the gentleman, always one to put others before himself, the way he went out to help girlfriend Quinn, when she was in a tight situation I admired. I hope over the upcoming books Nick finds the confidence and support that he needs to get the happy ending he truly deserves. 

Breathless gives us a nice little teaser into Nick’s personal life and leaves me with the biggest dilemma; I have no clear favourite Merrick brother anymore, it’s just so hard to choose between them. I’m pretty sure when Spirit is released in May, I will probably be adding Hunter to my list too! 


  1. I really need to start with this Spirit series. I think that I'm the only person who haven't started it! I just need to find some time. I haven't heard of the first one but it sounds like a really joyful read. Great reviews Jasprit :)

  2. Both of these are from series I love so even though I'm not really into ovella's and ebook's, I might have to make an exception, especially since I think Sarah Alderson is a goddess and the Merrick brothers are, well, Merricklicous! ;) Awesome reviews, Jasprit!

  3. Alex and Lila short stories? YES! I had no idea, so thanks for mentioning it! I can't wait to get my X-rated Alex fix. ;) I downloaded Turning Amber, though I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. And I'm pretty sure you will be adding Hunter to your list. I'm reading Spirit at the moment and loving his character! Great reviews, Jasprit.

  4. I really need to continue the Lila series. I liked the first book and had plans on reading the next ones, but somehow it keeps slipping off my mind.
    I'm glad that you enjoyed the novella, Jasprit. I'm not too big on novellas because they are so short and unsatisfying but if it focuses on other characters, then I usually try them out.

    I love the Merrick brothers. I got a copy of Breathless too, but I'm unsure whether I want to read it or not because I fear it'll make me want more.
    Although I'm excited for Hunter's story, I'm even more excited for Michael's story! He really needs his HEA.

    Fab reviews, Jasprit! :)

  5. I have heard nothing but good things about both series. Now I'm even more anxious to read both! Thanks for the helpful reviews, Jasprit.

  6. Breathless sounds great! It sounds like an awesome novella. Great reviews :)

  7. I think I need to reread Hunting Lila, I can't remember Amber and Ryder at all! I fail. I love that more authors are writing these novellas and giving us a closer look at secondary characters from their main books. And yay for more novellas from her! I'm super excited for Breathless too, I never cared much for the Nick/Quinn relationship, so I'm excited that Adam's coming into the picture:)

  8. I haven't read either off these series yet. I know shock, right? I am starting the Elementals soon! I just got the third book so that is my motivation.

  9. Ahh, I'd probably like Amber too, and I've been missing this world so much. I can't wait to go back to it, if only for a short time.
    And Nick's story, or the beginning of it anyway, really broke my heart. He is so sweet, but I see so much pain ahead of him and I'm almost too afraid to read his full novel.

  10. I never paid much attention to Amber either, so thanks for putting her novella on my radar. I had no idea it existed, but I'll have to check it out for sure now! :D

  11. Oh man, I cannot wait until the full-length Nick novel next year. I love the Elementals series, it never ceases to surprise me how Brigid constantly keeps us invested in each one of her characters. I guess it doesn't hurt that all the boys are hot, either. :P

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  12. Would you recommend Turning Amber to someone who isn't familiar with the rest of the series? It sounds really good!

  13. Oh wow these sound great! I'll have to read any other books by these authors. Amber sounds like a great character :) Great reviews!

  14. Amber sounds great, I like a risilient character. And glad you got your Merrick fix... they are necessary sometimes. I've just started the series and loving it so far.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  15. Thanks for sharing these novellas with us! I love the Hunting Lila series and I've always wondered if we could get inside the heads of the other characters. I guess my wish came true :) I haven't started The Elemental series... hopefully I'll be able to when I've more free time in the summer.

  16. I love the Elemental series as well! I cant wait to read your review of Spirit!

  17. I haven't read Turning Amber or Hunting Lila, but maybe I should? I'd love to hear more about Ryan and Amber's gifts. And I desperately need to start the Elemental series! I have the first book, just need the time. Thanks for sharing! :)

  18. I feel like such a reading slacker because every time I come on your blog, there's another book I haven't read. And these are sequels to books I haven't read! These books sound great though.



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