Seventeen-year-old Julia is finally living the good life. She’s traded a hard cot in a Memphis orphanage for her very own room in a perfect little house, on a perfect little street, with a perfect set of parents who picked her to be their daughter.
But Julia is hiding a secret – and one fall night, she returns home from a friend’s house to find that her secret has found her. Her ‘forever home’ is ashes. Her parents are dead. And, in the sky above the flames, a winged creature hunts her.
The Nephilim King, Samyaza, has taken everything from Cayne. After struggling in the darkness for years to piece together his shattered life, Cayne is finally ready to confront his past and avenge the loss of everything he loved. He tracks Samyaza to a Memphis warehouse, where he winds up flat on his back, in the healing hands of a beautiful, dark-haired girl he doesn’t need to know.
Unbeknownst to either of them, they are already bound. Cayne’s past holds the answers to Julia’s future. But what will pose the greatest threat to her? The bounty placed on her head by the leaders of two Celestial realms, or giving her heart to a man who is bound, by birth, to break it?
This YA novel starts off with a terrifying beginning, which immediately grabbed my attention! Exhilaration filled me as an adventure ensued!
Julia’s a gifted young woman with a compassionate soul, but she’s not a normal teenager. Compared to Cayne, though, she’s the girl next door. Cayne is an impossibly gorgeous breed of his kind, but he’s got a real bad side. Fortunately for Julia, his anger is aimed towards someone else. These two have good dialogue and the author does a great job of building the romantic tension. The action-packed fights between Samyaza and Cayne create the perfect path of heroism for Cayne, yet terrifies you at the same time.
There’s another world and a few more characters that have an important impact on the story, but I don’t want to cross the spoiler line. I’ll simply say that although the narration goes back and forth between these worlds, it is seldom, and it’s easily understood.
I honestly don’t know how I’ve missed this series, but I’m glad it was sent to me! I kept thinking of a younger version of Hellboy throughout this novel, and for the record, I love Hellboy. The sensual aura between Julia and Cayne kept the romance lover inside of me wishing for more, while the danger around them caused me to read like a speed demon! My advice: slow down or you’ll miss important innuendos. Ending with a cliffhanger, which is an ingenious way of capturing the reader, this novel was a joy to read. Since I’m now a hostage, I can’t wait to follow this cast of characters in the next installment!
– STAINED BOOKS TWO AND THREE LISTED IN AMAZON’S TOP 100 YA EBOOKS OF 2012.
-NOMINATED BEST DEBUT NOVEL AT UTOPYA CONVENTION 2012.
-NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 YA ROMANCE BOOKS OF 2011.
-WINNER OF THE FLAMINGNET TOP CHOICE AWARD.
-CAYNE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 BEST BOOK BOYFRIENDS OF 2011.
-FEATURED ON NUMEROUS AMAZON BESTSELLER LISTS.
-FIRST IN A COMPLETED SERIES OF FOUR (INCLUDING STOLEN, CHOSEN, AND EXALTED)
About This Literary Chef:
Ella James is a Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma.
Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.