Welcome to my stop for The Armored Hearts Tour hosted by Shane@ Itching for Books. As part of the tour, I am featuring a review of Armored Hearts as well as a giveaway. Before I get to the book, I want to tell you a bit about the authors:
In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Find Pauline on Twitter, Facebook and her website.
Melissa Turner Lee is a stay-at-home mom of three of the CRAZIEST boys ever. She's also the wife to a wonderful man she met when at 17, who is also the inspiration behind her awesome Painter series. Melissa has a degree in Journalism and Marketing, which she has never used. One day her husband sent her to the local book store for a day to herself. Melissa picked up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and her life changed. She remembered being 17, falling in love. But most of all she remembered herself. She'd become "Mommy" and forgotten all about Melissa, the girl who dreamed of being a writer, but suddenly she remembered and the writing started. And It hasn't stopped. You can find Melissa on her blog, Facebook as well as Twitter.
Here is my review:
Armored Hearts by Pauline Creeden and Melissa Turner
When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.
Paperback, 155 pages
Published May 20th 2013 by AltWit Press
Source: Tour Host in exchange for an honest review
Three and a half stars: A fun and promising start to a series with magic, Fey and steampunk.
Gareth resents being trapped in his wheelchair, more than anything he hates the way people treat him. Many disregard him and pretend that he isn't there, despite the fact that he is a young lord. Gareth discovers, by accident, that he can inexplicably fly. Soon he is whizzing about in a suit of armor rescuing people in distress. All too soon, his simple world comes crashing down as he learns the truth about his grandfather's finances. In order to save his young aunt from a life of hardship, he must agree to marry a wealthy American heiress. Gareth has no desire to marry, the last thing he needs is a wife, but Jessie is undeterred. His marriage brings forth the discovery of long buried secrets and treachery. Can Gareth accept his birthright and new wife?
What I Liked:
- This was a fast read with a bit of steampunk and fairy magic throw in. I was completely surprised by the originality, and I enjoyed the exciting twists and turns. I was caught off guard by some of the revelations, which always makes a read more enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the way that things thrown out in the beginning ended up being important later on. If you love quick reads with magic, mystery and surprises take a chance and try this one.
- Jessamyn is a force to be reckoned with for sure. She is a young American heiress who refuses to back down despite the fact that Gareth treats her with cold hostility. I totally admired her tenacity and her refusal to believe that women were meant to serve their husbands. I loved that she was clever, smart, kind and intelligent. I especially admired her talent for invention, and I liked her steampunk inventions. Jessie is a great role model for young ladies, and I thoroughly enjoyed her character.
- I liked that Gareth is a character who shows great growth. For the majority of the book, he is surly and resentful of the fact that he is confined to a wheelchair as he does not want anyone to know that he can secretly fly. He believes in many old fashioned, hard headed male views on women. He thinks that women are meant to serve men and that they lack intelligence. Thus, he wants nothing to do with girls, especially because he thinks that a girl would never want him as he is a cripple. When Jessie insists on marrying him, he thinks it is the worst fate. He wants to get rid of her quickly, and so he endeavors to harden his heart. Yes, he is a big pain in the butt for most of the book, but as the secrets begin to come forth, he learns a few things. By the end of the book, he undergoes a tremendous transformation. I won't go into all the details as I don't want to spoil it, but I certainly liked the new Gareth.
- I appreciated that the authors chose to make the main character of this book disabled. It isn't often that we get a character who is confined to a wheelchair as a protagonist. It was eye opening to read about the way people once treated people who were handicapped.
- I loved that the women in this book refused to be shackled down by the male vision of women during this era. The girls in this book do not believe that women are meant to serve men. Instead they strive to create steampunk inventions that will benefit all of man kind. It was refreshing to see the way the women were showcased in this book.
- I liked the role of the servants in the book. The two long time servants of Gareth's grandfather are loyal and kind and they have some startling secrets. I loved their parts in the book and look forward to seeing more of them.
And The Not So Much:
- The biggest complaint I have regarding this book is the length. It comes in at 155 pages, and to me that it felt more like a novella or a prequel. The brevity of the book didn't allow much time for development and expansion. I would very much like this book to have stretched out and slowed down. It moves to quick and I think it suffers from the fast pace. Slowing it down and drawing out the story would allow for more descriptions and detail and that would enhance the read.
- This book just ends. It isn't a cliffhanger per say, but just as the story is ramping up and you are getting to the good stuff, it cuts off leaving many unanswered questions and not addressing the main issue of Gareth's birthright. Again, this book would benefit from the authors lengthening it out. As it stands it is too short and it feels like a prequel.
Armored Hearts was a quick introduction to an exciting steampunk series that features fey, magic and determined and intelligent women. I loved the role of the ladies in this one and I liked the main character's growth. Be warned that this a very short read, so if you are looking for a thick book, this one won't fit the bill. If you enjoy fast paced books that you can read in one sitting, this is a good pick.
“God did not intend us rot in a corner with them. When God created man, He saw that the man needed a helper and created a woman. Now, the God I serve is a smart God with grand ideas. How smart would it be to offer an idiot as a helper? To say, ‘Here you go. She’s not really good for much. She’s kind of entertaining when naked but other than that, put her in a safe place so she doesn’t hurt herself.’ No, that would make no sense at all.”
I received a copy of this book as part of the tour in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
A big thanks to Shane@Itching for Books for hosting this tour and allowing me to be a part of it. There is a tour giveaway that you can enter for a chance to win some great prizes. Please note: This giveaway is not hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and I am not responsible for picking the winner and sending out prizes. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Good Luck!
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