Wednesday, September 3, 2014

**Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Captivate Me & Iris ~ S.J. Pierce**

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Captivate Me & Iris, by S.J. Pierce. My stop includes my previously published review of Captivate Me, my review of Iris, and a giveaway!

You can follow all the blogs on this tour by clicking here


Captivate Me by S.J. Pierce
Publication date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Source: I received an eARC as part of the tour in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

“My mom had always told me – when you meet “the one”, you’ll know; they’ll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom’s words of wisdom were finite – if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering.”

Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted – a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it’s always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. Unfortunately for her, the world can’t handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak – even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school – Levi. Everything feels normal again… or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she’s never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen – students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things vying for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice – will she settle for ‘great’ Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across ‘amazing?’

From the author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles, comes a refreshingly different Young Adult series with plenty of love, suspense, and a new take on the Paranormal.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

***Previously Published on March 31, 2014***

Captivate Me is a YA spinoff of Ms. Pierce's Alyx Rayer Chronicles, although you don't have to read that series to enjoy Captivate Me. I quite enjoyed my introduction into Kat's world.

Kathrin Walsh has always been able to hide her special ability from the outside world. However, following an incident that was the result of a simple mistake made when she was running late, Kat now finds herself at Midland Pines, a school for the Gifted. Here she finds there are others like her, and she can finally be herself.

In the midst of making new friends and worrying over finding that special one, Kat begins to feel a pull to the woods beyond the school grounds. It is there she meets a young man. The young man that's been visiting her dreams. He introduces her to his small group he calls family, who share even more startling information about her life. As Kat tries to come to terms with this new information, as well as explore her pull towards Gabriel, students begin disappearing.

The story line is initially heavy on the romance - finding it, figuring out what true love might feel like. However, just as it was beginning to wear on me, the mystery and action kicked in. These elements amped up my pleasure. Once all the dust settles, Kat has some important decisions to make.

Kat, despite her ruminating on romance, is a likable heroine. Kat is smart and brave and I liked that Ms. Pierce gave her her father's artistic gifts. She's dealing with normal teenage things like making friends, finding the perfect dress for a school dance, and taking exams. She's also missing her family, whom she's close to, now that she's moved to the States. And she also is learning how to embrace her gift and those of others, along with how the information she learns from Gabriel. It's a lot for a teenage girl and it was gratifying to watch her handle it all.

The supporting characters are all likable as well. I'm curious to learn more about Sarah, Anna, Dawson, and Ronnie, Kat's friends at school. And I'm eager to find out more of Piper, Aubrey, Brad and Colton's history. We don't get to spend much time with some of them and I want to get better acquainted with them. Levi, Kat's first love interest, is sweet, compassionate and gentlemanly. I liked that he wasn't a typical boneheaded high school boy.

But it was Gabriel that stole my heart despite not getting to spend much time with him. Ms. Pierce did well in defining his character in a short period of time. I felt a pull to him as Kat did. He's charming, protective, and even though he wasn't initially completely honest with Kat, he rectifies that issue. I was able to feel the chemistry between he and Kat from the beginning. 

I'm fascinated with all that's been revealed to Kat and I'm excited to spend more time her her world. I want to see where she and her cohorts go from this point forward.

Iris (#1.5)
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 Bookworms

***This book is meant to be read after Captivate Me.***

Set before the events in Book One of the Captivated Series, Iris explores the depths of family bonds, new bonds, and the lengths a person would go to save the life of a dying sibling. In this novella, get to know Iris and her two sisters more intimately, as well as Gabriel, the first angel-human hybrid who agrees to live under her protection.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Iris is a nice companion novel for the Captivate series. It added a lot to the character development of the antagonists in the series. We learn more about Iris, her sisters, Rose and Lilliana, and Kai, all of whom we meet in Captivate Me.

The glimpse at Iris' home life, the tragedies she and her family have endured, gave me some insight into the reasons she'd undertake the plan she did. I could feel the love and loyalty Iris felt towards her sister, Rose, which eased my discomfort over her willingness to do something I consider morally reprehensible. Rose, for the little we see her, is very caring. She gave up so much in order to take care of her sisters once their parents died. Lilliana, however, didn't win me over. I felt like she's rather self-centered. Her participation in the plot was for more self-serving reasons, in my opinion.

Getting some background on Kai was also enlightening. His feelings for Iris and her family explained his involvement in this plot. But his compassion did make me question how he could participate in it. 

I also liked the introduction of the council the witches answer to as well as other beings that I assume we'll see in the future. And I really enjoyed the look at how Gabriel joined Iris' group too. That was something I'd been curious about. And it gave, maybe, a glimpse into things to come.

Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy and Sci-fi novels. 

Even though her full-time career has nothing to do with books at all, she has always enjoyed complex storytelling with fascinating characters, and has had a penchant for the written word since grade school. As a matter of fact, her first publishing credit was a poem she wrote at the age of twelve. Why her love for writing never translated into a career, she can only attribute to 'life happens', but her wish is that she can redirect her career path into something that satisfies her creative inner-self.


  1. I think I remember your original post for Captivate. It's nice that Iris was able to fill in some details. Thanks for the review, Brandee!

  2. Wonderful reviews, Brandee! I haven't read the Alyx Rayer Chronicles but I'm really intrigued by this one! It sounds like a really fun and entertaining series, and I like that it's not overwhelmed with romance even if it gave that impression at first. Kat also sounds like a realistic character, and one that's easy to like. And for a novella, Iris sounds like it has a lot of information which is great!

  3. Thanks, Brandee! I always enjoy reading your reviews!!! It's funny how you mentioned Lilliana didn't win you over because of her personality. I was just talking about her to one of my writer-buddies. While I love her because she's a character I gave life to, at points I found myself rolling my eyes as I was writing her. lol! I could feel Iris' irritation with her! Writing her novella will be fun, for sure...

  4. This definitely sounds like a good series and one I would probably enjoy. Glad you have enjoyed both of these. Now I just need more hours in the day. Great reviews!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  5. Great reviews of both books. I enjoyed Iris too, getting to know Iris and the sisters more. And the witches council, I thought it was fun!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  6. Ok so this is a spin off. I do like YA reads. I like the covers very much too. I've not read this author yet. I love seeing the variety of genres you read over here. I am the same, I try to read a variety. So parents are angel and dream prophet. Nice! Gabriel stole your heart. I like my heart stolen too. Thanks for sharing , Brandee :)


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??