Title: Strength (Mark of Nexus #1)
Author: Carrie Butler
Source: Received through blog tour in exchange for an honest review
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.
Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…
Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.
They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.
Strength is the first book in the Mark of Nexus series by Carrie Butler. It's an awesome New Adult Paranormal Romance. It's about a college student named Rena who literally runs into the “crazy guy” on campus. There are all sorts of rumors going around about Wallace yelling and banging on the walls of his dorm room at night. Everyone is scared of him, but Rena doesn't see him as a madman at all. In fact, she finds herself attracted to him and he is nothing but nice to her.
Rena decides to find out if there is any truth to these rumors or not. She gets to know Wallace and they become friends. When she finds out about the rivalry between Wallace and his twin brother, she decides to get involved. She ends up landing herself in trouble though, and finds herself in danger. She finds out about the powers that Wallace's family has, and about the people trying to hurt them.
The thing that bothered me most about Rena is her pushiness. She was too stubborn to stay out of things when Wallace asked her to. It was like she thought she could fix everything and seemed a little too sure of herself. She really was doing what she thought was best for Wallace though. She came to care for him a lot and was just trying to be helpful, even though her help wasn't wanted. She is an emotionally strong and feisty character. Rena is very likable, just a little hard-headed.
Wallace was one of those swoon-worthy characters. Tall, dark, and handsome. He's the strong, quiet type that keeps to himself. Internally, he is a broken man and hates what he is. I think it's in a woman's nature to gravitate toward a mysterious man who needs “fixed”. These authors know what they're doing when they develop lead male characters this way. Wallace is a character that you will feel sorry for, but also admire.
The paranormal aspect of this book is a little different than others. I haven't heard of this particular supernatural being. Also, I am just loving the New Adult genre – all the angst of Young Adult with more adult themes. Wallace and Rena's relationship developed slowly. I'm not a fan of insta-love, but I was starting to wonder if anything romantic was going to happen with these characters. Once it finally happens, there is a lot of passion and chemistry involved. I really like these characters together, and I can't wait to read more about them.
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