REVIEW w/ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Undone by Wendy Higgins

Unknown Trilogy Book Three; Not a standalone

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♦BLURB♦

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, brings you the gripping, sensual conclusion to her apocalyptic trilogy.

Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

Thrillingly chilling, Undone absolutely nailed it when it came to bringing the anxiety, the danger, and the intrigue to this tale, and gave a satisfying conclusion to the Unknown trilogy. After the unforeseen twist ending in book two, the fear for what it would mean for our beloved characters was palpable, and there was a distressed feeling between its last page and this first one. And it was brilliantly deviant to bring half of our characters into enemy territory and inhabit that world, to bring a side of this war we hadn’t gotten any glimpses of before, almost humanizing the opposition in a time when you thought your mind was already made up.

With so much to fit into a final chapter with this much build-up, it wasn’t surprising that it never lulled and was just as jam-packed as each installment before it. Splitting the story between Amber and Remy, two women so opposite one another, gave such depth to what each character had to offer. Remy has had her challenges on this journey, and to see her finally gain a bit of spotlight, to find her strengths when her confidence had always been so low, and to bring out her inner warrior was amazing to witness. Being scared for her but witnessing her brave shots in the dark was powerful, but altogether stressful. I couldn’t have imagined, back in book one, this would be where both of these women would end up, but it worked. Each chapter played so well with the one after it.

Undone was an edge-of-your-seat read; one that scandalized your own feelings about the enemy, that brought out conflicting wants for bloodshed, and that played with your emotions of the possibility of forever. Sci-fi isn’t a genre most read when thinking of the romance genre, but there was such a payoff for the risks this author took to bring this story to life. For a story about war and a world stripped of its conveniences, it gave a beloved tension-filled romance, a powerful friendship of two women, and a rag-tag group of fighters with heart, all in one riveting series.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Remy and the Senator

As he neared, I gathered every ounce of bravery to ask, “Senator?”

“Yes, Ms. Haines?” He stopped three feet from me.

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable or be inappropriate, but I’d like to know.” I swallowed and he waited patiently. “Why don’t the Baelese allow casual touching?”

I could hear my heartbeat in my eardrums.

The Senator put his hands in his pockets, and I tore my eyes away from his forearms.

“That’s a perfectly understandable question. It’s a major difference between our cultures. My people have much thicker skin than humans, over ten times thicker. And in our skin we have more nerves and nerve endings. A simple touch is not so simple. The smallest brush of a hand across our skin can drive us to distraction. It makes us want more. Do you understand?”

Literally, all I could do was nod, because at some point during his explanation, I swear he moved closer. Not close enough to touch, but close enough to make us both overly aware. It wasn’t until my eyes darted in the direction of the doors to check for the guard that the Senator grasped the back of his neck and took a step back, looking away from me and back out at the obstacle course.

“And that is why it is better to leave touching for mating. No other time.”

“Oh.” My heart went crazy inside me.

I heard the little devil of Linette on my shoulder, pushing me to do something or say something seductive. Now, you idiot, while the guard is out of sight! It was hard to be sexy on command.

My voice trembled a little. “I thought maybe it was because it was unpleasant. That you didn’t like being touched.”

“No, Ms. Haines.” He looked straight at me now. “We like it too much.”

 

♦SERIES♦

Unknown Trilogy Book One

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Unknown Trilogy Book Two; Not a standalone

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

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REVIEW: Unrest by Wendy Higgins

Unknown Trilogy Book Two; Not a standalone

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New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins brings you the second thrilling book in this war-torn world…

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can’t escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy’s identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

A continuation of the harrowing apocalyptic tale, Unrest wasn’t afraid to unleash the struggling, the death, and the destruction of a war-torn world. But underneath all the darkness and reality of loss of safety, food, and water, is the everlasting belief in hope, strength, and love that each character continues to cling to. With such a heartbreaking tale, the upswings are just as vibrant to counteract the bad, and Higgins struck a delicate balance between the two, keeping readers on the edge of that impossibly drawn line between hope and doubt.

Some middle installments can sag, but it was paced wonderfully, and given room to breathe as its own section of the journey these characters were on. Each character had their own arc, their own battles with loss and sorrow, and they were allowed to do so without slowing the plot or losing the story. And what has continued to carry on is the irresistible tension between Rylen and Amber, something of which just gets sweeter and more addictive as the story goes on. Their connection–Amber’s wholehearted love for him–has always been palpable, but it was so beautiful how Higgins has slowly watered and fed it, letting it grow and pull and ache with the power to reveal itself to watching it become what we’ve wanted since day one.

Heart-pounding and action-filled, Unrest brought out all of the stops. There wasn’t a moment to rest in this book, the feeling of imminent danger a bitter taste on the tongue. This certainly was the fastest I’ve pushed my eyes to read a story and I cannot begin to fathom the possibilities of where this story will go next, but I’m there for it.

 

♦SERIES♦

Unknown Trilogy Book One

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Unknown Trilogy Book Three

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

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REVIEW: Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Unknown Trilogy Book One

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♦BLURB♦

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Addictively captivating, Unknown was a fast-paced thrill ride. As a fan of apocalyptic fiction, it was like unlike anything I had read before. With a wonderfully delicious slow burn of a romance that ebbed and flowed to the movement of plot, the story never once suffered because of it and was instead accentuated by its raw connection. A well-written slow burn can be powerful, and the one between Amber and Rylen was throughout the story.

Without going into too much detail, this first installment captured quite a bit of history between the characters and their family, both crucial to the plot, and then swiftly brought the reader into the horror of war. The actions of war were calculated and spaced apart to provide great tension throughout the story and keep things under a veil of mystery. And once things got going, Higgins did not apologize for the directions it took, sometimes brutal and sad and confusing. Though at times I was ahead of the characters in catching on to details, it didn’t detract from the gut-punch feelings of when they joined me. What would’ve made this even better was if there was more showing and less telling, but even with that style in there, I couldn’t stop reading.

The humanity of Unknown was always there, even during times of duress, and Amber’s character was there to provide the heart of the story. Her selflessness and strong convictions made her a character to root for. This was just the first installment, and I cannot wait to see what the next story in the trilogy has up its sleeves.

 

♦SERIES♦

Unknown Trilogy Book Two; Not a standalone

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Unknown Trilogy Book Three

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient. 

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

A slow-burner of a romance, Roomies was intensely romantic and swoon-worthy. The aspect of marriage of convenience set out the right amount of tension for Christina Lauren to draw off of, building a satisfying and full connection between Calvin and Holland. With their signature flare for romance in full effect, their tale is one steady burn from beginning to end.

With the subdued heroine who struggles to find her purpose and the Irish immigrant who struggles to find a break, it was an oddly enjoyable mix of personalities forced to be in close quarters. Though it’s not like their Beautiful series, a bit less sexy than those, there was still a distinct CLo feel in how the romance beautifully escalated. The flow of the story was easy to follow, the story intriguing, and the characters irresistible. The growing feelings and sexual tension felt like a seductive wisp of smoke, swirling and intertwining and beguiling as it danced between them. While it didn’t have that classic CLo spark, there was still more than enough to be captivated by.

Roomies was a beautiful love story. The growth of each character, the raw vulnerability in which they were able to bring themselves to, made it impossible to not feel them come alive under the page. There’s something beyond magical that sparks between these two, in finding their purposes in life, that talent they’ve always had, all because love, for another and self, has a way of showing the path to unleashing it. Truly a read to fall in love with, one that will warm your heart and make you smile.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The #1 international bestselling coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 30 languages, have received multiple starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, won both the Seal of Excellence and Book of the Year from RT Magazine, and have been featured in publications such as ForbesThe Washington PostTimeEntertainment WeeklyO Magazine and more. Their third YA novel, Autoboyography will be released in September, followed by a contemporary romance, Roomies in December.

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