Sunday, August 20, 2017

Serenade by Heather McKenzie @SDSXXTours @heather_mckenzi

Nightmusic Trilogy Book 1
by Heather McKenzie
Genre: YA Romance, Thriller, Suspense

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.
Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart - until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya's world unravels when she's kidnapped. Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya's father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that's what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run...
An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

          I wasn’t dead. I knew this because I was freezing and everything hurt—every muscle, bone, and toe—I could feel them, but I couldn’t move them. I tried to open my eyes, but they wouldn’t budge. It was as if they were glued shut. I tried to raise a hand to pry them open, but my arms wouldn’t cooperate. My toes wouldn’t wiggle, my knees wouldn’t bend, and my tongue wouldn’t shift around behind my teeth. What the hell was happening?
          Relax. Don’t panic. Breathe… that seems to be working just fine… breathe… try again…
          Fingers. Toes. Tongue. Nothing.
          I was paralyzed.
          Okay, now panic.
          I tried desperately to scream, but I couldn’t even swallow. Was this hell, or was I caught in a strange deep sleep that I couldn’t wake from? Maybe I was buried alive. Maybe I couldn’t move because the earth was holding me down… but there was heat on my cheek and chest... I would be cold head-to-toe if I was in the ground…


I enjoyed reading this book.  It was fast paced and exciting.  I thought Kaya acted unreasonably immature, especially in the first half, when she made multiple “promises” but with fingers crossed behind her back.  I could tolerate one such lie, but it just happened too many times so that I literally found myself growling when she did it again and again.  Of course, Kaya has been isolated and protected her entire life so it’s reasonable to conclude that she is developmentally stunted in some areas.

 Kaya has been manipulated continuously by those closest to her.  The bizarre nature of the plot against Kaya is revealed in bits and pieces as the story progresses.  The author did a good job keeping the suspense taut and believable as the depth of her father’s depravity becomes clearer and faithful Oliver’s role gets muddier.

Finally, I should mention that this book is written from multiple points of view.  This seems to be the modern style as it is becoming a rather common practice these days.  I, personally find the various points of view distracting and sometimes even confusing, but this author did clearly let the reader know which character was up and center.  I really ended up appreciating Kaya’s often difficult journey of self-discovery and her loyal, compassionate nature.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Heather McKenzie is the Canadian author of Serenade, book one of The Nightmusic Trilogy. Also a professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

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