When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby—the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.
Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is. To run may mean war, but is she strong enough to stay?
Hope is a gifted author. A great part of the story is spent on the road trip, with Ashton really finding herself and truly falling in love for the first time. While a spoiled rich girl may not be the first character most of us would naturally connect with, Hope makes Ashton instantly lovable. And Gabe is just plain dreamy -- although post-Twilight I'm more sensitive to the fact that it's weird that he's actually far older than he looks (but NO - he's NOT a vampire). Putting that aside though, I was rooting for the two of them to connect.
And when they do, some of the scenes are downright steamy. Like toe-curling, put me in a cold shower steamy. But no worries parents, the intensity between the characters may be HOT, but they never get too far -- classic YA frustration!
Since I'm trying not to include any spoilers, let me just say that the Treaty referenced in the book description made me so furious. I was proud of Ashton for seeing that her choices were bigger than she was and had far-reaching implications. I just wished there was one character in particular that didn't have to get hurt in the process of Ashton's decision-making. That's as much as I can say without giving anything away -- and yes, I know not everything can work out perfectly in life -- but that was the only part that felt a little off to me.
Otherwise, I really loved this novel and would definitely recommend it. It was a quick, entertaining read and you'll have no doubt that you're in the hands of a very gifted author as soon as you dive in. To pick up your copy for only $2.99, head to Amazon.
And to learn more about Hope and her writing, please visit her blog and website or find her on twitter.
BONUS: Everyone who leaves a comment on the blog will be entered to win a free e-copy of The Willows: Haven. Be sure to include your e-mail addy so we know how to find you. ;)
And swing in to the last tour stop tomorrow at A Tale of Many Reviews to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of the novel and some swag.
To check out the earlier tour stops for other reviews, excerpts, character and author interviews and more, you can visit the following blogs (blogs without an event next to them are reviews):
09/01/11 The Wormhole http://wormyhole.blogspot.com/ Interview
09/02/11 Me My Shelf and I http://www.memyshelfandi.com/
09/03/11 Writing Crazy Me http://writingcrazyme.blogspot.com/
09/04/11 Stuck In Books http://www.stuckinbooks.com/ Excerpt
09/05/11 Books Over Boys http://booksoverboys.blogspot.com/
09/06/11 Mocha Latte Reads http://www.mochalattereads.blogspot.com/ Character interview with Gabe
09/07/11 Live To Read http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/
09/08/11 Two Readers Review http://tworeadersreviews.blogspot.com/
09/09/11 Bookwork Lisa http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/
09/10/11 We Fancy Books http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com/
09/11/11 A Tale of Many Reviews www.ataleofmanyreviews.com
09/12/11 A Casual Reader's Blog http://ellsey.blogspot.com/
09/13/11 Songs and Stories http://liedermadchen.blogspot.com/
09/14/11 Fantasy Fairy http://1fantasyfairy.blogspot.com/
09/15/11 Booc Looks http://booclooks.blogspot.com/
09/16/11 The Light of Asteria http://www.thelightofasteria.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
09/17/11 SpadesHighReads http://www.spadeshighreads.com/
09/18/11 Cicis Theories http://cicistheories.com/
09/19/11 Literature Monsters http://literaturemonsters.blogspot.com/
09/20/11 Letters Inside Out http://www.lettersinsideout.net/ excerpt
09/21/11 A Written Rhapsody http://awrittenrhapsody.blogspot.com/
09/22/11 aoBibliophere http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/
09/23/11 Book By Book Review http://bookbybookreview.blogspot.com/
09/24/11 Carole http://thelifeoffiction.blogspot.com/
09/25/11 YA Bound http://yabound.blogspot.com/ Character interview with Ash
09/26/11 Young Readers http://youngreadersathome.blogspot.com/ Excerpt
09/27/11 The Ending Unplanned http://theendingunplanned.blogspot.com/
09/28/11 Meghann Daugherty http://absconditas.com/
09/29/11 Alison Hess http://www.alisononeillhess.com/
09/30/11 Megan Curd http://www.megancurd.com/ Guest Post
10/01/11 Cup of Tea Reviews http://cupofteareviews.blogspot.com/
10/02/11 Charissa Weaks http://www.charissaweaks.blogspot.com/
10/03/11 The Awesome Magic Attic http://theawesomemagicattic.blogspot.com/
10/04/11 Tori Scott http://www.toriscottya.com/
10/05/11 Jessie Harrell http://jessie-harrell.blogspot.com
10/06/11 A Tale of Many Reviews http://www.ataleofmanyreviews.com/ Video interview with author