Genre: Mature YA Paranormal Romance
Author: Kristen Day Website :: Goodreads :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest
Series: Daughters of the Sea Forsaken :: Awaken :: Chosen
Publication Date: November 9, 2013
Buy: Amazon :: Smashwords
I have been ever-so-patiently waiting for the release of Kristen Day’s newest installment of the Daughters of the Sea series, Hearken – and was it ever worth wait! All of our favorite characters are back with the addition of super sexy Sebastian – and paint has NEVER sounded so delicious! Hehe!
Beginning with the continuously beautiful love story of Stasia and Finn, Hearken delves deeper than the last three novels, differentiating between the relationship and leadership roles each Stasia and Finn are balancing. Stasia begins having dreams of gruesome murders, an ethereal moon goddess and continuously finds herself waking up on the shores of the beach with memories lost. Refusing to acknowledge the possible dangers and separating from her trusted friends and advisers has the most devastating of outcomes the reader will never expect.
Oh, how I even more adore Olivia! Her sarcasm, honesty and huge heart make her one of my favorite characters in the series. As an additional narrator in Hearken, Olivia is searching for the right time to tell Stasia about the role she plays in her future, but instead finds herself soul-searching and uncovering things she never expected. I love how strategic Olivia is – not allowing herself to be swept away by a handsome face (or body!) and retaining her common sense. This is a real heroine, at least to me, and following her story was effortless and refreshing.
Kristen Day really delved into world building throughout Hearken and it certainly was noticed and appreciated. I have a (freakishly) obsessive love for the lost city of Atlantis and Kristen really created a world filled with mystery and a uniqueness all her own that may be my favorite mastery yet! I loved the creatures, natural elements and character development that occurred on the island and truly hope Atlantis makes a continued appearance in the following installment of the Daughters of the Sea series, Proven.
Filled with Gods, Goddesses, Paladins, Knights, traces, affinities, cults, horses, “butterflies” and more, Hearken is a paranormal treasure that is malleable across genres and has a little something for everyone. I have fallen in love with the characters, want to live in the world and have an ever-boiling hatred for the baddies Kristen uncovers.
“The Spanakopita for me, and the lady will have the Youvestsi,” Sebastian informed our waiter. “And we’ll take your finest bottle of Domaine Mercouri Red.”“I think I can order for myself,” I hissed at him after the waiter had walked away. “I’m not helpless.”Instead of a quick-witted response, he leaned forward on his elbows and seemed to search my eyes for something. He cocked his head to the side, causing his mass of blonde hair to fall that way as well. He slowly smiled at me.“When was the last time you allowed a man to take care of you?” he asked curiously. “Really take care of you?”“I don’t need a man to take care of me,” I responded icily.“Don’t you?” he asked with a presumptuous grin, and popped a piece of bread in his mouth. Was this guy serious? I was going to have to keep count of how many times he insulted me and start charging interest.“Is it possible for you to have a conversation without insulting me?”“I’m simply telling you what you already know,” he came back casually. “You taking it as an insult is simply an added bonus.”“How else am I supposed to take it?”“I’m just trying to help you out,” he offered.“I don’t need your help! Or anything else that you have to offer, I might add.”“I bet I could change your mind.”“What? With another insult?” I scoffed at him and rolled my eyes. “Your romantic acumen is astonishing.”“Ouch.” He laughed and then set down his white linen napkin, leaned forward and took my hand in his. I almost pulled it away, but decided at the last minute that I enjoyed how warm his hand was. He cleared his throat loudly.“Hey girl.” He wiggled his eyebrows at me and curled his lip up to deliver his best James Dean impression. “Are you a sauna? ‘Cause you’re uncomfortably hot.”I pressed my lips together in an effort not to smile, and shook my head to let him know it hadn’t worked. He thought for a moment longer and assumed the pose once more.“Hey Girl. If you were the last Pringles chip in the can, I’d go elbow deep in your tube to get you out.” This time I couldn’t help the bout of laughter that took over, and I dabbed tears from eyes before they rolled down my face.“That escalated quickly,” I sputtered between laughs.“Okay, okay last one,” he guffawed. “If this one doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.”“It better be good,” I snickered. I noticed he was still holding my hand, and his thumb had begun to rub my palm. A shiver went down my spine as I looked down at our entangled hands. I tried to pull away, but he tightened his grip and looked at me with feigned intensity.“Hey Girl. Are you an antiperspirant? ‘Cause if you are, you’re probably one of those cheap knock-off brands.” He leaned forward, winked at me, and lowered his voice. “’Cause you’re making me sweat.”We were still spilling over with laughter when the waiter came back with a bottle of wine and two glasses. We looked on as he poured each glass with practiced formal regalia and set the bottle down gently.“You know I’m not old enough to drink, right?” I reminded Sebastian.“We don’t have drinking laws on Atlantis.” His face broke into a conspiring grin and he squeezed my hand – reminding me we were still holding hands. “Wine and beer are seen as fruits of the Earth. Therefore, something that everyone should have access to.”“That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day.” I smiled and attempted to pull my hand out from under his. He automatically held mine tighter and our eyes met.For a long moment we simply studied one another. His shaggy blonde hair added a flare of rebellion to his traditional white Atlantis wardrobe, but it was the depth of his blue eyes that captured my attention the most. There was a hardness behind the obvious amusement and mocking jokes. I could tell his stubborn side would rival my own, and I felt my heart thaw ever so slightly as he smiled almost shyly at me and then let go of my hand before clearing his throat.“I hope you like red wine.” He filled the silence effortlessly, but it took a moment for me to gather myself. “This is the best on the island, in my opinion.”I took another long sip and felt my anxiety relax into my chest; replaced by an odd feeling of contentment. I was used to guys taking me out, trying to impress me, and showering me with compliments in hopes of getting some action. I had never met a guy quite like Sebastian. Although I wasn’t sure how, he ‘saw’ me. He treated me as his equal. He wasn’t afraid to call me out, and he took the cheap shots I threw at him in stride. I felt like I could be who I honestly was around him, and I didn’t have to worry about hurting his feelings or trying to figure out his intentions. He was willing to lay himself out on the table and if you didn’t like it, he didn’t care. He was going to be who he was, no matter what anyone thought. And that was incredibly refreshing to me.After another bottle of wine and ten minutes of him convincing me that Atlanteans didn’t have a form of currency, we left the restaurant. I was buzzing from the alcohol, but was far from drunk. The sun had dipped beneath the horizon and night cloaked the city in darkness. Flickering oil lamps lined the streets, and crowds of people were still meandering along the cobblestone lanes. I turned to Sebastian.“Where to now, Mr. Tour Guide?”“I figured you’d be ready to head back to the tree houses and be rid of me.” He raised his eyebrows in fake surprise and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “It was my pickup lines that changed your mind, wasn’t it?”“I have to admit, I’m a sucker for lame pickup lines and bad James Dean impersonations,” I divulged. “Your plan to get me drunk and take advantage of me is working out well for you.”“Wait - I thought you were getting me drunk so you could take advantage of me?”“Don’t flatter yourself.” I ducked out from under his arm with a smile. “You’re not my type.”“Oh thank God.” He wiped his forehead in relief. “I don’t need any more stalkers. I’ve already had to put security cameras in my shower.”He stopped abruptly in front of a bland, gray door and knocked twice with his knuckles. Not even a second later, the door swung open on its own and he led me into a small hallway. Fresh paint filled my nostrils, and I heard the faintest beat of music.“Where are we?” I asked a little too loudly. My voice echoed against the bare walls as we reached yet another door. Sebastian pushed this one open, and we descended a set of stairs that seemed to go on forever.“I figured we needed to find you something to match those fingernails.”I glanced down at my nails and noticed they were glowing in the dark. I gasped and wiggled my fingers around. At the bottom of the stairs, I literally ran into a very large security guard. After peeling myself off of his broad chest, he looked Sebastian up and down and nodded in acknowledgment before swiftly moving aside to allow us through. The deep bass of music thumped against the walls and rattled my insides, as we walked into what could only be explained as pure chaos drenched in neon paint.A dance club of epic proportions stretched out before us with hundreds of people our age dancing, drinking, talking and laughing. It took my eyes a moment to adjust to the contrast of the black walls, floor, and furniture with the neon colors flying through the air and splattering on people’s skin, clothes and hair. A girl in a white bikini ran by us with two bottles of pink spray paint. She held them up, squeezed them and sprayed pink neon glow-in-the-dark paint everywhere. I felt it spray all over my arms and chest, and squealed with delight when I looked down and saw that I was glowing.“This is amazing!” I yelled at Sebastian over the loud music.“Just keep your mouth closed – it doesn’t taste very good!” He smiled down at me with a pink streak over his white glowing teeth. He grabbed his hand as he wiped at the paint with his other one and pulled me into the mass of dancing people. Bare, muscular chests and skimpy clothes were covered in neon paint, making everyone look like a deranged Indian tribe. We made it to the other side untouched, except for the new splatters of blue and purple in my hair and across my stomach. A glowing bar lined the back wall with bartenders handing out drinks and glow-in-the-dark paint alike.Sebastian quickly received two drinks that glowed in the dark and two bottles of paint from the bartender in exchange for nothing. I couldn’t imagine living in a place that had no need for money or trade. It just seemed impossible. But there I was, in the middle of a neon dance club where alcohol was legal and everything was free, so what did I know?I took a sip of my drink, which tasted like springtime, and wasted no time in spraying him directly on his chest with the neon green paint bottle. He casually took a sip of his drink, handed it to me and pulled his shirt over his head. He tossed it somewhere over his shoulder, and I fought to pick my jaw up off the floor. The white linen pants he wore were hanging perfectly on his hips, and the muscles of his torso and stomach moved in tandem with his movements as I handed him his glass.He uncapped the yellow paint he’d gotten for himself, and sprayed some in my hair and neck with a big smile. When I remained frozen, he frowned.“What’s wrong?!” he asked over the music.“You took your shirt off!” I accused him stiffly and eyed his physique. He stepped closer and bent down until his lips were at my ear.“You’re welcome,” he whispered. His sarcasm finally woke me out of my trance, and I placed my hands on his chest with intentions of pushing him away. I hesitated a moment too long, however, and got yellow paint down my arms in return. I pushed him away and aimed my paint bottle at him, and for the next couple of minutes we assaulted each other with neon paint until we matched the rest of the club-goers. I shook my bottle one more time to get the rest of the paint toward the top, but he put up both hands in surrender.“Truce!” he called out. I had trouble hearing him even though he was right in front of me, but I could tell by his lips what he was saying. He held my gaze and slowly stepped forward; taking the loaded paint bottle from my hand carefully and setting it down on a nearby table. His face became serious as he drew in even closer. He wrapped a strong arm around my waist and pulled me to him. The warmth of his skin was made that much more erotic by the still-wet paint dripping from our skin and clothes.He leaned down slowly, never looking away. The blue of his eyes appeared to glow right along with the neon paint, and I realized I wasn’t breathing anymore. His hand cupped my face and leaned in even closer, and I couldn’t tell the difference between the thumping music and the pounding of my heart as the world melted away around us. He hesitated inches away from my mouth, and I felt like I might explode.
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