Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hey, It's A Blog Tour for "Trial by Charm" by Jolene Buchheit

by Jolene Buchheit

Book 1, in The Charmed Trials Series
"Trial by Charm"
Genre: Young Adult, Greek-Inspired Urban Fantasy, 227 pages.
Price: $3.99 ebook (at time of post)
Book Link: Click Here
- SYNOPSIS -
Seventeen-year- old Julia Wright doesn’t understand her friends’ obsession with boys. She proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence – though some annoying and rude boys still manage to grate her last nerve. Then she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men’s swim team, and finds herself face to face with the worst of them all. 

 Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock. He has the ability to change people’s minds at will, only his charms don’t work on Julia. Now he’s anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away – especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed. 

 Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn’t quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons – and, in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is. 

 Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they face the extreme consequences of failure?
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My Rating:  📔📔📔📔  📖
My Thoughts: Charmed I'm Sure!
      This book was not what I was expecting based on title or description, but I was thoroughly happy in the end. The female lead was realistic and relatable, while the male was rude, but had a heart. Oh and the story involves Greek mythology hidden and meddling in the contemporary world.
      For high schooler Julia Wright the world does not revolve around boys, but her BFFs and all the other girls on her swim team can't stop obsessing about them. Julia just accepts the fact she's immune to boys, especially towards the affects of one male named Vander Thelxinoe, who is nothing but a jerk in her book. Nothing he says or does is charming to her, even if Vander is the Captain of the men's swim team and has a body of a Greek god. It's only after witnessing Vander talk people into things and have them forget actions he's done that Julia suspects something is truly different about him and not just in his normal jerk attitude kinda way. Vander finally reveals to Julia that he isn't normal and is in fact half siren. With that shock Vander also reveals Julia is a rarity in being immune to his persuasion and that he can't seem to stay away from her. Julia can't help but allow him to be close and in turn they become close, lending to new feelings that she's never felt before.
       Overall, very enjoyable read. Julia is definitely one of my favorite female heroines thus far! She was so witty and feisty in sparing with Vander when he was being a jerk, I loved their banter. Saying Julia never let Vander get away with being an a$$ is an understatement, because she had no qualms on calling him out on it even after they go from haters to couple. As for Vander he was definitely a jerk but with good reasons which he later explains. Luckily for him he's paired with Julia and is hot. The quest the Julia and Vander have to endure is so strange, but was interesting as it foretells what else may await the couple. The one thing I did dislike was usage of mentioning know mythological books as a continual reference to avoid explanation. Normally with books about mythology an author has to take time to explain things out, but in this book much was assumed or referenced by mentioning another book to associate past knowledge of the subject; Which if the reader had read those book would be okay but if not they'd have no context. So if you are into stories involving high school drama mixed in with sirens using charm and couples trying to avoid the wrath of the greek gods, this book will be a good read.
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EXCERPT
I study his profile. His chiseled jaw and dark, floppy hair are like something out of a magazine advertisement. His eyes, too—they aren’t dark to match his hair, like mine—they are parts of green and blue, much like the painting of the sea in the other room.  
 “Who painted that piece above the couch in there?” 
He shrugs, not answering me in any concrete way. Then he shifts his weight from one foot to the other and his awkwardness makes it clear to me. 
 “You did it, didn’t you? You’re a painter.” 
 He shrugs again. I hop down from my stool to go take another look at the painting. The artist must have signed it, and I will get my answer that way. 
 I go down the hall, past the bathroom, the stairs, and the front door until I’m standing in the parlor, looking at Vander, who is blocking the painting from my view. He must have gone through the dining room next to the kitchen to end up in here before me. He’s staring at me and chewing on his lip while flexing and balling his hands. He’s more nervous than I have ever seen him—not before a swim meet, not in class when he didn’t know an answer, not when he told me how he felt in the bathroom a little bit ago. 
 This is where his heart lies, in this painting of this island.  
 I try to look around him, and he leans over.  
 “Don’t.” He is stern, but gentle. He clears his throat. “Please don’t touch it. You will want to, but don’t.” 
 He’s right. I do want to touch it; I want to climb inside of it. I’m seeing it, and somehow it’s seeing me, and it’s making me feel pulled apart. I want to dive into the waters, to swim to that far-off land, and I also want to turn the boat around and sail as far and as quickly as I can in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the light from the sun is dimming, laughing at me for thinking I can have any control here.  
 I want in! 
 Vander grabs both of my arms, which are currently outstretched toward the painting. My knees are on the seat of the couch, and I don’t even remember moving forward. His voice startles me. “You can’t.” 
 I blink hard and turn to look him fully in the face. “I can’t what?” 
 “You can’t go there, and you can’t go away from there. It’s just a painting.” Was I talking out loud, or can he read my mind? How does he know what I was thinking? I let him lead me through the dining room, back into the kitchen, where the timer is going off. I shake my head to let loose the feelings that painting stirred in me. 
 “It’s more than that, and you know it. How?” I don’t even have to finish the sentence. He knows exactly what I’m asking.
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    Jolene Buchheit
Author Links: Amazon PageFacebookWebsiteTwitterGoodreads.

As a substitute teacher, Jolene spends her days in high school classrooms harvesting material for her Young Adult novels. She also uses it as an outlet for fangirling by showing upcoming book-to- movie trailers at the end of class, or discussing vital issues like whether Katniss should have picked Gale or Peeta. She is committed to helping Special Education teenagers become independent adults and helping them find a way to focus on the positive especially when life gets hard. At home, Jolene loves to cuddle with her husband, two kids, and three cats—sometimes all at once—while reading Young Adult books or repeatedly watching movies based on them.

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