Title: Marked
Author: A.M. Hardin
Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy and a bit of Romance
Source: Goodreads

Rating: 2/5

Favourite Quote: ‘The path ends a short while later, but he keeps leading me through a thick patch of woods, and I glance around, noticing there’s no one around.
“Is this where you kill me?” I joke.
Xander rolls his eyes. “God, you’re dramatic. We’re almost there, just another few minutes.”
He was right. A few minutes later, I’m standing at the edge of a waterfall that falls into a crystal-clear lake that looks like it’s got diamonds glistening from the sunlight under the water. My breath catches in my throat as I take it all in. The trees. The water. The sun glinting off the water. The fresh air.” 

Whilst browsing through Goodreads for some inspiration, I came across this fantasy story Marked and was intrigued. I’m still not sure where my emotions are with this book, I felt that the story had soo much potential but it lost a lot of ingredients to make it a great book. That’s not to say that I’m not looking forward to the next one in the series, because even though it wasn’t perfect, the cliffhanger for this story has got me wanting more.

Our story beings with Cherish who has just turned 18, who has great friends, a lovely family and a passion for drawing mythological creatures. She’s beautiful but isn’t fussed about her appearance, skinny but eats a lot and frankly just doesn’t care what people think of her. Not your typical prom queen candidate, but that doesn’t stop her from being one; not that she’s really interested.
Cherish has started seeing strange things around random people, which can only be described as a shimmering shiny blanket in the air around them. It’s causing her some concern but mostly she just dismisses it after a few moments. Everything else is normal after all, everything except the three gorgeous boys who join school with only 3 months left of term. What’s more unusual is their sudden drawness to her.

‘I frown when my gaze lands on a beautiful woman. She isn’t doing anything specific, just talking on her phone. That’s not what snagged my attention though. It’s the fact that the air is shimmering around her, almost like a shiny blanket. What the hell is going on with me? A shiver crawls down my spine as I think about that fact that this has been happening way too often lately.’

You see Kade’s, Xander’s and Andrei’s individual perspectives throughout the book as you discover that they are looking for their lost princess from their elven world as instructed by King Leander. Cherish seems to be the one they are looking for, but they are already running out of time, she is not safe in this world and they must convince her to return to their world as soon as possible. They make attempts to get close to Cherish, Kade in particular, to try and convince her of the truth about who she really is and where she belongs.

‘I nod. “I understand. I don’t like it, but I understand.” I covered her hands with mine. “If what you’re saying is the truth, do you think that the new guys at school are the ones my, um, biological father sent for me? Do you think they were telling me the truth?” 
She smiles sadly. “I think that if you stormed out of there without hearing them out like I believe you did, you should probably apologise and hear what they have to say” 
I purse my lips and nod. “Okay. Thank you mom.”
Her hands drop from my cheeks. “For what, honey?”
“For raising me like I was your own when I wasn’t. I love you and daddy more for that, and I don’t think I could thank you for that enough.”‘

..Then her mum tells her to go up and do her homework.
Seriously?! She’s just found out that her entire life was a lie, her parents aren’t her real parents, her sister isn’t her sister, magic exists and her biological father has sent strangers from another mystical world to collect her from everything she’s known and grown up with… That was her response. “I understand. I don’t like it, but I understand”

One of the frustrations I found with this book is the lack of emotion and detail I felt with the characters, Cherish in particular. Huge changes happen to Cherish, everything she thought she knew and loved is gone and she’s forced to move to a magical world to live with elves and I feel like you could have told her she failed her exam in school and gotten the same reaction. A bit of shock, disappointment and feeling guilty but then just accepting that it’s happened and move on. Does she miss her family? Does she miss her friends? What does she think of her biological father and the siblings she’s now discovered? Who knows!

When Cherish leaves her life to move to this new world, she stubbornly refuses to play the role of the princess. No dresses, no acting on ceremony, would rather eat alone in her room and doesn’t care about finding any affection with her new family. When the royal family is under attack from an endless war they’ve been fighting, Cherish finds herself in more danger in her new world that the one she left with only her guards to trust.

Both Kade and Xander know that Cherish is off limits, nothing can ever happen between a princess and her guard, but that doesn’t stop either of them from making a move. You don’t see it coming with either of them because the author doesn’t build up any passion or emotion towards their feelings towards her, they could easily have just been doing their duty of guarding her by spending so much time around her. Does Kade know that Xander likes Cherish? Does Xander know that Kade likes Cherish? Does Cherish like either of them? It’s frustratingly difficult to say. Will Andrei fall for her too?
This is why I need to know what happens next!

I don’t take back what I said, the book has so much potential for being a great story, add a bit of emotion, make the romantic attractions more evident and add a bit of description to the characters and in the new magical world she’s ended up in and you’ve got yourself a fantastic fantasy book.


My Rating

Small Kitty 2

Goodreads Review:
Cherish has always been just a normal girl.
Lately, Cherish has been seeing some weird glimmering surrounding certain people. At first, she doesn’t think anything of it. Until three guys transfer to her school with three months left in the year.
When the three new students suddenly take a liking to her things start to get heated.
As the guys explain to Cherish that she’s the last Elvin princess of their kingdom, Cherish has to decide if she believes them or not. Especially when they tell her that her life is in danger.

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Hey! I'm Gemma :) I moved to Japan with my husband and cat three years ago which has been one big adventure. The only downside (besides missing my family and dairymilk) is that I've moved to a country where English bookshops are limited, plus the idea of transporting so many books back home sounds dreadfully expensive. I've grown to love my Kindle which is why I'm fixated on ebooks. It connects nicely to my goodreads and netgalley account also which means I'm always adding more to my never ending list of books. I read fiction and love all things fantasy, YA, historical fiction and classics. Add a bit of mystery and I'll be hooked!

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