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
Intrigue, tension and danger pack these pages the whole way through.
Kaya is a rich man's daughter who lives in a castle in the mountains, which might sound like the perfect life. Except, it's not. Thanks to a grandfather who wants to see her dead, she's under constant, heavy security. No friends. No life outside of the bodyguards and her nanny. When secrets start to unfold, she discovers that her grandfather isn't the only deadly threat in her life.
My favorite part of this book is the great outdoors. This takes place in the rustic mountains and the landscape comes to life. The descriptions paint lovely scenes and place the reader between pines, rocks and waterfalls. Even Kaya's room and surroundings gain vividness without the text every tipping into wordiness.
Kaya is a pretty down to earth character--all things considered. Almost too much so. She lives a very sheltered life but has a strong personality and adapts easily. She's caring, has a warm heart and overflows in determination. It's easy to root for her the whole way through. Those around her are just as vibrant and personality rich as Kaya, and round off the scenes well.
Action and tension ride high the whole way through with mounds of unexpected twists and turns. There are layers upon layers of secrets, most which are hard to predict and catch by the surprise. Bad guys meld with the good ones, making it hard to know what the real intentions are. Not everything falls into place, leaving several holes scattered throughout. The reasoning behind several secrets laid a little thin.
Romance rides high and grabs with amazing heroes. But even these have intentions which aren't crystal clear. The author does a terrific job keeping a shadow of doubt over the purity of the love and danger which might lurk within. There is a love triangle and a hard hitting 'love at first sight', which lacked a bit of reality.
All in all, this is an engaging read and is sure to keep young adult suspense fans on the edge of their seats, and dreaming of what book two will bring.
I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to leave my thoughts.
Ah to be rich… but restricted in life and in love. Set in an iconic Canadian setting, this novel is an action-packed YA romance.
Review at The Pluviophile Reader: http://bit.ly/2hUK56k
Cheers to Heather McKenzie for providing me an ARC edition of this book for an honest review. I love to read and support new authors! It has been a while since I’ve read a YA novel and even longer since I read one with some substance so this was a refreshing read.
Kaya Lowen, by all appearances, lives the life that every teenager dreams about: She is the heiress of a billion dollar company and lives the life of luxury with her family in a castle in Banff, Canada. However, Kaya’s life is anything but easy as there are those that wish to assassinate her, meaning that Kaya is heavily guarded at all times and is nearly a prisoner in her own home. Smart and stubborn, Kaya is constantly at odds with those around her in a fight for her independence. Thankfully Kaya has a close bond with the people who protect her. Stephen has become more like a father to her since her own is never around and the youngest guard, Oliver, has begun to catch her eye. As that intrigue turns into love, Kaya meets a stranger on the evening of her 18th birthday that leaves her questioning her relationship with Oliver and the idea of love. Confused and distressed, Kaya’s world comes apart when she is kidnapped and starts to discover some of her family’s darkest secrets.
Kaya is a likeable and down to earth character, however she is naive which, considering her upbringing, makes sense. One of the things I loved best about Kaya is that she is an endurance runner. The first chapter drew me in with the descriptions of her running. The author must also be a runner to be able to describe that feeling so well. Kaya even wants to run the one of the most iconic Canadian ultras, The Death Race, which is a 125 km run in the Rocky Mountains.
As a Canadian living abroad it was also wonderful to get such beautiful descriptions of Banff, a place I have run and visited many times. It made me miss home. What was also great about this book was the intense pace it kept. There were no lulls in the story or with the romance and the scenes were adventurous and exciting. The last quarter of the book is riveting and the twist about Kaya’s father is jaw-dropping; that bastard is selfish madman!
Additionally, the author, whether on purpose or not, shows what the beginnings of a controlling and unhealthy relationship looks like. Oliver eventually outright claims Kaya and strips her of her independence and makes her believe it is for her own safety. It was refreshing to see Kaya come into her own as a character in these aspects.
There were two aspects of this novel I wasn’t keen on, one is the title. It doesn’t seem to relate well to the novel but the story line is going to become a series so perhaps that will make a bit more sense later, or perhaps the author is going a similar title approach to the Twilight series. The second aspect of this novel I wasn’t keen on was the love at first sight that was introduced with the mysterious stranger that Kaya meets. I mean, I get it. It seems wonderful to think that you can be that swept of your feet and in love but it was a bit over the top for me. However, I seriously struggle with most romance as it is so for those that are more into romance than myself the author did a great job.
McKenzie is a promising author that is going to give readers and powerhouse trilogy that will be sure to be successful. I would recommend this novel for YA and romance lovers, as well for readers who are runners. The novel is due to be published in April 2017 so keep your eyes open for it!
Read my full review at http://blackwords-whitepages1977.blog...
WOW, what an awesome and refreshing read full of love, hate, surprises, mystery, loyalty and everything in between. I enjoyed it very much. The characters were phenomenal and felt as if I could connect with Kaya and all she had to go through physically and emotionally. The story-line was extremely addicting and I found myself glued to the story from beginning to end. There was always something happening at the turn of every page. I also loved the mysterious secrets throughout the story. This author truly has a knack for story-telling and spinning it just enough to keep you guess and needing to read more. This is a spectacular debut read and I highly recommend it.
When I received this book (from who I think was an editor for Heather McKenzie), I really didn't know what to think. I don't really read Young Adult novels any more and when I saw that it was published by Clean Teen Publishing ... I REALLY didn't know what to think. What I DID know is that the blurb for this book was intriguing. Here's the deal, it's not any secret that I appreciate a well placed f-bomb or a steamy sex scene in a book. While I don't seek those things out when choosing a book, I also don't mind them. But the words 'clean teen' made me think that there would be scenes that were a bit watered down. Dude. Not the case. I didn't find this out until after I finished the book but Clean Teen is all about just letting the reader know what they will find within the pages - kind of like a rating on a movie.
Anyway, onto the book. THE. BOOK. Holy crap. I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. And maybe I went into it with some preconceived notions but those were all shot down VERY quickly and I was able to immerse myself into the interesting life of Kaya. Kaya is this amazing girl that has been through so much yet, amazingly enough, it didn't kill her spirit. I think that she is a super strong character that needs to be seen more in Young Adult novels.
I don't really want to get into any secondary characters because well, I don't want to ruin the twists and turns on these pages. But I will say this, as a reader, you're going to REALLY struggle with whom to support. The author did a great job of putting the reader through the push and pull of good and bad. Who is good and who is bad? Don't worry. Your alliance will shift quite a few times as you steamroll through Serenade.
The story moves along quite swiftly but not jarringly so. It's just the perfect pace. I didn't find myself getting bored or skipping even a single sentence. It was a little shocking, how fast I flew through the words on these pages. I just couldn't get enough of Kaya and her life - how things were, how things became and what could be for her future, if there was one. It's nice getting to the end of the book and being left with absolutely NO questions about characters or the plot.
It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a romantic suspense this much ... probably since my last Sandra Brown and that is saying something. ESPECIALLY for a first book from an author. Are you kidding me?!? THIS is what you're coming out of the gate with? Geez. I'm in trouble. I'll be stalking library shelves indefinitely for this author - she had me hooked after the first page. Lifetime fan. SO good.
* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark!
Originally posted on Daydreaming Books.
*I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
This book really took me on for a ride. So many things happened in this book and I enjoyed it very much.
Kaya desperately wants to live a normal life which is impossible as she is the sole heiress of a billion dollar company. Her father doesn't give her the time of the day and she is left in the company of her bodyguard and other security officers who in due time has become her only friends. But when she gets kidnapped she comes face to face with a whole new reality she didn't even think of. Now, it's up to Kaya to decide if she wants to go back into that prison of a house or finally start listening to her heart.
The plot was pretty interesting and it kept me engaged throughout the book. Kaya's life is a lot like Rapunzel. She is not allowed to go anywhere outside the premise marked by her father and guards accompany her 24/7. I liked Kaya from the very beginning, she was smart and caring and just craved for a normal life. And with only a few people in her life, she has grown close to the guards, especially Stephen and Oliver. Stephen was more a father to her than a guard and I really loved him. But Oliver... eh, not so much. I didn't like him much and as the book proceeded, my dislike for him grew more and more. He definitely cared for Kaya but in a weird twisted way, it seemed like he thought he owned her after she agreed to his proposal of marriage.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed how the plot was executed. After Kaya gets kidnapped, things take a different turn. We are introduced to three more people- Luke, Seth, and Reagan. I didn't know what to think of them at first but slowly they warmed up to my heart. I liked Luke, a lot and it was pretty obvious that he and Kaya had chemistry. The only thing that I didn't enjoy much in the whole book was the insta-love. I just wished their relationship was more explored because there was plenty of scope for it.
I was glad to see how Kaya handled everything in a mature way and I really loved Luke when he decided to stand by her with whatever decision she took. The plot twist was really, really good. I didn't expect that to happen. There were so many secrets that Kaya's father kept to himself and oh my gosh, I hated him so much. And that revelation at the end was mind-blowing, I can't wait to see what happens next!
Overall. Serenade was a great read. The plot was executed neatly and I enjoyed the characters. The insta-love was the only thing that I disliked in this book but I did love Kaya and Luke together. The writing was beautiful and smooth and the pace was even throughout the book. There was not a single dull moment in this book and I will be waiting eagerly for the next one in this series!
“Female heroine. Check. Adventure with high stakes. Check. Strong and powerful story with intrigue and secrets. Check. I loved nearly everything about this story. It had everything I hope for and love in a YA book. The writing style and powerful way the author can showcase emotions makes me eager to read anything McKenzie will write next- fiction, nonfiction, picture books, or anything.” Rachel Barnard – Author
Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite
Serenade by Heather McKenzie is the first book in the author's series, The Nightmusic Trilogy. Kaya has lived a shockingly sheltered existence as the heiress to a billion-dollar empire. Her father (and grandfather) have made her a virtual prisoner, dictating where she can go (nowhere, really), when, and with whom. Her only friends are her bodyguards and a "manny" who's been with her since birth. When she's kidnapped, the plot thickens as things begin to reveal themselves, and this is helped along by the multiple points of view. Ultimately, the lines become completely blurred as to who is good and who is bad, and a romance ensues, adding to Kaya's turmoil.
Serenade: The Nightmusic Trilogy Book 1 by Heather McKenzie has a slow burn of a start, but the backstory is important - especially her relationships from "home." The writing is well executed, particularly the descriptive elements, something in which I feel the author truly excels. "When she turned to face me, her eyes were wide and her cheeks were flushed--all my breath left my lungs. We were surrounded by incredibly beauty, yet she completely outshone it with her own." The scenes and action following the kidnapping are fantastic, with enough unexpected twists to keep the pages turning. The book does end on something of a cliff-hanger, but readers will be happy to know they don't have to wait for the next installment as Nocturne, book two in the trilogy, has already been released. I'd highly recommend this book to lovers of good, traditional YA with a unique plot.
I WISH IT WAS POSSIBLE TO GIVE SERENADE 1,000 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Heather McKenzie's debut novel was outstanding and beautiful and perfect while some of the characters were imperfect and rotten (referring to you, Oliver) and amazing and outstanding and crisply written. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a book this much. I highly recommend it; Serenade featured a heroine that is admirable and relatable to girls and women of all ages, with a kind, gentle, and steady-minded man named Luke. All of the characters were fresh, had their moments of humor and weakness, and rounded out the novel in a smashing debut. I'm so delighted that I found this book at my Barnes and Noble, and am looking forward to the sequel - Nocturne.