Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Rain Trilogy by Karen-Anne Stewart





Saving Rain (Rain Trilogy #1)
by Karen-Anne Stewart

Genre: 
New Adult Romance Suspense

Number of Pages:  240

Buy Links:  Amazon     B&N

Book Description:  Raina has tried to forget her past, forget the pain, but when she finds herself staring straight into the fury blazing in her ex-boyfriend's eyes, her dark past comes rushing back. Furious with herself for actually having chosen someone like her father, she uses that anger to her advantage and fights for her life...and for her future that she prays will involve the man she can't seem to get out of her head.

Kas is a natural leader, a fierce fighter, the type of man you send in when you need to get the job done. He is a courageous hero who is used to risking his own life to save others, but can he save the one who has captured his heart from her horrific past and the men who are hell-bent on destroying her?

As Kas and Raina try to navigate through the twists and turns of a deviously intelligent human trafficking group, they find solace in each other's arms. Can they infiltrate the trafficker's tight ring, saving the innocent lives from imminent danger before it's too late?

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbBurAKibhc


4 out of 5 stars

Saving Rain is such a great story. Raina was abused as a child and now as a young adult, despite careful choices and the determination not to be a victim ever again, has fallen into the same pattern with the same type of guy as her father. Through one of her college classes, Raina has the opportunity to work with the FBI, where she meets Kas, the first guy in her life who does not try to hurt her. Kas will do anything to help Raina, but he quickly realizes he is way out of his league. He does his best, but it is not always enough.

I think one of the things I loved most about this book was Raina and Kas' relationship. They felt an instant attraction to one another, but there was no insta-love (I actually hate that term, but I see it used a lot). Their relationship was given time to simmer and develop slowly. Raina does not fall immediately in love with Kas and trust him with everything she has. If it had happened that way, the story would have been ruined. Raina was abused and, as such, she has a hard time trusting anyone, including herself. She is not weak or a victim, though she has been made to see herself in that way, and it is going to take more than one man, no matter how patient and caring he is, to change that.

While there are dark issues in the story, it is well written and the violent scenes/topics are handled carefully. The issues of abuse, rape, and human trafficking are very real, and the author does not pretty them up, nor does she give explicit descriptions that would be a turn off to many people. I have read many books where the characters were abused, and I believe (in my humble opinion) that this is one of my favorites, just because of the way the characters dealt with their issues. Rather than turning to drugs, alcohol, or aimless sex, Raina tried to make herself a better person, someone worthy of love.

My only issue with this book was that there were many times in Saving Rain where the thoughts would switch from one person to another without any transition or warning, and it was very confusing. I found myself re-reading sentences or paragraphs after realizing the POV had changed suddenly. Overall, though, I really enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of her book.


Healing Rain (Rain Trilogy #2)
by Karen-Anne Stewart


Genre:  New Adult Romance Suspense

Number of Pages:   236

Buy Links: 
Amazon      B&N


Book Description: 
Shattered when Raina runs after his marriage proposal, Kas is hell-bent to find her and bring her home, where she belongs. He will bend every law necessary to do so, willing to do anything to protect Raina from her demons and the men who haunt her, going as far as placing his career and life on the line to save hers. Raina will give up everything she has worked so hard to achieve, even flee the country to keep Kas from the wrath and powerful reach of her abusive father.

In the midst of the FBI team closing in on the Ghost, another ghost from Raina's past taunts her, promising that she will be his. Meanwhile, a different trafficking ring is gaining strength in New Jersey. Michael solicits Raina's help, needing her smooth, sultry voice to win the audition for the new singer in the ring leader's swanky night club. Raina knows her life is in jeopardy with the dangers of being undercover, but she is blindsided when she discovers that it's her heart that is threatened with a mortal blow.

Raina tries to heal from the nightmares of her dark past as the grisly bodies of innocent victims surface when the team gets closer to discovering the identity of the man responsible for the infuriatingly clever and powerful slavery ring. When Raina finally comes face to face with the Ghost, he quickly engulfs her in a twisted game of cat and mouse, delivering a veiled threat as he slips through her fingers. As the ghosts of her past and present ensnare her in their deadly web, Raina realizes the danger has just begun.


Book Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbBurAKibhc

My review:  4 out of 5 stars


Excerpt 

Kas exits the large doors of the Boston Logan International Airport. The bitter cold and blowing snow is barely noticed as he hails a cab, doing his best to quench the nagging feeling of deception tugging at him relentlessly. Honesty is a huge deal with him, and he is struggling with by passing his beliefs in this instance, lying to Raina about needing to go into work today instead of telling her the truth.

He glances at his watch, thinking of the engraving Raina had put on the back. She is his life, and there is no way he will allow Waterford to get by with hurting her. He’s going to make it perfectly clear that he is to never lay a hand on Raina again.

Leaning against the headrest, their argument last night replays in his mind. He had tried to reason with her to press charges against her father this time. He had rationalized, yelled, begged, then, flat-out ordered her to. He hated the sadness in her eyes when she had refused, her gaze leaving his when she softly shook her head and whispered she was sorry. He had pulled her into his arms, knowing her father has brainwashed her, sickly twisting everything around, making her feel guilty when she owns no blame for what he has done to her.

Frustration had bitten straight through him when he thought of how she immediately pressed charges against Chris, but won’t against Waterford. He fears her father’s threat is a large part of her refusal, and he plans on deflating that threat so Waterford can’t hold it over her head any longer.

He had called Henry after she fell asleep, only to be discouraged by the angry regret in his words that there isn’t much they can do without the physical proof being on her anymore and her refusal to contact the authorities. Kas had taken pictures of her stomach in Italy while she slept, and he was tempted to press charges himself, but knew the outcome probably wouldn’t be to his liking.

So, now, he is back to his original plan, going straight to the source, hoping he can maintain enough self-control to not cause lasting damage. He checks the address as the cab pulls to the curb.

Quickly, he pays the driver and steps onto the damp sidewalk, his breath leaving puffs of white clouds as he leans against the brick wall at the edge of the alley, scanning everyone’s face before they enter the bar.

When Kas sees Waterford exit his vehicle, he takes a deep breath, forcing himself not to maim him. He steps in front of the arrogant man before he reaches the bar entrance, his gaze determined, unnerving, even to a seasoned cut-throat lawyer like Raina’s father. His fists coil at his side, his jaw clenching as he almost growls, “I’m Kas Pierce, Raina’s husband.”

The shocked expression on William Waterford’s face doesn’t last long, he subconsciously steps back, feeling the raw force behind Kas’ current state of barely controlled wrath. “Well, I guess congratulations are in order.”

Kas squeezes his fingers tighter into his fist at the veiled sarcasm in his voice. His blazing glare unwaveringly penetrates Waterford’s until her father shifts his gaze, looking away. With that bit of male dominance out of the way, he decides to not waste time mincing words as he grabs his jacket, hauling him into the alley, roughly slamming his back against the cold, wet brick wall. “If you ever touch her again, I will take my time ripping you apart, piece by pathetic piece, making sure you have plenty of time to digest the pain and the knowledge of what I’m going to do to you next.”

“Do you have any idea who I am?” William spits out, trying to keep the fear out of his voice, “you just threw your career straight into the toilet, son.”

“Do you honestly think my career is more important to me than Raina?” Kas asks incredulously, wanting to really damage him, cause significant bodily harm, but he holds back. He’s not the same kind of man as Waterford, and if Raina ever found out it would devastate her. He reins in his murderous thoughts enough to only knock the air from his lungs as he punches Waterford in the ribs, being sure to hit him hard enough to leave him good and bruised.

Waterford gasps for breath as Kas tries to control his urge to kick him, knowing he has kicked Raina. The photos of her badly battered body flash in his head, and he makes himself take a step back, the urge to mercilessly beat Waterford becoming dangerously uncontrollable. He stares down at the spineless coward in front of him, fury filling him when he takes in the considerable size of Raina’s father. He finds it nearly impossible to walk away as he thinks of how Waterford has repeatedly used his large, firm frame to terrorize and inflict serious pain on his daughter since she was only five years old.

The only saving grace for Waterford is the sudden image of Raina’s face, her innocence, her love, and her willingness to forgive, burning in his mind, slowly calming the blinding rage. Kas gives one last look to the malevolent reprobate slumped on his knees before he kneels down, roughly yanking Waterford’s hair so he’s facing him. “Stay away from my wife!” his voice as lethal as drops of deadly poison.

William leans against the damp bricks after Kas is gone, air finally filling his lungs as he holds his burning ribs. He is outraged by the knowledge that Raina is married. Thoughts of Beth cripple him, and tears run down his face. Hatred sears him from Raina’s happiness and the audacity of her husband scoffing at his threat. Let’s see which one he decides to choose after I’m done with him.



After the Rain (The Rain Trilogy #3)
by Karen-Anne Stewart

Genre:  New Adult Romance Suspense

Number of Pages:  243

Buy Links:
  Amazon

Book Description: 
Finally able to put her harrowing past to rest, Raina looks forward to her future with Kas, but the Ghost has other plans. As the FBI team gets closer to taking down the largest human trafficking ring in the modern world, the Ghost begins a wicked game, making Raina the pawn and the target. Never before encountering a worthy adversary, he’s fascinated by Raina and is enjoying the refreshing challenge of her intellect.

The danger ignites to a blazing new level, and Kas struggles between the need to finally exorcise the Ghost and his need to protect his wife. Tension mounts as an internal battle wages, tormenting Kas as he watches Raina put her all into taking down the man responsible for horrific sex slavery and gruesome deaths. When a new player takes control, Jefferson orders the end of the Ghost’s game with Raina, which results in one final, devastating act, leaving Kas desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to save her…by whatever means necessary.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbBurAKibhc


My Review:  4 out of 5 stars

Excerpt

Evan only looks surprised for a second when Raina reenters the room. His cool façade returns, and he leans against the table, his elbows resting casually on the hard metal.

“This is the second time you’ve interrupted my day, dragging me down here trying to pin something on me, but you still don’t have any damning evidence. Since you seem so hell-bent on my being guilty, I’ve been thinking about contacting another lawyer. The one I’ve been considering is notorious for putting up a helluva fight, always mercilessly beating the opponent,” he leers, a cruel smile curving his lips. His green eyes gleam with amusement as he slides his fingertips just millimeters from Raina’s, “What do you say? Do you think I should call William Waterford?”

Kas watches his wife stiffen but not lose her composure. His regret of allowing her near the evil trafficker again reaches monumental heights as he closely watches through the mirror, his back rigid and his hands clenched into tight fists.

“You can call any lawyer you want, that’s your right,” Raina replies calmly, forcing herself to show no emotion.

Evan leans back, a twisted appreciation joining his amusement. “Then again, I heard his partner was arrested for child pornography. There are also rumors that he covered up the rape of his own daughter, who I heard he recently beat the hell out of. Maybe that’s not such a good image for someone who represents me, especially since his daughter was a minor at the time of the sexual assault. Yeah, on second thought, due to you accusing me of the same heinous crimes, maybe I don’t need a lawyer with such a tainted history.”

Kas leaps to his feet; the force of his movement knocks his chair back several feet. Chase steps in front of the door, “She’s handling it, Kas.” Lawson’s confused gaze darts between the two men and the interrogation room.

Kas glares through the two-way, “He’s passed a line that I’m not willing to let Raina cross.”

“She’s holding her own, if you pull her out, you will be crossing a line, and she’s already made it clear that she doesn’t like her lines messed with.”

The flaming look in Kas’ eyes is unmistakable and is now directed at his best friend, “He’s taunting her.”

“Of course he is, and he would be doing the same thing to anyone else. Let her handle this.”

Lawson’s trying to catch up to where everyone else seems to be. Shifting his gaze to Raina, Kas considers Chase’s advice. It takes less than two seconds to discard it. Yanking open the door, he storms towards interrogation.

Chase steps into the hall behind him, “You’re going to do her more harm by pulling her out of there!” Kas stops, his shoulders stiff and fists clenched. Chase knows he’s trying to calm down before turning around. “You know I’m right,” he offers calmly, “give her a chance, she’s strong enough.”

Spinning around, his eyes burn with scorching intensity, “You don’t have to tell me how strong Raina is, I know her strength better than anyone!” Hanging his head, he presses his hands against the wall, desperately trying to tame his fury, “He’s looking for her weakness.”

“She won’t give it to him, not after earlier.”

Lawson steps into the hall, fed up with being left in the dark, “You going to fill me in here?”

The agonizing look on Kas’ face is clue enough when Lawson meets his gaze. Dropping his head, he lets out a long breath, the pieces finally fitting together. “Pierce, I’m sorry,” he mumbles, not knowing anything else to say. He makes his way back into the viewing room and steps next to Frank.

“She’s had a taste of hell,” Frank begins, never taking his eyes off the infuriating banter in the next room, “she’ll do whatever it takes to keep others from experiencing the same inferno.”

Lawson remains silent, his eyes glued to the woman in the next room. He watches how she stands her ground, never flinching when Parker throws all he’s got at her. His respect just multiplied.

It’s been almost an hour. Raina’s emotional exhaustion fuels Evan’s degenerate temperament. He wants to dance, laugh out loud with pure glee, at the tenacious determination from the extraordinary woman in front of him. She’s good, remarkable even, matching his wit closer than anyone ever has, and he’s never enjoyed himself more. “Do you like Chess, Raina?” Evan inquires casually, leaning back in his chair and folding one ankle over the other.

Raina softly nods. “I do as well, it’s such an intriguing game, don’t you think?”

“Yes, I do,” she replies as a small smile tilts the corners of her mouth, “and it’s a game I never lose.”

“Never?”

“Never,” she affirms, leaning a little closer, some of the snuffed light shining brightly in her eyes again now that the daunting conversation has turned to a topic in which she can hold her own.

“I’m impressed. I’ve never lost, myself. What’re the odds of having two Grandmaster’s in the same room?” he licks his lips again, leaning towards her, “I have so many moves that I love, it’s hard to say which is my favorite, but do you know what really gets me every time?”

Not wanting to know, Raina asks what it is anyway.

“Going after the king. When I lay that piece down at the end, it fills me with the greatest satisfaction.” His eyes sparkle as he looks at her, studying her reaction,

“Man, I absolutely love that part!” Raina leans close to Parker, and Jake steps towards her. Returning his chilling smile, her jade eyes glint dangerously, fully aware of his intended meaning, “There’s something you need to know. I’m a very good, very aggressive player. If someone threatens my king, I take out their pathetic ass, one by one, until there’s nothing left on the board. I turn into one extremely determined opponent, relentless to the end, and viciously ruthless, I don’t hesitate to go for the kill by whatever means necessary.”

Evan’s aroused laugh fills the room, “I like how you play.” His need to touch her is unbearable; he would kill for just one minute to feel her in his hands. He wants to tame her, break her to his will so badly he can taste the potent desire bursting on his tongue. Forcing himself to regain control, he lets out a commending chuckle, “The way the queen protects her king, there’s just something hopelessly poetic about that.”

Kas’ grip on the windowsill tightens furiously until all of his knuckles turn white. He’s a toxic mix of pride and rage as he watches his wife throw Parker’s threat to harm him back in his pretentious face. Sheer terror joins the poison seeping through his veins at the thought of what Parker will try to do to Raina if he thinks he might actually lose.

Evan slides his fingertips to where they make the slightest brush against hers, his dark eyes brimming with the savagery of untold sins. “You love to hate me don’t you? It’s a very complicated thing we have here isn’t it, Raina? I would enjoy playing with you very much,” he whispers, “there are so many moves I could introduce you to.”

Jake grabs the back of Parker’s chair and roughly jerks it backwards as Kas uses all his willpower to not shatter the mirror and rip Parker to shreds.

Evan throws his head back in pleased laughter. Taking his time to compose himself, his salacious smile penetrates Raina to the core, “It seems like the queen is carefully protected as well.” Raising his cruel eyes to the mirror, his lips curve as he winks.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karen is doing a fundraiser for the Polaris Project (an organization that fights all forms of human trafficking in an holistic approach) and is offering giveaway of 100 e-books (winner's choice of either Saving Rain, Healing Rain, or After the Rain - winners must be 18+).

She is asking the people entering to donate $1.00 in the link provided in the rafflecopter that goes directly to the Polaris Project peer2peer fundraising page. Here's the link to the Polaris Project http://www.polarisproject.org

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


About the Author:  Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

The Rain Trilogy is a powerful story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love (intended for readers 18+).

http://www.karen-annestewart.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920317.Karen_Anne_Stewart

https://twitter.com/SKarenAnne

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Anne-Stewart-Author/113779785477987


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Sheri, for reading and reviewing The Rain Trilogy! I hope you have a Happy New Year :)

    Karen-Anne

    ReplyDelete