I picked up a copy of Moni Boyce‘s Awakened as a freebie on Amazon.
Description from Goodreads:
Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love.
Willow Stevens dreams of stardom are eclipsed by the real nightmares of a sinister man haunting her dreams. Unbeknownst to her, Eli Walker, her hot but snobbish co-worker, may know the reason nightmares plague her, but their history shows he is more prone to reject her, than help her.
Then Willow passes out at work only to wake in Eli’s apartment. There she has her chance to learn more about her heritage. But, knowing why the vampire king stalks her doesn’t make the nightmares disappear. If anything, they become more real as she now faces off against a slew of creatures she’d always believed were myth.
That Eli is one of those creatures is just her luck. Secret witch guild or not, his natural ways are casting spells her heart can’t escape. As a Protector his only focus should be her safety. Anything else is forbidden. He plans to stay in task, but some women break a man, or tempt him to break the rules.
Can Eli keep Willow alive and safe from the vampires long enough for her to grow her own powers or will both cast aside rules for a reckless passion that will only lead to danger?
Not very good, not totally horrendous, but not great either. The book has an interesting world and premise and an absolutely gorgeous cover, but it needs more editing, the writing is amateurish at times, and the transitions are often clunky. Plus, I had some serious suspension of disbelief issues with the plot and I found both Willow and Eli unlikable. She’s 26 and he’s even older, but they both act like children, and she’s especially self-centered, bratty, and easily manipulated.
As for the problem being able to suspend belief, which is something exceptionally hard for a book to overcome, it was two-fold. One, the book goes on and on about how important it is for her to learn to defend herself. So, it made no sense to me that the Protectors had followed her years and years instead of teaching her to defend herself until it’s basically too late. It’s not like they didn’t know there was a threat.
Secondly, all of the angst around the romance subplot could have and (and IMO should have) been completely bypassed if someone had simply told Willow that Protectors are forbidden from having relationships with Oracles. I don’t mean this as telling the author how to write her book, simply that as a reader I couldn’t understand why the characters were creating all the unneeded drama and hurt when it would make a million times more sense than the BS lies Eli rolls out for her
Lastly, it’s also the only book I’ve ever read with a warning before the epilogue like this:
If you plan to continue with this series, there’s an epilogue…but I suggest you stop here if you don’t like cliffhangers and don’t plan to continue. Thanks for reading!
It seems pointless because, even if you don’t read the epilogue (which I didn’t since I have no intention of continuing the series), the book ends with Willow injured, and both she and Eli unconscious. So, it’s already a cliffhanger.
All in all, I’m sorry to say the book just wasn’t a winner for me.