"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.
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A strangled scream accompanied the gratifying crunch of breaking bones.
"We gotta go," Moth said, turning the pockets of the guy at his feet.
Rain relaxed his fists and stared down at the thug he'd been pounding. Blood pulsed under the swastika inked on the guy's temple, making the tattoo move like a living thing. He wanted to kill it.
From beyond the park, a siren wailed.
"Seriously, dude. Drop it." Moth's voice was as shrill as the siren.
A quick glance over his shoulder confirmed the girl, huddled against the wire mesh trash can overflowing with beer bottles and garbage, was okay — well, alive at least, which might not have been true if things had gone down differently.
Even in the dark, he could tell she wasn't from this part of Houston. Girls from this inner-city neighborhood had a harder edge. She was a few years younger than him, closer to Moth's age — maybe fifteen or sixteen — dark, terrified eyes pleading above the duct tape strapped across her mouth and chin and all the way around her head. Her wrists were bound with zip ties behind her back.
God only knew what the assholes' plan for her had been, if they'd had a plan at all. These guys often acted spontaneously and indiscriminately — ironic for a group powered by discrimination. He gave the one at his feet a hard kick in the ribs for good measure but only received a weak moan in response. Good. The bastard wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
"Rain!" Moth's tone bordered on panic.
"Yeah." He examined his bloody knuckles in the moonlight and his stomach turned over. The guy had better not die. Rain's DNA was all over him. With one last glance at the girl, he followed Moth into the dark moon shadows of the heavy oaks lining the back edge of the park, where he paused to watch the police cruiser skid to a halt. Only when he was sure the girl was in the care of the cops did his sense of self-preservation kick in, and he leaped the back fence of the park into the adjoining churchyard.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Moth hissed through his teeth. "We almost got caught."
Gravel on the walkway behind the church crackled like Rice Krispies under his boots. He liked Rice Krispies. They served them every morning at the shelter.
He fell into step beside his friend, who was at least a head shorter. Rain had always been grateful for his size. He was taller and bulkier than most, so people left him alone as a general rule. That wasn't true of Moth. "You should get off the streets," Rain said.
Moth replied with a go-to-hell glare.
Slinking into the shadows that clung to the side of the building, they had a clear shot to the other end of the churchyard. They emerged on a side street, slowed, and assumed their typical defiant, don'tgive-a-shit teen thug personas, which fit Moth like a glove.
"But I like the streets," he said as they neared the corner. "I've got freedom here."
Yeah, freedom until one of the gangs or the cops or worse found the chance to grab him up.
When they passed the bus stop, Old Jim wasn't stretched out on the bench like he'd been every night since Rain and his mom had moved in down the street three months ago. Jim's bag was there, though, tucked under the bench next to his blanket. He never went anywhere without his stuff.
"Oh, cool. Let's see what the old guy guards like a pit bull." But before Moth could get his hands on the backpack, Rain shoved him against the wall of the bus stop rain shelter, causing the graffiticovered Plexiglas panels to rattle in their metal frames like thunder.
"No. Don't touch his shit."
Moth nonchalantly brushed his T-shirt as if he'd gotten crumbs on it, but Rain knew he'd surprised him and it was a nervous gesture. He fluttered when rattled, hence his nickname. "Since when have you been so righteous, Rain?"
"Since when have you been —" A siren drowned out his voice.
"Jeezus, I thought that was the cops for a second." Moth's fingers twitched at his chest as an ambulance sped past and then slowed to turn at the light a block up.
Red and blue lights pulsed across the surface of the boarded-up Family Dollar store on the far side of the intersection as the vehicle made the turn.
"I hope it's not Old Jim," Rain said.
For a long time, his friend studied him, then wiped the bottom of his shirt over his face, smearing dirt, rather than wiping it away. "You're acting weird tonight." He struck out up the street, not looking back as he spoke. "Really weird. You almost killed a guy back there, but you're worried about an old dude who sleeps at the stop?"
It must be nice to be so callous — to be Moth. To see things only in terms of what could serve a purpose. Somehow, even after all this time, Rain couldn't do it — couldn't give in to the every-man-for-himself hopelessness surrounding him like a cage. There was a way out of here. There had to be. And that's why he got on that school bus every morning and didn't drop out, like Moth, Dig, Twitchy, and the others in his loosely formed gang of non-gangsters.
"The only reason I beat the skinhead is because he was gonna hurt that girl." Regret spiraled through him as the adrenaline burned off, leaving him weak and nauseated. He usually had better control, but seeing those guys dragging that girl ...
Moth stopped and smirked. "Riiiiiiight. Because it wasn't fun at all."
Remorse churned to life again in Rain's gut, and his hands shook. He hated feeling this out of control. Maybe he was screwed up because he hadn't eaten all day. Hopefully his mom had saved him some food at the shelter. "Beating those guys was fun to you?"
Moth shrugged. "Yeah. Of course it was."
Turning the corner, Rain glanced back at the stop and sighed with relief. Old Jim was back on his bench. He must've been off taking a piss or something. The man gave him a thumbs-up, then flipped the bird at Moth. Clearly, he hadn't wandered off too far to keep an eye on his stuff.
After turning the corner, both of them stopped short in the middle of the sidewalk.
"Oh shit," Moth said.
Not only was an ambulance in front of the shelter where Rain and his mother lived, several police cruisers were parked at odd angles to the curb, like they'd come down the one-way street the wrong way. Kind of like Rain had lived every day of his life.
"We need to split," Moth said, turning to run the way they'd come.
Moth grabbed the back of Rain's shirt and pulled. "No? Are you out of your mind? They're here to pin us for beating those guys in the park."
A paramedic rolled a gurney out the front door, and even from a block away, Rain knew exactly who was on it from her almost skeletal build and bright-red hair.
"They're here to bust us." The younger boy's voice bordered on a whine.
"That's my mom."
Fluttering fingers tightened in the fabric of his shirt. "She probably got loaded and passed out in the hall. C'mon, Rain, let's go."
She probably had overdone it again, but he couldn't just run away. Pulling his friend with him, he flattened against the side of the building.
Moth had a family on the other side of town he could go to. Even if he didn't want them, they were there. Mom was all Rain had. Ideal or not, she was it. This time when his stomach rolled over, it wasn't from hunger or anger; it was from dread.
A paramedic spoke with two of the officers. Miss Gill, the lady who answered the phone at the shelter, joined them, wringing a tissue in her hands. She scanned the street in both directions, and he motioned to his friend to stop fidgeting as they blended further into the shadows. Shoving the tissue in her pocket, she said something to the men. In unison, they turned and looked in Moth and Rain's direction.
"Fuck you, man. I'm out," Moth called as he ran back down the street the other way.
Rain's heart hammered in his chest until he thought he might vomit, and then, right as he made up his mind to run, too, the paramedic pulled the sheet over his mother's face.
With a gasp of diesel fumes, the Greyhound bus pulled away from the stop at the Stripes gas station, leaving Rain completely alone for the first time he could remember. There had always been someone around — his mom, the person in the next bunk at the shelter, a kid in the next desk at school or the neighboring cell in juvie.
Stuffed in a cramped seat between the window and a guy who talked on his phone the entire five-hour trip had left him stiff. He shifted his duffel bag to his other shoulder and stretched, spine popping twice like brittle twigs.
The sun had set hours ago, and the moon hung low and fat in the night sky, illuminating the trailer park across the side street to the west and an empty pasture just beyond.
Checking out the gas station, he shook his head at his usual shitty luck. The word "closed" blinked rapidly in time to his hammering heartbeat from a lit sign in the station window. Ordinarily, it took a pretty big badass to rattle Rain, but for some reason, the prospect of meeting his mom's sister for the first time gave him the jitters.
He leaned against the rustic wooden post at the front of the building and let his bag slide from his shoulder to the pavement with a thud. At his court hearing, the judge ordered him into the custody of his next of kin, since he wasn't of legal age. Hell, he hadn't even known he had a next of kin other than his mom. Then a social worker handed him an envelope containing a letter on frilly pink paper from someone calling herself "Aunt Ruby," who said she couldn't wait to meet him and would pick him up here, tonight. The envelope even included the bus ticket to a tiny town in the middle of the Texas Hill Country and some cash.
He scanned the empty parking lot in front and the crop field to his right. Bugs made a racket all around, rivaling the sound of the traffic on the Pierce Elevated overpass back home where his group of guys usually hung out. They were probably there now, planning how to get enough cash to score a six-pack or something harder.
He didn't miss them. He didn't miss any of his life, really, especially the last year. Time had simply been a bookmark. Something that held his place while he waited to finish the story.
Sucking in a breath of warm air, he rolled his shoulders to release tension. At least he didn't have to worry about retaliation from the skinheads anymore. Nothing in this small town could hold a candle to that kind of threat. Hell, kids around here most likely didn't even know what real danger was. Their biggest concerns were probably falling off a tractor or getting rained out of the high school football game.
A semi hummed and rattled on the main highway in the distance, then faded, leaving him alone with the bug chatter.
What if this Aunt Ruby person had forgotten this was the day he'd arrive? Maybe his social worker had filled her in and she'd changed her mind. He knew no one here. This town was so small it probably didn't even have a shelter. A siren wailed in the distance, maybe on the highway. They had cops, though, and probably a jail.
"Whatever," he muttered, feeling anything but noncommittal. "Squid ink," his mom had called it when he said something that covered up how he really felt.
"Yeah, whatever," he said again, kicking a pebble toward the gas pumps standing guard in the flickering fluorescent lights under the overhang.
The bugs in the crop field to his right fell silent, and a bird spooked to flight from somewhere in the middle, catching air with a wild flapping of wings. He held his breath, but only silence followed. Probably a feral cat had scared it. Happened with the pigeons in the city all the time.
The hair on the back of his neck prickled as he waited for the bugs to kick back up with their radio static. Nothing but insects far off in the distance, a car passing up on the main highway, and the relentless hum of the fluorescent tubes over the gas pumps.
He grabbed his bag and slung it over his shoulder, searching the area for what had stood his hair on end. He had a great sixth sense about danger — he always had — and something was off.
The silence out here in the middle of nowhere was unnerving. At least in the city he knew what to listen for.
With light steps, he crossed to the far end of the building toward the field where the bird had spooked. It might've been a trick of the eerie light from the moon, but it appeared something was moving through the rows of what looked like waist-high corn. Not tall enough to clear the tops but big enough to cause ripples as it parted the stalks in its path.
"Probably sheep or goats," he told himself, heart pounding.
Then, with a screech and flapping of wings as loud as hand claps, a whole flock of birds burst from the field, dashing over his head, causing him to instinctively duck and cover but only for a moment. Whatever had startled them needed to be faced straight on, not in a cowering ball.
Leaving the bag on the ground, he unfurled from his crouch, fists at the ready, feet apart, knees slightly bent as he'd done hundreds of times. Adrenaline pumped through his body in a familiar, heated wave, readying him for the fight.
But no fight came. The stalks remained still, except for a slight swaying from a gentle breeze. After a few minutes, the bugs cranked up again with their grating song, and he took a deep breath.
He picked up his bag and wandered again to the front of the building. Headlights approached from the side street. The familiar shape of a Crown Vic with overheads sent him slinking back to the far end of the station, where he ducked behind the dumpster. He heard the police cruiser slow, followed by the grind of wheels turning on loose gravel as it pulled into the parking lot. What now?
Motor still running, a woman's voice called: "Aaron? Aaron Ryland?"
How did the cops in New Wurzburg get his name? His aunt was the only one who knew he was coming. His eyes flitted to the cornfield. For a brief moment, he considered taking off and leaving this whole court-ordered mess behind. But experience had taught him that facing shit head on was usually best, so he took a deep breath and stayed put.
The engine cut off, and the car door opened with a metallic groan. "Aaron, it's me, Aunt Ruby." Sonofabitch. She'd brought the cops with her to pick him up. What had the social worker told her about him?
"Aaron? Was that you I saw a minute ago?"
Well, he couldn't lurk in the shadows all night. She'd obviously seen him before he bolted. "Yeah. I'm ..." What the hell could he say to explain why he was hiding behind the dumpster? "Uh, yeah. Be right there."
Behind him, the corn-looking stuff rustled, and he experienced the spider-crawling-up-the-back-of-his-neck feeling he got when he was being watched.
"Fuck off," he growled at the corn, feeling like the dumb-ass he would have appeared if anyone were close enough to actually hear. "Seriously, fuck off and go scare some more little birdies. You don't want to mess with me."
The field answered with silence and stillness. Probably because there was nothing there. He shook his head. He hadn't slept more than a few short spurts in days, which would explain why he was issuing threats to cornfields. Hopefully, a bed was in his near future, even if it was at the police station.
Time to get on it. "Hey, sorry I held you up, I ..." He stopped dead in his tracks as he rounded the corner.
Leaning against the police cruiser was a dead ringer for his deceased mom. Freaky doppelganger stuff, only where his mom had been sickly with sunken shadows under her glassy eyes, this woman was healthy and alert. Her red hair was pulled back in a severe bun on the back of her head, and she wore blue or black cop garb — it was hard to tell in the flickering fluorescent — enhanced moonlight.
"Holy shit." The words came out before he could stop himself.
The woman looked as stunned as he felt. "Yeah, holy shit is right." She pushed away from where she'd been leaning against the car and hooked her thumbs in her gun belt, never taking her eyes off him. "You look exactly like your father. Scary, even. God, for a minute, I ..." She looked away for a moment, blinking rapidly. After a deep breath, she met his gaze again and extended her hand. "I'm your aunt Ruby. I'm sorry, I thought you knew. Your mom and I are ..." A line creased her brow making her seem older, somehow. "We were twins."
His mom had a twin. His chest tightened. Why hadn't she told him? He took Ruby's offered hand and shook, surprised by her firm grip. "Nice to meet you. Thanks for the bus ticket."
She stepped back and looked him up and down. "It's uncanny, the resemblance."
"You knew my dad?" His mother had never spoken of him other than to say he knocked her up and then died.
Her eyes narrowed as she studied the field behind him. "Let's talk about this somewhere else." She gestured to the car with a tilt of her head. "You hungry?"
Excerpted from "Haven"
Copyright © 2017 Mary Lindsey.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was really surprised by Haven. I went into the book not knowing what it was really about, but that it involved werewolves. I wasn’t expecting the grittiness, romance, and suspense that Haven delivered though. Aaron “Rain” Ryland comes from a life on the streets with his drug and alcohol addicted mother. When his mother fatally succumbs to the drugs he is sent to live with an Aunt he didn’t even know existed in a small town, very unlike the streets of Houston he is used to. A hard city kid is sure to be safe out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of country bumpkins, right? *insert maniacal laugh* I won’t delve into the plot any more than that because I think the reason I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was because of the twists and reveals I experienced while reading. What I can tell you: This book is full of strong and fully developed characters, lots of romance (and less “fade to black” sex scenes, but still YA appropriate), plot twists, suspense, and of course: werewolves and magic.
Mary Lindsey just brought back my love of YA Paranormal with this swoon-worthy shifter romance and amazing storyline. Not since Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls) has a shifter romance held me so captivated, gripped to such beautiful characters. What a fantastic story. Lindsey is no doubt a remarkably talented writer and storyteller. I'm not going to give away any spoilers, as I want you, the reader, to experience the thrill I did in discovering Rain and Freddie's story, and their beautiful yet so, so steamy romance. But I will give a little insight into Rain and Freddie's characters. Rain is bad boy with a good heart. He also has major attitude, but in a good way. He’s not afraid to stand up and protect the ones he loves. Now, put a motorcycle between his sexy legs (yes, I love a guy that rides a motorcycle *swoon *) and you have one bad*** with attitude and lots of heart. Freddie is Rain's prefect match. She’s all defiance and sass, not scared to voice her opinions. She's a total bad*** herself, who will stand and fight her own battles. These two are beautiful, amazing characters that I fell instantly in love with as they were falling for each other. Rain and Freddie bought back the true YA shifter romance. Mary Lindsey has put YA Paranormal Romance back on top with Rain and Freddie's story. I can only say well done, Mrs. Lindsey. Very well done! I definitely recommended this Mature YA Paranormal Romance as a must, must read!
5 reasons to read Haven I loved the mythology in this book. It was unique and put it’s own perspective on a well loved paranormal trope. The mystery. Seriously, some of the things that happened gave me chills. It’s a small town. And I mean small. Everyone knows everything, and some know more than others. The characters. I absolutely loved Freddie and Rain. They are both strong characters with a bit of spunk. The fact that it’s set in Texas. You know I love a book set in my home state. It gives me a frame of reference for locations. Overall, I loved everything about this book. It’s unique and the characters are amazing.
Haven is an amazing story that sort of reminded me of Twilight in the beginning. Rain is sent to live with his estranged aunt when his mother passes away. He’s sent to this small rural town where he realizes that something isn’t quite right. At his new school he notices that there is this one group of students who seem to be separated from the rest of the class. Something isn’t right with them. Regardless, he finds himself captivated by one of them and pretty soon is immersed in their world. A world that is filled with magic and things that go bump in the night. Don’t worry though, no one sparkles in this novel. The story the author created definitely has a way of pulling you in. There’s so much mystery behind it because you have no idea what’s going on. Why does Rain keep finding this girl naked and hiding from her cousins? Why is everyone acting so weird around him? And why is the local police officer giving him cryptic messages to stay away? So many things don’t add up, except for the fact that you know that something isn’t quite right and it all centers around the girl. The fact that Rain had been living on the streets with his mother since birth gives him this edge. He’s not afraid to stand his ground and fight. He’s able to piece together things that he sees when it comes to his classmates and the girl named Freddie. He always managed to keep his cool even when everything took a nose dive into crazy territory. Where most people would have lost their minds and probably ended up dead or in a psych ward, Rain looked at it with a calculating gaze. I also liked that he was loyal to the core and would die for those he loved. So, when his aunt and Freddie are threatened, he takes it upon himself to rise up to the challenge. He didn’t back down, he didn’t cower, and he didn’t turn tail and run. I couldn’t seem to put Haven down. It had mystery, suspense, romance, and fantasy. Basically, it was exactly what I was looking for in an October pre-Halloween read. I’m not a huge fan of mystery, suspense, horror, or any other book you’d initially think of when you think of Halloween reads. However, this was so well-balanced with my love of fantasy and romance that the “who done it” portions didn’t bore me. I was so invested in what was really going on and who the crazy person was, as well as trying to figure out what Freddie was, that I just wanted to be left alone so that I could read it to the end. I’m so glad and appreciative that the publisher sent me a copy of this book because I would have missed out on an amazing story otherwise.
"Haven" was a really fantastic YA fantasy that follows Rain (Aaron Ryland) from right around the time his mother dies. Rain and his mother have lived on the streets of Houston for a long time, and he has grown up believing that it is all his fault. When his mother overdoses, he is scared for his future. A judge sends him to live with his aunt out in the middle of nowhere- an aunt he didn't even know existed. She is so unlike his mother that it's hard to believe they are twins. Rain slowly untangles the mystery of his past and family as well as the secrets the town is desperate to keep hidden. To add to the intrigue, Rain finds himself attracted to Freddie, a beautiful young woman who seems to be trouble and is hiding a bunch of secrets of her own. As the mysteries heat up, so does their attraction. Between the romance and the mysteries, this book was impossible to put down! The writing flows so beautifully, and the pace is really perfect. Rain gets to piece together what he knows (not only about the secret lives of the townspeople but also about some recent murders) and learns tidbits from others in town that really keep the pace intense and steady throughout. Overall, it was a really great story. I liked Rain a lot as a main character- although he had a bit of a rough side, he's really just a very lonely and isolated boy and experiences a lot of growth during the story. Although the story is wrapped up by the end of the book, I would love to see more books with these characters. There were a few side characters that I wish we could have learned even more about (like Petra- she was awesome!), and I will keep my fingers crossed that we can spend more time in this world and with other characters in future books. I don't want to say too much about what the fantasy elements are as they are slowly described in the book (and would be spoilery), but it has so much potential for a really fantastic series! I highly recommend this to all YA fantasy lovers! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
average at best. I loved Twilight and I wanted to love this book as well. For me, it fell short. The dialogue was cheesy at times and hard to enjoy. The supernatural part was too confusing and detailed. They tried to make a new supernatural world but I felt it was too confusing to be believable. The ending was especially confusing with many of the characters changing their alliances. I began to lose interest. If you are not a big fan of the supernatural world you won’t love this book. I don’t think the romance portion of the book is enough to make the book an enjoyable read. Just an average read in my opinion. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed." Aaron Ryland, aka Rain, lived on the streets of Houston assuming his “typical defiant, don’t-give-a-shit teen thug persona”, but all he wanted was to stay in one place and have a normal life. Regrettably, his chance came when his mother was found dead and he was shipped off to live with his Aunt Ruby in the middle of the Texas Hill Country in New Wurzburg. Aunt Ruby is all right, but the people of this hick town are just plain weird. Friederike Burkhart, aka Freddie, is rebellious, daring, and a challenge that Rain is ready to accept. “He’d never met anyone quite like this girl–fierce and smart and painfully sexy”. She is surrounded by her male cousins who have to be dealt with so Rain can get to know Freddie better, but there are forces more incredible to get past first. The Enchanted Rock near New Wurzburg is steeped in magic according to the Native Americans of the area. In fact, they say the magic is strong enough to change man to beast. What does this have to do with Rain and what are these Watchers and Weavers that Freddie is talking about? This is another young adult paranormal fantasy that has an interesting plot to the story. I enjoyed the variety of characters and the twists and turns had me guessing right to the end. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend!
This book started out really strange. For one, there is this weird vibe between the main character and this girl. Then the guys she hangs out with start acting even more strange, so pretty much I had mixed feelings going into this one. But then, it all starts making a little more sense. And finally, I am completely hooked! Honestly, the weirdness makes sense with our main character's perspective. It isn't until roughly halfway through until I was sunk into the story to the point where I could NOT put this one down. Between the paranormal wolves and the mysterious murder, the vibes of the story became more of a mystery. It was fun to try and figure out what exactly was going on, so if you love murder-type mysteries, I highly recommend this book. The only down-side was how much the main character started to annoy me in how obsessed he became over a certain someone. The relationship progressed rather quickly, but at the same time, it was low-key. It kind of just happened and then the story quickly moves on. So the writing balanced out for me in the end. The female main character also made me sigh on multiple occasions. Like, yes, you have a secret.. now can you just tell us?! But other than that, the last half of the story was read in one quick sitting. If it wasn't for my annoyance with a few of the characters, this book would be a 5 star read, but instead, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. The emotional connection to the second half was very strong for me. I was emotionally invested. AND if you love endings that seem to continually go on, and on, this book will be right up your alley. I never guessed how the ending was going to turn out which I really love in a story. No predictability. So if you are looking for a YA read with mystery, wolves, hints of romance, and a fly-through story, I highly recommend this one! P.S. - If you are triggered by strong language (i.e. - the f-bomb), just know this book does scatter it throughout the dialogue. - Treestand Book Reviews, 8 March 2018
Haven by Mary Lindsey reminded me a little bit of Nightshade and a little bit of Blood and Chocolate, but at the same time it was its own story entirely. The story is told from Rain's point of view, and he sure has found himself in a crazy situation. He's pretty intense, and it works, because Freddie is even more so. Her life is her pack. She's fighting to keep her place, her image, and to survive within the pack.The wolf(Watchers) pack dynamic was rough and feral, yet complex. Add the Weavers to the dynamic, and it makes things even more complicated. They're a little backwards and uncivilized in many ways, and I think the Weavers have helped feed that mentality to keep the wolves beneath them. There is a lot going on among these two groups, good and bad. Haven was intriguing, suspenseful, and mysterious. I'm not sure if this is going to turn into a series or not, but I can easily see it become one. There is a lot of material to keep going with this one. The ARC of Haven by Mary Lindsey was kindly provided to me by the publisher for review. The opinions are my own.
I recieved this book through NetGalley. This was the first time reading a story by this author. I was first interested in reading this story when I saw the book cover. After reading this story I feel it was interesting, and kept me intrigued and wanting to finish the story to find out what would happen. The characters were fascinating and the story line was entertaining. My favorite character of course was Aaron (Rain).
I absolutely loved this book and the idea of the "beast" role being reversed. Before even knowing what the book about I was intrigued by this sort of retelling. Although the first couple of chapters were a little slow, once Rain and Freddie met it really picked up. I also really like the history that was weaved into the story and appreciated the backstory of how everything in this were-world works. This book had a lot of elements that I enjoy reading about and I would love to see what happens next.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Haven by Mary Lindsey Publisher: Entangled Teen Publication Date: November 7, 2017 Rating: 4 stars Source: Review copy sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): "We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed." Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart. Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for. What I Liked: It's been a while since I read a YA paranormal romance novel, and an even longer while since I read a YA shifter type of paranormal. In the last few months alone, I've read a few of them - two of which are published by Entangled Teen. Black Bird of the Gallows and Haven are two of Entangled's biggest titles, and I can definitely see why. Both were excellent. Haven was intense, dark, and sexy, and I couldn't read it fast enough. When Rain Ryland's mother dies unexpectedly, he has no one and nowhere to go. Or so he thought - but as it would turn out, he has an aunt in a small town called New Wurzburg, and she has offered to take him in. Aunt Ruby is sweet and loving and everything Rain never had in a mother. But New Wurzburg is... strange. Eerie shadows lurk in the dark, and nothing seems to add up when it comes to Friederike Burkhart and her bizarre family. Rain doesn't know what is going on, but he intends to find out - especially when the town has plans for him. Trouble has always followed Rain, but this kind of trouble is the kind that could end his life. This book is told from the third-person perspective of Rain. It's so rare that YA books are told exclusively from the perspective of the male protagonist, and I found it very refreshing. I love third-person narratives, and a third-person male narrative was so interesting to read from. I liked Rain from the start. He seemed like a troubled kid, running the streets and getting into trouble. But when he moves to New Wurzburg, he tries to better, to not worry his aunt. But both he and his aunt are ignorant to what really goes on in New Wurzburg. Rain is a good guy with a lion's heart. He immediately jumped to Freddie's defense without even knowing her. He was always taking up for her, wanting to stand up for her, wanting to protect her. He knew she could handle herself, but he wanted her to know that he stood behind and with her. He's protective and loyal, but also cognizant of Freddie's personality and her role and being. Freddie is tough as nails, and a total alpha female. She is so kickbutt and fierce, and she goes after what she wants. I liked her a lot. She isn't the type of alpha female to lord herself over rain and drag him around. I like that both characters were alpha types, but they were both respectful of each other and neither of them tried to control the other or assert their will over the other. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Haven was a paranormal tale that wove mystery and suspense throughout the pages. It definitely leaned heavily on the mystery side, and we started out just as clueless as Rain Ryland. When Rain arrived in the little town of New Wurzburg, to live with his Aunt Ruby, he realized that something felt off. And as Rain started school, met his Aunt's coworkers and even got a job, things become even more confusing. While little clues appeared here and there, Rain became more than determined to get to the bottom of whatever was going on in New Wurzburg. While I easily guessed what the paranormal element was, there was so much shrouded in mystery that I wasn't able to decipher. I loved being as lost as Rain sometimes, and I had fun trying to figure it all out right along with him! Rain was by far my favorite thing about this book. You know I'm a sucker for a tortured soul, and with his history of a hard life and being raised on the streets, it drew me right into him. Rain wasn't expecting much in this little town, but moving in with his Aunt Ruby was the new start he desperately needed. He slowly started to make connections, find hope and even some happiness. And I have a good feeling that a lot of people will fall in love Rain just as much as I did. He was intense, put his heart on the line and I loved that he jumped in feet first. His intentions proved again and again that he had a heart of gold, despite his hard past. And when Rain first met Friederike Burkhart, I loved how he saw her. I was so addicted to Rain, that I thought I'd easily love Freddie and their romance too. And while Freddie was intense, tough and struggled with her father's recent passing, I just couldn't connect to her. Which made me not connect to the insta-love romance either. But I still loved watching him fall in love with her. And I loved even more how Rain vowed to protect Freddie, when he learned that her life was on the line. Sigh, Rain was beyond amazing. I desperately wanted to love and be obsessed with everything that he was, yet I wasn't. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you connect to Freddie and the romance much better than I did! But I still had a lot of fun reading Haven despite my inability to connect to Freddie or the romance. So if you love stories that keep you guessing until the very end and have characters that will do anything to protect the ones they love, then definitely check this book out! After finishing Haven I picked up Shattered Souls by this author, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I completely connect with that duology! PS I loved Petra! She's a girl who is hmmm yeah I'm not going to tell you that lol. But she was by far my favorite secondary character and I wish I got to spend more time with her! *ARC kindly provided by Entangled:Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Summary: Spending all his life moving from shelter to shelter with his drug addict mother, Rain is as tough as they come- and knows all about survival. When he is shipped off to New Wurzburg to live with an aunt he never knew he had, his whole life is thrown into disarray. While it isn’t the skinheads or gangs he’s used to, there is still something going on in the small town- and it revolves around the strongest, most beautiful girl he’s ever met. Freddie Burkhart is different than any other girl he’s ever met- in so many ways. As he grows closer to her, he finds that she and everyone he cares about might be in danger. Can he protect his new family and find a safe haven? My thoughts: I know the summary’s a bit vague but I didn’t want to give too much away. I will say that this book is being likened to Twilight- which other than the paranormal aspect- I don’t really see. Rain in no Bella- he is strong, opinionated, courageous and wicked smart. And Freddie is no Edward- save the fact that she wants to protect those she loves. There were some great characters, and I really liked the dynamics between them. The plot was interesting , and I felt the book as a whole was well done. On the other hand, this was an overtly sexual book for one labeled as YA… I have to admit, I don’t care for that as a rule. Too many books for teens glorify the sexual act, making it not just “cool” but necessary as a part of growth- like you should be doing it at this time. I just don’t think that is necessary. For me that drops this down to a four star book. On the adult content scale, as I said above there is a lot of sexual content, that along with language and violence gives this one a seven. I would not give this to my niece. I was lucky enough the receive an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Entangled Publishing. My thanks
Haven by Mary Lindsey is a YA paranormal novel filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. The story of the new boy in town, Aaron "Rain" Ryland, and the tough girl who everyone tells him to stay clear from, Friederike "Freddie" Burkhart, will have you enthralled and excited to find out what is going to happen next. Told from Rain's POV, the story follows Rain from the city to the small town of New Wurzburg when he is sent to live with a newfound aunt after his mother passes away. Once in New Wurzburg, he begins to see that there is something mysterious about the small town and it is not just the puzzling yet beautiful Freddie. Throw in murders, magic, and a well-written mythos that slowly gets revealed and you have a recipe for a great story. Haven has a lot going on and in a good way. The build-up and reveals as we see it through Rain's POV is gradual and natural and he is such a strong character to follow. He may appear to be the bad boy, but he has a heart of gold and cares deeply for those in his life. I also liked the chemistry between Freddie and Rain who work well together as a couple. Freddie is a leader, strong and I love how she is a fighter and not a damsel in distress. Overall, I recommend Haven by Mary Lindsey both for its familiar themes but also how it deviates from the typical standard structures and characters. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
I requested an ARC of this book to read and review. But by the time I received it, I had forgotten what it was about and I couldn't find the synopsis anywhere. I started reading anyway. I smirked, I laughed, I cried, I screamed out loud at the OBVIOUS bad choices the characters made. I really didn't want the story to end. The writing style was easy to follow and really helped you feel like you were a teenager again, right alongside the characters. While the storyline is fairly predictable, there are enough twists to keep you reading. It was a quick read, and I highly recommend it. Not a genre I would normally seek out, but definitely one I will be reading more in.
SECRETS, Oddities and a LOVE STORY The descriptions of the teens identity and their feelings put me inside the story right away. The secrets came out slowly and I was constantly trying to figure out which way it would turn. The assumptions made by the main character made it more exciting because it changed up the story frequently. Fantastic story-teller. I received an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This book held an interesting twist to your typical supernatural story. I love when authors create their own lore surrounding supernatural creatures. It makes it all fresh and new again, like discovering them for the first time. It was nice to read a supernatural romance from the male perspective. Rain Ryland has led a troubled life of living on the streets with his drug addicted mother until she OD's leaving him to discover her twin sister, the truth about his father and the origins of the small town his mother and sister are from. With strong female characters and an interesting plot this ya book took on a played out topic and made it fresh. There are a ton of supporting characters, most of whom you don't see their full strength or personality until the end of the book. The one that stood out the most was Petra who everyone refers to as the "freak". She is a brilliant, mysterious character who I would love to learn more about. Her personality was so large it was barely contained by this story.
This was my first book by this author, and I am pretty sure I am going to now be going back to get my hands on all her past titles, as I was very impressed with this one. I was barely over 20 pages in when it sucked me in so that I was hard-pressed to put it down when I had to go back to work at the end of my lunch break. There was a part that was reminiscent of one of my favorite movies from the 80s, The Lost Boys, which only sold me on the story even more. I loved that the characters were not just perfect people. They had their definite flaws, and there were definitely reasons that you could see them not getting their happy ending. In fact, there is a point in the book, where all the signs, including a prediction from a psychic character in the book, show you that there will be death where things are ramping up to the final conflict. In the end, there are the ones you thought could not be forgiven, would be the ones you hated and wished would stay out of the way, that will earn redemption. There are those that you don't see coming, both on the side to help our heroes, as well as those who will be in the end to try to keep things from going the way you want.
We all have a little beast in us. I loved Rain with his tough attitude and his soft heart. I cared about him from the first page and enjoy watching him learn his own self worth. Freddie is a strong character crackling with life who can protect herself, and ends up trying to protect Rain. This is a dark tale, but Lindsey lightens it with unexpected humor and tender moments. You will love this book!
Rain Ryland grew up bouncing from shelters to the streets with his drug addicted mother, but when she dies and he;s sent to live in rural New Wurzburg with the Aunt he never knew existed, he's determined to make a fresh start. From the start, Rain finds himself drawn to Friederike Burkhart, the cagey leader of the closest thing the small town has to a gang. But her cryptic words and tough girl attitude only intrigue him further. And the more time Rain spends around Freddie and her cousins, the feeling that something is off about them and the town grows. Haven is a fast paced novel with twists and turns that keep you turning the pages to the very end. As the mysteries of New Wurzburg, Freddie and her family, and a family history Rain had no idea about unfold, the reader becomes invested in the characters, and in solving the mysteries surrounding the population of the town. As Rain and Freddie become closer, the danger to them both grows, to a spellbinding conclusion that leaves the reader wanting more.
Oh my god, this was an amazing book! I’ve read a couple of Lindsey’s books and enjoyed a lot, so of course when I was given the chance to read this, I jumped on it. I read this in about 6 hours, sleep got the better of me and I had to put it down. Ugh… Never fear, I finished it as soon as I got up the next morning, it was just that good. New Wurzburg is a magical town, but from the outside it looks like any other small town. After the death of his mother, Rain is sent to live with his Aunt, and he soon learns that there is much more to this lazy town than meets the eye. Mysterious murders and I just can’t tell you how much I adored Freddie, she was sassy and stubborn, but one kickass girl for sure. She has always been part of her pack, so she isn’t one those girls who lets just anyone close to her, but something about Rain, makes her loosen the reigns a little. I loved Rain so much, he is the rough and tough kind of boy, and that’s what happens when you live on the street, and moving from shelter to shelter. Even with the lives he has been given, and things he has endured, he has this sweet and caring heart. No matter how hard Freddie pushes him away, he doesn’t give up on her, he feels this connection with her. But of course, she is a stubborn ass, and tells him how she is trying to keep him safe. Yada yada. Just give in already! These two are just meant for each other, at least that’s how I see it. Moving on… Ruby is Rain’s aunt, who happens to be a sheriff in this small town. She was a ray of sunshine for me. Taking this boy in and caring for him with out any doubts after his mothers death. What a great woman. There are a few other characters that I really did enjoy, like Petra. Strange girl, but so fascinating. Then there were some that I would like to have been able to punch in the face a few times, but you have to have those “bad seeds” I guess. All together it was a fantastic group though. The story starts off strong and doesn’t stop till the last page, and I honestly didn’t want to put it down. The small town of New Wurzburg is filled with mystery, and magic, oh, and paranormal beings. Most of the people are unaware, but those who know are power hungry or controlling. Trying to figure out who’s who was just a piece of the mystery of what going on this town. This wasn’t a boring town at all, there was plenty of violence to go around and trying to figure out exactly what happening kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end. Even then, I wasn’t ready for it! Haven is a captivating read, with suspense and mystery to a romance that was all swoony and sweet, this is a must read for fans of young adult readers who love urban fantasy.
I absolutely LOVED Love Me to Death by Marissa Clarke. I’ve been waiting for the next book in the Underveil series for three years now. So when I heard Marissa’s alter ego Mary Lindsey had a paranormal book coming out, I couldn’t wait to read it. Admittedly, when I found out the book was a YA/NA story there was a moment of pause. I hardly ever read New Adult and I definitely don’t read Young Adult. But honestly, once I started reading, none of that mattered. I went into reading Haven having read the blurb. I still had no idea what the story was about. From the beginning, the story had me intrigued and that intrigue continued as the mystery kept getting deeper and deeper. Seventeen-year-old Aaron “Rain” Ryland arrives in New Wurzburg, a small town in Texas Hill Country, after his mother dies in a Houston area shelter. He’s surprised that his mother had a sister that he knew nothing about and is even more surprised at the things he discovers about his family. Friederike “Freddie” Burkhart isn’t your typical seventeen-year-old girl. She was conceived, born, and raised to be a leader. Freddie and Rain establish a friendship and that friendship grows to be so much more. But there are those who don’t want her to lead and view Rain’s presence as a threat. Soon, Rain and Freddie find themselves in a race against time to figure out who’s trying to kill them and stop Freddie from fulfilling her destiny. First and foremost, I LOVED the characters of Rain and Freddie. They’re simply amazing. They’re strong characters on their own and even stronger and better together. Both believe in doing what’s right, no matter what it might cost them. Both are strong-willed and refuse to back down. I loved that there was a huge mystery/suspense element to this story. The secondary characters definitely help in keeping you guessing as to what was happening. For me, Haven was all about trying to figure out what was going on in the town of New Wurzburg and who you could and couldn’t trust. For that reason, I’m not going to get into all the details. Haven was an addictive read. It’s like Twilight and Grimm rolled together. While there is conspiracy and murder, this story is so much more. Haven is about family, friendship, young love, and believing in yourself. Ultimately, it’s about finding out where you belong and where your safe haven is. **Received a copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed.**
I read a pretty wide range of genres, but at heart I am a fantasy and paranormal girl. It has been a while since I’ve read a paranormal book and Haven was exactly what I needed. I will forever love paranormal reads and the adventure and magic they deliver. Now normally I’m not the biggest shifter fan. Love paranormal, but I tend to go more for vampires and angels, but I really liked this shifter spin. I really liked the lore built into this story and the way all the pieces worked together. But my absolute favorite thing about this book was the girl power. Freddie is such a badass character and I loved her. Freddie is our up and coming alpha and HELL YES TO GIRLS BEING IN CHARGE. I also loved the change in the power dynamics. In so many ways this is your normal boy meets girl and one of them has a secret. But this time around the one with the secret and the power is the girl and I so adored that. Freddie holds all the cards here and she is the dangerous one and the stronger one and I loved that flip in dynamic. And what made it even better is Rain never once balked at it. Rain liked her strength and admired her for it. He knew she could take care of herself and could kick ass and takes names, but that didn’t stop him from fighting and helping however he could. Rain was a great MC and he was so easy to root for and love. There were also so many fantastic secondary characters. Ruby is fantastic and I adored her. I also loved Petra! And then there were so many characters that constantly kept me on my toes. This book seriously kept me guessing. I suspected so many people along the way and I truly did not know who to trust. Almost everyone had a motive and it was impossible to differentiate the truly bad guys from the normal jerks. When all the pieces finally came together it was crazy and it was crazy how it was all orchestrated. Haven was a great read and I’m truly thankful for this surprise book mail because this book ended up being just what I needed. I didn’t realize how much I missed this kind of paranormal read until I devoured this one. Paranormal fans need to grab this one!
haven by mary lindsey finds rain ryland moving to a small texas town to live with an aunt he never knew existed and discovering a whole new world beyond normal. most of his life he's bounced from town to town, honeless shelter to homeless shelter with his mother who was generally high on something. finding himself dropped into a proper home with a loving aunt and a small town where everyone knows everyone else is an adjustment. but from the moment he arrives in new wurzburg it's obvious that things aren't what they seem. on the surface it appears to be a snall town in the middle of texas hill country. but there's something off about it. and there's this eerie spooky atmosphere that heightens the tension nicely. when rain first encounters friederike burkhart he's intrigued by her tough girl attitude and gorgeous, unique blue eyes. when he keeps running into freddie with no clothes on he's certain there's something crazy going on. but it takes some time for her to trust an outsider. the way the relationship between rain and freddie sparks and pulls them together is just perfect. i really just enjoyed everything about this book. the atmosphere, the characters, the actual plot. i tend to not seek out shifter romances, but i also just read haven by karen lynch and really liked it too. so maybe it's that i like young adult werewolves, or maybe i should just read more in a genre i clearly already like. **haven will publish on november 7, 2017. i received a early hardcover edition of the novel courtesy of entangled publishing (entangled: teen) in exchange for my honest review.