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Monday, June 25, 2012

REVIEW-PURE HEALING (THE PURE ONES #1) BY AJA JAMES

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars   

"You will take me," he said resolutely. "You will accept me into your body."

~Valerius


 **Please note, this book was gifted to me by the author**


It isn't often that I suggest a book to a friend before finishing it, let alone long before I even hit 50%. Yet with Pure Healing, I did just that. I will say that early on, I wasnt sure. Sophia, our young Queen rubbed me the wrong way initially. I wasn't sure I could tolerate how juvenile she seemed to be. Thankfully, I was able to warm up to her and now looking forward to seeing her grow and mature as the series progresses. I felt this book to be a bit overwhelming in the beginning with the onslaught of  character introduction. I found a bit hard to remember who everyone was and what role they played. I think there is a fine line between expressive detail when building a story and overkill. The descriptions got a little lengthy but the next thing I knew, I simply could not put my kindle down.


The reader is introduced to the "cast" via Sophia. The yongest of this group and while quite juvenile, she also has a curious undestanding of those around her, a better understanding than they have of themselves. She leads the Royal Zodiac, surrounded by 6 Elite guards and 5 Circlet council members. While we're introduced to many characters at once, it doesnt take long to realize this first installment belongs to one of the Elite, Valerius, or "The Protector". Valerius is described as standing 6ft 6in, a would be brunette if he didnt keep his head shaven, long lashes surrounding light green eyes and a wide, full mouth. Yes, that is correct, read it again, absorb it, roll around in it if need be. ;-)


While most, if not all, male leads in this genre have a haunted, tragic background I have to say, I was not prepared for everything Valerius has gone and continues to go through. Ms. James did an amazing job expressing his anguish and pain without being so graphic to turn the reader off. I dont have a weak a stomach, not by far, but my chest clinched and my stomach turned all while bringing tears to my eyes. I think what I found most impressive, in regarards to Valerius was his heart. Often male leads with such tragic backgrounds are also hardened, locked away all feeling and emotion. This was not the case here and that alone makes him a standout lead male character for me. His mannerisms are almost childlike, due to his stolen childhood. He doesnt seem to quite know how to be sociable or even take a compliment, blushes out of fear of sounding stupid. There is so much he doesnt know about being a man, simply because he was forced to be one too soon. I am new to this author and this is a brand new series. Even so, he is already on list of top characters. I fell totally and completely in love with him and I think you will too.


Rain is the Healer of the race and for once, the "burden of beauty" is not only believable but heartbreaking as well. She carries the race on her shoulders, so much is expected, so much to give. She too has a history, pain from the past, her own pain to dish out. I loved the subtle, yet memorable, introduction to the pull between she and Valerius. Their dance wasnt rushed, it was complicated, critical and fragile in so many ways. The supporting cast is strong and I'm excited to read more from this authors, more of this series. Aside from Valerius and Rain, their journey, I have to say Dalair has me the most intrigued, most anxious to learn more of him, his past, his future. This is an emotional rollercoaster, well worth the ride.















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