3 out of 5 stars
"You have two smiles."~Anna
"I'm more complicated than that."~Eric
**Please note, book was gifted by the author in exchange for an honest review**
Anna has had many changes in her life up to this point and it doesn't seem like there is an end to that anywhere in sight. She has worked very hard at her social skills and balancing the two worlds that make up her life. Now comes two more challenges that she must face head on, her new guide and high school.
Emily fills Anna's dreams with relentless training to prepare Anna for her destiny as a hunter. Any resistance is met with painful punishment but none as painful as the aftermath of what the scent of vampire blood does to her or the chain reaction from said response, especially when it comes to the very vamps she's grown so attached to. If that weren't enough, Anna has to find her way as in a Catholic high school whose views often differ from Anna's and trust me, she has no problem voicing her own thoughts which adds to the charm of this young heroine. Between the stares and whispers of the 'in crowd' and a PE teacher who is in much need of anger management, it can be overwhelming. Enter Cody...Cody is a stand out, yet loner student as well. He takes an interest in Anna and before long, the two are very close and playing video games at his house. Cody is drawn to her, more than she knows and he is just one of many. In fact, Cody is just one of many guys that are drawn to Anna. Motives will be questioned, strength and love will be tested.
Soul Bender is book 2 of the A Touched Girl series and while I can't say it pulled me in as strongly as the first, this series continues to take interesting twists and turns. I adore Anna's character, quirks and all but in some ways, I felt she took a couple of steps backwards in regards to maturity and progress which at times felt a bit more juvenile. She is a beautiful girl and literally every boy she came in contact with basically fell in love. That type of storyline can be tricky in my opinion. I almost need someone, anyone, not to fall in love with her. We're introduced to Trent, and he challenges her at every turn but even with him there is a pull. A pull that I hope is explored a bit more in book 3. The tide turned for me in this installment. Initially, Peter had me from the very start. Now? Not so much. I still adore the character but oddly enough, it was another male character that stole the spotlight and had me switching teams just like that! The twist surrounding said character was a delicious surprise, well done.
Soul Bender provides the reader with intrigue, action and romance. Even though some of the action felt a bit over the top and the aspects regarding sexuality didn't quite ring realistic for me, I absolutely look forward to what Ms. Jones has in store for Anna and company!
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