Saturday, May 9, 2015

✰ Book Reviews ✰ Winters Family Series: books 1 & 2 by Brittany Jo James


Author: Brittany Jo James
Series: The Winters Family Series, Book #1
Genre: Young Adult Romance | Paranormal Romance
Some secrets are too dark to ever be brought into the light. 

At least mine are.

My name is Orson Winters, and you already know too much for me to let you walk away.

A decade has passed since my parents were killed, forcing my younger siblings and me to move in with our estranged uncle. Whitestone Manor in all its grandeur was overwhelming enough. Then, we learned the family secret. 

There’s darkness in the world no one, besides a handful of fighting families, even knows exists. The Winters family is the most acclaimed of them all. However, power isn’t always pleasurable, especially considering that it’s my responsibility to keep my reckless brothers and sister from jeopardizing us all.

When an old enemy emerges from the shadows, Uncle Sebastian calls in another fighting family to assist. I didn’t need their help. I could independently protect my siblings and the rest of the world from danger. That was, until I met Lilith Shaw. Now I’m not even sure that I can protect myself.

I can’t focus on that, though. 

I’m the last one standing between you and those who wait in the darkness.

If you can keep a secret, I’ll tell you my story.

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“The trick, as far as I could tell, was to keep our shadow separate from everyone else’s.”

Amazing. Fantastic. Talk about a page-turner!! From the moment I started reading Secrets of Whitestone Manor, I wanted nothing more than to continue reading this book. I needed to know what would happen next. Suffice it to say, I was pleased with every swipe of the page. The plot kept getting better and better, the characters kept developing wonderfully, and the overall events kept surprising me and keeping my interest completely intact. I was fully invested in this book!

Brittany Jo James wrote this installment so well that I had no trouble at all visualizing the events described. The amount of detail during the scenes allowed me to see everything unfold clearly as if I was watching a movie. AMAZING! Loved that very much!!! Also, the pace of this book was in my opinion, perfect! Nothing felt dragged or rushed.  Everything developed as it should have.

This book had a little bit of everything: drama, action, romance, humor (arguments between siblings? Yeah, they were quite funny!), and of course mystery and paranormal qualities. The character interaction was flawless and it flowed naturally. Nothing felt forced with their dialogue and they all connected really well and balanced each other out. Ellison – HA!! Badass chick!!! The typical pain-in-the-butt younger sister, funny and ‘smartassy’! I’m sure she’ll be the cause of Orson’s grey hairs in the near future, LOL!

“Lilith Shaw was meant for me, and without her I would never be whole again.”

Lilith…LOVED her. She was funny, strong, and sassy!! She challenged Orson so much and made him step out of his comfort zone – which he very well needed to do. They were so different and yet so perfect for each other precisely because of how different they were. They were what they each needed to fully live their lives as normally as they possibly could given their circumstances.

“I realized that out of all the things I’ve ever fought for in my life, this is the one that matter the most. You’re worth fight for. We’re worth fighting for.”

The paranormal aspect of this book was a first for me and wow! I was incredibly amazed and beyond intrigued by it. I won’t go into ANY of the specifics regarding this because it’s all part of their secret. But know this: seeing it all unfold kept me turning the pages at what felt like not a fast enough speed. I needed to know more and more; my curiosity was at its highest. Then, of course, leave it to Ms. James to throw in a few surprises to only solidify my love for this book and for what will surely be a phenomenal series!

I LOVE this family and their secret life and am anxiously waiting for book two already! FIVE STARS to Secrets of Whitestone Manor!!

Author: Brittany Jo James
Series: The Winters Family Series, Book Two 
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Some shadows are as dark as night.

At least mine are.

My name is Grayson Winters and you’ve already been introduced to my family’s story.

Four months have passed since Lilith moved into Whitestone Manor to be with my brother, Orson. Now they’re getting married and it’s all I can do not to gag when they giggle at each other. Whitestone Manor represents nothing but secrets and darkness to me. Then, light begins to pour into my bleak world.

Prater Hahn has disappeared without a trace. Not that I blamed him or his brethren. I still wasn’t entirely sure Whitestone Manor was where I belonged either. All I knew for certain was that sweet, precious Ava Prescott seduced me with every bat of her eyelashes. Too bad for me, dating her was against the rules.

When a new danger arises to test the residents of Whitestone Manor, it falls on me to eliminate the problem. I thought I didn’t need my family’s help. I thought I could protect the ones I loved. Until I realized, not all who seem harmless truly are.

Loving the seemingly angelic girl I was forbidden to date certainly isn’t innocent.

But perhaps, neither is she?

If you aren’t afraid of what lurks in the shadows, I’ll tell you my story.

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Shadows of Whitestone Manor is a MUST READ. There. I will start with that. Go buy it and also grab book 1, Secrets of Whitestone Manor, too! I highly recommend you read them in order, although it’s not totally necessary. Okay – now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk a bit about the amazingness that is this book, because it’s just that – AMAZING. I highlighted so-many-quotes!!!! Heck, I highlighted entire SCENES!

“Life at Whitestone Manor was once again wobbling on the edge of a mountain of change, and my decisions would dictate whether I jumped into the unknown with both feet or climbed down cautiously on the other side. Then again, maybe I would screw that up, as I did practically everything else in my life…”

To be perfectly honesty, I was a bit nervous at first regarding this second installment in The Winters Family Series. You see, I LOVED the first book so much that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to enjoy this one just as much. Well…. Brittany Jo James proved that she can very well write a darn fabulous book! Shadows was just as good, if not BETTER, as Secrets. The character dynamic…their chemistry… was on point! You can’t help but connect with ALL the characters in this series. Their interactions were funny and very natural, just like those between real-life siblings. Loved it. 

Book one was Orson’s story and now, in book two, we got Grayson’s. My heart ached for Grayson. He was so lost and lonely….

“The dark shadow following me around wasn’t simply following me. It was me.”

He didn’t think he was worthy of anyone’s love…especially Ava’s. To him, she was special, the one, but he couldn’t have her. Not only did he not deserve her (according to HIM), but it was against the rules. I could NOT help but feel for Grayson.

“Pain was something I was accustomed to. Loss wasn’t a new concept. Missing someone who wasn’t around was my daily life. Hurting was nothing I didn’t understand.”

As the drama started to unfold throughout the plot, my theories started forming – and I LOVE it when books make me wonder what will happen next!!! HUGE plus! I don’t like predictable storylines at all.

“Why is it that every cult makes it their mission to kill the Winters family?

Action, suspense, drama, romance. This book had everything. I honestly enjoyed every detail developed along the way, and I most certainly LOVED the ending! J Do I recommend this book? HECK. YES. I highly suggest you read both installments in this series. I CANNOT wait for book 3!! And the very BEST part of all is…ALL BOOKS WILL BE OUT WITHIN THIS YEAR!!!!!!! How AMAZING is Brittany Jo James????!!!! Wooo!!!!
FIVE I-want-to-be-a-part-of-the-Winters-family stars!!!!!!!!!!

Meet the author: Brittany Jo James 
Brittany Jo James was born and raised in the small town of Idabel, Oklahoma. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Conlee, who is currently serving as an airman in the United States Air Force. They share two rowdy sons, Jagger and Jett. Her life revolves around living for God, caring for her family and writing, writing, writing. The James family is currently residing near Anchorage, Alaska until the USAF decides otherwise.

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