Within the Realm
(The Gifted Realm - Book 1)
by: Jillian Neal
Publication: June 26, 2013
Length: 422 pages
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
The Gifted walk among us. They are unseen, but in plain sight. The Earth's energies are as visible to them as the tangible world is to us and they can harness and bend these forces to their will. Atop the Pentagon resides the government of the Gifted Realm.
Rainer Lawson is set to join the ranks of Elite Officers in the Gifted Police force. With is fellow officers, they will work together, using their abilities, to try and end the most sinister criminal organization in existence. His parents fought and died to re-establish the Realm, and he won't allow them to have sacrificed in vain.
The will to protect those he loves has always driven Rainer, but his desperation to protect Emily, the love of his life, consumes him. While passions ignite and vengeance is sought, Rainer may discover that all of his money, fame, and power, could cost him the only thing that has ever truly mattered.
Read the first few chapters here !! Beware, you'll be hooked !
My Thoughts :
I love being surprised by a new book. Jillian certainly did it for me. Let me say that the back cover blurb does NOT do this book justice. It was amazingly well written. I am always leary of a new author... so many times, they need a few books under their belt before I consider them top notch. Not so with Jillian. She surprised me with the depth of character that she portrayed. Characters, who even without their Gifts, would still be as likeable and "real". The world she built around them and the explanation of the various Gifts was well thought out and although she spent quite a bit of time in the beginning of the book going over these things, it never got boring. It kept your attention from the start!
The characters.. oh the characters.. Quite honestly, I have a hard time picking my favorite. There are so many good ones. I guess I kinda have to go with Rainer and Emily since they are the main characters but the supporting characters are such that you want to know all of their stories as well! The connection between all of the characters makes it even more intense. I laughed so hard at some of the antics and embarrassing situations that the Haydenshire kids (and Rainer) got themselves into! As a mom to 6 kids myself, I loved their huge family!! The more the merrier, and the more humor filled situations to read!
Rainer & Emily : a love that began before either can even remember. Everyone has always known that they would be together, from the moment Emily dared Rainer to kiss her when she was 7.. I loved how Emily is constantly distracting Rainer and trying to get him to have sex (isn't that usually the guys job? ha!) while he continues to hold out wanting it to be special. The situations that they get themselves into amused me to no end.. When Rainer's tragic past starts to catch up to them, it will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.
Logan & Adeline : Logan is Emily's brother and Rainer's best friend (talk about having issues talking about love life problems with your best friend.. Kinda hard when he's also your girlfriend's brother!). He and Adeline have been dating for a while but she is constantly taking care of her user mother.. I enjoyed watching these two and their relationship as it matures and they face challenges.
The Haydenshires : As a whole, I loved them. Governor Haydenshire is a typical dad. He has several boys but just one baby girl. Although she is grown, he has a hard time seeing her as anything but the little girl she once was. He is overprotective and goes off the deep end from time to time, but thankfully he has his loving wife to pull him back and talk some sense into him. Mrs. Haydenshire is the typical mom to many children. She knows which battles to pick and which ones to let go. I have to agree with Grandpa Haydenshire that the Governor has pretty much kept her pregnant for most of their marriage! ha!
This book is full of romance, some great steamy scenes (NA not YA!), and intrigue to keep you coming back for more. Like any great storyteller, Jillian manages to end it just when you don't want her to - leaving you hanging on the edge and panting for the next book (Lessons Learned). !
5 Stars! I loved it so much that I read it twice! ha!
Jillian lives outside of Atlanta with her husband, children, and their pot-belly pig, Beans.