Tuesday, February 18

Review of THE RAIN TRILOGY by Karen-Anne Stewart (separate reviews of all 3 books)

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Title: Saving Rain (Rain Trilogy Book # 1)
Author: Karen-Anne Stewart
Genre: NA; Romance
Publication Date: January 31, 2013
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase Links:  Amazon / B&N




Synopsis 


Raina has tried to forget her past, forget the pain, but when she finds herself staring straight into the fury blazing in her ex-boyfriend's eyes, her dark past comes rushing back. Furious with herself for actually having chosen someone like her father, she uses that anger to her advantage and fights for her life...and for her future that she prays will involve the man she can't seem to get out of her head. Kas is a natural leader, a fierce fighter, the type of man you send in when you need to get the job done. He is a courageous hero who is used to risking his own life to save others, but can he save the one who has captured his heart from her horrific past and the men who are hell-bent on destroying her? As Kas and Raina try to navigate through the twists and turns of a deviously intelligent human trafficking group, they find solace in each other's arms. Can they infiltrate the trafficker's tight ring, saving the innocent lives from imminent danger before it's too late?



***Disclaimer: Due to sensitive issues of abuse, human trafficking, and adult scenes, The Rain Trilogy is intended for readers 18+. Although Saving Rain does not include 'adult' scenes, the final two novels do.

My Review


BOOM!!…fizzle…fizzle…BOOM!!

Yeah I know it’s kind of a weird opener for a review but those were my first thoughts as I finished Saving Rain. 

The beginning drew me in immediately as it starts with Raina at five years old just finding out her mom has passed away in a horrific car accident. Her dad is distant and wants nothing to do with her anymore. The emotion in the prologue was outstanding and it made my expectations for this book really high. (This was my 1st BOOM)


Fast forward to when Raina is nineteen years old. She is strong willed and extremely smart but she finds herself in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Chris. They have only dated a short time and she’s not really “feeling it”. He is smart and handsome but then she sees his mean streak. Left battered, bruised and unconscious in the hospital there is only one person who never leaves her side…and that’s Kas.

Kas is her work colleague/friend and he is in love with her. He is drawn to her from the first moment he saw her. He knows she is in a relationship and he would never do anything to jeopardize that. He is a good looking FBI Agent who could probably have any woman he wants but it’s just not in him to have meaningless relationships. He’s not your one night stand kind of guy…he’s more of a forever kind of guy and he wants nothing more than to spend his forever with the beautiful crimson haired Raina. 

  

(Enter the fizzle…fizzle)

This is where the story went pretty slow for me. Sometimes I was thinking I just wanted to quit reading and not finish…other times I found myself so engrossed into the story that I couldn't tear myself way from it.

He’s seen her feelings for him growing in her eyes, and he prays that her feelings are at least half as strong as his are for her. 

She is struck by the realization that she has already lost the battle. Her heart is no longer hers, it belongs to him, in all its brokenness and vulnerability.

After the horrific events Raina has suffered throughout her life things are difficult for her. She thought she would take a chance at a relationship with Chris and that didn't exactly turn out. She has major trust issues when it comes to men and even though she knows Kas would never physically harm her there are still things that set her off and make her run. Kas is utterly amazing with Raina in knowing what she needs. He knows she has had a difficult past and even though he doesn't know all the details, he is willing to take his time with her. He will not rush her into anything. Their relationship was beautiful and it was amazing to see her growth throughout the book.

She is becoming addicted to his touch, needing it more and more, and that sends her to terrifying and exciting heights.


“I don’t want you to see him as some kind of monster,” she admits sadly.

“I don’t see him as a monster. I see him exactly as who he is, a man who told his daughter she was to blame for her mother’s accidental death, a man who continually beat his daughter with his belt so harshly it left welts, bruises, and even cuts, a man who locked away and starved his daughter, a man who made his daughter think she was weak if she cried when he was the one who was weak and got drunk every night instead of being the type of father he should have been!” Kas seeths. 
“Monster’s aren't real, Raina, but your father is!”

(Enter the 2nd BOOM)

Kas and Raina are working on a human-trafficking case and being the genius she is…she is more on the technology and translation side of things while Kas works more in the field.

However, after some unforeseen events Raina finds herself right in the middle of the case at Kas’ side. She is strong and determined to get the bastards behind the sale of these young girls. She is determined not to let her past interfere with the investigation and Kas tries to do everything in his power not to cause any more emotional pain for Raina. However, sometimes things have to be said and done. Can Raina forgive Kas for his behavior? Can Kas forgive himself for the things he had to do to protect the investigation and not be ousted to the traffickers?

Raina wants to have a happy life. A life she never thought she could have. But when her past comes back to haunt her, along with a confession from Kas, Raina does the only thing she feels is right, the thing she always does… she closes herself off and she runs!

Overall, I thought this was an pretty good storyline and I really liked the characters. Kas is passionate and so sweet and protective. He wants nothing more than to give Raina everything she deserves in life. Raina is a fighter and even though she has been through so much she is determined to follow her dreams and make something of herself. She is stubborn and it drives Kas crazy…both good and bad. It’s one of the reasons he loves her so much.

  4 Stars 

Reviewed by Alissa Evanson

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Title: Healing Rain (Rain Trilogy Book # 2)
Author: Karen-Anne Stewart
Genre: NA; Romance
Publication Date: August 29, 2013
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase Links:  Amazon / B&N



Synopsis 

Shattered when Raina runs after his marriage proposal, Kas is hell-bent to find her and bring her home, where she belongs. He will bend every law necessary to do so, willing to do anything to protect Raina from her demons and the men who haunt her, going as far as placing his career and life on the line to save hers. Raina will give up everything she has worked so hard to achieve, even flee the country to keep Kas from the wrath and powerful reach of her abusive father.

In the midst of the FBI team closing in on the Ghost, another ghost from Raina's past taunts her, promising that she will be his. Meanwhile, a different trafficking ring is gaining strength in New Jersey. Michael solicits Raina's help, needing her smooth, sultry voice to win the audition for the new singer in the ring leader's swanky night club. Raina knows her life is in jeopardy with the dangers of being undercover, but she is blindsided when she discovers that it's her heart that is threatened with a mortal blow. 

Raina tries to heal from the nightmares of her dark past as the grisly bodies of innocent victims surface when the team gets closer to discovering the identity of the man responsible for the infuriatingly clever and powerful slavery ring. When Raina finally comes face to face with the Ghost, he quickly engulfs her in a twisted game of cat and mouse, delivering a veiled threat as he slips through her fingers. As the ghosts of her past and present ensnare her in their deadly web, Raina realizes the danger has just begun.


***Disclaimer: Due to sensitive issues of abuse, human trafficking, and adult scenes, The Rain Trilogy is intended for readers 18+


My Review

Healing Rain picks up right where Saving Rain ended. Raina has run off to Italy to get away from Kas. Her father’s brainwashing techniques have worked and she will not be the cause of any harm to Kas.

Kas doesn’t give up that easily. After finding out that Raina’s father is more than likely the reason for her running off, he sets out on a mission to find Raina and bring her back home where she belongs. And he’s not alone, Chase is along for the ride. He wants to be there for Kas, to help him keep cool and give advice if needed. He is also there for Raina. He loves Raina (don’t y’all worry…he loves her like a sister…no love triangle going on… (Well not yet anyway)).

After arriving in Italy, Kas and Chase locate Raina but she has reverted back to her old self and closed herself off. She has shielded herself from emotion because of her father’s hateful words. She will do anything to protect Kas…even if it costs her all the happiness she doesn’t think she deserves.

With Chase’s help, Kas and Raina come to an agreement on their relationship and head back to the states. Kas will do anything and everything to protect Raina from her father but his actions just might end up doing more harm than good. Raina would do anything to protect Kas from her father…even if that means putting herself in the line of his fist again. 


I really love Chase. I think he is my favorite after Kas and Raina. The entire group is amazing and they are there for Raina no matter what. Raina has found herself a strong family in her new coworkers and could not love them anymore than she already does. Seeing Raina interact so easily with the guys and their girlfriends, gives Kas a sense of peace that he has needed. He is determined to bring her the peace and love that she deserves….something she has been missing out on her entire life.

Raina is quickly drawn back into the human trafficking case and as much as Kas hates it he understands that it may be the only way to finally figure out who the ringleader is and put a stop to it. Paired up with a sexy guitarist, Raina gets a job at a swanky club singing to try to gain information on the case. Raina and Brent become very close with having to live and work together. Confusion sets in, feelings start to get jumbled and eventually it leads to a kiss. Can Kas overcome the visual of seeing his girl kiss another man? Will Raina be honest with Kas about her feelings and what happened with Brent? 


Lies, secret missions, new admirers, threatening anonymous calls, a psycho-obsessed ex-boyfriend, and Raina going head to head with who they think is the ringleader of the trafficking. All these things play a huge part in Raina and Kas’s life. Will they be able to protect each other and trust each other enough to get past everything or is it all just too much?

Honestly, even though I struggled with the first book's writing style this series has a lot of good to it. It is a good storyline and has well developed characters. I just like to be more “in” the story then having it explained to me. Things are glossed over a lot and there is a lot of the characters remembering certain events rather than being in the moment of said event. That is just a personal preference of mine but it does affect my rating so I thought I would mention it.

This is almost like two books in one. You have the side of the book that deals with Raina trying to overcome her abuse and self-doubt. And then you have the human trafficking side of it. They do integrate a little bit but at times it felt like I was reading two different books.

Raina’s journey to recovery is very good. It really shows how a person has to deal with the aftermath of living a life like she had. A lot of times in books, when you read about abuse it seems like it is almost a quick fix. The character will struggle but finally when they “fall in love” it’s like they are almost magically healed. This story is completely the opposite. Raina has Kas but her struggles are still very much a part of her life. Every time she takes two steps in the right directions something pushes her a step back. One of my favorite things about this book is how strong Raina is. She is so determined and has such a good heart and would literally do anything for anyone. She puts everyone before herself and Kas can’t stand that. He loves that she is so selfless but he wishes she would put more concern into her own well-being.


The trafficking side of the story got better for me in this book. There was a lot more to it then in Saving Rain. A lot of details were glossed over in it though. Kas would set out on a mission to recover girls or investigate murders but we never really heard a lot about that. He would go and then in the next paragraph he would be returning….and sometimes later on he would remember what happened when he was gone. It was just kind of annoying for me.

The book ends with a really good but major cliffhanger… and it was a bit confusing. Did Kas betray her? Was he set up? Was she set up? Were they both set up? I just don’t know and I can’t wait to find out in the next book After The Rain.


  4 Stars 

Reviewed by Alissa Evanson

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Title: After the Rain (Rain Trilogy Book # 3)
Author: Karen-Anne Stewart
Genre: NA; Romance
Publication Date: October 14, 2013
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase Links:  Amazon /B&N



Synopsis 

"A story intricately crafted with amazing characters and scenes that will leave a lasting image on readers. Raina is the perfect heroine, sweet and caring, but strong at the same time. The risks she is willing to take to save and protect others left me in awe. A great series with romance and suspense." Christine Janes - SheReadsAlot.com

Finally able to put her harrowing past to rest, Raina looks forward to her future with Kas, but the Ghost has other plans. As the FBI team gets closer to taking down the largest human trafficking ring in the modern world, the Ghost begins a wicked game, making Raina the pawn and the target. Never before encountering a worthy adversary, he's fascinated by Raina and is enjoying the refreshing challenge of her intellect.
The danger ignites to a blazing new level, and Kas struggles between the need to finally exorcise the Ghost and his need to protect his wife. Tension mounts as an internal battle wages, tormenting Kas as he watches Raina put her all into taking down the man responsible for horrific sex slavery and gruesome deaths. When a new player takes control, Jefferson orders the end of the Ghost's game with Raina, which results in one final, devastating act, leaving Kas desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to save her...by whatever means necessary.

***Disclaimer: Due to sensitive issues of abuse, human trafficking, and adult scenes, The Rain Trilogy is intended for readers 18+




My Review


Simply Brilliant. Out of all three of the Rain Trilogy Books, After the Rain is by far my favorite.

It was filled with suspense, twists and turns, it kept me guessing at what was going on and not to mention it was also the hottest book of the series. It did get a little bit confusing at times with all the characters but every character was needed in the story to make it what it was. 

 
The story starts out right where Healing Rain ended and let me tell you… it completely drew me in. I could not put the book down after that.

I have never had such different feelings about books in the same trilogy. My main issues with the previous books were no longer issues in this third book. Dialogue was constant and there weren’t really any “down” parts. I stated in my previous reviews that it felt like I was reading two different stories in one…. Frist being Raina’s abuse and the second being the story of the human trafficking. Well they completely came together in After the Rain.

This book brought both tears and laughter to me. I absolutely fell in love with “the gang.” We got to see a lot more of their personalities in this book. All of them just made me laugh. Their bond with each other was strong and beautiful. Raina spent her entire life alone and feeling worthless. I was so happy to see how everyone cared so much about her and would risk anything to protect her. 


Kas and Raina are so amazing together. They have such a push and pull relationship but the intensity of their love is utterly beautiful. Raina is still mildly dealing with her past but is just starting to fully appreciate the life she is now living.

“Thank you for not hitting me,” Raina blurts out.

“What?...Sweetheart, please don’t thank me for not doing something that’s a given no one should do to you.”

“It should be a given, but we both know that it’s not. Not, really.”

“It’s a given for me.”

I loved how they trusted each other completely. A lot of books with alpha-males get super jealous and possessive. Kas was possessive but more in the sense to protect her and he was never really jealous. He knew Raina was his and he was hers and there was nothing anyone could do to change that.

“My body responds just by thinking about you. This thing you have over me, whatever the hell it is that you do, don’t ever stop doing it,” he breathes, his voice thick, raspy, as his scorching kisses follow the soft lines of her neck.

Raina is such a strong female lead. I cannot believe all that she had to go through throughout this entire series and again in this book. I just kept wondering how much more she was going to have to take. She is definitely a fighter and hell bent on putting the bastards in charge of one of the biggest human trafficking rings down. Kas is headstrong on keeping Raina safe but once Raina sets her mind to something she doesn’t like to back down.

“You’re not ordering me as my superior; you’re trying to order me as my husband. You’re crossing a line.”

“I’ll cross every line from here to China and back if I have to!”

“Then you better start walking, maybe by the time you get back, you’ll have your head out of your butt.”


Hahahaha!!!! I love it. Their witty banter back and forth is hilarious.

But what happens when a undercover op goes wrong and Raina finds herself up for sale along with many other teenage girls? Will Kas be able to get to her before irreparable damage is done?

“Hang on, sweetheart, please just hang on.”

“Kas, don’t let me go, okay?”
Raina asks, her voice dangerously soft.

“Never, darlin’, I will never let you go,” Kas promises.


Kas is so intense in this book. He is so gentle and protective, yet at the same time he is dominating and relentless when it comes to her. I liked how he was a little more “normal” with her, he didn’t tiptoe around her like she was going to break but he was still was aware of his actions around her.

Then, the man who they believe is “ghost” pulls Raina into a little game of cat and mouse. He is intrigued by her intelligence and captivated by her beauty. He is a genius himself and he wants to “play” with Raina. He wants Raina and he will do anything to get to her. He knows her weaknesses and he plays on them-- Kas, her friends, the young girls being sold into such a nasty world. All of those are things that Raina would lay her life down to protect and he isn’t afraid to use them to get to her. 


I don’t really want to say anything else about this book because you need to experience it for yourself. If you have read the previous books and were debating on this book, I’m telling you that you need to get this last installment. If you have read the last two books and loved them then you will freak over this book. There was just so much happening, one amazing or terrifying moment after another. The epilogue kicked butt. It had a little bit of everything. I especially loved how we got updates on the entire gang and their lives. It was probably one of the best epilogues I have ever read.

My Favorite Quotes:

His patent ‘devil may care’ smile returns, “Besides, I’m not looking forward to having my shoulder all soggy from all the other girl’s weeping when they find out that I’m off the meat market.” --Ausitin

“You didn’t only save her life, you saved her heart and her spirit.” - Judge

“You did not just have sex in my office did you?” Chase asks… 
“Kas, c’mon, man, I haven’t even had sex in my office yet… Go, just go. Find some other place to fornicate,” he continues… 

“Where should I avoid sitting?” 
he yells

Laughing Kas turns around, shrugging cockily. 
“Everywhere.”

  4.5 Stars 

Reviewed by Alissa Evanson

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author



Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards. 



When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity. 


The Rain Trilogy is a powerful story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love (intended for readers 18+). 

Karen-Anne loves to connect with readers! 



Follow the author at these links
Facebook | Twitter \ Website \ GoodReads




GIVEAWAY

Winner will Receive 1 (one) ecopy of their pick of either 
Book1, Book 2, OR Book 3


a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

  1. Wow wonderful reviews and it sounds like it ends with a memorable bang, too! I have not read this series but it's definitely right up my alley!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for allowing me to stop by your amazing site today and for reading and reviewing The Rain Trilogy! I LOVE the pictures you used with the quotes :)

    Karen-Anne

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete