Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Vision Trilogy by Beth Elisa Harris




Vision (The Vision Trilogy Book 1)
by Beth Elisa Harris
Publisher: eInteractive Media; 1 edition (August 8, 2011)
Source:  Kindle edition.
Rating:  5/5 Stars


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Description:  The "Vision" trilogy spans centuries, starting on a remote Scottish island haunted by dark secrets and a violent past. Two loves, Sarah and Jonathan MacPhie are brutally murdered in 1731 by a jealous clan leader out for bloody revenge. The night before Sarah dies, she predicts her death in a letter to a distant relative Layla Stone who will be born in 1994. But that isn't all she predicts.

Three centuries later, Abbey Grace digs up Sarah's letter in her backyard and contacts Layla in Portland, Oregon just as Layla leaves to study in the UK. Coincidence? Not in the life of a Clear.  Once in Cambridge with her host family, Layla meets Stuart Fairchild, a friend of her host family, who seems more than familiar, mysterious and disarming. Layla's once isolated existence turns upside down as she learns there are many things she doesn't know about, including details about her workaholic mother and father.  And what she doesn't know could kill her.

Vision is a story about eternal love, forgiveness, the human connection, and good versus evil. As Layla learns horrifying and thrilling details about her gift, she evolves from a single-minded, secluded teenager into a strong and determined woman who wages war against those hell-bent on world destruction.

My Thoughts:  I absolutely fell in love with this book. I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the blurb, but Vision was absolutely enchanting. Layla is a teenager who goes to Cambridge as part of an exchange program to attend school there. She is very mature, far beyond her years, and very independent. She adores her dad, but her mom, Liz, has always been rather distant and a workaholic. To top it off, Layla also has a big secret, she can read people's minds. Upon arriving in Cambridge, Layla and Sienna (the daughter of her host family) become great friends. Sienna ends up introducing her to Stuart Fairchild, who is absolutely to die for. Layla is automatically drawn to Stuart, and she doesn't understand why. Stuart has loved Layla for a very long time. She also meets Andre, who is charming, and he has his sites set on Layla to. Unfortunately, everything is not as it seems. Layla finds herself swept up in a battle between good and evil, Clears and Bane, which has been going on for centuries. This age-old battle is also one that Layla finds herself at the very center of. Nothing is as it seems. The nightmares she has been having are more real than she ever imagined. She also finds out she has a lot more in common with her mother than she ever dreamed. Nothing in Layla's life has been coincidence or happenstance, and Layla has to come to terms with her past, as well as her future.

I can't say again how much I enjoyed this book. I absolutely fell in love with Stuart, whose swoon factor was off the charts. He is the fairy tale guy every girl dreams of, and he absolutely adores Layla. The romance in this story is incredible, as is the plot, the mystery, the conspiracy, and the drama. There is never a dull moment. This story tugged on my heart strings and I experienced an array of emotions including joy, love, pain, heartache, fear, sorrow, and anger. The characters are all so enjoyable and the author has written with great talent and the ability to make you feel like you are right in the midst of all that is transpiring. I am unable to even touch upon in this review all that occurs in this book, and I just want to say that it is so worth making the time to read this one. I highly recommend Vision.     

 

Soul Herder (The Vision Trilogy Book 2)
by Beth Elisa Harris
Published April 15th 2012 by eInteractive Media
Source:  Kindle Edition
Rating:  5/5 Stars

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Soul Herder, the highly anticipated second book in the best selling Vision trilogy, picks up following Layla’s kidnapping and bloody, near fatal airfield attack. After settling back in to Cambridge life with her Guardian boyfriend Stuart and best friend Sienna, Layla’s hyper-focused mom Liz forces her to leave for Morocco to hone her Clear skills with the ancient mystic Najee.

But part of the plan disintegrates when Stuart receives a mysterious, last minute phone call, leaving Layla at the airport. Stuart blocks her from the hidden truth of his past while urgently dashing to Greece. When Layla learns his secrets, she is devastated and questions not only their relationship but their ability to move on together.

Meanwhile she continues to Morocco and meets Najee, a quirky, wise man who seems to know more than he’s willing to say, prompting Layla to grow frustrated. When an acquaintance from the Branson Manor also visits, Layla has a new ally. As Najee begins his lessons to help Layla get in touch with her inner power, troubling news arrives and a life-threatening message in the form of a charm causing them to flee to safety.

Najee leads everyone through the desert to a safe haven, an underground bunker designed by StoneWall where troops prepare for Bane battle. In a short time Layla is transformed to a warrior, and must use her Clear skills to outwit enemy attacks before they can escape.

But her true test of courage is yet to come when the most devastating visions become reality. Will Layla surrender again to her wandering soul or emerge from grief to fight and fulfill her destiny?

My Thoughts:    Layla’s mother Liz insists that she go to Morocco where she stays with the mystic Najee, who helps her to develop her Clear powers.  While at the airport preparing to leave with Stuart and Natasha, Stuart receives a mysterious phone call and has to leave for Greece unexpectedly.  On top of that, he blocks his thoughts from Layla, but not before she reads Natasha’s thoughts.  Layla’s world begins to fall apart as she learns some things about Stuart’s mysterious past, which he has kept from her.  Natasha further explains things to her on the flight to Morocco.  She feels devastated and betrayed, and is not sure if her relationship with Stuart can ever be repaired.  Upon arriving at Najee’s, Layla is not the best of company, and though Stuart is not there with her, he tries to communicate with her through their connection.  The Bane end up finding her and Najee has to quickly help her and those with her escape to a secret Stonewall location in the desert, which her mother had seen to having prepared in advance.  Layla undergoes intense training while there.  They soon find out that the Bane are close to finding their location.  The ensuing battle they must face requires Layla to put every skill she has learned to the test in order to save the lives of those she loves and try to prevent the things she has seen in her visions from coming to pass.  The battle is intense, lives are lost, and Stuart manages to get to her after a near death experience.  He takes Layla back to Greece, but it takes her quite some time to recover from this both mentally and physically. 

Layla and Stuart have been lying low, as Stonewall thinks the Bane believe Layla is dead.  However, she and Stuart inadvertently run into the Bane when slipping out for the evening.  After giving Layla an ultimatum, the Bane do the worst thing she could possibly imagine.  The dream she has been afraid to tell anyone about comes to pass and her world is torn apart.  Layla goes through a very dark, dark time, and Stuart doesn’t know if he will ever have her back.  The Layla that finally emerges from the ruins of emotional devastation is not the one he knows, but one that more resembles Sarah in determination and purpose, and she is unwavering in her quest to see the Bane brought to justice and made to pay for what they have done.   

This book was absolutely awesome.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Beth Harris takes you on a journey through her writing from one end of the globe to the other, her writing enables you to experience everything her characters do.  The action is intense, the tragedy and pain is heart wrenching, and the romance and love is amazing.  Soul Herder is an outstanding sequel to Vision.  I couldn’t put it down and I cannot wait until Written in Time, the next book in The Vision Trilogy is available.  If you want to go on an adventure, then I recommend you read Soul Herder.





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