Monday, October 14, 2013

Blog Tour: Courage (Mark of Nexus Book Two) by Carrie Butler - Review, Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Courage (Mark of Nexus Book 2) by Carrie Butler.  The tour is hosted by Grapevine Book Tours.  You can see the entire tour schedule here, or by clicking on the banner above.  My stop today features a review and the tour-wide giveaway, which you can enter below.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

Title: Courage
Author: Carrie Butler
Series: Mark of Nexus #2
Expected publication: October 15th, 2013
Category: New Adult (NA)

Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)

Making a deal with the bad guys wasn’t the highlight of Rena Collins’ semester, but, hey, it saved her boyfriend. Now, in order to appease the human-altering organization known as ERA, she’ll crawl under their microscope while they study the Mark of Nexus and plot their eye-glazed version of the future—until she realizes that’s not all they’re plotting.

Wallace Blake has always known his girlfriend is unlike most girls. But now that information has surfaced regarding the two bloodlines that balance his supernatural race, he finally understands why. Rena belongs to one of them. She’s been augmenting his power, all along...

Enter: Corynn Catley. Brought into the country under the guise of an internship, she’s intended to become ERA’s secret weapon. Kind of. Her abilities cancel out Wallace’s, rendering him powerless, but that’s exactly what he’s always wanted. Too bad it only works when his girlfriend’s not around.

All the while, Rena fails to notice the crush her geeky best friend, Aiden Ross, is nursing. He’d give anything for her to see him in a new light—even reinvent himself through questionable means--but there’s a reason people are told to be careful what they wish for. Finding the courage to tell her could put everyone’s lives in danger.

Courage (Mark of Nexus #2) is a New Adult paranormal romance that features four unique points-of-view. While the novel stands alone, it is best enjoyed after Strength (Mark of Nexus #1).

My Thoughts:  The saga continues in this intriguing new adult paranormal romance with the second installment in the Mark of Nexus series, Courage, which picks up shortly after the events that occurred at the end of Strength.  We were introduced to the supernatural race called Dynari in Strength, the first book in the Mark of Nexus series.  The Dynari each posses special gifts - sort of like X-men, yet they look completely normal.  Wallace Blake's ability happens to be strength, supernatural strength mind you, so much so in fact that he has to be very careful even touching his girlfriend Rena for fear of seriously injuring her.  Renal and Wallace share the Mark of Nexus, which bonds them together.  After a fierce battle with the evil ERA in book one, Rena now has to fulfill her end of the bargain she made to save Wallace's life with Faye, who is the Dynari in charge.  They also learn a whole lot more about the Dynari and the Mark of Nexus, and find out that they aren't the only supernatural race out there.  The more Rena learns, the more concerned she becomes about the role she plays and how it affects things, especially between she and Wallace.  Faye meanwhile brings in a new player in the game, Corynn, who is everything that Rena isn't - meaning that her abilities cancel Wallace's out.  What that means is that he can touch her, hug her, and could have a normal life without having to worry about injuring her.  This causes some major problems between Rena and Wallace, which is just what the old bitty Faye and her evil old self had planned.  I hated that Rena and Wallace had to go through what they did, but I also wanted to shake them both a time or two so they could get past it to the truth.  Meanwhile Faye and the ERA are in the process of carrying out their evil plan, one which could possibly affect the entire human race.  

Courage is told in four view points, with Rena and Wallace's being the main two, then we also hear from Corynn, and Aiden, Rena's best friend, and believe me, a whole lot happens with Aiden in this book.  In fact, Carrie Butler sets things up in this novel that has me both anxious and excited to find out what role Aiden is going to play in the next book in the series.  I have to admit that I was really worried about a love triangle of sorts that seemed inevitable with the introduction of Corynn (I really didn't want a love triangle).  While there are issues that cause some big problems, it isn't what I thought it would be and I was really happy about that, and with where Wallace and Rena's relationship goes in this segment.  Wallace and Rena prove to be quite the hero and heroine.  I also liked the fact that it seemed we got to know Wallace even better in this installment.  The secondary characters all play big roles in this story and are all well-written and enjoyable to get to know.  My favorite is Cole, Wallace's twin brother.  I can't tell you how much I loved Cole in this book.  He stole the show on more than one occasion and it was wonderful.  We get to know some of the characters we met in book one better, while also meeting new ones.  The plot is fast paced and Carrie Butler has done a wonderful job in capturing and holding your attention in Courage.  The story is creative, romantic, suspenseful, and never boring.  I also was really pleased with the ending.  Carrie Butler ends the story at a point that leaves you satisfied and happy, yet anxiously anticipating where she will take this series in the next installment.  If you are a fan of paranormal romance, then The Mark of Nexus Series is something that I most definitely recommend.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  

Here are a couple of short teasers:
"Almost there," I coaxed, stumbling on my tiptoes as I struggled to keep my boyfriend's eyes covered.  Wallace grunted and bent back so I could reach as we walked.  
"Is this really necessary?"
"I want it to be a surprise."  I frowned, shoving my breasts against his back in an attempt to get closer.  So logistics wren't my strong suit.  We'd sill make it there.  "Just a few more steps."  
"That's what you said before we ran into the water fountain."
I rolled my eyes and leaned around his arm to see how close we were.  "Are you still going on about that?"
He came to a halt in the middle of the hallway, blindly tilting his head back to address me.  "Baby, if you had nuts, you'd be going on about it too."
I leaned back to study my masterpiece, ignoring the lecture up front.  On a folded piece of notebook paper, I'd written, "Remember that time I shoved you through a door?"  I flipped it open and stifled a snicker at my stick figure drawing of Wallace sprawled out in the hallway.  "Me too." 
.....She produced a notebook paper card with two different colors of ink and grinned from ear to ear. "It's an apology card." she said. "Wow! This is the best apology card I've ever gotten, and the only one that doesn't contain an actual apology."  She slapped my arm. "It's close enough!"

Title: Strength
Author: Carrie Butler
Series: Mark of Nexus #1
Publication: September 16th, 2013 
(First publication: March 7th, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing)
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

You can see my review of Strength here.

Author bio:
Carrie Butler daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Her passion for New Adult fiction led her to co-found NA Alley—a widely recognized informational hub for the category. She is the author of STRENGTH (Mark of Nexus #1) and COURAGE (Mark of Nexus #2).

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest 
YouTube | Goodreads
One (1) signed paperback of Courage by Carrie Butler {US only}
Five (5) eBook copies of Courage {INT}
One (1) limited edition Mark of Nexus pillowcase {US only}


  1. I thought for sure I had the first book but now looking at Goodreads I guess I don't! I need to fix that I think. ;)

    1. It's really good. I have enjoyed this series.

  2. Wonderful review, Ellen! Sounds perfect for Paranormal Romance fans. Thanks for participating in the tour.

    1. Thank you. I love this series and I enjoyed participating in the tour.

  3. Love your review Ellen, and an NA book that isn't a contemporary romance..woot! I added this series to my wishlist :)

  4. I've heard such good things about this series. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ellen!

  5. I loved Courage. Can't wait for book 3!

    1. Me either. Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long.


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