September 1, 2012

ARC Review: The Reluctant Amazon

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The Reluctant Amazon
Alliance of the Amazons Bk 1
Sandy James
Release date: 03 September, 2012

Carina Press, eBook edition
eISBN: 9781426894305 (File size: 366KB)

The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior.  But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don't, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons.  Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.

An immortal, Artair has trained countless warriors for more than four hundred years.  He understands Rebecca's confusion at the new world she's been thrust into and worries she is too emotionally vulnerable, but that doesn't stop his growing feelings for the beautiful and fearless woman.

When an evil force threatens to destroy the Amazons, Rebecca must claim her full powers - but they come at a cost.  Can she sacrifice the man she loves if it means saving the world?

I wasn't sure what I would find when I read this ARC, but all I can say is WOW!  Jilted at the alter, her temper - and a conveniently timed earthquake - are the straw that breaks the brides bouquette.  Punching her ex-fiance right in the nose, she storms out and into the arms of a stranger.  Oh boy, Rebecca's is in for an emotional rollercoaster ride. 
As a terminal paranormal romance junkie, the world that Sandy James has created for her Amazons totally sucked me in.  I forgot my worries, my cup of tea went cold, and I left reality behind as I followed Rebecca and Artair.  Forbidden romances are always so much fun, and watching these two deal with everything their world threw at them, with Goddesses at every turn - and bitchy ones at that - will Artair and Rebecca have a happy ending, or will a Goddess break them apart?

Unlike a lot of books, there are only a few central characters.  One of the most memorable is Sparks.  A real hot-head, she has a smart mouth as well as a nifty fire power.  With her sisters lost, and the next generation coming in for training, Sparks is desperate to find her sisters.  Will she trust in Rebecca and Megan?  What lengths will she go to to find them?

In the middle of Sparks struggle, and surrounded by fast and lethal women, Rebecca seems to be having a hard time fitting in.  The odd man out, she's not as quick, strong or athletic as the others (and if you listen to the goddess Rhiannon she's useless), but there is something so loving and giving about her that you can't help but root for her as she struggles to stay in Avalon.

Now Artair on the other hand is the hunky Celt.  Centuries young and gorgeous, as good heroes always are, the Sentinel and trainer for the Amazons has the task of training generation after generation of these powerful women.  That is until he finds his long forgotten heart being reawakened by this fragile Earth.  He swings between being a sweety, and a total hard arse - especially towards Rebecca.  There were times when I wanted to kick him in the butt, but the fact that I felt that way means that Ms. James has done her job well I think.
Two of my favourite characters were the changelings that seem to fulfill the Amazon's ever need in Avalon... Hey!, minds out of the gutter please ;-D.  Dolan and Beagan seem to have a soft spot for Rebecca.  Usually hidden from the other women, they often appear as cute little bunnies.  They grabbed me not because they are witty and sarcastic, but they were just sweet (plus I had a rabbit as a child).
It is not often that I come across a book that ticks all the boxes for me.  The Reluctant Amazon is one of those books.  There is romance, comedy, love and loss.  All the elements in seemingly perfect harmony.  Sandy James has created such memorable characters that I will definitely be buying the following books in the series.  And yes, I admit it. This book made me reach for the tissues at times, but I wouldn't have passed the opportunity to read this book for anything.
Oh, and by the way.  I never did get to finish my cuppa.


  1. Thank you so much for the beautiful review! I'm so happy you enjoyed the book!! I love my "girls," and I hope you also enjoy how they grow and change as the series progresses. :)

  2. Sandy James has a great voice, and it's going to be a wonderful series!