Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up & Giveaway: Review of Branded by Katie Hamstead

If you follow my reviews, you probably know by now that I both love and hate Katie Hamstead as an author. I adore everything she writes, but so much so that I'm left deflated at the end of each book and blowing raspberries at my To Be Read list (no offense to everyone who is on there). Branded is really no different. Before we get to the review, let me tell you a bit about the book and the author first. Oh, and then you can enter to win your very own copy (along with her two books from the AMAZING Kiya series and an Amazon gift card) using the Rafflecopter below. Or if you are impatient, you can order your very own copy on Amazon for just $2.99. You won't regret it.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I review First of Her Kind by K.L. Schwengel and Knights of Rilch by Rachel O'Laughlin. For now, Branded! Allons-y!


Terrorists have invaded Sydney, and Allison King barely escapes her brother’s wedding reception alive. She and her siblings flee, but their parents are killed by firing squad.

Now Ali’s on the run and terrified. While searching for other survivors, she is captured by the General who leads the invasion. He’s smitten by Ali, and when she refuses to submit to his whims, he brands her for death. In a wild act of defiance, she snatches the branding rod and sears the mark onto his face. Marking not only him but also sealing her fate. Ali manages to escape and flees into the bush once more where she finds a group in hiding. Even with the scars left by the General, Ali learns to love and falls in love with the young man who found her—Damien Rogers.

But the General is hunting her. When he discovers their location, and finds her with another man—Damien—his wrath is kindled and his obsession is inflamed. Ali must put herself on the line or the General could kill her family, those who help her, and most significantly, the man she loves.

Add it on Goodreads or purchase through Amazon

About the Author:
Born and raised in Australia, Katie's early years of day dreaming in the "bush", and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as a Clerk with a lien company in Arizona to help support her family and her schooling. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Follow Katie on Twitter, her blog, Facebook, and Goodreads.

My Review:
BrandedBranded by Katie Hamstead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In a word: Intense. Usually with stories that have a MC that is constantly hunted on a personal level by the enemy, it's all about the chase. You don't expect them to come face to face with the enemy several times over, and I love that Ali does. She turns into the white whale to the General's Ahab, as the characters refer to it. Only she has much more snark and spirit than a white whale, I'm sure.

Ali isn't the typical MC lusted after by an enemy. She's not weak at all, but not impenetrable either. She's genuinely scared for her life, especially when face to face with the General, and the author lets you feel that fear alongside Ali. What is brilliant about feeling that fear so strongly is that you feel her defiance as well. You rise up with her and feel just as indignant as she does.

Her romance with Damien happened fast, but I felt like that was really realistic given the circumstances. Everything about their way of life has been threatened, but there's still a hope that things can get normal and people cling to that hope. The normalcy of things like romance and marriage. And I do love that this is addressed later on, but that they continue to fight for each other. On the other hand, I really root for Nick. He's my favorite character. Without him, I feel like the war would have only gotten worse even after it all came to a head. In a way, I think he means more to the war than Ali does.

This was an exhilarating read, full of suspense, action, romance, and heartbreak on so many different levels. A very powerful and emotional read for people of any religion.

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