Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Rachel's Deception


Rachel's Deception (Temptation #4)
Published By: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publication Date: May 18, 2015
Page Count: 270
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I have been a huge fan of Rose and Noah since the very beginning. I assumed that their story ended with Forever, but I was ecstatic to see a fourth novel in this series pop up. In spite of this one being called Rachel's Deception, I held out hope that there would be plenty of Rose and Noah in this one. I wasn't disappointed on that front. 

There will be spoilers for the previous novels in this review so tread with caution. It's impossible to talk about this one without referencing the previous novels in the series.

Rachel, Noah's younger sister, is a bit of a wild child with a stubborn streak that tends to lead her to bad choices. She is haunted by Sarah's death and finds that alcohol is the only way to keep the nightmares at bay. She befriends some English girls who are all too willing to help Rachel lose herself in booze. These friendships are toxic and don't help Rachel move beyond her grief. To make matters worse, Rachel's father is being even more strict than usual as he cannot stand the thought of losing another child after Noah's shunning. Rachel yearns to be free, but she can't let go of her Amish roots. She will quickly find herself torn between freedom and her culture.

While I liked Rachel and found her story to be heartbreaking and memorable, I felt like this one wasn't truly about her. It felt like 50% of the novel was Noah and Rose. Don't get me wrong - I loved that - but it felt unfair to Rachel. She kept getting pushed to the side to focus on the dress shop or some other issue. In fact, Rose is even a narrator of several chapters. I also wasn't drawn into Rachel's romance dilemma. The compulsion to be with Justin felt a little like recycled material and I kept hoping she wouldn't go down that path, but find a way to forge her own. Justin is a great guy, but I didn't want a Noah and Rose drama fest repeat.

The one aspect of the novel I loved (aside from seeing old friends) was the dress shop venture. The shop allows the female characters to forge stronger bonds and friendships. It was also interesting to watch the girls challenge gender roles and societal structures within the Amish community.

This one is difficult for me to rate because I loved some aspects, but found others to be lacking. The Levi portion didn't seem to be a driving factor in the story even though it features prominently in the prologue and will cause some problems toward the end; it is largely ignored for the bulk of the novel. In addition, I didn't feel that either of Rachel's romantic choices are fully developed. The novel seemed too short to truly allow readers to ship one guy over another.  Lastly, the ending seemed anti-climatic and rushed. Rachel seemingly has made her choice, but it didn't feel final nor was there a lot of rationale behind it.

Overall, I felt like this novel served as a way to show fans what married life was like for Rose and Noah as they raised their daughter, Sarah Ann. I loved seeing that these two were still very much in love. There is something special about their connection that transcends the page.


One Last Gripe: The established romances blossom in this one while the new ones fall flat.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: Spending time with Rose and Noah

First Sentence: I paused on the staircase to listen once more.

Favorite Character: Rose

Least Favorite Character: Rachel's drinking buddies



Growing up Amish is difficult…but leaving it behind is even harder.
Noah was Amish...Rose wasn't. Being together should have been impossible. But somehow they found a way to make it work. They are finally a family, but their happily-ever-after is still a long off. Will Rose and her friends be able to force real change?
Karen Ann Hopkins returns with a gripping new book in the YA Temptation series. The powerful family saga continues with Rachel's Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose's little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from.
As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.

Temptation (Book 1)   on Goodreads |Get a Copy  Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Belonging (Book 2)  on Goodreads | Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Forever  (Book 3)  on Goodreads | Get a Copy Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Here is some exciting news for all those audiobook lovers out there: The Temptation Series is now available, so get your copy right now! Listen to a sample on audible.

About Karen Ann Hopkins:
           
 Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.
Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse when she turned eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. More books in the Temptation series are in the works.
Karen is offering up a fantastic prize pack, with one lucky winner receiving the following:
  • $50 gift card (Amazon, B&N or iTunes)
  • A complete set of her books (Temptation, Belonging, Forever, Rachel’s Deception, Lamb to the Slaughter, Whispers from the Dead and Embers!)
Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:


5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your honest review.. I'm looking forward to starting this series. The idea behind the series makes for an intriguing story.. thanks again for sharing :)

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  2. Very helpful thank you. I do like the sound of this.

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  3. sounds a great book !!
    thx u for the chance of win :)

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  4. this series looks interesting~! loved the summary as well :)

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