Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Captivate Me & Iris by S.J. Pierce: Review Tour + Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Captivate Me and Iris by S.J. Pierce as part of a book review tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.


CAPTIVATE ME by S.J. Pierce 
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult


“My mom had always told me – when you meet “the one”, you’ll know; they’ll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom’s words of wisdom were finite – if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering.”

Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted – a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it’s always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. But, unfortunately for her, the world can’t handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak – even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school – Levi. Everything feels normal again… or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she’s never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen – students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things fighting for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice – will she settle for ‘great’ Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across ‘amazing’?

From the author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles, comes a refreshingly different Young Adult series with plenty of love, suspense, and a new take on the Paranormal.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Purchase Captivate Me at Amazon | B&N 

Add the Captivated Series on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/124381-captivated

My Rambles

The synopsis above really does a great job of setting up Captivate Me so I'll not rehash too much.

I've read a lot of YA~NA paranormal books. A lot. So many, that at times I feel like I am getting a little jaded. Just when I feel like I am done with the genre for a while, a book like Captivate Me comes along and manages to pull me back in. This book had my "Spidy Senses" tingling on multiple levels.

Things happen pretty fast in this story. Kat make new friends and attracts the attention of one of the cutest guys Midland Pines really quickly. Like two weeks quickly. The alluring boy appears and things seem to get predictably triangely. Uh-oh.

I held my breath.

Don't worry. When the bizarre occurrences start happening, the "refreshingly different" from the synopsis above really kicks in. Kat's character doesn't wallow in YA cliches: “I didn’t want to be stuck in some silly love triangle… that wasn’t an option. Or fair to anyone.” While Kat makes some decisions that made me shake my head in frustration, I appreciated that she was mature enough to question herself along the way. Kat is a believable teenager - with normal and supernatural problems. She's kind, adventurous, and open-minded - which goes a long way when you attend a school for the Gifted.

I exhaled in relief.

Captivate Me is a fast-paced book with a number of interesting plot twists and turns. I kept rolling the pages after my allotted reading time was up. (I read a PDF review copy in one sitting). I think that it has appeal across genres. It's a good mix of romance, paranormal, and suspense.

IRIS (#1.5) by S.J. Pierce 
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult


***This book is meant to be read after Captivate Me***

Set before the events in Book One of the Captivated Series, "Iris" explores the depths of family bonds, new bonds, and the lengths a person would go to save the life of a dying sibling. In this novella, get to know Iris and her two sisters more intimately, as well as Gabriel, the first angel-human hybrid who agrees to live under her protection.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Purchase Iris at Amazon.

Check out the Captivated Series on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/124381-captivated

My Rambles

Again the novella's synopsis above really does a great job of setting up Iris so I'll try not rehash too much or give away too much of Captivate Me. The novella provides additional information on pre-story events revealed in Captivate Me. I must say that S.J. Pierce certainly has a way with prologues. Both Captivate prologues are well-crafted attention getters.

*taps finger while considering how much to not say - LOL!*

Iris is one of the key characters involved in some of the bizarre occurrences that happen in and around Midland Pines, School for the Gifted in Captivate Me. Let's just say that she has special skills.

Have you ever wondered how a supporting character arrived at a particular place in her life or developed a certain attitude? Pierce casts additional light on Iris' character with this novella. While it didn't make me change my overall opinion of Iris, I did find it an interesting perspective. I enjoyed getting more reading time with Kai (Iris' group member+), Rose and Lilliana (Iris' sisters) and Gabriel (the alluring boy).  

I normally don't read .5 stories in a series, unless the first book published in the series starts with 0.5. I am going to start reading more series.5 novellas now. I might be missing out on some good things.

I've enjoyed the Captivate series so far and look forward to reading the next book. It's definitely best to  read Iris after Captivate Me. I am going to pick up copies of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles.


Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare  time to writing Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi novels.

Author Links

GIVEAWAY (Open INTL - Ends Sept 9th)

--$25 Amazon Gift Card
--eBook copy of both Captivate Me & Iris

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: I received free copies of both books in exchange for honest reviews.



  1. Great giveaway and the book looks really good!

  2. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. I like the premise of the story.

  4. Welcome to Kinky Vanilla Romance, Susan. I am happy to host you here.

    How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your books?

  5. Thank you for the chance to win this! :)

  6. This sounds like a really unique and fun paranormal. I love paranormal but sometimes they can be very same old same old. It sounds like this series really stands out!

  7. Sounds really good, thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Cool cover & the book sounds nice!