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21 June 2012

MINDER by Sandra Cox - Book Tour, Review and Giveaway

It's a real pleasure to welcome the talented author Sandra Cox. I've just finished reading MINDER and my review is below.  Before we come to that though, I'd like to mention that this stop is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sandra will be giving away a digital copy of her novel, "Vampire Bay" at ever stop. Additionally, she's running a contest on her blog (http://sandracox.blogspot.com/) where you have the opportunity to win a gorgeous brooch set and other prizes.  More details at the bottom of this post. 


BLURB:

Among the northern tribes there is a legend passed down from generation to generation about shape-shifting Minders—guardians of the innocents—and how they came to be. 

It is said that nowadays only a handful of Minders exist, hunted to near extinction by a fearsome beast. Of the remaining Minders, only one wears a garnet-studded collar, the symbol of protection and royalty.  

Even when my aunt told me the story, and handed me an ancient garnet-studded band, I had no idea the tale applied to me.

After all, it’s only a legend…

MY REVIEW
I don't often read 'shifter' stories so wasn't too sure what to expect from this book, but being familiar with other work by Sandra Cox, I knew her style of writing and thought I would enjoy 'Minder'. I was not disappointed. 

Aurora Valente, known as Rora,  is a feisty and likeable heroine, determined and strong, with whom teenagers and young women will be able to easily identify. Kylar is the type of hero we all like to dream of; strong, handsome, extremely rich, and sensitive. He also has a secret or two of his own. Kylar and Rora meet at a restaurant where her Aunt has taken her to celebrate her 18th birthday and the chemistry between him and Aurora is obvious from the start. When her Aunt, with whom she has lived since her parents were killed, gives her a very unusual necklace, and tells her the story behind it, Rora realises she has an unbelievable destiny  to fulfill, and that Kylar is far more than the ordinary, if striking, young businesman he appears to be.

Without any explicit language or anything more than a kiss,the author manages to convey the sizzling sexual tension between the two while keeping the action moving on every page. Kylar has moments where he seems distant and reluctant to get too close to Aurora,  despite the electricity between the two of them, but he  does have a good reason, which he is reluctant to reveal to her. 

Being an admirer of Native American culture I liked the way Sandra Cox wove a moving Indian legend into her story, providing a logical and original rationale for the shifter element of the story. Minder is different to most of the shifter stories I have come across and Ms Cox gets beneath the skins of the two big cats in a way that is realistic and not overdone.

The supporting characters, two of whom are also Native Americans, are likeable  and  varied, from Kaylar’s adoptive family, Jimmy and Doug, to Aunt Gin and her police officer boyfriend, Rob, not to mention Aurora’s best friend, Cathy. 

The story moves swiftly to its thrilling climax and the satisfying conclusion.I think young  (and older) adults will really enjoy this fantasy adventure,and I can thoroughly recommend it.

This review is my own, personal opinion. A free book was provided, but not in an effort to control the outcome of said review. No compensation has been paid or accepted for any reviews on this site, favorable or otherwise

Excerpt

Happy Birthday, Darling.”

“Aunt Gin, you’ve done too much already,” I scolded.
The bag felt soft and warm in my hand. Without thought, I clasped it to my chest and felt comfort, like holding a security blanket. I relaxed my grip and held it to the light. It looked old.

“Actually, it’s a gift from your mother.”

My eyes widened and I frowned in confusion. My heart tightened. Before I could reply, Mary came back with our drinks.

My aunt added sweetener to her steaming tea. “Open it,” she urged after Mary walked away.

I opened the drawstrings and shook the contents of the bag into my hand. An antique necklace glittered in my palm.

It appeared to be some sort of choker. The material was like nothing I’d ever seen, almost like stretchy soft leather glittering with fire opal dust, inlaid with oval garnets. I held it to the light. My eyes widened as prisms of color danced around the stones, breathtaking in their beauty.

As I examined it, I felt someone’s stare.

Drawn, I turned my head. My breath caught in my throat, my heart began to pound and my palm’s sweat. The buzz from the surrounding tables faded. People nearby became shadowy figures.

A golden glow bathed the room as I stared at the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. Thick, tawny, almost leonine hair capped his skull. His unusual amber eyes glowed like a cat’s. Skin stretched taut and smooth over high cheekbones. His lips made my mouth water.

My face must have reflected the same rapture I saw on his. Unfortunately, his gaze was on my necklace.
Purchase 'Minder' HERE

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA fantasy, crossover YA, historic and paranormal romance and metaphysical nonfiction.

Sandra lives with her husband, a menagerie of pets, and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina. She’s a vegetarian, enjoys kickboxing and loves nothing better than a good book.  


You can find her at:
http://sandracox.blogspot.com/
http://www.sandracox1.com/
Twitter: @Sandra_Cox


FOLLOW SANDRA ON HER BLOG TOUR



C O N T E S T 


Leave a comment to be entered in the draw to win an electronic copy of Sandra's book  'Vampire Bay' 
  Be sure to leave your name and email address in the comment section if you would like to be entered
Sandra will be giving away a digital copy of her novel, "Vampire Bay" at every stop. 

Additionally, she's running a contest on her blog (http://sandracox.blogspot.com/) as follows:  To enter the contest leave a comment on any posts in June, mention Minder and include your email address, and you're entered to win:
A set of butterfly pins
A Starbucks gift certificate
A book dedication
And a PDF download of Minder

Be sure to leave your name and email address in the comment