Saturday, November 27, 2010

Its Everlong

Everlong by Hailey Edwards is a fast-paced read cloaked in danger and intrigue within an intricate world. It’s a story about recognizing our responsibility in shaping our futures. The characters are well developed with attractive dialogue to draw the reader in. All four of the main characters – Madelyn, Emmaline, Harper, Clayton - are strong, fiercely loyal and likeable.

Everlong is written in the first-person narrative from Madelyn’s point of view. Maddie is a demon princess who has always loved Harper, her Evanti guard. Together with her half-sister, Emma, they form Maddie’s support network in a world where cruelty is just a way of life. Suddenly, their lives are turned upside down when Harper attacks their father and rescues the sisters. He takes them to a secret Evanti colony where they can all be free. After going out to warn others, Harper doesn’t return (and is assumed dead) and the sisters are forced to survive at the colony without him.

Everlong jumps ahead five years, a plot strategy that I often don’t like but Edwards made it work. Maddie is now living as Harper’s widow. She knows it’s time to break out of her depression but is forced to confront the reality when she marks the fifth anniversary of Harper’s death, the colony’s allowable time for grieving. The story line picks up its pace as Maddie transforms from the na├»ve princess into an assertive young woman.

Enter Clayton Delaney, leader of the colony and Harper’s brother. An immediate attraction forms when Maddie meets Clayton for the first time. Clayton is not the typical alpha male but that didn’t take away from his appeal. He is loyal and strong but insists Maddie make her own decisions about her feelings instead of allowing the intensity of his feelings to overwhelm her.

Everlong is wrought with sexual tension but surprises the reader by not overdoing the sex scenes. Yet another difference about Everlong’s hero, Clayton waits to consummate his love until they are both certain of their relationship. What an inspiration!

When at last the book ends with Maddie claiming her own future, the reader is satisfied by the conclusion but aware that there are still several loose ends. With an Evanti rebellion in the near future, I am crossing my fingers for another book about this world. In fact, there are some strong secondary characters that deserve their own book. I will be waiting… in the meantime, I give this book four chocolate dipped strawberries.

This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews.
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