Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Review: Unforgiven (Book 3) by Jessica Miller


The Wanderer series part 3

By Jessica Miller

Reviewer Sandra Long

Ella and Josie, along with Billy and Cameron leave for Ireland to find Ella’s ex, Tristan, that she had thought was dead since the last battle of the super naturals. Why Cameron wanted to go is anybody’s guess since her only connection to this group is being the girlfriend of Ella’s brother Dean’s best friend. But she seems to be determined and wants to help so they go with her. Their search seems to get off to a great start when in route to their hotel Ella recognizes a garden Tristan has taken her to many times in their dream meetings. She insist that they stop and enter and soon learn the garden belongs to Tristan’s grandmother, an elderly witch with a terrible personality. His grandfather and young cousin, Josef, are much friendlier and want to help them. But after a month of
searching every known hangout and location without finding Tristan, things are not looking so good and Roman is no longer talking to Ella. Cameron appears to be falling for Dean, who followed them to Ireland and is helping with the search.

Josef offers to take them to one of Tristan’s hangouts from his really old days when he was a total bad boy but tells them they cannot get in without him, so they agree even though he is only 16. He shows up to get them with a motorcycle gang and they are forced to go with the gang or not at all. About the time they decide Tristan is not there and they need to leave, a band of Ella’s dads guardians show up to get her and Dean. She tries to throw up a force field to keep them from taking her and accidentally ends up knocking down half the building. As they rush for the back door, led by Josef, Ella trips over a drunk passed out in the back alley. He comes to, mouths off and a fight almost starts until Ella recognizes the nasty, smelly drunk as Tristan. They take him to their hotel, get him cleaned up and after some blood and some rest, they have the old Tristan back and he still loves Ella and she still loves him, but also still loves Roman.

Tristan’s grandmother, as well as an old gypsy friend of hers, tells Ella and Tristan that they share a special bond but no one ever explains what this means. The old gypsy does tell them it comes from Tristan’s sacrifice but they do not understand that either. Ella’s dad comes to Ireland to bring her and Dean home and there is a bitter confrontation where he tells her to come with him now or never come home at all. As much as it hurts her, Ella defies her dad and stays in Ireland.

Meantime, strange things are going on with Cameron but we are never made privy to what that is. We do know her attraction for Dean is growing, her phone calls with her boyfriend are getting shorter and less romantic and her determination to break up Ella and Tristan keeps growing. She eventually tricks Tristan into going with her to choose a gift for Ella so she can talk to him alone. He buys a beautiful anklet that Cameron eventually gives Ella as a gift from her, never mentioning that Tristan chose it and paid for it. She tells Tristan that he is no good for Ella and should leave her alone. She tells him that Ella has a life back at school that he is no part of and she has true love with Roman who takes very good care of her and if he really cares for her, he should leave her alone forever. He believes her and after a night of loving and love making, he sneaks away leaving Ella only a note that they are finished for good and please not look for him any more.

A broken hearted Ella heads for home to try to mend fences with her dad, get back in school and make up with Roman if she can, never knowing the part Cameron played in her losing Tristan again. Families are family after all, so she and Dean are forgiven and welcomed home. Cameron chooses to go home with them rather than back to school and her boyfriend. They get home just in time for Xander and Jasa’s engagement party and Ella’s birthday, the same day. Just when it appears her birthday is forgotten, the family has a small family celebration for her the next day. But the big excitement is party night. A drunken Xander tells Danni she will always be the only girl he will ever love and against her better judgement, she spends a night of love with him in the family pool house, while Cameron sneaks into Dean’s bedroom for a night of love. For her birthday Ella receives the family’s antique charm bracelet. Ella’s grandmother tells her the bracelet possess magical powers and will recognize and burn evil. When Cameron touches it, she gets a huge jolt of electricity. Later Ella looks for a sign of a burn. No burn is seen but witches heal quickly and we just continue to get vibes that something is not quite right about Cameron. But later when Jasa touches it, the burn is so bad and so big that her skin can actually be heard sizzling. It also heals quickly and nothing is ever said about it. Ella’s grandmother touches her and causes her to pass out and she is taken home and cannot remember what happen, leaving us wondering what is grandma Bea up to.

Ella, Dean and Cameron are to be re-admitted to the school and must be punished for running off. Their punishment is to return for the one remaining week of school and they must attend the summer school session to catch up on the classes they have missed and do manual labor during their free time, confined to campus unless chaperoned by staff. Ella continues to find new powers she possesses and each time she develops another blue streak in her hair, causing her to get a lot of strange looks. All the older witches and paranormals she trusts have told her that she possesses more different powers than anyone they have ever known and once she learns to control them, she will be impossible to deal with. That is why the missing rogue vampire Jack is after her to possess her powers, which he thinks will happen if he is the one to kill her.

Back at school little has changed and we meet new characters as we continue to watch the old ones relationships evolve. Josie and a group of other angel appear and we learn that her punishment/ assignment, as well as the ones who came with her, is to help souls similar to them who are born half paranormal and half human and need to find what their role in life should be. One of the people with her is Kyle, Ell’s first boyfriend who was killed in chapter one, book one. This causes some moments of tension with her current boyfriend, Roman. Another is a mysterious young man Lucas whose eyes can transport Ella to other places and this power he has fascinates and frightens her at the same time.

We wonder why Dean is dating the hated Mackenzie who continues to try to torment Ella. We wonder if Cameron and Austin’s relationship can survive the obvious tension between them since her return and only Dean, Ella and the reader know where Cameron’s true feelings lie. Things at school bounce from delight to disaster, with never a dull moment for the reader. Just as Roman and Ella seem to be getting their old relationship and love back where it was, Tristan has been appearing in her dreams but they have been scary, dark dreams of a Tristan she never knew and full of snakes, spiders and fear. She finally
decides to contact him in a dream using her powers and he denies any knowledge of the dreams she describes but she vanishes without giving him a chance to ask questions or explain, she just tells him to leave her alone forever.

Another school year begins with the welcome back to school Fall Ball, which is masquerade this year. Everyone seems to be having fun when two mysterious gorgeous men appear. We soon learn it is Tristan and Billy who had stayed in Ireland to try once more to find Jack. Ella learns for the first time that Tristan and Roman are brothers. In a panic she runs from the ballroom, straight to the maze and to Jack, who has been waiting for his chance. She is unarmed and alone and he is physically stronger than her so she knows she is going to lose the battle. But then the words of so many of her mentors pops into her head, her powers are so strong she does not need weapons or help, she just needs to focus. She is about to win the fight when the pair hear others coming through the maze and they will soon not be alone.

This author knows how to leave her readers hooked on unanswered questions. Will Jack or Ella win the fight ? Will Jack be killed finally ? If Ella survives, will she choose Roman or Tristan ? Will Cameron and Dean finally admit their love and be together ? Will Xander learn he is the father of Danni’s child and marry her, his true love, or Jasa, the unknown factor that has shown several times that she has secrets she does not want him to know ? So many unanswered questions, so many on-going story lines. When, oh when, can we get our hands on the next installment ? Keep writing Jessica—you are giving us a reason to keep on reading and we love these characters. Another hit for this great author.

I live in a fantasy world and have an over active imagination. But the best part about that is I never stop creating new characters and new stories to share. I love writing and expressing myself in a way that everyone else can enjoy as well. I work in the salon most days, but when i'm not doing hair, I'm writing or reading.

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