Serenade by Heather McKenzie Blitz

Serenade
Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.

Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.

Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

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EXCERPT:

This was it, now or never.

I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.

I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…

I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…

Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.

“Stop fighting,” he said.

His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.

“Stop… please,” he begged.

His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.

“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.

“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.

We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.

“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.

He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”

He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.

“I promise,” I said.

 

Author Bio:

Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

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Book Review: Serenade by Heather McKenzie

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Serenade by Heather McKenzie

A YA Novel published by Clean Teen Publishing (04/17/17)

Summary:

Kaya lives a guarded life as the heiress to a medical company worth a fortune, but her father doesn’t ever want to relinquish control and will go to insane lengths to make sure his greed is satisfied.

Kaya wants to be normal, but when she’s constantly surrounded by her male bodyguards she doesn’t have a chance, until her father consents to let her run in a weekend long 125km foot race. All is well as she is fiercely protected until one by one her guards drop out of the race. Even her new Fiancé bodyguard must leave her to finish herself, but before she can make it to the end, she is kidnapped.

Keywords:

Foot Race, Ignorance, Bodyguard, Protection, Discovery, Past, Family Secrets, Corruption, Power, Money, Abduction, Fight, Motivation, Love, Friendship, Heiress

My Review:

Female heroine. Check. Adventure with high stakes. Check. Strong and powerful story with intrigue and secrets. Check.

I loved nearly everything about this story. As soon as I was fully engaged (at the mention of Death Race), I couldn’t put this one down. It had everything I hope for and love in a YA book.

Though I roll my eyes at instant love, the powerful bond of the love in this story swept me away and I believed it with every fiber of my imagination, just as Kaya does with every fiber of her soul. I’ve never read an instalove that I could believe in like that in Serenade.

The story was solid and the plot (when it got going) was so well developed and rolled out like a great action movie. Subplots kept me questioning every secret.

The best part of this book, however, was Kaya (and maybe the powerful storytelling/writing style). Kaya comes from a rich and entitled background, but she is not a spoiled princess. Yes she hurts. Yes she complains. Yes she gets emotionally overwhelmed. And of course she makes wrong choices! She’s only a teenager after all. But she is resilient and thoughtful and never gives in. She is logical and emotional and I can’t wait for more of her!

The writing style and powerful way the author can showcase emotions makes me eager to read anything McKenzie will write next- fiction, nonfiction, picture books, or anything.

I received an ARC of this novel.

This novel was published by Clean Teen Publishing on April 17th, 2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Heather McKenzie’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads