Book #95: Carnelian by B. Kristin McMichael

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Everyone has a past, but for most it isn’t so far in the past as Seth Sangre. His past is literally from thousands of years ago. Seth’s past led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now and just found exactly what he has been looking for.

Mari had dreams of college being a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her that’s exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself and not fall for the handsome Seth. But he doesn’t plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest. As the semester progresses, Mari learns that Seth might just have a past of his own that’s literally in the past. Suddenly Mari finds her future along with her past put into question. She’s connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be and maybe the player isn’t who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime and reveal family secrets she never knew existed.

When I first started reading B. Kristin McMichael it was her Blue Eyes Trilogy. Though I didn’t care for the first book, the rest of the series did slowly start to get better. I was hopeful that the Chalcedony Chronicles would show further growth in her writing.

The big difference between the series (aside from the overall story genres) would have to be the number of love interests. The reversed harem romance plot of Blue Eyes gave the main character a fickle and immature quality to her (this changes later on). However, Mari in Carnelian only has one true love interest. This was a big YES when I was listening to the audio book.

The romance is a strong focal point in the story. Seth is instantly smitten with Mari and it does take a bit of getting to know each other before Mari actually starts liking him back. It was soft, innocent, and overall a nice romance that I didn’t mind being the focal point in the first half.

However, I really wanted the time traveling, or at least something about the main arc, to be presented in that half as well. The reader begins with a romance and then is smacked with a time traveling plot twist. Yes, there is a mystery about Seth that Mari does see early on, but there is nothing to hint at time travel. It felt like a poor attempt at trying to get a plot moving.

Once that aspect was presented, the story did seem to move faster. I would have liked to see some time travel elements in the beginning and maybe there were, but I didn’t see them early on.

The characters seemed pretty basic. Mari is an overachiever with a set plan for the future. She doesn’t seem to be living her life, but more like going through the every day motions. She did have an interesting quality about her that makes me guessing on who her father really is (I have two theories). Mari does have some spunk and she doesn’t seem like she will be a stagnant character later on.

Seth has the alpha male feel to him, but is very gentle. I like his history and would enjoy to see more of him later on. His friends, Ty and Dee, have very distinct personalities. In fact, I felt that Ty and Sim, Mari’s roommate, had more personality to them. That isn’t to say the main characters aren’t interesting. It’s just that I prefered the secondary characters.

That said, I do see how Mari and Seth are going to grow in the series. I love time traveling and once it was shown, it looked like an interesting aspect to the book. I loved the concept and I’ve already gotten the second book to see what happens next. The writing isn’t bad. It’s quick and an easy read. There was some repitition, but that didn’t bother me too much.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad book. It was a good beginning to a new series and I do plan on finishing it and seeing where McMichael is going to put her characters.

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