Aug 22, 2014

Armored Hearts, by Pauline Creeden & Melissa Turner Lee

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

Intended Age-Group: 12+
Issues of Violence: fantasy violence
Intimacy Level:
Language: none
Recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars

Back Cover Blurb:
When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thoughts only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Initial Reaction: *****
I was skeptical at first. It took me a few chapters to really get in to the story or understand some things, but once I did I read through it at lightspeed! least it felt fast to me. ;)

Writing: *****
The writing is very simple and it took a while for me to get connected to the characters. The positive side of the simple writing means it was a quick read. After a few chapters, it didn't stand out to me anymore and I was able to fully engage in the story -- simple writing or not. :)

Characters: *****
I hate lies and secrets, especially between a couple. And one of the most infuriating things for me in a novel is when those secrets and plans that will eventually cause hurt and need a "great reveal" last through the whole book. It's like an ominous pendulum ticking down the seconds until relational chaos.

So...imagine my joy when Jessamine and Gareth actually talked out some of their problems. Without waiting until everything crashed down around their ears! They acted like a real couple might. Granted, real couples keep secrets, too, but I was so relieved when they pursued communication instead of secrecy. It surprised me. It surprised Gareth, too, but it was perfect.

The characters, after you get to know them a bit more, become very alive and well-developed.

Plot: *****
There's nothing I love more than watching a character make bad plans and then those bad plans don't work. Truly. Every book in which this happens sticks out in my mind as realistic, engaging, and surprising. Too often we're forced to watch characters play dumber-than-the-average-man (or woman) and then follow awful plans into predictable ruin.

This was my first steampunk novel so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. But the plot fascinated me! Steam mechanics and inventions mixed with fantasy. Creeden and Turner delivered it beautifully and I wasn't disappointed.

Favorite part: When Gareth and Jessamine finally became a team.

Spiritual Content: *****
Honestly, it's been a few months since I read this and I can't remember the details. From what I recall, The spiritual content was light, but present. The authors did a great job of bringing in morals and lessons without forcing them.

Overall, the entire story was uplifting, wholesome, and positive. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean fantasy.

Find the book on:
Pauline Creeden's Goodreads Page
Melissa Turner Lee's Goodreads Page

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released September 2014 from Enclave Publishing. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at

No comments:

Post a Comment