Book Review: Manipulated by Kimberly Montague

A Setenid Blight Novel #1
Author: Kimberly Montague
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Released: August 19th 2012
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) While this novel is set in the Setenid Blight world, it can be read as a stand-alone novel since no prior knowledge is required to enjoy it.

Two months ago, high school senior, Risa Neely had it all going for her: good friends, a good education, and a supportive mother. But all that changed the night her new stepfather attacked her. When her friends and even her own mother believe her stepfather's twisted lies, she has no other alternative but to turn to her absentee father.

Just when she thinks she's been able to move on and carve out a very safe, albeit lonely existence, bad-boy Brodie Decker, the school's hottest man-whore, literally knocks her off her feet. Drawn to the way she's completely unimpressed by him, Brodie knows she hides herself behind a mask and is determined to get underneath it. But he's blindsided by the connection they feel for each other.

Can Brodie accept Risa as a permanent fixture in his life? Can Risa trust Brodie enough to tell him her awful secrets? And will their connection be enough to hold them together when their friends, family members, and entire city are pulled under a deadly Setenid Blight quarantine?

Recommended for ages 15&up.

I loved this action packed paranormal romance. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Kimberly Montague captures the insecurities of not only our heroine but our hero as well. Brodie seems bigger than life on the outside but he is struggling with his own demons inside. You can truly feel his desire to be accepted and loved despite his actions to the contrary as opposed to Risa's pain and vulnerability that hides her inner strength.

Risa Neely's life changed the night her stepfather tried to sexually attack her. The way she looked at the world changed immediately after that, when her mother took her stepfathers side. The betrayal of her friends and family left her no choice but to reach out to her absentee biological father. She left everything she knew: A good school, great clothes and a charmed life. Now she lives with the father she has never known in a subdued quiet atmosphere punctuated with infrequent and awkward conversations. Her friends now only consist of the adult office staff at the new high school she is attending. Making matters even more uncomfortable, her father is dating the school guidance counselor.

Seventeen year old Risa hides her pain behind ugly dark clothes and her once beautiful blonde hair is now dyed black in hopes that she doesn't attract any attention. A lunch run for the office has placed her on the school's gorgeous bad boy,Brodie's, radar. He has not only noticed her but decided that her unaffected response to him makes her a challenge, her boring world may never be the same. Now Brodie keeps showing up everywhere Risa turns, and she is afraid that she won't be able to keep up the unaffected routine because she is, in fact, very affected.

Brodie, a Senior who is known around school for skipping classes and breaking hearts, feels something inside him shift when he is with Risa. Yes, he still wants to sleep with her, but for the first time he really just wants to be be around Risa. As much as Risa is attracted to Brodie her self-esteem and ability to trust have been so damaged by her deviant step fathers actions that she wonders constantly if she will ever be able to have a normal relationship. But Brodie is finding that he is very patient where Risa is concerned and building her trust in him is his new priority. Brodie's friends also embrace Risa in to their group and they are all soon spending time together.

 As they fall in love Risa begins to consider taking her bond with Brodie to the next level by choosing to be intimate with him but she knows she must trust him completely before taking that next step. She is also finding out that her dad may not be the bad guy that her mother has made him out to be since their divorce. Her dad keeps reaching out to her in hopes of establishing the father/daughter bond he claims he's always wanted. But for Risa trust is a fragile thing that doesn't happen easily. Just when things in Risa's life start to seem stable she becomes very ill. Brodie's grandmother, a nurse, suspects it may be more then just a normal flu.

After having been given a vaccination at school, several students including Risa are becoming deathly ill. Those teenagers that go to the hospital seeking treatment are disappearing. The horror doesn't stop there because this infection seems to be turning once normal people into flesh eating, blood drinking aggressive maniacs. As Brodie and his grandmother try to help Risa through the illness others close to them may not make it. Now their fledgling love is faced with unbelievable challenges and the possibility of losing those closest to them to this awful infection.

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