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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes - LDSWBR Combined Review!

We thought it might be fun to try the occasional combined book review where all four of us review the same book at the same time. That way you can read how we all felt about a book. This first combined review is a bit of an experiment, so we would love to get some feedback. What worked? What didn't? Love it? Hate it? Be honest and polite. Thanks!

Title: Imprints
Author: Rachel Ann Nunes
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (April 2010)
Softcover: 337 pages
Genre: Mystery-Suspense (with a touch of paranormal)
ISBN#: 978-1-60641-243-5

The Author

Rachel Ann Nunes is the author of 30 published novels. Her most recent releases include The Independence Club (Deseret Book; Feb 2007), Flying Home (Shadow Mountain; Sept 2007), Fields of Home (Shadow Mountain; Feb 2008), Eyes of a Stranger (Shadow Mountain; Aug 2008) and Saving Madeline (Shadow Mountain; Sept 2009). The Independence Club and Fields of Home were both Whitney Award finalists. Rachel is also the author of the Ariana series and an award-winner picture book, Daughter of a King.

Visit Rachel's website where you can find more information on what she's working on and a list of her published novels, as well as her on her blog: Rachel's Ramblings.

Some Extra Fun

If you're looking for something to listen to while you read all of our reviews, start Episode 38 of the LDSWBR Podcast for our interview with Rachel Ann Nunes and G.G. Vandagriff.

Shanda's Review

During our podcast interview with Rachel, she told us that she was working on a book with a slightly paranormal element about a woman who could see imprints on objects connected to strong emotion. Needless to say, I was excited to get my hands on Imprints and see what Rachel had done with such a fascinating idea.

The cover of Imprints perfectly captures the elements of the story and certainly grabs attention. I wouldn't hesitate to pick the book up in a bookstore and flip through it. It's a little thing, but I love the font style used for the title and chapter headings.

Rachel's writing, however, is what makes this book a keeper. The way Rachel describes Autumn's and Jake's stores makes me want to stop in and shop, but it is the characters that make me love the story. She tells Autumn's story in a comfortable style, drawing the reader in at the beginning and then maintaining interest until things really start to move once Autumn arrives at Harmony Farm. There is plenty of suspense, a few unexpected twists, and more action than I expected. I was happy to discover that Autumn is more than capable of defending herself.

"I jabbed out with my feet, catching him in the chest by surprise. He grunted as he fell. Leaping from the bush, I started to run, but the world spun around me. I forced myself to take a step. I was too slow. A hand closed over my ankle, and for the first time in my life I wished I were wearing heels. Sharp spiky heels that I could use as a weapon." (page 214)

Autumn, with her quirky personality and bare feet, is memorable and likeable. To me, though, Rachel's skill in developing her characters is most apparent in Jake, Autumn's friend, and Tawnia, her twin sister. Jake and Tawnia are genuine, authentic people who obviously care very much about Autumn. And then there is the gorgeous Ethan, who's interest in Autumn creates a nice amount of romantic tension. Rachel handles the paranormal aspect nicely, and I hope to someday read more about Autumn and her ability.

Rating: 4.5 stars/5

Would I-
  • read it again? Definitely
  • recommend it? Yes, to anyone
  • read more by Rachel? Absolutely

FTC FYI: I received a free review copy that did not affect my review.

Sheila's Review

Rachel Nunes has been known for a long time as a great storyteller. Her last few books have been her most outstanding work. With the books Saving Madeline and Imprints, she has taken her writing to a whole new level of writing. Rachel has taken hard subjects of drug abuse kidnapping and murder and has boldly written wonderful stories with memorable characters.

In Imprints, she takes many of my favorite genres and blends them together; an intense romantic love triangle, an exciting and heart thumping mystery and the twist of the para-normal gift of the main character, Autumn. I really liked Autumn and her traits of being so honest and loyal to those she loves. She was a very likable character and so was one of her romantic interests, Jake.

One of the things I like most about Rachel's writing is that she knows so well how to use the technique of "showing not telling." Rachel knows how to make a story come to life by having the character experience things by using all five senses. Here is a great example of this...

"My euphoria dimmed sometime later as even my tough soles began to feel the pressure of the stabbing twigs and the occasional rock or rotting splinter of wood. Surely I had been walking much longer than necessary to get back to the outhouse path. At this rate I'd end up in the fields or the pastures. There seemed to be only slivers of moonlight seeping through the branches above, as though I had gone deeper into the forest instead of retracing my steps. Swallowing hard, I forced myself to stop and face the fact that I had no idea where I was."

I laughed a lot at Autumn saying that she was directionally challenged. I have the same problem!

I truly enjoyed reading Imprints. I enjoyed it so much, I lost track of time until I finished the book and saw that it was 5:00 in the morning. If you have read other books written by Rachel Nunes, this is one book that you will want to make sure and read. I will read it again to catch what I missed the first time. In fact, I would like to read another story with Autumn as the main character. With her gift of being able to read imprints, there are many stories still waiting to be told.

I am happy that Rachel is writing the sequel to Imprints.

FTC FYI: I received a free review copy from the author.

Hillary's Review

Hello friends!

My turn for my thoughts on Imprints-

Rachel Nunes totally shook things up with this newest release of hers. Imprints is such a different concept for a book. It delves slightly into the supernatural, but not so much that I felt like I was reading a sci-fi/fantasy book.

The premise is really interesting with Autumn Rain having this unusual ability to see things, imprints, of an object. Word spreads around town that she can do this, which leads people with missing loved ones to her.

I loved that Autumn is definitely not your typical heroine. She loveably falls into the reluctant category, and manages in her own way to solve the troubles at hand. She has a fabulous relationship with Jake, her brother-like co-store owner, and she has the intelligence and gumption to make her well-rounded and interesting.

The only thing I didn't particularly enjoy as much, was the romance portion. My fellow reviewers may disagree, but I just didn't feel it. It was clear that Autumn herself was unsure of how she felt about Jake. Though realistic, I just wished for a bit more.

The story itself was well-written, exciting and thrilling all at the same time. It started moderately, then picked up until you were at the end trying to catch your breath!

Overall, good exciting book, and I would give it 3 1/2 stars!

FTC FYI: library

Mindy's Review

Autumn Rain has a special gift. Although, sometimes, she thinks of it as a curse. She can read imprints. Through her touch she can feel impressions, feelings, thoughts, of the people who have touched something. Jewelry, flashlights, books, almost anything. Clothes are the hardest to read. Right at the start, a couple come in to Autumn's antique shop needing her help to find their missing daughter. Autumn has helped with cases in the past, but there are many who are suspicious of her ability.

Autumn lives a very Bohemian lifestyle. She was raised by hippies, doesn't wear shoes, and only eats organic, non-processed foods. Very healthy. At first, I felt I was being lectured about eating more healthy (maybe that's because I know I should) but I got used to the character and I ended up enjoying her different way of living.

Autumn has had many tragedies on her life. She lost her adopted mother and father in two different ways. She is also reunited with her twin sister, but that isn't the basis of the story. I really like how the author doesn't use flashbacks to tell past situations, they are just thoughts and memories for Autumn. The imprints are used as a "flashback" tool as well. Autumn loves her best friend Jake, who thinks of her just as friend (or does he?) but a stranger comes along who needs her help, and there is an attraction to him. He is seeking his lost sister, and together they hatch a plan to help her along with the couple's missing daughter.

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"We hadn't know each other that long, however handsome he was, and I'd never seen his apartment. I didn't know if he had friends, or if he liked the outdoors. I didn't even know how he felt about preservatives or microwaves."

I really enjoyed this book. The story was very easy to follow, and it had a nice flow to it. What I enjoy most about a good mystery is adventure, a little humor mixed in, and also some romance. Imprints had all that. I would definitely read this again, and am looking forward to reading more from this author. 4 stars from me.

FTC FYI: Borrowed Shanda's review copy.

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