CRUEL SUMMER – Ana and Kian novella
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AVAILABLE: Local booksellers, Barnes and Noble, Amazon
Full details click here: Wicked Whale Publishing
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Kian O’Reilly is flawless as a killer.
Well-practiced in the art of making murder look like an accident, he is selfish, wealthy, and totally arrogant as a soul-stealing Mortis. But when he ends up stranded on Cape Cod with a stolen car and a dead drug dealer in the trunk, he thinks his luck couldn’t get any worse.
That is, until Ana Lane shows up.
Gifted as a mechanic and surfer, feisty Ana is not a fan of the entitled Frat Boys who show up every summer, messing with local girls. Believing Kian is one of those typical rich brats, she fixes his car and ruthlessly dismantles his cocky ego . . . which intrigues the dangerous soul thief.
Determined to spend more time with the prickly mechanic, Kian sets out to understand what makes Ana so fierce. Soon, however, he uncovers the painful truth behind the real Ana Lane, and the decision to save her, may destroy them both.
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Kim Lewis (Book reviewer): “Another all-nighter reading Conway’s latest, twice. Starts off with a bang and keeps building the suspense. Kian is the quintessential bad boy who is transformed by love and Ana…what can you say, you fall in love with her and empathize with her. Watching the growing attraction between the two is a great reminder of the first love all of us have experienced. Not saying the book is all roses and valentines; Conway has plenty of dark moments that offer insights into Ana’s personality. Answers a lot of questions in Undertow and makes the whole series more enjoyable. Another MUST read!”
She Reads She Blogs (Book reviewer): “What a fun read! Cruel Summer is an emotional and enlightening prequel to the Undertow series. Fans of the series are familiar with Kian and Ana and their hot-and-cold relationship, but in Cruel Summer readers will be re-introduced to the unlikely lovebirds as they make their first impressions on each other.
Readers of this series will remember that Ana and Kian shared a hot and heavy romantic summer together before the events of Undertow (book 1). This is the story of just what went down that summer, between Ana and Kian.
Smoking hot and mega wealthy Kian is a Mortis and has therefor spent the past 100+ years maintaining his immortality by consuming live souls. Which is exactly what he had just wrapped up doing when he met Ana Lane, the take-no-shit mechanic who gets Kian’s new stolen car back up and running. After their initial meeting, Kian and Ana spend the summer flirting and narrowly avoiding telling each other their darkest secrets. But their fun and flirty relationship quickly blossoms into more as Kian realizes that he has bonded with Ana in a way that makes it impossible to leave her- a Mortis only bonds with a human’s soul once and it’s a connection that cannot be replicated or replaced. Kian has fallen in Love with Ana. Which is good since she couldn’t help but fall in love with him.
I enjoyed this story a lot. It was a fun, fast paced, romantic and mysteriously thrilling ride. Who doesn’t love a good supernatural romance, set in a cute beach town? There’s only one thing that’s still bothering me… the wait for the final book! I’m so excited to learn the fate of all my favorite paranormal beach bums!”
Reading to Distraction (Book blogger): “I normally get frustrated when authors write prequels without continuing the story, but in this case Conway provides a solid backstory that still left me satisfied. And now I’m excited all over again for the next in the series to come out! In the first two books we get a sense of Kian and Ana’s relationship (and what went wrong), but we don’t have details in the backstory. This prequel novella (quite long for a novella too, which is great!) tells their story. The book certainly could stand on its own without reading other books in the series, which is fantastic.
I enjoyed the balance of Ana’s feisty prickliness with Kian’s relaxed be begrudging attraction. It’s interesting to see how they balanced each other out in the beginning and how MJ was won over. Normally I don’t love novellas and can take them or leave them, but in this case I would highly recommend this for fans of the series!”
Saptarchi Pratchi (Teen Book Reviewer / Blogger):
“Rating: 6/5: I have always wanted to read about Ana & Kian’s story since I started reading the Undertow series. And I am so glad that Ms. Conway has decided to write an entire novel about them because honestly, this was over the top amazing! Ms. Conway has made me fall in love with her wonderful series all over again. I have always been fond of Ana & Kian since the beginning, and reading this book, I understand them so much better now, and love them both so much more.
This is one of the very rare books I have read where all the characters just seems so alive and real. In fact, it’s not just this book, but all the books in the Undertow series. I love how the characters seems to come alive and makes me feel like I am right there with them throughout the story, and feeling exactly how they felt during certain events. If you haven’t read any of Ms. Conway’s books yet, I suggest you do so right now, because it will blow you away!
Cruel Summer had me hooked from page one, and if I could have, I would have read the whole thing in one sitting. The characters were all so nicely developed, and I really loved how they seem to have grown throughout the story. I especially loved Ana’s character who was strong and fierce, and wasn’t afraid to speak up whenever she wanted to. This is one of the most perfect books I have read in a long time and I am in love with not only this book but also this series. I can’t wait to see what else Ms. Conway has in store for these characters and reading more books by her.
This was an amazing book and I loved it! And in case you haven’t noticed, I rated this book 6 / 5. I have never before rated a book 6 / 5 since I created this blog and started reviewing books, so that itself should tell you just how amazing this book was to me. The only problem I have now, is waiting an excruciatingly long time for True North, the third book in the Undertow series, to be released.”
Book Sojourner (Blogger / reviewer): “I loved both Undertow and Stormfront, so when I heard we would get the full backstory on Kian and Ana, I was thrilled. Though we get glimpes and hints at their past from the other books, there is so much we don’t know. While Cruel Summer is considered a prequel, as its events happen prior to Undertow, I really enjoyed reading it after Undertow and Stormfront. There is something compelling about Kian and Ana’s mysterious past, and the discoveries and reveals along the way, and then getting the full story afterwards. So I would suggest reading at least Undertow first, and Stormfront as well if you can. But if you’re dying for their story now, go for it.
Now, as Kian and Ana’s story goes, I really enjoyed the building up of their friendship, trust, and then the moments when they realize their feelings have gone beyond what they could have imagined. Knowing them from before, their connection and chemistry could always be felt, but this story really brought that bond to life. At times I worried that Ana was too young, but then again, her life and experience have really matured her, and the way Kian respected her, was able to ease my worries. What I loved about them was that they were able to balance being funny, sweet, snarky, protective, and loving. Their relationship was multi-faceted. I also loved that they brought out the very best in each other.
We also get more history to Ana’s friendship with MJ and the slow building of trust between Kian and MJ. Unfortunately, we also get the history of Ana’s relationship with her father. Knowing he was cruel, and then witnessing it, are two different things. I thought Conway really dealt with the issue of child abuse well, and all the conflicting feelings a child, as well as a child’s friend, would be feeling toward the person and the situation. Then the additional plot pieces about Ana’s father’s debts and history there, we uncover many more happenings around Ana that were not as innocent as she thought. It’s a harsh confrontation of reality for poor Ana, and though she and Kian reach such a beautiful height of trust and love in their relationship, we know that things will end badly soon enough.
I really enjoyed Cruel Summer. I thought this would be a quick little novella, but the depth and extent of storyline far exceeded my expectations. But even with the sad ending, luckily we know where Kian and Ana’s story goes in Undertow and Stormfront, so if you’re like me, you’ll know what happens next (and want to do a re-read), or if you’re new to the series, you’ll want to dive in with the rest of the series (because it’s great!) I’m looking forward to whatever happens next in this series!”
Click below to open a pdf version of CRUEL SUMMER’s Press Release – hand one to your bookseller, teacher or librarian and have them start stocking the UNDERTOW series: