I emailed back right away. Cause, duh, we were obviously soul mates.
Later that year, Tori sold her first book. She told me about it while crashing a Dallas RWA conference dinner. (Awesome, in and of itself.) She said, "Yeah, it's a YA and it's male point of view, first person."
Most of you are familiar enough of the YA genre to know this is definitely different. You've got male narrators, sure. But usually that means the book is third person and there's a girl POV as well. Or the book is written FOR boys. But this was a romance. YA. Written in male first person point of view.
I was intrigued.
I had to check it out. And I'm not patient about waiting for release days. So I offered Tori a trade. I'd let her read an ARC of Scorched if she let me read an arc of The Collector. She agreed. We made our trade. I put down A Dance with Dragons, the fifth Game of Thrones book and introduced myself to Dante, The Collector.
I will say I was a little wary. I mean, what if I didn't like it? What would I say? Would I have to pretend I didn't have time to read it? That would be pretty awkward at parties.
Thankfully that proved not to be the case. In fact, it turned out to be the exact opposite of the case. The Collector was AWESOME. A breath of fresh air for the YA genre. It was funny, it was smart, it was surprisingly heartwarming and sweet--something I was definitely NOT expecting from the cover. Let me tell you, even though the promo all points to Dante being a bad boy--he has a TON of heart. And he quickly won me over. And his lady love was entirely worthy of his awesomeness.
I don't think it's a big secret that the YA genre has been pretty depressing lately. (Subject matter-wise, not the quality of the books.) So it was extra nice to read a book that had me LOL'ing. But the real thing I loved about it was not the snarky one-liners, but the heart behind the story.
Dante would probably hate me going around saying he's secretly a softie. But that's what I loved most about him. Not that he was a bad boy, but that he couldn't help but be good.
Blood Coven fans -- you will love this one! Go pick it up! It's out April 2nd officially but shipping now from Amazon and B&N.
Or if you'd like a chance to win, I'll give away one copy! Enter below!