Thursday, 18 July 2013

Indivisible Line by Lorenz Font - Blog tour review + excerpts

Title; Indivisible Line
Author; Lorenz Font
Format; eBook
Source; Publisher/Author for blog tour
Publisher; Renaissance Romance Publishing
Publication Date; July 16th 2013

Pre-med student Sarah Jones is back in Beaver, Alaska, for summer vacation. A loyal member of the Gwich’in tribe, she accepts the rules set by her father, the leader of their small town. Raised in a strict household, she learned early on to do what is expected of her and has agreed to an arranged marriage. Despite her reluctance to marry without love, Sarah is unwilling to defy her father’s wishes. She hopes to help usher in an era of independence and stability for the town, but for now, her focus is finishing med school so she can become Beaver’s resident doctor.
Business owner Greg Andrews wants to escape his philandering wife and his life in general. Leaving New York City to join a hunting expedition in Alaska, Greg’s plans are turned upside down when he is shot on Gwich’in land and ends up on Sarah’s operating table. In the absence of a qualified doctor, Sarah must operate to save his life. She refuses to wait for the consent of their tribal leader, and her father banishes her from the tribal land in punishment.
Grateful for his life, Greg concocts a scheme to help. Plagued by the side effects of her unconventional operation, he convinces Sarah to become his live-in nurse. Without the means to support herself, Sarah agrees to the questionable arrangement, but she soon finds herself in even more trouble. Her new problem is that she is falling in love with this infuriating man, and the choices she now must make are must more difficult than the simple act of saving a man’s life.
Together, Sarah and Greg must both decide whether they can overcome the vast differences between them, or if the indivisible line that separates their worlds will ultimately pull them apart.

Goodreads Rating; 4.75*s
My Rating; 5*s

My Review; When I found out that Lorenz Font was publishing another book, it went on my to read list. And then I was offered a chance to review as part of the blog tour (and my review is being posted slightly late, sorry) and I just jumped at the chance. As with her first book, Hunted, I was very pleased.

It may just be something about the way Lorenz writes, or maybe it's just the content of her writing. She brings something different to the table. For me at least.

Honestly I think that the only thing wrong with Lorenz Font's books is that they are unfortunately...undiscovered.

This book, as with Hunted, kept me hooked. Which is a wonderful thing when you are going through a reading slump.

Her characters have baggage and problems and flaws. Her characters are also likable. Two of my musts for characters. They have to have flaws, because it makes them seem real. And they have to be likable otherwise you're just going to get annoyed with them.
Lorenz does this nicely.

The story is about people from two different worlds. These worlds intertwine. You then have the rest of the story, which I shan't spoil.
The story is very believable. There's something about Lorenz's writing that is just so...believable.

It is so hard to convey my love for this book in words.
My love for Lorenz's writing.

The tribe and banishment was believable. The whole tribe...stuff was believable.

Her writing is amazing, her character and her storylines are amazing. I will definitely recommend this book. As well as Hunted, her other novel. If you haven't read a Lorenz Font book yet, why not?



“You disgrace yourself.” Her father’s accusation made her cringe.
Sarah heard curious voices outside the clinic. There wasn’t a doubt that the entire town was waiting for the verdict. Their small town’s antenna was very good at learning about these types of situations; reports must have already been spreading. Considering the inexplicable turn of events, this would have qualified for a front-page headline if they had a local newspaper.
Ahila glared at her with disapproval and walked out of the room. His anger was something she’d expected, and her one hope was that that he’d accept her explanation.
She closed her eyes and leaned on the desk for a brief moment before dutifully following her father outside the clinic. The scene outdoors was no surprise. Old and young alike had gathered, their expressions ranging from curiosity to outright accusation and blatant disappointment. Just a few people showed any signs of sympathy, Lily and Trimble among them.
“Do you have any idea what you have done?” Ahila’s voice boomed. It was no wonder why words in Beaver traveled fast.
“I did what I thought was right. Surely, you’re not putting me through school so I can pick and choose who to help?” Sarah’s rising voice questioned. Her usual reserved character was gone; instead, she spewed the same venom with which her father was lashing her.
“You had no right to give away what little medicine we had left. Didn’t you think about the possibility that if any one of us fell ill, there would be no chance of surviving because you gave away the few provisions we had?” Anger flashed in her father’s eyes while he stared her down. He had a slight stature, but size didn’t matter. Ahila was big in presence and command.
“I did the right thing, Papa,” Sarah cried in response. She clenched and unclenched her fists. How could she make her father understand?
“You did not! You chose an outsider and made him your priority. They come here with full knowledge that we cannot give them much in terms of medical assistance. They signed their waivers; they knew what to expect.”
“I’m not going to become a doctor to make decisions about who deserves to be treated.” Tears came down with a gush, and she couldn’t help the quivering in her voice.
Lily took a step forward, but Trimble held her back.
“And you won’t ever become one,” Ahila thundered. “As of today, I’m washing my hands of you. Consider yourself expelled. You’re no longer a part of this tribe; this community you turned your back on will no longer fund your training. You’re on your own.”


“Have you been spying on my friend?”
“A senator’s son graces the tabloids and newspapers once in a while. It’s common knowledge among city folks.” Greg didn’t look up; he just continued to whisk the eggs.
The way he had recited all that information infuriated Sarah. “Look at me, Greg. Where is this coming from?” She leaned forward and tilted his chin up with her forefinger. When their eyes met, his expression surprised her. In his eyes, she found vulnerability she hadn’t expected and a hint of jealousy, which made her heart soar.
Her finger burned where it touched his skin. Greg held her gaze for a moment before turning away. He walked over to the stove and turned the knob.
“Nowhere. It’s going nowhere,” he replied in a quiet voice.
That wasn’t my question. Sarah eyes widened; could Greg be jealous? Why? He hadn’t given her a reason to believe he was interested in her in any way beyond the terms of their arrangement, which he was supposed to have concocted to benefit them both. As far as she was concerned, she was here to pay him back for what she’d done. So far, Greg hadn’t benefited from their arrangement at all. She’d been doing the taking, while he seemed content to keep giving.
Sarah jumped off the barstool, walked over to the stove, and stood next to him. “That’s not what I asked. Tell me what’s bothering you.” She tugged at his arm.
“Nothing, Sarah. I’m looking after your best interests. Sharks are always out there, swimming around and looking for the prey to sink their teeth into. I’m just making sure you’re protected and safe.” He kept his eyes glued to the empty skillet, and Sarah itched for him to say more.
Minutes passed before he met her gaze. She held her breath. The way he angled his head made her think he wanted to kiss her. For a moment, she imagined his mouth on hers and what he’d taste like.
“Are you one of those sharks?” she couldn’t help asking.

She blinked and pulled her hand back. “I hate nightmares.”
Sarah scrambled to sit up while Greg rose from his kneeling position at the side of her bed.
“I heard your screams, so I came in to check on you.” He watched her with a worried expression. “What got you all scared?”
She tried to remember but came up empty. “How can dreams turn you upside-down, and then leave you wondering what got you all riled up in the first place?” Blinking, she tried to compose her thoughts. “I can’t remember.”
“Do you want a glass of water?” Greg asked without moving from his spot.
Sarah shook her head and shivered, still feeling the effects of the forgotten nightmare. “Lie down with me?”
Why did she always end up speaking without thinking first? This was so wrong on all levels, but she was giving in to her heart’s desire. If it was a mistake, then she’d learn her lesson pretty soon.
Greg hesitated. She couldn’t blame him. He must know how she felt about him, although, she’d fought hard to keep her emotions hidden. Greg was far too beautiful for his own good, and she had been mesmerized by him from the first moment she’d laid eyes on him.
She closed her eyes, waiting for him to turn her down. He didn’t say anything, but then she felt the mattress dip under his weight. “I’ll hold you until you fall asleep.”
Sarah nodded, and then turned her body in his direction. Greg eased himself onto the bed, and face to face, they stared at each other in the darkness. No words were necessary. They were just two people struggling with their lives and everything around them, and they needed each other.


Footsteps advanced, and another shot rang out. Greg only had a brief moment to register Cade’s wild eyes looking down at him before he felt pain radiating in his lower limb, He’d been hit. His eyes traveled down to his injured leg and tried to assess his situation. The darkness made it difficult to discern the damage, but he knew he’d been struck in his right thigh. Greg cried out, feeling the same pain and experiencing the same fears he’d endured in Alaska.
With nothing he could use to fight back, he clutched at his thigh and tried to crawl away on what was now his ‘good leg.’ Greg felt blood gushing from the wound, and more strength seeped out of him with every passing second. He refused to die now, no matter how loud Death knocked on his door. If the Reaper did manage to claim him right here and now, his one regret would be not telling Sarah how he felt about her.
“I think this time, I’ll make sure you’re dead.” Cade’s maniacal laugh rang out, and he walked closer, his footsteps pounding against the hardwood floor with every step.
Despite the pain every movement elicited, Greg turned his body around to meet Cade’s gaze with determined resolve. If he were to die, it wouldn’t be running away like a coward. The other man’s expression held no remorse, no pity, and no awareness — just pure hatred.
“Why do you hate me so much?” Greg asked through gritted teeth. The question had been nagging at him since Cade’s first attack on him.
His former best friend smirked and pointed the gun at his head.

Author Bio for Indivisible Line:
Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. She is currently enjoying the buzz from her debut novel Hunted, the first installment of The Gates Legacy trilogy.

Writing is therapeutic for Lorenz, and a perfect day consists of writing and playing with her characters while listening to her ever-growing music collection. She enjoys dabbling in different genres, with an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.

Lorenz currently lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. She divides her time between a full-time job as a Business Office Manager for a hospital and her busy writing schedule.

Find her at: 
Facebook- Twitter- Website- Blog- Independent Authors Network- Linkedin- Goodreads- About Me- Pinterest-

Tour Schedule:
July 16: Wyndy Dee --Review
July 16: R.E. Hargrave –Promo/Excerpt
July 17: Tattooed Book Reviews --Review
July18: Book to Book Reviews --Review
July 18: Tracey Riva --Review
July 19: Mandy Anderson, I Read Indie --Interview
July 19: Martini Times Romance Book Reviews --Review
July 20: Fandom Fanatic --Review
July 21: Mich Books Reviews --Review
July 22: The Hive --Review
July 23: N Wood –Guest Post
July 23: Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews --Review
July 23: J. Rose Allister –Guest Post
July 24: Tbird London --Review
 July 24: Sydney Logan –Promp/Excerpt
July 25: Claudia --Review July 25: Jennifer –Promo/Excerpt
July 26: Mythical Reviews --Review
July 26: Babus Bookshelf --Review
July 27: Library at the End of the Universe –Guest Post
 July 28: Lissa Bryan --Review

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki - Blog tour review + excerpt

Title: Branded (Sinners #1) 
Author: Abi Ketner Missy Kalicicki  
Source: NetGalley/CBL Book Tours
Format: eBook
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance  

Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadliest sins were the downfall of our society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me.   I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 
Now, every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win. The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story. 
Publication Date: June 28th 2013
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.15*s
My Rating: 3.75*s

My Review: The start of this book sucked me right in. I did not want to put it down, even for a second. I read every chance I could, staying up too late.

But, yes, unfortunately there is a but, the second have...left something to be desired. 

The whole book, but especially the second half, just moved way too fast. And the romance, that moved more than way too fast, and was also pretty expected. As soon as we met the love interest in the book I knew they were going to be the love interest...which kind of sucked. Because I like to be kept guessing.

Now, I absolutely loved this book at first. And at the end, well, I still quite like it, and yes, I would recommend it. 

When I was reading the first half, well, I found it hard to believe that this is the first book that either author had published. I was so absorbed in the story and the world. And what a horrible world it is.

Some things were quite predictable within the story. Like I said, I knew who the love interest was straight away. I also guessed a few of the other things that were going on. But I won't tell you about them because I don't really like to put spoilers in my reviews.

Favourite character? Probably Zeus. I love smart or silly animal characters. Zeus seemed to be both. 
If I had to pick a human character...then...I'd probably choose Alyssa. 

All of the characters had flaws. Sometimes that made me like them more, like Lexi. Some characters flaws were kind of annoying... I'm not sure whether I like Cole's character or not. I'm just not sure how I feel about him altogether.

Sutton was an alright character, but I hated how much he held back, whether it was to protect Lexi or not. 

I'm definitely going to carry on with the series, I can't wait to find out what happens next. I will recommend it with a slight warning for violence. Because there's blood, and bone crunching, and a lot of bullets in this book. As well as lots of puking. And there might be a trigger warning for rape, as there is an attempted rape scene. So, I'd recommend the book, but take the warnings into mind before deciding whether to read or not. 

Author Bio: 
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure. 

Chapter One 
I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams. 
The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down on it, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. 
My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back. 
Death and I glare at each other through my tears. 
I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. No happy memories here. 
I’m ready to go. On the count of three. 
I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now. 
A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand, waiting with the rope around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls. 
Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head. 
Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home. 
It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me. 
My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it. Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name. 
On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder. 
Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one answers. I bang on the window harder. 
“Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. They all know what happens to sinners. 
Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying. 
Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now. 
My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest. 
Gotta keep going. 
“Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me. 
I resist the urge to glance back, running into what I assume is an alley. I’m far from our high-rise in High Society as I plunge into a poorer section of the city where the streets all look the same and the darkness prevents me from recognizing anything. I’m lost. 
My first instinct is to leap into a dumpster, but I retain enough sense to stay still. I crouch and peek around it, watching them dash by. The abhorrent smell soon leaves me vomiting until nothing remains in my stomach. Desperation overtakes me, as I know my retching was anything but silent. My last few seconds tick away before they find me. Everyone knows about their special means of tracking sinners. 
I push myself to my feet and look left, right, and left again. Their batons click against their black, leather belts, and their boots stomp the cement on both sides of me. I shrink into myself. Their heavy steps mock my fear, growing closer and closer until I know I’m trapped. 
Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them. 
“You’re a sinner,” they say. “Time to leave our society.” 
I stand defiant. I refuse to bend or break before them even as I shiver with fear. 
“There’s no reason to make this difficult. The more you cooperate, the smoother this will be for everyone,” a guard says. 
I cringe into the blackness along the wall. I’m innocent, but they won’t believe me or care. 
The next instant, my face slams into the pavement as one guard plants a knee in my back and another handcuffs me. A warm liquid trails into my mouth. Blood. Their fingers grip my arms like steel traps as they peel me off the cement. The tops of my shoes scrape along the ground as I’m dragged behind them until they discard me into the back of a black vehicle. The doors slam in unison with one guard stationed on each side of me, my shoulders digging into their arms. The handcuffs dig into my wrists, so I clasp them together hard behind me and press my back into the seat, unwilling to admit how much it hurts. My dignity is all I have left. 
Swallowing hard, I stare ahead to avoid their eyes. 
Did they need so many guards to capture me? 
I’m not carrying any weapons, nor do I own any. I don’t even know self-defense. High Society frowns on activities like that. 
The driver jerks the vehicle around and I try to keep my bearings, but it’s dark and the scenery changes too fast. Hours pass and the air grows warmer, more humid, the farther we drive. The landscape mutates from city to rolling hills. They don’t bother blindfolding me because they escort all the sinners to the same place—the Hole. Twenty-foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the Hole is a prison with no rules. We learned about it last year in twelfth grade. 
To the outside, I’m filth now. I’ll never be allowed to return to the life I knew. No one ever does. 
“All sinners go through a transformation,” one of the guards says to me. His smirk infuriates me. “I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of stories.” I don’t respond. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve been told. 
“You won’t last too long, though. Young girls like you get eaten alive.” He pulls a strand of my hair up to his face. 
Get your hands off me, you pig. I want to lash out, but resist. The punishment for disobeying authority is severe, and I’m not positioned to defy him. 
They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole. 
Few have seen the commander. His identity stays under lock and key. His own paranoia and desire to stay pure drove him to live this way. He controls our depraved society and believes sinners make the human race unforgivable. His power is a crushing fist, rendering all beneath him helpless. So much so, even family members turn on each other when an accusation surfaces. Just an accusation. No trial, no evidence, nothing but an accusation. 
I lose myself in thoughts of my father. 
“Never show fear, Lexi,” my father said to me before he was taken. “They’ll use it against you.” His compassionate eyes filled with warning as he commanded me to be strong. That was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. My father. My rock. The one person in my life who provided unconditional love. 
The vehicle stops, and I’m jerked back to reality. “Get out,” the guard orders while pulling me to my feet. The doors slide open and the two guards lift me up and out into the night. A windowless cement building looms in front of us, looking barren in the darkness. 
The coolness of the air sends a shiver up my spine. This is really happening. I’ve been labeled a sinner. My lip starts to quiver, but I bite it before anyone sees. They shove me in line and I realize I’m not alone. Women and men stand with faces frozen white in fear. A guard grabs my finger, pricks it, and dabs my blood on a tiny microchip. 
I follow the man in front of me into the next room where we’re lined up facing the wall. Glancing right, I see one of the men crying. 
“Spread your legs,” one of the guards says. 
They remove my outer layers and their hands roam up and down my body. 
What do they think I could possibly be hiding? I press my head into the wall, trying to block out what they’re doing to me. 
“MOVE!” a guard commands. So I shuffle across the room, trying to cover up. 
Five of us sit in the holding room. One by one, they pull people into the next room, forcing the rest of us to wonder what torture we’ll endure. An agonizing amount of time passes. I lean my head back and try to imagine a place far away. The door opens. 
Lexi Hamilton.” 
A guard escorts me out of the room, and I don’t have time to look back. As soon as the door closes, they pick me up and place me on a table. It’s cold and my skin sticks to it slightly, like wet fingers on an ice cube. Then, they exit in procession, and I lie on the table with a doctor standing over me. His hands are busy as he speaks. 
“Don’t move. This will only take a few minutes. It’s time for you to be branded.” 
A wet cloth that smells like rubbing alcohol is used to clean my skin. Then he places a metal collar around my neck. 
Click. Click. Click. 
The collar locks into place, and I struggle to breathe. The doctor loosens it some as I focus on the painted black words above me. 
The Seven Deadly Sins: 
Lust ¾ Blue 
Gluttony ¾ Orange 
Greed ¾ Yellow 
Sloth ¾ Light Blue 
Wrath ¾ Red 
Envy ¾ Green 
Pride ¾ Purple 
“Memorize it. Might keep you alive longer if you know who to stay away from.” He opens my mouth, placing a bit inside. “Bite this.” 
Within seconds, the collar heats from hot to scorching. The smell of flesh sizzling makes my head spin. I bite down so hard a tooth cracks. 
“GRRRRRRRRR,” escapes from deep within my chest. Just when I’m about to pass out, the temperature drops, and the doctor loosens the collar. 
He removes it and sits me up. Excruciating pain rips through me and I’m on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown. Focus. Don’t pass out. 
Stainless steel counters and boring white walls press in on me. A guard laughs at me from an observation room above and yells, “Blue. It’s a great color for a pretty young thing like yourself.” His eyes dance with suggestion. The others meander around like it’s business as usual. 
I finally find my voice and turn to the doctor. 
“Are you going to give me clothes?” A burning pain spreads like fire from my neck to my jaw, making me wince. 
He points to a set of folded grey scrubs on a chair. I cover myself as much as I can and scurry sideways. Grabbing my new clothes, I pull the shirt over my head and try to avoid the raw meat around my throat. I quickly knot the cord of my pants around my waist and slide my feet into the hospital-issue slippers as the doctor observes. He hands me a bag labeled with my name. 
“Nothing is allowed through the door but what we’ve given you,” he says. 
I hide my right hand behind me, hoping no one notices. A guard scans my body and opens his hand. 
“Give it to me,” he says. “Don’t make me rip off your finger.” He crouches down and I turn to stone. I don’t know what to do, so I beg. 
“My father gave this to me. Please, let me keep it.” I smash my eyes shut and think of the moment my father handed the golden ring to me. 
“It was my mother’s ring,” he’d said. “She’s the strongest woman I ever knew.” With tears in his eyes, he reached for my hand. “Lexi, you’re exactly like her. She’d want you to wear this. No matter how this world changes, you can survive.” I turned the gold band over in my palm and read the engraving. 
You can overcome anything… short of death. 
“You’re going to take the one thing that matters the most to me?” I say, glaring into the guard’s emotionless eyes. “Isn’t it enough taking my life, dignity, and respect?” 
A hard blow falls upon my back. As I fall, my hands shoot out to stop me from smashing into the wall in front of me. The guard bends down and grabs my chin with his meaty fist. 
“Look at me,” he commands. I look up and he smiles with arrogance. 
“What the hell?” He staggers a step backward. “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your eyes?” 
“Nothing,” I respond, confused. 
“What color are they?” 
“Turquoise.” I glower at him. 
“Interesting,” he says, regaining his composure. “Now those’ll get you in trouble.” 
Reality slaps me across the face. I have my father’s eyes. They can’t take them from me. I twist the ring off my finger and drop it in his hand. 
“Take the damn ring,” I say. I walk to the door. He swipes a card and the massive door slides open to the outside. 
“You have to wear your hair back at all times, so everyone knows what you are.” He hands me a tie, so I pull my frizzy hair away from my face and secure it into a ponytail. My neck burns and itches as my hand traces the scabs that have already begun to form. Squinting ahead into the darkness, I almost run into a guard standing on the sidewalk. 
“Watch where you’re going,” he says, shoving me backward. His stiff figure stands tall and I cringe at the sharpness of his voice. 
“Cole, this is your new assignment, Lexi Hamilton. See to it she feels welcome in her new home.” The guard departs with a salute. 
“Let’s move,” Cole says. 
I take two steps and collapse, my knees giving out. The unforgiving pavement reopens the scrapes from earlier and I struggle to stand. A powerful arm snatches me up, and I see his face for the first time.