Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Hidden Library (The Collectors' Society #2) by Heather Lyons: Release Day Launch w/ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

Click to Buy The Collectors' Society Series on Amazon:


We are about to open the conference room door and enter the hallway when he stops. He turns to me, his lovely eyes achingly sincere. “I want to take you on a date when all of this craziness is over. A real one. We’ve kind of gone about this all backwards, haven’t we?”
One corner of my mouth lifts up. “Are you saying you’d like to court me?”

There is no playfulness to his face, no quirk to his own lips. My heart flutters at his seriousness. “Yes.”

He wants to court me.

Too many emotions rush around in a caucus race throughout my body. I have no doubts of Huckleberry Finn Van Brunt’s feelings toward me. I understood them two minutes ago just as well as I did this morning when I woke up and from the night before and from the day in Wonderland where he said, in not so many words, that he was falling in love with me.

I told him he was my north star, and meant it. He countered we are binaries.

He and I . . . We’ve never said those words, though, not the ones that truly spell out fragile, deep secrets of a heart and soul. Words so easily and yet unfortunately uttered by many, be it to express their appreciation of fried bits of potatoes to sports teams on the television. Words offered so frivolously about a variety of subjects and yet can be the most difficult, most painful, most meaningful, most cherished syllables we gift another person.

I have said these words before, to another man. Another man I still love. One I know, in the deepest confines of my heart, that I will love until the last breath escapes my body. A man who courted me in secret and then publicly in the face of astonishment, disapproval, confusion, and, in the end, prophesies.

I have willingly given the man in front of me my heart, though, whether he knows it or not. He now holds it in his hands, and while I pray he is my future, there is still a part of me that bucks in conflicted confusion and delight by this declaration of his.

He wants to court me.

And yet, as sweet and romantic as such a gesture might be, I require no such formalities. My affections for Finn Van Brunt have already solidified into something real and wonderful and meaningful.

About Heather Lyons:

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

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Review by Yvette:

The name Alice in Wonderland conjures up a number of images – images of a young girl in a blue and white dress, a rabbit clutching a stopwatch and a red-faced monarch with clothing adorned in hearts, to name a few. Fairy tale re-tellings have always been a particular favorite of mine but what Heather Lyons has done with The Collectors' Society series is something altogether different and unique, taking stories such as Alice in Wonderland and tossing aside any preconceived notions we may have had. With The Collectors’ Society and its follow-up novel, The Hidden Library, the author draws on the world of literature to create a new universe in which classic characters familiar to every child are reimagined as individuals independent of their authors' writings. The detail that must have gone into the conception of this narrative is mind-boggling, giving the concept of getting lost in a book a whole new meaning.

Unlike The Collectors' Society, The Hidden Library is written in dual perspective, which I was exceedingly happy about considering that, even after getting acquainted with him in the first book, there's still much that remains a mystery about Finn Van Brunt. If book one was devoted to introduce readers to The Collectors' Society, the sequel sets about delving into the backstories of the books’ characters, Alice and Finn, in particular, who prove to have much more complex pasts than I initially realized. Reading The Hidden Library provided much-needed insight into the minds of both Alice and Finn, which were apparently just as preoccupied with past events as with present happenings. Much like its predecessor, this book incited a number of questions, much more than it answered. There were a number of twists and turns that kept my pulse rate elevated and had my mouth dropping open in disbelief.

For all the excitement provided by the narrative, it's the romance between Alice and Finn that resonated with me the most, perhaps because its raw intensity was a pleasant yet unexpected surprise. While reading The Collectors' Society, I was taken aback by the sheer passion and sensuality of Alice and Finn's connection, which seemed at odds with their somewhat formal and old-fashioned way of speaking and conducting themselves in front of their peers. The contrast between their romantic and professional personas is all the more appealing for its unexpectedness. It’s only in private that the undeniable chemistry between Finn and Alice is unleashed and, it’s during these intimate moments that they bare themselves to each other, both physically and emotionally.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that The Hidden Library has everything you could possibly want or need in a book: laughter, heartache, romance, action, adventure, mystery, suspense – the list goes on and on. If I could've dreamed up a book that would satisfy my not-so-secret love of fairy tales as well as my never-ending search to find exciting and inventive storylines, I wouldn't have come close to dreaming up The Hidden Library because it's completely and delightfully unique. Not only does it have a nostalgic feel that beckons my inner book lover, but it's also refreshing in a way that kept me guessing as to where the narrative would go next. A five-star rating doesn't adequately fit how I'd rate this book. Six stars, on the other hand, might just sufficiently convey the extent to which I was enamored with The Hidden Library and the series as a whole.

Rating: 6 Stars

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  1. Sounds really intriguing, thanks for the review!

  2. A Tale of Two Cities would b interesting as a retelling.

  3. I don't know maybe Gone with the Wind or something like that. Thanks!

  4. I couldn't agree more with a retelling of The Secret Garden!! I loved that one!!

  5. Anne of Green Gables, my daughter loves those! Ty for the chance.

  6. Too many to narrow down All of them are classics..

  7. I would have to say A Tale of Two Cities also.