Book Review: The Lost Shards Series by Anna Argent

This is another post with TWO - that's right, TWO - book reviews for you all! I received copies of both books from Anna Argent's author buddy, Shannon K. Butcher, and I blew through both of them in two days. So I have written both reviews for your enjoyment below. :)

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I first read Anna Argent's writing in an anthology, The Secret She Keeps, and I was amazed at her skill in storytelling! Novellas are notoriously difficult to write well, because you have to pack so much into a small package, but she delivered. I knew then that a full-length novel written by her would be a must read and, of course, it absolutely is! The world Anna has built is so unique, so unlike other books out there, that I can imagine them as these hidden gems just waiting for the right time to strike and blow everyone's minds. The idea that you inherit the magic and "soul", if you will, of a person when they die is thrilling and imaginative. As soon as I put this book down, I immediately went to read the next one. I was that engaged! Cleo Radella is being stalked by a brother she never knew existed. Working as a professional psychic with gifts she only inherited a few years ago, she embraces her differences, even though people like Flint Skelton are skeptical. Flint has been charged with finding out if Cleo is truly gifted or a hoax. As he gets to know her and realizes she possesses shards of great power, his mission proves critical. He must convince her to come with him, or her life could be in danger. At first she doesn't believe him, but when she comes home to find her close friend dying and a strange man covered in her blood, she knows the danger is very real. Now Cleo and Flint must take refuge in the home of the Riven, a secret society who seeks to protect those carrying shards and fight against the Vires, who seek to destroy everything the Riven hold dear. There is a lot of worldbuilding in this series, and I will attempt to explain it briefly here: When a person who is carrying shards dies, their sibling or child inherits their shards. If none exist, then the shards scatter to find new vessels, or if the person is murdered, the murderer gets the shards. The shards carry power and the "souls" of people long dead, and some are not good people. Those carrying shards must balance the good and evil within them, and if that balance goes too far to the evil, they become extremely dangerous and unpredictable. The Riven are a group who seek to control those who have too much evil within them and protect those who carry a lot of magic in their shards. The Vires want to reunite the evil shards, and they do this by killing those who carry those shards within them. Riven = Good, Vires = Bad. Got it? Don't worry, it's explained more in the book. Cleo and Flint were a great couple from the start. I loved Flint's skeptical manner and his abrupt personality. He cared about Cleo, but he also didn't want to get too close to her. He had this aversion to touch, which was interesting to read about. Cleo got past all his defenses, and they grew as individuals throughout the story. Cleo has no idea about shards, and as far as she knows, her mother died of a brain aneurysm. No foul play involved. It's only later in the story when the truth is revealed, and Cleo and Flint become closer than ever. It was heart-wrenchingly emotional, and when you add in Cleo's long-lost brother, this book had a lot of feelings running around. I dove right into the second book after reading this one, and I can't wait to see more books in this series. Amazing writing and stellar storytelling! **I received a free copy and this is my honest review.**

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Anna Argent has done it again, with another spectacular story featuring a strong female lead and a man who will stop at nothing to protect her. I loved the element of painting in this story as a focus, being a big fan of art and the meaning behind it. Imagine being able to predict death in a painting and being unable to stop from painting it. Not knowing why you are painting it but knowing that it's dark and dangerous. The element of danger and mystery was intense in this book and kept me on the edge of my seat! An artist tortured by scenes of blood and murder, Calliope Stanhope is starting to lose it. Never having an ounce of artistic ability until her mother died, she is haunted by a need to paint, using red as her primary color. Now she is being stalked by a murderer who is eager to possess her - in more ways than just physical. Knox Hardin knows this murderer has chosen Calliope as his next target, and he also knows why. Calliope has inherited the shards of a dangerous person, one who will stop at nothing to unite all of his shards in one vessel and thus be reborn in their body. It's up to Knox to keep Calliope safe and prevent a murderer from gaining further control. This book was right up there with the first book in terms of character growth within the story! I loved how Calliope and Knox grew together, both as a couple and individually. Calliope was so scared but at the same time, she stood up for herself and was not about to let Knox run over her. Even though she wanted to trust him, he had to prove himself. Just because he was gorgeous didn't mean she would forget all that had occurred when he was around. Knox had another agenda entirely in the beginning, but he quickly realized that Calliope meant just as much, if not more, to him as his end goal of avenging his brother's death. Knox hadn't been with the Riven long, and he wasn't sure he was onboard with everything they were doing, but if sticking with them meant protection for Calliope, he would do it in a heartbeat. I am eager to read what comes next in the series! A lot of amazing secondary characters Anna could write about next. **I received a free copy and this is my honest review.**

#paranormal #contemporary #bookreview