Yours Affectionately: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Yours Affectionately: Sinner by Maggie StiefvaterSinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Romance
Published by Scholastic on July 1, 2014
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars  

When the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy ended, I was dissatisfied and I wanted more.  I was eager to grab this one up because the author did the unexpected and despite feeling she was done with the wolves, she came back and gave more.  Thank you so much, Ms. Stiefvater!  This was a follow-up story that turned away from Sam and Grace to take up Cole and Isabel’s story.  And knowing that was enough to have me eagerly cracking open this story and diving right in.

Cole is making his comeback after two years of being off the scene when most people thought he was dead.  He has chosen to make that comeback in a spectacular way by appearing on a reality show that will follow him through his first six weeks back into the music industry.  But the choice of LA?  Easy.  That’s where Isabel is.  Cole wants it all his career and Isabel.

Isabel is going through the motions after moving with her mom into her aunt and cousin’s LA home.  Pre-med college work and moonlighting as an assistant to a fashion designer is how she spends her days.  Then Cole St. Clair bursts back into her life and makes her feel and live again.  Feeling and living are not good because falling for Cole is the worst thing she could do since he’s a dangerous bet on a good day.  She decides to try to straddle the line by being around Cole, but remaining aloof.  And that turned out soooo well

Cole picks his way around Isabel’s trust issues and her poised and ready to run behavior even while realizing that being up to the schemes of the producer of the reality show whose goal seems to see him break and fall apart for all the viewers.  He is determined that he’s clean and he’s changed, but nobody seems to believe him.  And then there is the guilt over Viktor and the past.  Cole faces so many challenges with most of them being internal, but the biggest one is still busting through Isabel’s hard shell.

The story is one big long piece of the feels.  Cole acts like a druggie swinging from highs to lows as he attempts to put the pieces of his life back together.  Isabel goes for the ‘avoid life’ strategy that only works for so long.  The two of them swap the first person narration back and forth with much of the story spent caught in their own heads.  It gets pretty angsty and I confess that even though I was rooting hard for them to find a way to fight through their issues and make a go of it together; I was also pretty close to done with the ‘woe is me’ stuff.  Granted they had tough rows to hoe, no doubt, but the downer ‘tudes were just not something I was in the mood for I guess.  The end came fast and I would have liked some stuff that was probably assumed to be verbalized particularly since Isabel spent a good portion of the book getting the wrong idea about Cole.

The character development, dialogue, the general plot and world of music setting were all really strong components to the story and really helped to make it shine.  The romance is mostly spent apart and tentative two steps forward and one step back stuff so the reader definitely has to be patient for that to work through.  The only sexy scene is fade to black so I suppose this would fall more into the sweeter end of the romance spectrum and appropriate for most YA age readers as well as adults.

I probably should point out that this book should be read in order with the Wolves of Mercy Falls series for the back history of Isabel and Cole.

To wrap it up, I thought it engaging and just what I needed for closure.  It was just as difficult a romance as I imagined for these two though a bit more angsty than I care for.  The book would fit for a YA audience, but the characters are NA age so its versatile.  Fans of YA Paranormal romance should try this series.

My thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this one in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Angst? Well the series is angsty and though I’m not fond of angst, I’ll make an exception for Stiefvater. I love her and this series!

    • I felt the same way about Stiefvater’s angst, but I guess it was a mood thing where I wasn’t as patient with it.

  • That’s great she was able to come back and do a little more. I’ve not tried her yet but maybe one day 🙂

    • I couldn’t believe it at first and then I just had to have it for review so I could see if the loose ends were tied up. Maggie is a strong YA writer who tends toward the paranormal and fantasy so its a lot of fun. She has a wicked good imagination.

  • I read the first book in the mercy falls series and I have to admit I liked it (for a YA book). Sam & Grace were adultish characters so I was able to deal with them. I haven’t picked the series back up…not sure if I will. I mean even with the angst, at least the story itself was enjoyable.

    • I really liked the Mercy Falls trio, but the end of the third book left me with my mouth open on a whine of disappointment so I was tickled to see her come back with this one. The two in this book are totally different personalities from Sam and Grace and they aren’t as easy going so this book’s tone is way different, but at least I got my loose ends tied up with it. I guess I had some real life drama going on at the time and wasn’t in the mood for it in my fiction too. 😉