Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: TORRENT by Lisa T. Bergren

It's not easy to write a spoiler-free review for the third book in a series -- especially considering how the preceding novel left readers hanging, drooling, and begging to know what was going to happen next! But because I've loved traveling to medieval Italy with Gabi and Lia (I'm practically in mourning at the thought that my adventures with The She-Wolves of Siena could be coming to an end) I'm bound and determined not to spoil the journey for those of you who have not yet dipped your hearts into the River of Time.

THE SITCH:
(from the back cover of Torrent)

"Hold tight," I said. "No matter what happens, do not let us go."
"We won't," my dad said.
"Never," Mom added.
And with a look at Lia, we laid our hands upon the prints.


Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini are just two normal American teenagers. Normal except for the fact that they time-travel to fourteenth century Italy, where they've lived in castles they've seen as crumbling ruins, been swept up in historic battles, and fallen in love with handsome knights willing to do anything to keep them alive.

They've returned to the present to save their father, just short of his tragic death,and now all four return to the place that holds the girls' hearts, medieval Italy. But remaining there means facing great risk as the battle for territory wages on and the coming Black Plague looms. Can they convince their parents to stay and leave behind everything they've worked so hard to accomplish? And will the girls sacrifice their futures in an uncertain past? Or, in facing death head-on, will they discover life as it was always meant to be lived?

HOW IT HIT ME:
Like a white-knuckled fist clutching a bouquet of wildflowers, it slammed violently into my imagination and grabbed hold of my heart.
In other words, it took my breath away. Torrent is a white-knuckle romance that tips the scales of awesome. 'nuff said.

WHAT MADE ME SQUIRM:

Lord Greco.

Sure, we met him in Cascade -- but who is this guy... really?

In Torrent, Lisa T. Bergren keeps her reader guessing right along with Gabi as to the nature of this enigmatic character: Is he one of the Good Guys?
Maybe. One of the Bad Guys? Umm... maybe. A friend? Sometimes. A foe? More often. A tortured but romantic soul? For sure. Hot? You bet. Made my knees a little weak? Mm-hmm. Wish I was Gabi? Oh yeah.

Lord Greco is a perfectly romantic villain -- and, also, the consummate mysterious hero... or is he???

Of course I love Marcello best, but since I have a certain weakness for romantic bad boys, I heartily believe that somewhere in the annals of fictitious history, Lord Greco is listed quite officially as, "Lord Greco: The Hotness of Firenze."

So, enough about Lord Greco.
TO READ, OR NOT TO READ; THAT IS THE QUESTION:

If this novel is not in your Amazon cart in the next thirty seconds, I am totally not speaking to you anymore!!! Okay, I'm kidding. (A little.) That may be laying it on a bit thick, but... you should really read this book. (After you've read the other two, of course.)

Inserting fresh intrigues, new twists, and secret brotherhoods into the third installment of this romantic adventure, the author grows the presence of newer characters (like Lord Greco, see above) and forces the existing cast (especially Gabi) to mature emotionally through adventures of both a physical nature and of the heart.

I don't know what it is about these novels that makes me love them so dearly. Is it the author's fantastic craft? The heart-twisting imagination? The dashing Italian knights? The feeling that, at any moment, anyone -- or everyone -- I've grown to love over the course of these three books could die? Well, it's all that and so much more. It's love. Honest-to-goodness, true book love -- for Torrent, as well as Waterfall and Cascade, the other two books in the River of Time series.

Read it. Unless your heart is made of stone or play-doh, I guarantee you'll love it.

AND FINALLY, IN THE WORDS OF INIGO MONTOYA:
"No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

Torrent is the perfect conclusion to this trilogy -- not only because it satisfies on every level, but because it keeps you hoping that the younger She-Wolf of Siena (Lia) will get a series of her own sometime soon. (Hint, hint, wink, wink to Lisa T. Bergren and the Publishing Powers That Be.) I adore these books and plan to read the entire series again (make sure you join us for Waterfall Wednesdays -- beginning this week!) as soon as I get the chance!

Rapturous romance and spine-tingling adventure await you within Lisa T. Bergren's medieval Italy, so don't wait another minute to let yourself get swept away by the River of Time.

Serena's rating:




15 comments:

  1. PLEASE NOTE my "hot guy photo disclaimer": This "Lord Greco" pic of actor Eric Balfour was not my first choice in photos, but copyright being what it is, well, we'll go with it.There is a better, more Greco-ish photo by photographer Sarah McColgan at http://www.mandeeproductions.com/editorial3.html (scroll to the 3rd pic to the right) in which his eyes are closed and he is beautiful and dangerous at the same time. Very Lord Greco.) but... alas, copyright and all... I used the free creative commons pic.)

    Just FYI. Or TMI. Or covering-the-butt-of-I. (You be the judge.) ;-)
    -Serena

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  2. O what a great review. It sounds amazing. I look forward to finishing this series.

    Ooooo and that is a better picture. I love Eric Balfour. He has this face that hints at bad but then he can surprise you.

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  3. Juju -- yeah, copyright is a booger when blogging, isn't it? ;-) From the moment Lord Greco appeared in CASCADE, I pictured Eric Balfour -- even though I wasn't all that familiar with him as an actor. I hope others go peek at that other pic, too -- cuz Lord Greco is ALL that -- and a bar of red-chili chocolate! You're gonna love the rest of the series!

    Jessica -- Thanks for stopping by -- you'll have to stop back after you finish the series and let us know what you think! Enjoy!
    -Serena

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  4. Oh! & a special RAISE-THE-ROOF shout-out to Jeane Wynn at Wynn-Wynn Media for getting me an Advanced E-Reading Copy of TORRENT earlier this summer (when I had finished Cascade and was very nearly dying from that strange malady: Sequel-anticipation!!) Jeane, you're a peach!

    Tons of Hugs,
    Serena

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  5. Another totally awesome review, Serena!! :D Thank you for giving such a tantalizing teaser without spoiling it for those of us who are dying to get our hands on this final installment!!! This is a great series, for sure! :)

    ~Amber

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  6. That was a fun interview....

    Lord Greco is awesome!! Me wants a spin-off of Greco....

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  7. PS- I never thought about the celeb pics on the internet that are copyrights...I normally use the celeb photos on IMdb or We heart it...now Im freaked out and need to go through all my photos...EKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Heh, I appreciate the spoiler-free review! I've only just started Waterfall but I'm loving it so far. So good to know that this series got the conclusion that it deserves!

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  9. Tina: I think Lord Greco needs to get sucked into the 21st century and come mow my lawn. Shirtless. (did I just say that???? for shame!) Oh! And sorry to freak you out about the photo copyrights!

    Aylee: You are gonna love these books! Make sure you stop back when you've finished the series and let us know what you think!

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  10. Oh, Serena. How much do I love you? So much! Thanks for the series love...all the way to the end. If it's the end...I LOVE sharing this with you! Thanks for passing on your praise to the readers of EIR! Ciao, bella.

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  11. I just ordered all 3 books from Barnes and Noble today! I read Waterfall on my Kindle, but decided that I needed the actual books because I love the covers! I can't wait to read Cascade and Torrent. And Lisa Bergren did you just say "if" it's the end? Gasp! Are there going to be more?

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  12. Lisa: I've never thought of "if" as such a beautiful word before! Thanks so much for stopping by! You are a true artist of imagination and it has been such an honor to wade into the River of Time with you! (And I'm so looking forward to what may come to satisfy that "if"!) ;0)

    Julie: I'm with you on those covers! I read them all electronically and bought the paperbacks, too! (I love the soft, suede-like feel of the covers!)

    ~Serena

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  13. LOL...Excerpt of #4 posted on my blog, Sept 5. The characters LIVE...

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  14. Lisa: September 5th is now officially my favorite day of the year. Can't. Bloomin'. Wait!

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