The Newstead Project
Joel Cranston shouldn’t exist. He just doesn’t know that yet. He’s lived a pretty normal life for the last sixteen years. If you consider being almost seven feet tall and good at about every sport you’ve ever played normal. Normal ends the day Newstead shows up with an invitation to come to their school.
Newstead is a private high school in Central Vermont by the Green Mountains. It’s a great place to hide a few hundred people who shouldn’t exist while you train them to become tomorrow’s rulers, tomorrow’s dictators, tomorrow’s gods.
Rachel Newell thinks she’s just passing through. She never stays any place more than four months and with Newstead so close to Weston, she has even more reason to make this her shortest stop ever. The last thing she expects is to have a reason to stay.
Together Rachel and Joel uncover the truth behind what is
He was gorgeous. Of course he was, weren’t they all? But it was all wasted on me. I knew the why behind the perfect faces and bodies.
But there was something about his face that made me want to touch it. I was too preoccupied with the horror of that thought to notice my hand already halfway extended. I didn’t see it until it came into my peripheral vision, slowly creeping upward towards his flawless face. I quickly yanked that traitor hand towards the kitchen door to push it open. He wasn’t standing as close to me as they usually did, so I think I pulled it off without him noticing. At least I don’t think he noticed. He didn’t say anything.
I turned to look at the face that was staring intently at me. His cheeks were reddened, either from the cold, or from me looking at him. I should’ve taken the hint and looked away, but I couldn’t. It was the closest I’d been to that face since I’d met him. His eyes were fixed on me as mine dropped to the sudden movement in his neck as he swallowed. Slowly my eyes lifted to his lips that were parted just enough to see his breath freeze as it hit the air. Even still, he looked warm. Warm and soft and-
My eyes darted back up to his.
“What were you thinking about just then?” His eyes were narrowed, confused.
Joel Cranston has always been different –more athletic, faster, naturally attractive. He hopes to go to college on a football scholarship. When a recruiter notices Joel, the offer of a full ride at a private school called Newstead seems like a dream come true. Joel arrives at school, but finds his dream quickly sours. The students at Newstead may look similar to Joel but he just doesn’t fit in well and soon he is in a fight for his life.
I was easily caught up in the story. Almost immediately there was intrigue and tension as I wondered where this story was going to take me. Joel is likeable but somewhat odd, and not only because of his size. His thoughts seem different – more linear but with leaps that often astounded me. There is so much mystery in who and what he is, and his mother is another enigma, as well. At first, it seemed like Newstead would be a perfect school for the young, charismatic Noel. However, the problems began almost immediately. Fortunately, Joel meets Rachel , and the two discover a very unexpected attraction to each other despite Rachel’s eccentric family. More tension, more mystery – by this time I cannot stop reading. Piece by piece the puzzle begins to come together. I loved Joel and Rachel. Theirs is a sweet romance that captured my heart. This first book in a planned series had a satisfactory ending, but left many threads to be explored in the next installment. I am looking forward to the next chapter in this exciting escapist fantasy.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Truth. The truth is I’m not a writer; storyteller maybe, but not a writer. It wasn’t something I spent years dreaming of, or even what I went to school for. I’m a nurse. I love being a nurse. So why write? I don’t know. I do know when it started, though. September 3, 2010. I know this because I nature journal, and on that day Joel made it into my notes. I guess that’s fitting. Someone like him needed to be birthed out in the woods.
If you were to meet me, and I hope someday you do, you would not connect me with this story. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse. The person who wrote this should’ve been a guy, first off, secondly he should be some militaristic strategist; that’s who you’d expect to see if you were to come to a book signing, not me. But I’m there, in every line. So if I don’t have the good fortune to meet you in person, I hope to see you in THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT.
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