Friday, August 29, 2014

Stolen Dreams by Christine Amsden: Book Review


Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4) 

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt. 

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot. 

But things may not be precisely as they appear. 

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series. 

Buy Links 

Print Release Date: October 15, 2014

Audiobook Release Date: TBA

I have followed this series from the start and I am absolutely thrilled and delighted with this final chapter!   The whole book held me spellbound as it played out.  Cassie and Evan’s complicated relationship is finally resolved, and in a most satisfying manner. Secret conspiracies and agendas are revealed when emotions ignite a series of devastating tragedies, all orchestrated by an unlikely villain. Cassie and Even set aside and eventually overcome their injured feelings; working together to mend the almost irreparable damage inflicted upon the community and their feuding families.  Again, Christine Amsden writes an intelligent, believable, and often humorous story that touched my heart and left me smiling at the end.

I recommend reading the books in order from the beginning as the story line of each subsequent book expands upon the previous entry.  This exceptional urban fantasy series is sure to please readers of all ages.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

The Cassie Scot Series:
Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.
 My Review (previously published)
5 Stars


One of the funniest and at the same time heart-wrenching stories I have read this year.  Fabulously original, Cassie’s family is large, rambunctious, and dysfunctional. Her parents are talented magic wielder’s, often distracted by other concerns, as are each of her six younger siblings.  The magic gene seems to have missed Cassie entirely, which makes her standing in the family pecking order awkward, to say the least.  Thankfully, Cassie is blessed with acute intelligence, an inquisitive nature, and an upbeat personality.  She is a force to be reckoned with because, though she cannot cast spells, she is highly proficient at minimizing or even neutralizing incantations intended to harm her or others.  Quite simply, Cassie is a remarkable woman and tenacious detective.


Fast-paced, well-phrased, and stunningly original, this book sets up the opening to a series that embraces small-town dynamics and large family histrionics giving readers the opportunity to root for a heroine both familiar to, yet decidedly different from  the norm.  I cannot wait to dig into the second book to see what is in store for Cassie next.


I purchased this book for myself on Amazon.


Reviewed by Laurie-J



Read 7/22/13

Blog 8/24/13

My Review  (previously published)


Like the title suggests, this book abounds with secrets and everybody seems to have good reasons to lie and perpetuate the cover-ups and bad blood.  Set in a small town located on a powerful fey node, this town bursts with paranormal activity.  Cassie Scot is having a difficult time making ends meet since her parents disowned her. She is also morose because of the life debt she owes Evan, a powerful sorcerer.  For Cassie, though, all her problems must be set aside when two young girls disappear from summer camp.
Magic and mischief take place in this second installment of the Cassie Scott series.  I enjoyed the action and the mystery.  I got a little frustrated with the “hot and cold” romance between Evan and Cassie but with their powerful family disconnects who really can blame them.  Evan and Cassie have chemistry and the sparks really fly between them, but mostly I love them because they do their best to protect each other even when the odds are against them. 
I am looking forward to the next book in this series to hopefully get some answers as to why there is such bad-blood in the small town.
This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Read  11/13/13
Blog  11/27/13

Amazon   Goodreads 

My Review  (previously published)


I was quite excited when I was given the opportunity to read this, the 3rd installment, in the Cassie Scott series.  This whole series has been terrific and the author even managed to raise the bar with this one. I love the way in which Christine Amsden tells the story; there is always mystery, tasteful romance, lots of twists, and superb character interactions, along with a healthy dose of humor. 

Cassie is a likable heroine who excels at figuring out ingenious solutions to odd-ball situations.  For me, this was a fast, fun read that I hated to let go of.  Diametrically opposed concepts such as magic versus science, nature versus nurture, even good versus evil are interwoven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. The ideas seemed to become less distinct and more interconnected as Cassie uncovers more about herself, her family, and her community.  This gives the reader opportunities to examine and perhaps revise personal perspectives in a manner that is both entertaining and unusual.  I cannot wait for the next chapter in Cassie’s peculiar and ever-evolving life.
This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J  

Read   5/10/14
Blog 5/21/14

Author Bio
Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.
Social Media Links: 
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Christine Amsden said...

Thank you!

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Anne Nelson said...

Thanks so much!