Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Co-Review of Bree Despain's THE DARK DIVINE and CONTEST!

Frankie and Donna present another spectacular co-review: We giggle! We mock each other! And somewhere in there, we gush over our favorite bits of a shiny new book!


Today's willing victim: The Dark Divine, brainchild of debut author Bree Despain

Synopsis from Bree's website:
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

Donna: When I started The Dark Divine, I had no idea what to expect. The back of the book reads like the ultimate movie teaser – A Prodigal Son. A Dangerous Love. A Deadly Secret. WHAT’S THE SECRET? Does it have something to do with a floating girl with purple toenails? Answer: Nope. But it’s even better than fancy nail polish!

Frankie: It is, although hang on one second here. Purple toenails…hawt! Also, the cover, beautiful. And we’re not the only ones who think so… But let’s talk about what’s inside the cover. This story was so refreshing and different from so many other YA paranormal romances I’d read this year.

D: I agree! Can we start with characters? I really loved the Divine family -- they’re like the Camdens with a dark, realistic side. Roll call! Pastor Divine – the super-dedicated, weight-of-the-world-on-his-shoulders patriarch. Mrs. Divine – the perfectionist who must keep up appearances and cooks a lot. Charity – younger sister…mostly just there. Jude – oldest brother, hottie saint in the making. Baby James – toddler, fond of blankie. And Grace – oldest girl, artist, fearless, loyal…and falling head over heels for Daniel Kalbi.

F: Ah, Mr. Kalbi. Daniel was my favorite kind of guy. Hot, strong, tortured, dealing with his inner demons, literally and figuratively…

D: I know! But no spoilers here. And he genuinely cared for Grace—he had his secrets, but he didn’t play any games. They were childhood best friends, along with Jude, so I bought the intensity of their romance immediately.

F: Yes. You could definitely feel the connection between them, strengthened by their past history. What I also appreciated was when Daniel had some of his early antagonistic moments, there was more of a sense of his picking up where they left off as kids, rather than coming across as a beautiful jerk with no purpose.

D: A line that perfectly shows this – In a flashback, 12-year-old Daniel dares an 11-year-old Grace to kiss him. Grace narrates: "I wanted to kiss him with all the longing in my eleven-and-a-half-year-old heart, and I knew he knew it."

F: Good quote choice, Donna, and nice flashback. Let’s talk about Bree’s handling of time. She had a very unique way of passing the time and jumping back with flashbacks. Rather than relying on a straightforward timeline to tell her story or more ho-hum transitions like “when winter came…” or “four days later…” Bree just spelled out the time for you at the start of the section. So there was never any question about where we were, what time it was, if we were in the past or present. I liked that. It was refreshing. Like sprite.

D: You’re such a weirdo.

F: Hey!

D: ANYWAY… I felt like the development of the plot was strong, too. Technically, it took awhile to get into the thick of the action and the aforementioned “secret,” but the beginning really established the characters and their relationships, so by the time we got to the action, it MEANT something. (Oh Daniel… sigh. You’re so dreamy.) What I love love loved about Grace was that she insisted upon answers for all the mysterious happenings.

F: Grace was not passive at all. I loved that she never sat back and let the story happen to her. She was brave enough to go out searching for whatever answers she didn’t have and if someone was in trouble, like on Thanksgiving…Grace never shied away.

D: And when someone promised her answers and didn’t deliver, she would be right there, tapping them on the shoulder, like “Um excuse me, but how about telling me now?” And I mean that “excuse me” in the least sarcastic way possible. Throughout the whole novel, sexy Daniel temptation and all, Grace remained a true Christian main character…WITHOUT being preachy. (Plus it's so funny when she actually curses once.)

F: Ooh let’s talk about religion for a minute. I really enjoyed the way religion was a part of this novel and utilized to further the plot and character development, though it was not by any means a religious novel. One thing that I often wonder about in many paranormals that deal with good and evil is, how does the greater spiritual world figure into the story? What do the characters believe? And Bree provided us with a lot of answers. Want to know something else pretty cool?

D: Do I have a choice?

F: Hmmmm, no. Ok, one thing that I sometimes wonder about in novels is the accuracy of the internet and Google searches.

D: No professor mode!

F: I’m not in professor mode! Hear me out. Seriously, when you are dealing with ancient evil and myths come to life, I kind of like my characters to deal with ancient sources. And it was really cool how Grace got ahold of some primary sources that helped her solve the mystery.

D: She did Google, too! But yes, for the real answers, she went back to the beginning. And without giving anything away, Bree upped the stakes and gave Grace some really tough choices to make by the end.

F: And to quote the back cover… “As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and have to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.” Let me just say, that when they say her soul is at stake, they mean it!

D: I know! The end just…flipped everything on its head. I loved it, and I totally respected Bree for figuring out this perfect ending. It allowed the book to stand on its own, but left me dying for a sequel! And I mean WOW…the plot of the sequel will be amazing.

F: Ummmm, yeah, please send sequel ASAP. Bree, I have to hand it to you. I loved this book, but when I read the end, I LOVED this book and I can’t wait to read what’s next. So I guess this brings us to the end…le sad. It came too quickly.

D: You know what else is arriving quickly? The Dark Divine’s release date! December 22nd, people!

F: Just in time for the holidays… hint, hint perfect present…

D: Don’t wait for divine intervention – go pre-order this book NOW!

F: Quality, Donna, quality.

D: [Bows.] The Romantic Times is also previewing 6 chapters of The Dark Divine, one per week til the release. Currently, you can check out chapters one, two, and three and get yourself hooked. But before you go, we have a little divine intervention up our sleeves … IT’S TIME FOR A CONTEST!!!

The Divine Intervention Contest
~ Ask and Thou Shalt Receive ~

The FNC was thrilled when the lovely Egmont publicity people (hi, publicity people!) and Bree’s wonderful editor, Greg Ferguson, graced us with an advanced copy of The Dark Divine.

And now it can be yours!!!

Here’s how:
Step 1: Become a follower (what’s taken you so long, anyway?) if you aren't already (hi, current followers!).

Comment below about ANYTHING -- this co-review, your TBR pile, the weather, your dog, your grandma, or even what you’re looking forward to most about The Dark Divine! (But it has to be a genuine comment.)
+1 – comment on Bree’s fabulous interview
+1 – link to this contest via post, sidebar, Twitter, or Facebook (leave us a link!)

(For a total of three entries.)

Contest ends 12/15 at 11:59pm EST.

The Fine Print:
Contest is open worldwide. Winner will be contacted by email at the close of contest. If you do not leave your email address in your comment, it is your responsibility to check back at the FNC blog to see if you've won. You have 72 hours to claim your prize, or an alternate winner will be chosen.


  1. OK So I dont want spoilers at all, so I skimmed your review LOL - you guys are to funny! :)

    I would LOVE to win this, this looks like one awesome book, from the cover - to the discription I read - I cant read more...NOOOO LOL :)

    So anyway commented, Posted the contest on my sidebar as well :)(

    *Crossing fingers* EAK!!


  2. I have never read a co-review before! This was a totally brilliant idea. I don't know who came up with it, but kudos! It has me wanting to purchase fancy pink nail polish AND read The Dark Divine =)

  3. +1 I have to agree with Rex Robot Reviews...the co-review was awesome! And I'm glad that you guys thought The Dark Divine had great characters. Weak ones are the number one thing that turns off my interest in a novel!

    +1 Tweeted it!

  4. PLease count me in =)
    I am really excited about this book, I can't wait to read it!

    TyngaUF (a) gmail(.)com

  5. This is definitely going on my tbr!
    It seems as thought you had as much doing the co-review as I did reading it!

    +1 I tweeted a link from
    +1 I commented on the interview

    +3 total


  6. +1 I'm very excited to read this book! Great review!
    +1 sidebar link:


  7. Along with Bleeding Violet, this is the other book that I am dying to read. I read Ch.1 on the author's site and it sounded pretty interesting. =]

    P.S. I was always a follower. :D

  8. Are you girls aware that you write some of the best reviews? I love reading your co-reviews! They're so much fun and this one in particular has made me sooo much more excited to read The Dark Divine! Is it 22nd December yet??

    By the way, the weather is nice. Maybe a little too warm, but the aircon is helpful!

    Already following
    +1 commented on Bree’s fabulous interview
    +1 Tweeted -


  9. I skimmed the review as well. Spoilers are not my friends. :D

    +1 Commented on the review


  10. I'm so happy to be a loyal follower :)
    I look forward to TDD! Have been reading the chapters on romantictimes blog. I want to read the whole book, please!!!! :P

    +1 – commented on Bree’s fabulous interview
    +1 – linked:

  11. Hi - I would love to win a copy. I love the cover of the book except for the skeletal legs of the girl. Does anyone else think her mega-skinny legs look gross. Anyway - I'm already a follower - great review - love the quote you picked.

  12. My toenails are now hot pink but I want purple! That's my favorite color.

    Can't wait to get a hold of TDD! Sounds so good. 12

    I'm a follower, I commented on the interview and linked from sidebar [http//]! 3 entries.

    Thanks! :)

  13. Errrr, why is there a 12 on my comment?! Uh.. nevermind that. Yay, TDD! :)

  14. Please count me in, I am a follower.

    I really like your blog, I've been following it for a while now. Thank you for the very insightful reviews. I hope that you have a great christmas and time before it.

  15. I was already a follower =)
    +1 – comment on Bree’s fabulous interview

    +1 Tweeted!


  16. Awesome idea with the co-review! I love the idea! It's the first time I've actually seen one. =)

    I'm already a follower! =)

    +1 commented on interview with Bree =)
    +1 twitter:

    Thank you! =)
    bookreviewsya AT yahoo DOT com

  17. Just commenting on the review - That was a great review. I loved the banter. It shows your personality, as well as gives you a no spoiler review.

  18. Please enter me. I am a follower. This is my most anticipated release of the year, I feel like it can;t get here soon enough.

    +1-Commented on interview

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

  19. I love the cover art for this. I voted for it in the contest held at All Things Urban Fantasy.

    +1 (Twitter)

  20. This book sounds great! I love the concept of a co-review, you guys are hilarious! :)

    I'm a new follower!
    +1 commented on the interview with Bree
    +1 posted this on my sidebar (


    thanks soo much! I just started following bloggers a few months ago and Im soo glad I found out about them. I loove it! You guys are great with all your awesome reviews, contests and so on. My TBR list keeps getting bigger and bigger and I love it! Honestly wouldnt know what to do with all of you guys! Thanks soo much<3

    Im already a follower:)

    +1 commented on the review
    +1 tweeted:

    Im soo super excited for this book!


  22. +1 blogged about it
    +1 commented in review

    Pleae enter me. I adore the cover to this book. Thanks for the chance to win it.

    Elie (Ellz Readz)

  23. Okay, here's my comment. I've been wanting to read this book for months! Literally months! After reading the first chapter a while back, I wanted to read it even more. And because I hate to be spoiled, I skimmed your review for fear I might get too much info! So yeah...

    +1 linked in my sidebar

    shouldbewritingnow at gmail dot com

  24. This is quickly become one of my favorite blogs! You are all so funny! Also, this book sounds very intriguing!

    I commented on the (wonderful!) author interview, and posted a link in my blog:

  25. LOVE the nail polish! I even got to wear it. My 7yo painted one hand, my 4yo the other. I kept it on for a week. Can't wait to read the book.

  26. I found your great blog thru Ellz Reads blog. I agree with everyone else you are so funny!! Thanks for the laughs and the great contest!!

    +1 commenting on the interview

    jbbird AT duo-county DOT com

  27. I can't wait to read this book,there's great buzz about it.

    I am a follower

    +1 tweeted


  28. I hadn't heard about this book before seeing this review. It sounds really good! I'd love to win a copy, please!

  29. This book sounds amazing! I'd love to be able to read it!

    +1 follower
    +1 Twitter

  30. FUN review! Wow & I am so impressed that you both read the book & did a review without giving away anything. I didn't realize that the main character was a Christian-that's so unusual for YA nowadays, no? Most books just seem to kind of skim over religion. But, ANYWAY, you girls are fabulous & although you were on my favorites lists, I am now an actual follower :)

  31. This is one book that I've been anticipating. Hope I'm able to get a copy before Christmas or for Christmas.

    +1 Commented on author interview

    +1 Added to sidebar:


  32. I would LOVE to win this!!
    Thankyou!! :D:D:D


  33. Very good review. I feel like I have been waiting for this book to come out for the longest time. And everything I read about it just makes me want to read it more. Thanks!

    Already a follower

    +1 commented on interview
    +1 added to sidebar here:

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  34. the cover is very stunning, though I didn't know what to think of it at first, but according to this review it is very much worth a read!
    I'd love to enter for the contest!

    +1 sidebar


  35. I loved your co-review! I was laughing quite a bit.

    I posted this on my sidebar!

  36. +1 comment on review

  37. This was a really fun co-review! I can't wait to get my hands on this book.

    +1 – Commented on the interview
    +1 –

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    - Nikki (nikkinizzle at

  38. I'd love to play please!

    Already a follower.


  39. Great cover!

    I follow
    +1 comment on interview


  40. I love reading about how they got inspired to write a book. It's always amazing. I bet I'll love it!

    +1 – Commented on the interview
    +1 –

    Thank you SO MUCH for doing this contest!
    Email: raila.soares (at) gmail (dot) com

  41. I love the co-review! I can't wait to read this book. The cover is so eye catching :)
    I am already a follower.

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  42. What an interesting co-review. I am very excited to read this book. I'm a new follower.


  43. I follow!

    email. theveronicaproject[at]gmail[dot]com

  44. Im so exicited this book sounds really good and i just cant wait. I hope I can read it very soon!!

    Im a follower

  45. The weather officially sucks in the Sunshine State right now. Humidity!

    +1 sidebar:
    +1 tweeted about contest:

  46. I can't wait to read this title! I am a bookseller at a local B&N and I manage the teen and children's department! I love reading YA novels!

    As mentioned in the interview I love when a book will leave you on the edge of your seat and barely able to stand the wait till the sequel comes out!

    I mentioned this to all my bookseller friends on facebook!

  47. I been looking forward this book for 5 months Im really cant wait to read it +1 follower
    +1 commented interview

  48. "I wanted to kiss him with all the longing in my eleven-and-a-half-year-old heart, and I knew he knew it". Wow, this quote killed me. Give me the book!

    I'm a follower:)

    +1 commented on the interview
    +1 tweeted about this contest here:


  49. new follower here!

    posted your contest on twitter:

    rubs.escalona [at]

  50. I just became a follower of your blog and would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
    My dog ..... the best do in the world! I hope he's around for many more years :)

  51. +1 I wish it wer xmas. NOW! :)


  52. I've always wanted to read The Dark Divine!

    +1 – comment on Bree’s fabulous interview

    +1 – link to this contest on Twitter

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  53. I think I already have a crush on Daniel! Can't wait to read it! :)

    I'm already a follower. :)

    +1 commented on the interview
    +1 linked this on my sidebar:


  54. Loved the review!!! I have heard only great comments about The Great Divine!!!
    cfisher1504 at gmail dot com

  55. Please count me in! I really would like to read this book [says the fantasy geek!] :)

    I'm a follower.

    Re-posted your contest at:

    mischivusfairy-inbox12 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  56. This book looks so amazing; plus, I love the cover!


  57. This book sounds great, love the quote from the kissing dare! Thanks for not including spoilers :) You guys are awesome.

    +1 Commented on the interview


  58. The weather is cold (and frightening!). Actually, it's just snowing. And it's reeeeeally windy outside. Anyway, I HAVE GOT TO READ THIS IMMEDIATELY! It sounds wonderful.

    +1 commented on the interview :)
    +1 sidebar: here


  59. I can't wait to read this book!! I'm a follower :D

    +1 tweeted

    thebookvixen at gmail dot com

  60. I'd love to read Dark Divine, I've enjoyed reading all the reviews and it's on my TBR. Great Interview ladies...

    misty_labean yahoo com

  61. All because of the cover - I wanted to read this book the first time I saw it and I didn't even know what it was about. I love, love the cover.

    vision.nguyen AT gmail DOT com

  62. i've been waiting to get my chance to read this book. it's intrigued me.

    - a follower of your blog !

    + 1 commented on your Bree's fabulous interview

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  63. The weather is pleasant and its afternoon here now.My eyes have become a little heavy,my back has started hurting, but still, here I am checking out different blogs and getting to know about wonderful books.

    Please enter me, icejew at gmail dot com

    I have posted the contest on my sidebar

    I'm a follower now.

    Have read the lovely interview and also commented on it.

    Thanks for the contest.


    I would love to win a copy of this book.

  65. Please count me in! I'm a follower. :D

  66. Great!!! I really want to read this one, the cover is just beautiful, and the plot amazing ^^.
    Well the weather is kind of weird, today was actually really hot.

    Im follower
    +1 Commented on interview
    +1 Twitter:


  67. I love the teasing tone of this co-review :)

    The religious aspects of the book are intriguing (not to mention the stunning cover).

    I'm a follower and I posted this on the Contests & Giveaways section on my sidebar


  68. *swoons* ahh, I love me some free books! Even the chance at one is enough to get me all excited! =3

  69. Looks like a very interesting book.
    Love the cover!

    +1 Tweeted about it.

  70. my boyfriend's in the hospital right now and I'm worried sick, a book like this seems to be the perfect distraction.

    infiniteplaylist AT gmail DOT com

  71. I can't believe I haven't come across this blog before, I absolutley adored this joint review!!

    -I'm a new follower
    -I posted a link to this on my sidebar (


    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  72. What a fabulous blog! Totally bummed that I'm way too late to win DARK DIVINE but I'll look for it! Sounds terrific!



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