Title – Strange In Skin
Series – Strange In Skin – Book #1
Author – Sara V. Zook
Genre – Paranormal, Fantasy
Publication Date – July 24, 2012
Publisher – Imagine Press
Cover Artist – Brenda Grate
From the moment Anna James meets the strange prisoner EmryLogan, she becomes instantly obsessed and will stop at nothing to try to get another interaction with him. But going against her family and church aren’t without consequence. She is deemed a traitor as she quickly realizes that there’s more to Emry’s past than just murder. He has a special ability that is far from human that he only shares with her. Feeling this magical connection, Anna has to free her beautiful inmate so that they can be together finally, but someone else knows about Emry’s secret and wants Anna to stop digging for answers as she finds herself in the midst of a modern day witch hunt. The life of an innocent pastor’s kid suddenly is turned upside down in a war between good and evil as Anna begins to wonder which people in her life are on the side of good, and is she one of them.
Anna James’ sheltered life is turned upside down the moment she meets Emry Logan in prison. She can’t stop thinking about how nice he was to her and his stunning yet sad blue eyes. Then he writes her a letter asking her to save him which prompts Anna to sneak into the jail as a visitor to see him.
Buck Brady is a local policeman who also has a crush on Anna. Knowing this, she goes on a date with Buck to try to get some answers about the prison as well as Emry. During the date, Buck slips that Emry Logan is incarcerated on a charge of murdering his best friend. On the ride home, Buck’s car gets a flat tire. They walk to Mrs. Anderson’s house nearby where Anna catches her father, the pastor, uncomfortably close to Mrs. Anderson and seemingly in an affair with the strange woman.
Feeling like her secure home life is becoming a lie, Anna finds another letter sent to her from Emry. Returning the prison, Emrytells her about his home life and that he once was married to the wrong woman.
Hanging out with Buck again results in his attempt to kiss Anna, and her disapproval by punching him in the eye. The phone rings at Buck’s house. Anna’s mother is having heart trouble and has been admitted to the hospital. Once there, Anna is disturbed even more to see that Mrs. Anderson has shown up at the hospital and asks to speak to her father privately.
With more home turmoil as Anna’s aunt, Carlin, arrives to help take care of Anna’s mother, Anna tries to stay out of the house as much as possible. She sees Emry’s ex-wife in a grocery store and ends up following her to her house just to get a glimpse of another woman who had stolen the prisoner’s heart.
Obsession taking over her mind, Anna dresses as a lawyer to get a face-to-face visit with Emry. He tells her how he doesn’t remember his best friend dying and tries to tell her that something strange happens to him every once in a while beyond his control. Then they lock hands and Anna realizes she’s not in Seneca, Ohio anymore.
Emry Logan has transported Anna somewhere else, another world named Evadere. They are on a gorgeous beach and alone together where they get the chance to talk about each other’s lives. As quickly as it happened, Anna is jerked back to Earth, her lawyer disguise found out by Buck Brady.
Anna is interrogated by Buck and her father who are very angry with her having been there, putting herself in the position of danger. Instead of going home, Anna decides to go to a bar, not her usual setting, where she finds Buck Brady and his friends. Buck mocks her and Emry. Mrs. Anderson is the one who comes in and puts an end to it. She has some sort of power over the policemen.
Trying to investigate further into Emry’s life, Anna visits his adopted mother’s house, a filthy, old woman with dementia who slips that not only is Emry adopted, but Anna as well.
Anna still avoids home and goes to Mrs. Anderson’s house where she becomes hidden in the woods in the middle of a snowstorm. A group of local men, well known in the community, gather around as Mrs. Anderson conducts some sort of ceremony with a bonfire asEmry’s name along with a Lucas Banesberry is announced during the chant.
Anna digs further into who Lucas Banesberry is as she drives to speak with his family. She finds out a story of a little girl named Cassie who found Lucas and the family took him in and adopted him as one of their own. However, one day while playing with Lucas, Cassie mysteriously disappeared and was never found again. Lucas was arrested, put in prison and on his day of release, assassinated the moment he stepped out of the courthouse. Anna finds that Mrs. Anderson, also known by the last name Hanley, was involved with helping Lucas get locked up.
Confronting her family about her adoption, Anna becomes depressed. She alienates herself from everyone until she attempts to forget Emry Logan altogether. She tries to get her sheltered life back, returning to a normal routine at her mother’s antique shop.
While attending her father’s service one Sunday morning at church, Anna sees her father speaking with Lauren, Mrs. Anderson’s son. They leave in a hurry, and Anna attempts to follow them. She decides to go to Mrs. Anderson’s house and breaks in to investigate. She finds Emry’s birth certificate and an old polaroid of him as a child. She questions why Mrs. Anderson has these items. Lauren catches her in the house and forcefully throws her down the basement stairs where she becomes injured and trapped.
Mrs. Anderson’s other son, a doctor, repairs Anna’s ankle. Her father comes to see her and decides to leave her there. It’s actually Carlin who comes to her rescue to get her out of Mrs. Anderson’s basement and take her to the courthouse where they’ll be announcing Emry’s verdict later that day.
As she’s getting cleaned up in Carlin’s hotel room, Carlin confesses to Anna that she is actually Anna’s real mother.
They go to the courthouse together. Everyone stares as they enter. Emry is declared innocent. He introduces Anna to his attorney, Ben Hanley. The last name strikes Anna’s memory, and she becomes convinced that Mrs. Anderson is related to Emry’sattorney and that he’s in danger. If he leaves the courthouse, he may be assassinated in the same manner Lucas Banesberry was.
After failed attempts to warn Emry, Anna sees a woman pull out a knife and go toward Emry. Anna grabs Buck’s gun and shoots the woman dead before she is able to harm Emry.
The last scene is Emry and Anna walking on the beaches ofEvadere together. A man approaches them and speaks to them. They realize that Evadere is not empty, but that there is life living there also.
I was given a copy of each book in the "Strange in Skin" trilogy so I could participate in the blog tour you're reading now.
I personally thought that the books could have been one book instead of broken into a trilogy .
Aside from that the main character p.o.v. that the story is told from is an incredibly sheltered, suburban, religious female. With a Pastor for a father, a special needs brother, and a mother who runs an antique store.. Her life is as mundane and meh as it can get.
All this changes when Anna goes to the Seneca jail to pass out pamphlets & offer spiritual aid to the men being held there. This is where the story picks up.
EMERY LOGAN... Let me say the name again, Emery Logan!
From the moment Anna encounters the young male prisoner (being held under awful charges), things start to change in Anna. Emery is just as affected by his chance encounter with "The Preachers Daughter".
In the second book in the series"Evadere" there are many bombshells that rock the foundations if everything Anna thought she knew. Anna's parents have been keeping secrets. The shocking revelations about Anna's life are almost laughable to the conspiracy surrounding the formerly imprisoned Emery.
Emery & Anna's strength found in each other keep them going when everything that had been a constant , a safe secure fact becomes lies. Even as Anna & Emery try to deal with the shocks if their individual revelations, their enemies are plotting . Anna has to fend for herself for the first time. Luckily she runs into a Scave named Jo who is kind enough to show Anna the ropes if being a "powerless human", she quickly sums up the way things work on Evedere. The Contributors have abilities that allow them to grow food, build buildings, make clothes , learn medicine & care for the sick ect. Not every person born on Evadere has an ability. They become outcasts and have to Scavenge for anything they need. It's an age old hate between the Scaves, contributors & royalty . Suffice to say that Jo's tender heart gets in tossed out if her clan . Anna, Jo, & Rooney ( another Scave ) plan to infiltrate the castle try to find Emery & If there's a way to help out the obvious injustice of the social structure Anna wants to help.
At last Prince... no spoilers.. Emery and Anna are reunited . Emery will marry Anna and they will try to bring Evadere to peace.
Sadly just as humans look at material possessions , jobs,cars, a personal trophies as an example of their individual strength, love , and courage . Sadly that is not the case and it's going to take time on both planets to change belief system .
I have a feeling that this is not the end if the story . I honestly felt that the ending of the last book "Solace"it should have had a definable TBC. Make sure to add thr trilogy yo your TBR links are provided !