Release Day Launch, Review, and Giveaway: Verum: Courtney Cole

Verum (The Nocte Trilogy #2)
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Expected February 2, 2015

The truth shall set you free.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am. 
Together, we float to the surface, still intertwined. We break through the top and I suck in a breath and Dare is staring into my eyes.

There’s tension here, but not the bad kind. It’s the kind that ignites you, the kind that intoxicates you, the kind that once you taste it, you’ll crave for the rest of your life.

I’ve forgotten that I was going to be careful, that I was going to reject him on every level.

All I can remember, all I can focus on, is how veryalive Dare DuBray is making me feel in this moment, how alive he always makes me feel.

For a girl who has been surrounded by death her entire life, this is a very big deal.

“I’m a little afraid of you,” I blurt honestly, and Dare still has his arms around me. Our treading water motions keep our legs rubbing together, the friction still there.




Dare smiles, but there is no humor in it.



My honesty makes me seem innocent, but I don’t know how to play games. I have no experience with the opposite sex at all.

“Because that makes you feel something.”

But he’s hesitant now and he looks away. There’s something he wants to say, it’s balanced on the tip of his tongue, but he swallows it.

“What is it?” I ask softly. “Just tell me.”

He wants to, I can tell. His secrets are killing him. He just wants to be normal, he’s just acting out a role.

I don’t know why I feel like I know this. It’s just there, suddenly resting on my heart.

“You don’t have to be someone you’re not,” I murmur quietly. His dark eyes snap up to mine and he pulls his hands away. There’s something in his eyes now, something guarded, and our easy afternoon has come to an end.

“What makes you think I am?” he snaps. “Pretending to be something I’m not, I mean.”

I’ve somehow annoyed him, and I don’t answer because I don’t know what to say.

“I’m not being someone I’m not, Calla,” he says coolly as he strides from the water. “I’m being who you need me to be.”

I’m utterly confused, and I’m dripping wet.

“We don’t have towels,” is all he says when I follow him. My clothing soaks up the water and it is a very cold ride back home.

Dare doesn’t say another word and I leave him in the garage.

I don’t see him at dinner, and I don’t see him the rest of the night.

But as I lay in bed around midnight, I see his car leave the garage.

I don’t see him come home, and I’m awake for half the night waiting.

I have no idea where he goes when he slips away.

Somehow, I think he wants it that way.

There’s a fork in the road and even though I see it, I can’t avoid it.

One road goes left, one goes right, and neither of them end well.

I feel it in my bones,

In my bones,

In my bones.

I sing a song of nonsense, and it sings back. The notes echo and twist in the air, and I swallow them whole.

“Come out,” I call behind me, because I know they’re there.

I can’t see them, but they’re always watching.

Eyes appear, blood red, and they blink once, twice, three times.

“I can see you,” I announce and there’s a growl and then I’m crushed beneath the dark, beneath the weight, beneath the oppression.

“You don’t scare me,” I lie.

There’s savagery here, there’s grace.

But above all, there’s oblivion and no matter what I do, I will be sucked into it.

I know it.

I feel it.

I’m crazy.

And it doesn’t matter.

I’m the rabbitrabbitrabbit and I’ll never be free.

All I know is I have to uncover his truth if I am ever to save anything. The truth will set us all free.

Questions. Questions. Questions. Some answers. More questions. Just when you think you have a piece of the puzzle figured out in this story, the pieces shuffle. 

What is Dare's big secret that scared Calla but she can no longer remember? What is real? What is imagined?

Calla knows deep down there is something she is supposed to fear about Dare but the truth is just out of her grasp. But she finds herself in a new location with him that brings up more questions, doubts and dread along with new suspicions and threats.  Even when she thinks the best way to handle it is to distance herself from him, Dare is such a presence and it is hard not to cling to him on some level.

We follow along with Calla's confused mind trying to deal with a new environment with new people, coming to terms with her life and recent history, and what to do about Dare...the man she loves, the man who is there for her, but also has secrets and scares her on a primal level.

Calla was profoundly affected by her twin brother, Finn and her love, Dare. The connections with these two  were such intense, intimate, strong connections that they were tethered together and forged a bond that few could truly understand. The effects of this continue to be explored throughout Verum as we go on this new journey with Calla.

So many questions, so many odd happenings, so much confusion and one big secret that is just out of reach.

I kept coming up with theories...so many. Some I could live with, some I did not want to be true, and some I found myself hoping for. It was really an intricately layered story with small details and converging circumstances leading you somewhere, but you are not sure where. 

It is completely titillating, frustrating, exciting, creepy, seductive, and scary at the same time. A convoluted exploration in reality, illusion, paranoia, trust, and secrecy. I constantly questioned everything I was reading just as Calla questioned what she was thinking and feeling.

Then wham! One big hit and it is time to wait for the next installment while you question everything you just read and play it over and over in your mind.

This series is mesmerizing, thought provoking, and exhausting, So much to pay attention to and so many secrets that you know little details must point to. And just when you think you have a handle on it, everything changes. Holy Crap! I can't wait til the finale Lux. And I honestly think once it is all over, a reread of the series would probably be completely interesting to see what hints were missed along the way.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy #1)
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My name is Calla Price. I'm eighteen years old, and I'm one half of a whole. My other half-- my twin brother, my Finn-- is crazy. I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I'm terrified he'll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me. I'm doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I'm drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. Dare DuBray. He's my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I'm afraid, where I belong, where I'm lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. He has the power to destroy me. Maybe that's ok. Because I can't seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. Why? Because of a secret. A secret I'm so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. You won't either.

Lux (The Nocte Trilogy #3)
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Expected May 2015
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Dramatic series finale to the exciting Nocte Trilogy.  

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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