Review: Knight of Love by Catherine LaRoche

knight of loveHero: The hero has a complicated name. He is Wolfram von Wolfsbach und Ravensworth, also known as Wolf, the English Earl of Ravensworth. He first meets the heroine when he’s undercover as a blacksmith in Prince Kurt’s court, where he finds her being publicly whipped for a small infraction to the amusement of the Prince. Barely able to contain himself, Wolf watches and then volunteers to carry Lenora upstairs where he gives her a large knife for protection.

Heroine: Despite appearances to the contrary, Lady Lenora Trevelyan is not a damsel in distress. She is resourceful and determined to make her escape on her own… no knight in shiny armor needed. She successfully escapes her abusive fiancé, Prince Kurt von Rotenburg-Gruselstadt and is galloping toward freedom and safety with the English/German diplomat… and gets captured by rebels just days down the road. The head of the rebel camp is none other than the blacksmith who gave her the knife.

Review: The hero is an unusual mix of beta and alpha characteristics. He’s very flowery in his language, chivalrous, and believes in love at first sight, but is also skilled at war, believes in civil rights of man (and woman,) and carefully controlling to ensure all is in his favor. For my tastes, I would have had less flowery language and more determined wooing. Wolf arranges a wedding to Lenora in order to protect her – this battlefield wedding is hardly legit as she didn’t give her consent. Still, he consummates the marriage in a forced seduction that evening. It is a heartbreaking (and erotic) experience for both of them which makes it successful. That night destroys what trust Lenora had in him. Now she’s plotting a new escape… but it’s harder to break the touch of silk than the touch of iron. There’s also an erotic scene where Lenora is in full control of Wolf and that is also successful as it is healing for both. I felt the story fell short when it changed locations from Germany to England. It was a night and day difference and the smoldering passion cooled quickly. Definitely a memorable read.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Knight of Love

Review: Tapestry by Karen Ranney

tapestryHero: Alex, the Earl of Cardiff, never planned to be the earl. He had a father and older brother and so went off to war to make his mark. When he returns, he is severely wounded and hides his ravage face and body and heart in the castle of Heddon Hall. His servants are terrified of him. His stepmother despises him. He can’t tell if his estate manager is swindling him because he can’t read due to the loss of one eye and the headaches that come from trying to focus the other. When an uppity little maid arrives, bold as you please, on his doorstep, he’s intrigued despite his attempts to distance himself from her.

Heroine: Lady Laura Blake has had enough of being rebuffed. If Alex won’t return her letters and tell her what is going on she will figure it out on her own. She shows up at his estate in disguise, wearing her maid’s clothes and using her maid’s name. Once inside his household, she’s put to work in the kitchen. Being a scullery maid was not quite what she had in mind! Soon she’s elevated to be his personal secretary and that suits her so much better. Now she can spend her days with Alex… and nights.

Review: The first half of the novel is the best part of the story. If you want a happy ending that’s truly happy end at book one/part one. I enjoyed the setup with the heroine breaking into the hero’s lair as a servant (though how she managed it is a mystery because she’s a family friend, you’d think she’d be recognized by someone – Alex!!) I like Laura’s bumbling in the kitchen, her determination to reach Alex and break down his walls. I loved his elation at recapturing humanity and love.

However, after they come together the story goes downhill as they are separated, when the hero returns to his wartime duties for one last assignment. Laura doesn’t want him to go, but for his masculine and national pride, Alex must. Their separation leads to misfortune as Alex is captured and assumed dead. Laura experiences a miscarriage because of the news and also faces the doubly incapacitating grief of losing Alex and the babe. When Alex gets out of prison, he allows his evil stepmother’s cruel words to sway him from finding the truth of what is going on with Laura which causes a big misunderstanding. My friends, you know me, and you know I love angst, but holy moly this is too much. I also like more time together with the main characters and less time apart.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Tapestry

[phpbay]tapestry karen ranney, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Immortally Ever After (Monster M*A*S*H, Book 3) by Angie Fox

Immortally Ever AfterReviewed by Sharon S.

In The Heat Of Battle

The hard-won cease-fire between the battling immortals doesn’t last long. In the blink of an eye, human surgeon Dr. Petra Robichaud is back on the frontlines, and starring in yet another of the oracle’s prophesies. As the only healer who can talk to the dead, Petra doesn’t have much choice about her role—even when her breathtaking ex-lover shows up at exactly the wrong time…

Two Hearts Fight To Survive

Petra may have moved on when Commander Galen left her, but she never forgot him—and the passionate moments they shared. Seeing him again is a distraction she really doesn’t need with both armies honing new weapons, and wounded all over her M*A*S*H unit. But how can she resist him? It’s now or never for the demi-god Galen to become Petra’s mate…but with the fate of humanity at stake, will their desire be worth the cost?

I have been waiting for this last installment of Angie Fox’s paranormal romance trilogy Monster M.A.S.H. The beauty of a trilogy is it is like one very long story, but usually you can’t read them out of order or you risk spoiling important reveals. I suggest you start this series with Immortally Yours (book #1). I promise you won’t regret it.

Angie Fox is known for the humorous light tone you find in her PNR series Demon Slayer. Monster M.A.S.H. has a darker tone to it. It is about a war between the mythological old gods and the new, and Angie doesn’t shy away from the horrors of working in a M.A.S.H. unit. But it is tempered with some of the silly and witty writing she is known for. You can call it a dramedy.

I can’t give away too many details about the plot because this is the final installment. I can tell you it was the most action packed of the three. At first I was worried because it started out focusing on Petra’s love life instead of the story like in the first two books. It got a little too PNR for me. It did eventually change the focus back to the Petra’s role in the war and it was page turning action from then on. I really liked learning about the dragon shifters. After years of being enslaved by the old gods and used as weapons, they are ready for some payback. The female dragon shifter Leta was my favorite secondary character in this book. I was able to feel her helplessness and then empowerment as she grew strong and unleashed her furry. Gave me goosebumps!

There are so many fabulous characters in the series. Medusa (yes, that one) and Jeffe (a sphinx) add a lot of humor. Galen is our hero and he is the swoon worthy demi god you would expect him to be. The story is told in the first person POV of Petra. In the beginning of the series she already jaded by the war and has serious trust issues. Over the course of the three books she slowly and hesitantly starts to let her heart open to those around her.

If you are looking for a great balance of urban fantasy and paranormal romance with humor, mythology and unique world building, give this one a try.

Immortally Ever After Rating: ★★★★☆
Monster M.A.S.H. series: Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Immortally Ever After (Monster MASH)

[phpbay]angie fox immortally ever after, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Why was Flemish Lace Forbidden in France?

Guest blog by Iris Anthony, author of The Ruins of Lace

Thank you so much for hosting me on Love Romance Passion! Lace may be linked to both love and romance but it was the passion people in the seventeenth century felt for it that drew me to my story of lace smuggling. People gave entire fortunes in exchange for it and eventually King Louis XIII forbade it altogether.

It seems like such a drastic action to take on behalf of something so innocuous and so…well…pretty. Why would lace be so important that a king would issue a decree against it? Weren’t there more important things to worry about? The answer is an emphatic, ‘Yes!’

Louis XIII had a very turbulent reign. Even though he was a crown prince, he had to steal his throne away from his mother and then, once he was king, he had to figure out how to keep the throne from his brother as well. In the meantime, he was fighting a series of wars with Spain and battling religious heretics inside the kingdom. All those wars took money. As was normal during the period, he looked to his nobles to fund his efforts. Although Louis was a very ascetic King who didn’t look favorably on ostentation, his courtiers did. Power may have been measured by proximity to the throne, but it was displayed through conspicuous consumption (even when…perhaps especially when…there were laws against it).

Lace was an attractive candidate for those intent on displaying their power. It took time to make. You couldn’t just rush out and buy (or even make) lace in the lengths and widths the courtiers draped around their necks and wrists. The fact that it was such tedious work made it expensive and at that time, clothes really did make the man (or woman). All across Europe, those in power went to great lengths to regulate fashion which had the effect of letting everyone know exactly where you stood in the social and political hierarchy. If lace was hard to come by, due to the cost, the supply, and the trade restrictions, the fact that you had some made you one of the elite.

France didn’t have a lace making industry so the demand for lace was fulfilled by Italy and Flanders. At a time when the king desperately needed money from his nobles, they were giving it to neighboring countries in exchange for lace. Of course, human nature being what it is, the moment Louis XIII forbade lace, people began to figure out ways to get it. And the more it was forbidden, the greater the cost became.

When I first stumbled across a reference to lace smuggling, it seemed so oxymoronic. I always pictured smugglers as rough and tumble pirate types. And I always associated smuggling with gold or other ‘important’ goods. Lace seemed so…out of character somehow. But really, nearly anything forbidden is a candidate for smuggling. And fashion has always been serious business as any vendor who imports millions of dollars of fake designer clothing and handbags into the country would attest!

One of the fascinating things about those involved in illicit activities is that they aren’t always completely and utterly depraved. I discovered, in the writing of my novel, that most of the people ensnared in lace smuggling were doing it because they thought they had no other choice. As I wrote, I pondered the question of whose fault it is when smuggling networks grow up around things that are forbidden. Those who make the laws? Those who make the product? Those who buy it or those who sell it?

There is no clear-cut answer and I believe that’s one of the reasons the villain in this book is particularly sympathetic. There were three different incarnations of his character during the various stages of the manuscript, but in each of those roles, though I gave him opportunity after opportunity, he just would not choose transformation.

I think we can all identify with a person who feels they have no other choice but the path they are currently walking. I think we can all root for a character who could so clearly have turned out differently if he could just recognize that there are other options. I believe there’s something deep within all of us that yearns for redemption. No matter what kind of mess we’ve made of our own lives, we hold out hope that someone else can have the strength we didn’t to make the choices we weren’t able to. We cheer, even in spite of ourselves, for the deeply buried or long-forgotten humanity even when it seems to have been eclipsed by monstrosity. I think it’s part of being human. Ultimately, like my characters, we live or die by the choices we make. And if a villain can change, if he can be remade in spite of himself, then perhaps it gives us greater hope that we can too.

Buy: The Ruins of Lace

Review: Airship Seduction by Camryn Rhys

Airship SeductionReviewed by Sandra Scholes

It is expected that some novels will have a couple of elements in them that conflict with the overall characters, but this novel is a surprise in itself. An empath demon, an alpha werewolf, and a whole host of deadly assassins are in the mix during the turmoil of a Victorian war on magic, and Sacha Camomescro has to rescue unfortunate refugees from the danger they are facing. She is an empath demon who meets Javier Vargas, a werewolf, who happens to be the alpha male of his pack and together they seek justice on a higher level, even though his pack has been constantly picked off by the assassins and he is left with hardly any men to command.

Sacha is a more complex character than she seems. She can mind read others and this only gets in her way when she wants to get with a man for love – she can see his thoughts of other women when they kiss or make love, so she thinks she can never trust another man again. Javier is a different man again from the others, he does actually desire her and no other woman – maybe this is to do with his werewolf lineage. A rabid animal is blamed for Javier’s pack being decimated, but him coming under suspicion is the least of their worries.

Sensually explicit and well written, Airship Seduction is a trip through the Victorian Era where women were expected to be demure and proper, Sacha is none of these things and that is what makes her stand out from the crowd of women Javier has already bedded. She has the ability to fuel his fire, and he can’t get enough of her being around him – and even though she can read his mind, and what’s on it, she knows he only thinks of her when he is in the mood. She can tease him to the very depths of his imagination, yet she can also be a serious woman who wants to believe she can trust him as a lover as well as a friend.

This is one of the Ellora’s Cave: Twilight series of erotic romance novels. You are always guaranteed of an interesting read with one of these on your lap! It has an engaging plot that doesn’t deviate from the path of interest, and some sensual erotic scenes that will be burned into your mind-forever.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Airship Seduction

Review: Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 3) by Suzanne Collins

Brief Overview: 13 Districts rebelled against the Capitol. 1 was supposedly destroyed while 12 suffered under a harsh treaty for 75 years. Now we’re back at the beginning and once more 13 Districts are rebelling. This time is different though, because this time the rebels have a cause and a face of the revolution: Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire. The Capitol has Peeta, captured from the Quarter Quell, and they wield him like a weapon against Katniss. Can she survive a broken heart?

WTF? No seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…???

“Are you, are you coming to the tree?
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here.
No stranger would let it be if we met up
At midnight in the hanging tree.”

Wishlist: Katniss needs to sing to Peeta, like a lot and happy songs or songs about hope. Her singing made an impression on him at 5, she should sing that song again! Break down all those shiny memories in one fell swoop. :D

My 10 Favorite Scenes:

Not in order of preference or sequence in book.

  1. Katniss figuring out how Snow is really using Peeta. Angst! Angst! Angst!
  2. Brainwashed Peeta (attacking Katniss). Well, until I realized there’s wasn’t a cure-all for it. Stupid shiny memories.
  3. Real or Not Real. This was a good one…

    “You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.

    “Real,” I answer. “Because that’s what you and I do, protect each other.”

  4. Peeta figuring Katniss out. Not that she tries to help him sort it all out. She runs a bit too often for my tastes.

    “Ally.” Peeta says the words slowly, tasting it. “Friend. Lover. Victor. Enemy. Fiancee. Target. Mutt. Neighbor. Hunter. Tribute. Ally. I’ll add it to the list of words I use to try to figure you out. The problem is, I can’t tell what’s real anymore, and what’s made up.”

  5. Peeta trying to remember the truth about them. Can we say ouch? So freaking awesome… the angst!!!

    “I must have loved you a lot.”

  6. Declaration of Love. Such as it was… (who else wanted more to this scene? I did!)

    “You love me. Real or not real?”

    I tell him, “Real.”

  7. Who is Peeta? The most telling sentence Katniss ever said…

    “You’re a painter. You’re a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in your tea. And you always double-knot your shoelaces.”

    He also likes the color orange.

  8. Peeta remembers? It looks like it with these sentences but he still comes off as damaged beyond repair in the epilogue. Sniff.

    “Katniss. I remember about the bread.”

    and

    “Let me go!” I snarl at him, trying to wrest my arm from his grasp.

    “I can’t,” he says.

  9. Katniss killing President Coin. Needed. Though, I won’t lie the aftermath of that is pretty confusing. Being trapped in Katniss’ head did not give a big picture view of what was going on outside her impromptu prison/isolation. I bet the movie will do it better.
  10. Katniss and Gale parting. Gale is bitter, but he was not a good match for Katniss. She’d lose herself completely in his hatred. In broken Peeta, perhaps our equally broken Katniss can heal?

Conclusion: The Hunger Games Trilogy is not a romance. It’s a dystopian warfare driven trilogy with romantic elements. If it was a romance, the ending would have been sweeter, Peeta wouldn’t have been brainwashed and his character mutated (I once did this to a fanfic character, oomph, cheated the whole story, so I know what I’m talking about here). He should have been fixed more than he was at the end.

Peeta was the driving force of the romance in the story, because Katniss never truly confessed in a declaration of love (to herself or to Peeta, though she does tap dance around it several times). At least not like how we know them in the romance genre. At best it was halfhearted, and while “Real or Not Real” was good, it could have been better. For example something like, “Real. I love you Peeta and here’s why…” With Katniss blind and resistant from the beginning to her feelings she needed to really open up at some point to Peeta.

“All those months of taking it for granted that Peeta thought I was wonderful are over. Finally, he can see me for who I really am. Violent. Distrustful. Manipulative. Deadly. And I hate him for it.” – Katniss

So in effect, warping Peeta warped the romance. He had all the best lines too between them, which you can see when you check out my favorite scenes between the books.

Also, I get that PTSD would have been prevalent, but romances as we define them in the genre mean a real HEA, where the characters heal each other and not merely survive together (and watch their kids play on top of mass graves… shudder).

“Oh, that I do know…Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without.” – Gale

Additionally, I don’t buy that Katniss would have had children with Peeta. That was a no-go from the get-go.

I feel all this could have been fixed with an additional chapter or longer epilogue. I doubt I am alone in this.

What really needed to be addressed and was never addressed, was Katniss’ statement to Peeta revealing that Haymitch orchestrated the romance on her part during the first Hunger Games. She implied most of it was Haymitch, but not all of it was Haymitch. If Peeta had latched onto that semantic like a pitbull we could have gotten somewhere with her. :P

Final thoughts: So yes, I was disappointed with the romance, but the trilogy is a good one. Peeta makes the series for me, no question. I would reread it for him alone.

Bonus: 74 Books to Read if You Love the Hunger Games

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set, The Hunger Games Trilogy (digital)

[phpbay]mockingjay suzanne collins, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2) by Suzanne Collins

Brief Overview: Against all odds, Katniss and Peeta survived the Hunger Games and became the first ever dual victory. A little hope is a good thing, but too much leads to disaster. President Snow is not happy and he lets Katniss know it. But Katniss has already put her foot in it and alienated Peeta, so there’s no help from that corner. Then the Quarter Quell (every 25 years there’s a special version of the Hunger Games) is announced and it seems once again the rules are changed specifically for District 12’s starcrossed lovers. They’ve got to go back into the arena and this time it doesn’t look like either will be allowed to win.

Fandom Comments:

Team Peeta or Team Gale?

No contest. Team Peeta.

Gale never stood a chance.

Peeta killed Gale’s chances in Hunger Games and then wiped him off the map in Catching Fire. You got to love our boy with bread!

Side comment – Capitol sensibilities sound like the Romans’ again with their feasting parties where it’s natural to puke to make room for more gorging on the provided banquet of food. A tour guide called the Roman “puke rooms” vomitoriums when I was at a Roman site in Turkey last year, but I think they had the wrong word? Because the definitions I find online of the word mean an opening that allows a hoard of people to fast exit a building. Anyway, back to the point, Romans (and the Capitol) lived to eat and Katniss and Peeta are horrified by that, because to them, you should eat to live.

What I didn’t like – Katniss and Peeta’s show and tell with the Gamemakers. Really? Peeta, I get to an extent because he can paint like nobody’s business, but why Rue? Rue was Katniss’ friend and not his. I also think Katniss should have shot the arrow at the Gamemakers again through the force field chink, even if doing so messed up the setup for the Quarter Quell. She was smart enough to do it. Why a dead dummy of Senaca Cane? Honestly.

My Top 10 Favorite Scenes from the Hunger Games:
Not necessarily in order (either by preference or in sequence with events in the book)…

  1. Katniss can shoot! When all the tributes watch her with the bow and arrows during training and then want to team up with her for the games. Pretty funny, especially because Katniss doesn’t want the victors who could help her win, she wants the rejects.
  2. Rooftop Picnic. And cuddling on the train. And hungry kisses.
  3. Finnick Giving Peeta CPR. Katniss thought he was kissing Peeta and is so confused. Haha.

    I pull an arrow, whip the notch into place, and am about to let it fly when I’m stopped by the sight of Finnick kissing Peeta. And it’s so bizarre, even for Finnick.

  4. Katniss realizing Haymitch lied about saving Peeta:

    “We had to save you because you’re the mockingjay, Katniss,” says Plutarch. “While you live, the revolution lives.”

    The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion. It’s what I suspected in the woods when I found Bonnie and Twill escaping. Though I never really understood the magnitude. But then, I wasn’t meant to understand.

    I think of Haymitch’s sneering at my plans to flee District 12, start my own uprising, even the very notion that District 13 could exist. Subterfuges and deceptions. And if he could do that, behind his mask of sarcasm and drunkenness, so convincingly and for so long, what else has he lied about? I know what else.

    “Peeta,” I whisper, my heart sinking.

  5. Peeta and Katniss on the beach.

    “Because I don’t want you to forget how different our circumstances are. If you die and I live, there’s no life fore me at all back in District Twelve. You’re my whole life,” he says. “I would never be happy again.”

    I start to object but he puts a finger to my lips.

    “It’s different for you. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be hard. But there are other people who would make your life worth living.”

  6. Before the Quarter Quell when Katniss knows she will grieve Peeta, if he dies.

    “No one really needs me,” he says, and there is no self-pity in his voice.

    It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.

    “I do,” I say. “I need you.”

    He looks, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and it’s no good, no good at all, because he’ll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I’ll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss.

  7. Peeta’s nightmares:

    “Peeta, how come I never know when you’re having a nightmare?” I say.

    “I don’t know. I don’t think I cry out or thrash around or anything. I just come to, paralyzed with terror,” he says.

    “You should wake me,” I say, thinking about how I can interrupt his sleep two or three times on a bad night. About how long it can take to calm me down.

    “It’s not necessary. My nightmares are usually about losing you,” he says. “I’m okay once I realize you’re here.”

  8. When Haymitch says to Katniss…

    “You know, you could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.”

  9. Katniss against the World, Protecting Peeta. She knows she has to kill Peeta to keep him from being tortured by the Capitol, after they’re taken out of the arena. When she comes across Haymitch and he says…

    “So it’s you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans.”

  10. Peeta’s interview on TV. He’s so good at these.

    “But I have to confess, I’m glad you two had at least a few months of happiness together.”

    I’m not glad,” says Peeta. “I wish we had waited until the whole thing was done officially.”

    This takes even Caesar aback. “Surely even a brief time is better than no time?”

    ”Maybe I’d think that, too, Caesar,” says Peeta bitterly, “If it weren’t for the baby.”

What are your favorite moments from Hunger Games?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set, The Hunger Games Trilogy (digital)

[phpbay]catching fire suzanne collins, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins

hunger gamesBrief Overview: Roman  Gladiators + Lord of the Flies = The Hunger Games. Panem is a dystopian society that runs on suppression,  fear, and death matches. 13 Districts rebelled against the Capitol; the 13th was destroyed; the other 12 aggressively oppressed and subdued and forced to pay tribute each year for their rebellion. The tribute required is their children from ages 12-18; 1 boy, 1 girl from each district.

My Top 10 Favorite Scenes from the Hunger Games:

  1. The Boy with the Bread: Peeta gives Katniss bread in a flashback memory. This is important because Katniss (approx age: 11.5) has already lost the innocence of youth and knows everything in the world has a price.  The bread is an unexpected gift that breaks through the pessimism, grief, and anger that has grown since her father’s demise, her mother’s withdrawal, and her desperation to provide for herself, her sister, and her catatonic mother. She doesn’t understand gifts though, and is very uncomfortable with feeling like she owes Peeta for the life saving bread.
  2. Katniss Volunteers: Circumstances make her hard, aloof, and cynical but that’s just Katniss’ outer shell, underneath is a 16 year old girl who loves her sister. Katniss would do anything to keep Primrose safe, even volunteering to take her sister’s place in what amounts to a death sentence, because while 24 tributes go into the arena, only 1 comes out alive.
  3. You’re Great!: They might not have spoken since they were younger, but that didn’t mean they weren’t conscious of the other  during that time. On the train ride to the Capitol after the Reaping, Peeta tells Haymitch, their mentor and previous winner of the Games, all the ways in which Katniss is great and flustered/angry Katniss whips right back with what she knows about Peeta. Somebody’s paying attention!
  4. Girl on Fire: Cinna, Katniss’ stylist for the games designs and creates works of art in his fashion statements for the coal mining District 12. His costumes incorporate fake flames that look and move like the real thing. His creative genius, coupled with Portia’s cooperation in making matching outfits for Peeta, give Katniss and Peeta their first edge in the games. They are on fire!
  5. Televised Confession: Peeta has been crushing on Katniss since the age of 5 and his confession shocks Panem’s jaded Capitol viewers. It comes as a complete surprise to Katniss and she hates it because love ties you down, makes you weak, and can get you killed. She doesn’t realize that Peeta’s confession is not only the truth, but their coup d’état against their competition, effectively gaining the crucial sponsors’ attention that they need.
  6. Tracker Jackers: Katniss is horribly surprised after a forest fire when Peeta and the Careers show up and chase her until she’s treed. She views it as a sign of betrayal and wonders again what Peeta’s televised confession meant, if it meant anything other than to confuse her and make her an easier kill. It is now when Rue, who has been shadowing Katinss for a while makes an appearance and shows her how to get away from the murderous group by dropping a highly poisonous genetically engineered wasp hive on the group. This sequence also provides Katiness with a bow and arrows from another tribute and a hazy hallucination sequence in which Peeta appears to have warned her to run away when the leader of the Careers wants her dead (real).
  7. Rue’s Funeral: One of the saddest moments is also one of the most touching where Rue dies after being caught in a net and speared by a boy Career. Katniss is distraught and instead of abandoning Rue, comforts her before she dies and sings her a lullaby. When Rue is gone, Katniss goes a step further and arranges Rue on the ground like a sleeping girl and places wildflowers around her, showing all of Panem that Rue wasn’t a tribute, but a little girl brutally struck down for entertainment. The Game Makers only pick up bodies once all other tributes are far enough away to secure the dead safely without fear of attack from the tributes. They can’t take Rue away until Katiness leaves. Her final defiant act is to grace Rue and the audience with the token of deepest, most sincere respect from her District, a three fingered kiss and salute.
  8. Rule Change, Rescue, and Cave:  For the first time in Hunger Game history a rule change has been issued that allows 2 winners if the winners are the boy and girl from the same district. There are 3 districts left that could claim this; Peeta and Katniss are one and Katniss immediately strikes out to find him, as she’s heard he’s wounded. She finds him camouflaged by the river and helps him clean his leg wound before moving them to a more secure location downstream in a cave.

    Here is one of my favorite quotes:

    “You have a…remarkable memory,” I say haltingly.

    “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”

    “I am now,” I say.

    “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says.

    I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!”

    I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.

    Katiness also knocks Peeta out in order to leave the cave to go and retrieve the medicine needed to heal him of blood poisoning. This is the first time she’s actively risked her life for his.

  9. Unexpected Savior: When Katniss rushes to secure Peeta’s medicine she knows she’s heading into a trap. All the remaining survivors are being led to a bloodbath, but Katniss hopes to make it out before anyone shows up, except Foxface does and escapes before she makes a move. Determined to do the same Katniss leaves her hiding place in the forest and is nearly killed by a girl Career and rescued by Thresh, the boy tribute from Rue’s district. It’s a one time deal to pay her back for being kind to Rue.
  10. Katniss Freaks Out: At the end of the games, most people like the double suicide bluff but it reads a little too Romeo and Juliet for me. What I like and what I feel is most revealing on Katniss’ emotions is when Katniss and Peeta are retrieved and then separated on arrival inside the hovercraft from the arena. Katniss freaks out and tries to get to Peeta only to be knocked out for her wild and feral behavior. Every time she tries to get up to find him they knock her out again until she is allowed to wake up in the hospital with all physical marks of her time in the arena wiped clean with a body buff.

What are your favorite moments from Hunger Games?

Buy: The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set, The Hunger Games Trilogy (digital)

[phpbay]hunger games suzanne collins, 10, “”, “”[/phpbay]