Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blog Tour: Belonging (Temptation #2) by Karen Ann Hopkins

Belonging (Temptation #2) 

Karen Ann Hopkins 

Published: April 30, 2013
Pub. By: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher

GR's Summary:

I left everything I knew behind.

But it was worth it. He was worth it.

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself.
If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be NOAH & ROSE
together forever.
But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

*To Add Belonging to Goodreads Click HERE
*To Read Our Review on Temptation (Temptation #1) Click HERE

Lindy's Thoughts

Belonging is the exquisite sequel to Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins!  Belonging began right were Temptation left off. Rose is dropped off with a kindly elder Amish couple to learn the ins and outs of becoming Amish herself.  As soon as she arrives at her foster parents home, she is met with the Bishop, and the ministers of the Amish church.  She doesn't exactly get a warm welcome, and the Bishop lays down the strict rules of the Amish society of Meadow View, and lectures Rose that she has to prove herself fit for the Amish culture, and become a part of the church before Noah, and her can begin courting, and belong to one another.  Rose is upset to learn that the process of learning before she can become a part of the church can take several months.  This means that Noah and Rose must adhere to all of the church's rules, or Rose will be removed from the society, and her and Noah will not be able to be together.

The first half went at a slow pace, and consisted of Rose and Noah's day to day lives, their thoughts of each other, and interactions with one another. The story was still told in alternating view points between Rose, and Noah, but this time we also get Sam's (Rose's eldest brother) perspective here and there.  It all tied together seamlessly.  In Belonging, we got to know a lot more about the secondary character's that were introduced to us in Temptation.  We learn a lot more about Sam and his day to day life.  Also, Rose become's closer to Suzanna (an Amish friend she met in Temptation,) and Suzanna introduces her to Miranda (another Amish girl,) and Summer (a girl from the country who has grown up among the Amish.)  Rose develops close-knit friendships with these three girls, and they all help, and support one another throughout the story.  We also learn about the "Amish Way," of doing things.  Rose wakes up everyday at dawn and works very hard in a very strict, structured, and regimented environment day to day.  Church and prayer are also a big part of the culture, and Rose makes it her mission to do whatever it takes to win over the bishop, and the rest of the Amish community to be with Noah.

The second half of the story picks up pace, and I was sad to finish the book. The characters really developed, and the plot was highly engaging!  There were so many plot-twists, and surprises, that kept the story moving along at a rapid pace. Poor Rose and Noah's relationship is tested time and time again!  These two couldn't catch a break, and they had so much going against the success of their relationship.  Not only did they have cultural differences to overcome, but they also had to deal with two horrific antagonists (Ella, and Levi from Temptation,) and her family being dead set against them being together.  At the end we're left in suspense with a surprising cliffhanger!  I don't know how I'm going to wait for the third book!  The way Belonging left me, I am dying to have answers now.  All I know is that I jumped from Temptation to devour Belonging, because there was some suspense at the end of Temptation.  However, the suspense we are left with at the end of Belonging was much more intense.  I have no doubt, that I will be reading the third and final book of this trilogy in one sitting!

I wonder if love will be enough for Rose and Noah to overcome all of the obstacles that have been thrown in their paths.  I hope with all my heart that they will succeed and not only be together, but be happy.  I fear that Rose will lose herself, all that she loves, her family, her passions, and her wild, and free spirit!  I really want her to have it all!  Noah and Rose have the kind of love that two people share if they are lucky enough to, once in a lifetime, and I for one am rooting for them to make it, and have the happily ever after that they both deserve.

I give Belonging 4.5 Suspenseful, Self-Sacrificing, Challenging, Passionate, and Once in a Lifetime Stars!  If you have read and enjoyed Temptation, you will enjoy Belonging even more!  I highly recommend this series to fans of YA Contemporary Romances that enjoy realistic fiction, angst, suspense, passion, and stories about other culture's.  Belonging is an excellent choice for a bookish escape, and it stands out in a genre were a lot of stories are written very similarly.  This series is a very memorable read, that you will be thinking about long after you have finished it!

My Favorite Quotes

"If I'd lost Noah on that fateful night, a part of me would have died also. I couldn't even imagine a world without him-it would be as if the sun disappeared from the sky.  My heart wouldn't have recovered, and that's why I had to be brave now. I couldn't live without him, and somehow I had to make my decision to become Amish work-so that the two of us would never be torn apart again.
~Rose (Kindle Loc. 33)

"Deep down, I knew that Rose's headstrong personality was one of the things that I both hated and loved about her.  Things were always exciting with her, that's for sure."
~Noah (Kindle Loc. 751)

"The feel of Rose in my arms was better than ever before. And that was hard for me to believe.  Each time I touched her, I experienced more desire; just a glance from my sweetheart made the blood pump heavily through my veins.  I didn't know if I could rein myself in again if I found myself completely alone with her. All reason went out the door when she was in my embrace.
~Noah (Kindle Loc. 1453)

"See, that's where you and I are different.  If I fell in love, I'd give my life for my guy, but not my soul, she said cryptically. What are you saying?  The fact that Summer was getting all philosophical had me suddenly on edge.  She gazed at me with steady eyes and said, That if you give up your spirit, who you really are, for a guy, you won't have much left to love him with."
~Summer (Kindle Loc. 3066) 

The Way Ria Sees it 

GAH!!!! IMSOFU#%*&^!!!!! ANGRY!! I just cried, seriously...Have you ever cried angry tears? They are so different from sad tears, its jarring. I can honestly say I didn’t even know I had it in me to cry out of anger and frustration!! Alright, now that I’ve set the mood I’m going to review "Belonging". Oh! Wait...If you haven’t read "Temptation" I may reveal a spoiler or two for ya...I’ll do my best not to but just in case I do...






So, as you know I really enjoyed Temptation... The trend continues in Belonging. I wanted to know what would happen next. Belonging reminds me of Romeo and Juliet. I would have said modern day R&J but lol, I don’t think the amish “qualify” under the “modern day” category. I apologize if that sounds rude or ignorant. I don’t mean to offend, just an opinion of a silly girl. NE WAY... Full disclosure... I don’t typically let a character affect my review of the book, but I found myself to become irritated with Rose. That may be the feminist side of me but CHEESE AND RICE!! I wanted to shake her!! The ending was a little cliffy... Y’all know how I feel about that so I wont get into it.

B-rave, Rose will face the unknown to hold on to her love.
E-arned, through hard work people will begin to embrace her.
L-ies, a venomous serpent will stoop to a new low.
O-bligated, Noah must tell the truth about a broken promise.
N-ight, finally able to share a kiss, these two will figure out a way to make it work.
G-rievous, betrayal and abduction.
I-ncredulous, a father pushed to the brink was forced to act.
N-eglect, caught in a moment without reason.
G-auntlet, it seems their troubles are just now starting. After fighting so hard for each other I truly
hope they find their reprieve.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY cant wait to continue with this series. Ms. Hopkins has me as her captive, and I’m totally looking forward to see what happens next. I loved getting to know the people in Rose’s life a little better. I can’t wait to see these characters fully develop because they have so much potential.

My Fav’s 

Yea, yea, I know your like hey! Whats she doing under your fav’s list if she frustrated you?! Well I LOVE her! I want the BEST for her!! Is that SO... cray? Maybe, I can’t help the way I feel. Rose has my heart and if she doesn’t get her "ish" together and stay in Modern Civilization IT WILL SHATTER :/ I’ll probably cry for her but in the end all I want is her happiness. I know I’ll support whatever decision she makes.

Oh boy this one...I’ll forgive him but I hope he realizes that if he is going to pursue Rose he needs to move forward. Living in the “Dark” is NOT moving forward. I feel Rose has given up enough for him and its high time he realized that. There are choices out their for the both of them.

My Rating

4.0 Chores, Abandoned house, Evil brother, Spiteful Beeyotch, Perfect friend, Discarded Letter, Rapture filled stars...Life is anything but easy for a read that shows how powerful love can be pick up Belonging.

Ro's Thoughts

In this second novel of the Temptation series, we have Rose giving up her family and her life for Noah.  She is thrown into a new family life, with an adoptive family.  The Bishop has thrown a wrench in Rose's idyllic girlish notion of courting and romance.  Her and Noah are separated in a community that is judging her at every turn.  She not only has to learn a new way of life, but she doesn't really have the support of the man she loves.  She has to prove to everyone first that she belongs, and prove to the church that she is willing to abide by the strict societal norms in order to start courting, and prove her worthiness to belong, before she and Noah can be together like they originally planned.

There are so many twists and turns in this novel.  It takes all of the original qualities that Noah said he loved about Rose, in the beginning, and replaced those qualities with the robotic assembly line of the Amish.  I felt that Noah became more like his father.  I was a bit disappointed in him.  He almost seemed to think he was entitled to have everything he wanted, and Rose had to give up every part of herself to prove her love for him.  Luckily, Rose develops friendships to give her the strength and support she needs to get her through grueling months of this torturous ordeal to get to her end result, being with Noah.

I hate cliffhangers!!!  All our followers know this.  Well, get ready readers, because Ms. Hopkins lays a huge one in our paths.  I look forward to the conclusion of this saga.  I learned more about the Amish, and their hardships in this second book, and it is definitely a self sacrificing way of life for their women.  I don't like the fact that Rose had to give up everything she loved and had passion for to prove her love to Noah, yet, he gave up nothing in comparison.  They both loved each other, there is no doubt about that, but I felt that Rose proved it with all she had, and all she was.  Ms. Hopkins is a master at weaving a suspenseful, passionate, engaging saga, and Harlequin knows how to pick it's authors!

I give belonging 5 heart wrenching, soul searching, selfless, passion filled stars.



Guest Post

A day in the life of an Amish Teen: 

Hard work and responsibility are parts of every Amish teen’s life.  Whether girl or boy, they’re expected to contribute to the household’s income and livelihood.  After graduating in the eighth grade, Amish teens are finished with schooling and thrust into the workforce, either leaving the home for a forty hour work week or putting that much time into a family business.  Jobs include carpentry, metal work, farming, and welding for the boys and butchery, bakery, woodworking, retail, teaching, child care, and housecleaning for the girls. Usually, 90% of a teen’s income is given to the family as an intricate part of the family’s financial survival.  Part of the ten percent that the teens retain is saved towards the teen’s future married life, while the rest is for their own enjoyment.
Even though Amish teens work hard, they also play hard. Oftentimes, they will take short trips with their church groups, visit relatives and friends, and participate in activities such as hunting, horseback riding and skiing.  A usual day for an Amish teen begins at five o’clock in the morning, followed by prayer, breakfast and morning chores.  After working an eight hour work day, the youth will arrive home to afternoon chores before dinner with the family.  The evenings are playtime for the young people.  They can be found at the church’s youth group gatherings, such as singings and ball games or they may be seen riding their horses or bikes on the roadways.  Five things I’ve learned from the Amish:

Just a few random facts. 

1.  They are not taught geography or science in school.
2.  Their families deal with many of the same problems as everyone else, such as marital, financial and child rearing.
3.  If an Amish couple does divorce, which is highly unlikely, they are not allowed to remarry.
4.  Amish families often move around, relocating to another region or state due to problems within their community.
5.  The Amish pay federal and state tax, but not social security tax.

Love stories that inspired Temptation:

Romeo and Juliet, and Twilight are two stories that I can name that gave inspiration to Rose and Noah’s story.  There are similarities in all three romances from the forbidden nature of the affairs to the struggle for the couples to be together.  In TEMPTATION, however, the external forces are only part of the difficulties facing the young lovers.  The aspect of whether Rose and Noah are willing to give up their own world is the driving conflict of the story.

Purchase At: 

About the Author

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now

lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community.  Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Karen Ann Hopkins': Blog|Facebook|Goodreads


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Follow the Tour: 

Monday, April 22th - Ashley loves books

Tuesday, April 23th -  A Little Shelf of Heaven

Wednesday, April 24th - One Day YA

Thursday, April 25h - Fic Talk 

Friday, April 26th - Bittersweet Enchantment  

 Monday, April 29th - Reader Girls 

Tuesday, April 30th - Bumbles and Fairy Tales 

Wednesday, May 1sh - The YA Bookworm 

Thursday, May 2nd - The Book Heist  

Friday, May 3rd -  Page Turners

Monday, May 6th -  Books Complete Me  

Tuesday, May 7th -  Bookish Escape 

Wednesday, May 8th - Book Sp(l)ot Reviews 

Thursday, May 9th - Irish Banana 

Friday, May 10th - The Cozy Reader

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