Series: The Life of Arie Series Book 1
Author: Dani Hart
Release Date: September 23, 2013
Rating: 3.5 Groupie Stars
I am Arie Belle and up until my mother’s unexpected and mysterious death my life had been pretty simple, but then things became dark and, at times, hopeless. Even my uncanny ability to communicate with nature had turned its back on me. My only saving grace is my lifetime friendship with the boy next door, River, whom I had always thought of as my soul mate up until my eighteenth birthday when everything seemed to change. My body tingles with heightened sensations and my emotions veer out of control. They are further tested when Ashe, a beautiful stranger with a powerful draw, enters my life and challenges my heart and soul. Amidst the rush of feelings after years of numbness, my true destiny slowly unravels and my journey to find out what I am, to find my mother’s killer, and stop my own death becomes a frantic rush before the next full moon.
This powerful story encaptures the true meaning of love and the dark corners of life that can either suck you in or save you.
“I don’t know what it was about today, but I was starting to feel alive again. My body was responding in ways it never had before. I let him hold me for what seemed like an eternity. Time turned into hours rather than minutes and my breathing became irregular. My vision turned crisp and clear among the darkness and shadows of night. River turned me around and touched my face gently. His fingertips caused electric shocks to pass over my skin. I closed my eyes and let the chill of the night be swallowed by the heat generating between us. I could hear the creatures of the night dancing across the broken fall leaves on the ground and the hoots of owls that filled the tree lines. I swear I could even hear the whisper of baby birds being tucked into their nests. All of my senses seemed to be heightened and I was enjoying every moment of it. A soft pressure pushed on my lips and I could taste the sweetness of River. The tingle on my lips erupted into explosions as I responded desperately. The passion between us rose by the second as if our bodies had been waiting an eternity for us to kiss again. His hands crawled down my back increasing the intensity of the moment. My hands had become limp in the embrace, but now came alive and found his face and locks of hair. I felt more alive in this moment then I had in years. I wanted more! River pushed me up against the car as the desperation in our kiss intensified. And then it was quiet. The rustling of the leaves stopped, the owls went silent, and the quiet whispers of the birds ceased.”
"I wish I could live in my dreams and sleep in my reality."
"The first time I realized I wasn't like my friends was my seventh birthday."
Reality was Dani Hart's debut book and what a great job! Reality is about Arie, a girl on the cusp of womanhood, who loses her mom at the most important juncture of her life. She has an uncanny ablility to be "one" with nature. Her next door neighbor and best friend River is her only shining light and Knight(hehe). They have been friends since they were babies and have always had a deep connection.
"Our eyes locked, and this was when we both knew we would be together forever."
"I won't be as bold to say that this was the first moment we knew we loved each other because what seven year old knows what love was? But we definitely had a pivotal moment inside the shelter of the butterfly circle."
Arie's only family is her mother and they are very close. She never met her father, though her mother speaks very fondly of him and Arie can tell that they were very in love when he "disappeared" before she was born. When Arie's mother dies suddenly on her sixteenth birthday, Arie is left to take care of herself and sort out what is happening to her, or so she thinks.
"A day I will never forget and, until now, would never realize how important it was."
"What I discovered was that faith couldn't be taught and that most people turn to a God to keep from going insane and killing themselves when the realization of death takes hold of them."
River helps her get through her mother's death and stands by her side even when she becomes confusing and distant towards him. She soon find out that River knows more than she thinks about what is going on around her and that he is actually part of her past.
When Arie turns eighteen, two years later she starts noticing strange occurrences happening in nature when she is around and starts blacking out and having strange visions about herself and family. Everyone around her seems to know what is going on but will not fill Arie in on the "secret", after a while it got kind of infuriating. Just TELL her already!! Arie meets mysterious Ashe during all of this. She has this instant deep connection to him but doesn't understand why. Arie feels like she is betraying River by having these feeling for Ashe. You will also meet her friend Star, that was recruited to protect Arie until the time was "right."
"I was scared to take a step towards him, knowing that if I took this path I might be tearing apart the road that River and I spent eighteen years building, but I couldn't deny what my body needed and right now it was Ashe."
"In that moment I realized he was familiar and not a stranger. If River was home, Ashe was my heart."
Arie soon learns that she will change forever at the full moon and it is up to her to decide whether it will be good or bad for everyone. Arie meets many people from her past and fights to learn who she is and what she is to become.
"Which is what exactly? No one has given me a clear answer, River, I hate riddles with a passion and I suck at them, so if my whole purpose is wrapped up tight into one big riddle than we aer all screwed."
Some people in your reality call us fairies, angels, or guardians, but that wouldn't be completely accurate. We are the essence that lives in nature. Some here call us nature spirits."
I feel that this story could have been even better if this secret that everyone was keeping from Arie was told a little sooner. She knew she was different and I'm not sure why it was dragged out for so long before she was told. There were many things left open, that I would assume will be answered in the coming books.
"I felt empty, confused, and lonely. My destiny might not be fully realized yet, but this was mine and Amary's home now, and I had to find a way to start over and to make the best of what time we had together."
My passion for writing started at a very young age. It started with a multitude of diaries as soon as I could, then poetry, then short stories. I received my BA at USC in Theatre with an unofficial minor in writing. While at USC I wrote my first screenplay and post-graduation I was hired to write another screenplay, which I did successfully. Life got busy and my passion was pushed aside, but then I met an amazing person who loved my story and encouraged me to start writing again. With that said, I am in a happier place now. I am fulfilling my inner desire and passion to write. I just self-published book one in The Life of Arie series and am currently working on book two. I am also working on an adult dark romance.