Thursday, July 2, 2015

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: "Shades of Treason" by Sandy Williams

(An Anomaly Novel, #1)
By Sandy Williams


Ash would have given her life to save her teammates.
Instead, they gave their lives to save hers.

Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn is an anomaly, a person whose genetic makeup makes her stronger and smarter than the average human. She’s pledged her life to protect the Coalition, an alliance of thirteen planetary systems, but when a top secret operation turns bloody, she’s charged with treason and the brutal executions of her teammates.

The Coalition needs the information Ash’s team stole on their last mission, so they send in Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus to get it. He’s the man who’s responsible for turning Ash into an elite soldier... and he’s a man who isn’t, never was, and never will be in love with the woman he trained. Or so he tells himself.

Ash wants nothing more than to clear her name and be the woman her former instructor wants her to be, but the enemy who killed her teammates did more than frame her for treason and murder: they telepathically silenced her mind, preventing her from saying anything that might point to the truth about what happened.

Now Ash is trapped and set to be executed, the truth dying with her. Unless she can prove her innocence. But taking that path could destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect...

Available for purchase at 

The story begins with Lt. Ramie Ashdyn being interrogated by Commander Rhys Rykus. Ash is an anomaly, a rare group of people with enhanced abilities. They represent only 2% of the known universe. Anomalies volunteer for loyalty training in which they choose to give up their free will in order to better serve The Coalition.  Commander Rykus is a renowned trainer of anomalies.  Ash was one of his students, the first female graduate of the program.  

Ash has been trained to be absolutely loyal to the Commander.  However, in the year of training under his command, she was a wildcard - always teasing and pushing against his stoicism.  She had a talent for riling him up.  Was it mere teasing, or something else? 

Ash is in trouble because she has essential information for the Coalition against its enemies.  However, she has been exposed to mind control, a version of psychological warfare, in which she cannot speak about the data or the circumstances surrounding her last mission without blanking out. Furthermore, it is unclear whether it is a good thing for her superiors to possess this information. Ash believes that it has the potential to tear The Coalition apart. 

I really enjoyed the premise of this science fiction story. The narrative is imaginative and creative.  There are heartbeat-raising moments.  There is action and adventure and a pretty good romance.  The sexual tension between Ash and Rykus is crackling and if you’ve ever had a crush on a teacher, you will easily understand her attraction. I am a fan of Sandy William’s Shadow Reader series and her writing style continues to be very engaging. Ms. Williams puts us right into the middle of the action.  

This book has lots of potential, but unfortunately, it is not fully realized.  When a writer knows that he or she is going write a series, there has to be a balance between wrapping up the current story, and yet, leave the reader wanting for more. This story is a little imbalanced.  There are too many unanswered questions and not enough closure.  I did not finish completely satisfied. But because I know this is a series, I can be patient and can hope to learn more in the next novel.  Sandy Williams, bring it on!

This is a fantastic, albeit a little incomplete, read.  Despite my disappointment with dangling storylines, I’m still happy I read the book. It is worth your investment and time because the series potential is outstanding.   

“Please.” Ash’s voice was so raw, so striated with emotional pain, that Rykus wasn’t sure if the jolt he felt through his heart was her will breaking or his.

She had never uttered that word in his presence before. He was almost certain she’d never used it in her life. It wasn’t part of her vocabulary. It would have been seen as a weakness on her home planet, just as it would have been a weakness on Caruth.

But the word was a submission, complete and irrevocable. All her walls were down. She was pleading for his help.

She was pleading for his help, and he was hurting her.

He released the pressure on her arm.

A moment passed. Then another. Then Ash’s green eyes opened.

She stared at him.

He stared at her.

It felt as if he’d been sucked into another dimension, one where the loyalty training had flipped the axis of the universe. Instead of her being bound by his wishes, it was the other way around. She held his free will in her hands. He could feel it missing in the center of his chest. His heart beat within the hollow space, lost, unable to orient itself, but one command, one word from her, could make everything right again.

Her lips parted. No sound came out, though he waited for it, waited for some command he could carry out for her.

Is this what it felt like to be a loyalty trained anomaly? He wasn’t in control. He wasn’t thinking reasonably. If he had been, he wouldn’t have been this aware of how her body fitted with his. He wouldn’t have been able to picture himself lowering his mouth to hers. He could almost taste her. He wanted to taste that beauty mark to the right of her lips.

He allowed himself one weakness. He drew his thumb over the small, dark spot. It was real. As real as the woman lying beneath him. He’d seen Ash naked once before. He’d tried not to focus on her body back then, but he wanted to focus on it now. He wanted to take his time surveying every inch of it.

And he wanted her beneath him, vulnerable to his touch, his presence. Ash was always in control of herself. He wanted to see her shatter…

Sandy Williams has lived and breathed books all her life. When she was a teen, she was always the first to finish her class assignments so that she could read as much as possible before the bell rang. Her grades didn't suffer (much), and she was able to enroll in Texas A&M University. She didn't sneak in novels there, but her college lecture notes are filled with snippets of stories. After she graduated, she decided to turn those snippets into novels.

Sandy writes books with high-octane action adventure infused with a strong romantic element. She is best known for The Shadow Reader novels, an urban fantasy romance series about a human who can both see and track the fae. When she’s not reading or corralling her twin boys, she enjoys playing EuroGames like Dominion, 7 Wonders, and Agricola.

You can find Sandy at 


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