There is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.

In this place, there is a boy with the body of a God and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.

In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers. 

Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil, fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places… From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.

4.5 stars!

One quality I’m always on the lookout for in books is originality. And in a genre like NA contemporary where plots are rehashed and recycled, originality is harder and harder to find these days. But this one…this book oozed creativity and is truly a diamond of the first water. Add exquisite writing, charming main characters, and a captivating forbidden romance on top and it’s no wonder this book was a winner for me.*****************************The book begins with a heartbreaking prologue of a girl wandering through an unknown city with little possessions and nowhere to go. There are glimpses of her past in this chapter, leading the reader to wonder how she got to where she is today…and who and where the boy in her thoughts is at. With this little to go off of, the author dives into a flashback story.Like the blurb suggests, there is a place in present-day where people faithfully follow their chosen leader, worship their gods, and live with no modern conveniences. It is this kind of community where Calder lives, and where he meets Eden when they were both children. As the years pass, their connection grows more strong and intense. Every single moment they were together was precious and cherished but both knew that a relationship was forbidden because Eden was betrothed to another.

But no matter how much they tried to fortify their hearts and condition their minds into not falling in love with each other, it still happened. To want someone that can never be yours and only to be temporarily satisfied with stolen kisses and hidden moments seemed to magnify their love and intensify the insatiable craving for one another. But with both of them trapped in a suffocating community where the leader’s teachings were law, they could only dare to dream of a different life, one where they were free to express their feelings and build a life together.

*****************************This story was both tragic and hopeful. When I read romance books, I usually have a very keen sense of how things will end and what kind of ending is in store for the characters. But with this book, nothing is guaranteed or predictable. It’s the kind of story that has the emotional intensity to force you to realize every event, every action is unexpected and will make an impact. It will actually make you question whether or not love is enough to overcome obstacles and if these characters are strong enough to bear the consequences if it’s not.So why not a full 5 stars then? Well to be honest, I don’t have any real complaints. Really, I don’t. You know the feeling where everything in a book is going your way and you’re enjoying the story but it just doesn’t hit all your 5 star buttons? This book was like that. For some inexplicable reason, it lacked the final ‘oomph’ factor and since my 5 stars are reserved for books that completely blow my mind and wow me, I’m rating this one 4.5 stars.Becoming Calder is the first in a two book series. With this book ending in a very gripping and dramatic way, I can totally appreciate the fact that the author is releasing book 2 on the same day. Initially I had wished that this story could’ve been condensed into one, but it makes complete sense that there are two parts. In many ways, Becoming Calder is a reflection of Calder and Eden’s past and I presume that the follow up Finding Eden will be their story of fighting for their future.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.