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GingerRead Reviews

Manipulation - Jolene Perry The cover of Manipulation was the first thing to catch my eye, I think it is beautifully done. Then the synopsis grabbed me. I'll admit that I have not read Insight, the first book in this series but I was assured that I didn't need to, that Manipulation could stand on its own. Normally I would not even consider starting a series from anywhere but the beginning but I thought I would jump out of my comfortably made box and give it a shot.The assurances I was given were right on. You don't have to read Insight to fall into Manipulation's story. Perry does a wonderful job of making this book work on its own while still providing hints to the first story. I actually want to read Insight now after reading Manipulation and I don't feel like I will be going backwards at all.Dean and Addison have a chance meeting after they've both screwed up and are forced in front of a judge. A judge that somehow seems very eager to give Addison what she wants after the briefest contact, something that grabs Dean's attention. Now he can't help but wonder about this Park Avenue Princess and when they are forced to take a court ordered Life Skills class together...keeping Addison out of his mind gets increasingly harder.Addison has always been able to get what she wants by a simple touch that allows her to plant her will into someone's mind. Now it seems she's met her match. Dean is able to do the same. The powers each have a eerily similar but still with slight differences and it makes it impossible to trust each other. Are they acting of their own will or is the other planting thoughts in their heads?When mysterious shadows and family secretes threaten to tear their lives apart, Dean and Addison must figure out how to overcome any apprehensions about each other and make a run for safety.I loved the struggle these two had with each other. Dean can force Addison's will but she can't force his, however she can hear his thoughts but not the other way around. This makes for some very awkward and uncomfortable situations. There is an instant attraction between the two and at first I thought it might be headed to a instantaneous love, which I loathe. Perry took some care to squash that for the most part, there were still times it felt a little rushed but then she would throw a little curve ball in to slow it back down.The characters were all very well developed and felt real even though the situations felt impossible. The world Perry is building in the Shadow series is pretty exciting and full of potential and possibility. It's a bit super-power vs. secret-agent vs. paranormal-spookiness, who wouldn't love all that right? Then you add in a bit of romance and humor and end up with a pretty winning combination.My only bad thought was that at times the story felt a bit rushed and convoluted. I felt like there were details left out, things I was supposed to already know but didn't. I know it was not for lack of reading Insight because these were details pertaining characters that would not have been in Insight. It didn't take too much away from the overall effect, it just had me scratching my head at times.Regardless, I liked too much of the story to not give more attention to Jolene Perry's writing. I will be checking out the rest of the series along with her other titles.