Released by S.J. Pajonas

Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyō recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa's eventual rule on Yūsei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired -- at all costs.

Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she's willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?

Immediately after finishing Removed, I bought Book Two of the Nogiku series, Released. I should have waited until a decent hour in the morning, I should have gone right to sleep - but I was so immersed in the story, I had to find out how the next book started. I had to know what happened to Sanaa and everyone else!

Released continues Sanaa and Jiro's journey of love and discovery. Their relationship has grown a lot in this book and it's a lot of fun to be a part of that growth. To listen in on their private conversations, to spar with them in the dōjo, to join them on their dates - it makes for fun reading and dreaming!

We also see the continued efforts of gaining supporters for the colonization and Sanaa's eventual rule. A new friend (though we don't know that at first) is introduced and I really enjoyed watching Kentaro blossom from a cold, rude idiot boy to a fun, open and trustworthy man. It will be interesting to see how the clan leaders decide to support, or not support, Sanaa.

Something that really struck me was the lack of support Sanaa received from the Sakai family members after she came back from the desert. Her relationship with Jiro's mother has cooled quite a bit and she is distanced from everyone else, except Jiro. To keep Sanaa safe, she is ordered to stay inside the apartment building, which in turn increases her loneliness. I was relieved, like crying and awwwing relieved, when Sanaa finally said something to Jiro. He stood up to his mother, his family and took charge - it was quite the experience!

I really cannot wait to return to their story, to continue the journey and find out how it all ends. You can be sure that when the next installment of the Nogiku series is released, I'll be one of the first in line to get my copy!

Besides trying to get through the winter, S.J. Pajonas is working on several projects. She's redesigning her website and will have the new look up by mid-February. FACE TIME, her contemporary romance novel due out April 25, 2014, is in its final edit stage and the cover will be revealed on February 13. She's also currently working on a revisions game plan for the third book in the Nogiku Series, due out in late summer. Lots going on! If you want to be alerted of S. J.’s new releases, you can sign up for her newsletter.

You can find S.J. Pajonas on her website and on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Instagram. And if you'd like to see teaser pictures and short videos of her upcoming contemporary romance novel, FACE TIME, be sure to follow her on Instagram...she'll be releasing lots of fun things leading up to April 25th release!

You'll find this incredible novel on Amazon: Released

and Nook: Released

Thank you for reading my review and for supporting Indie Authors! xoxo

~Heather

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