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Strength (Mark of Nexus #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,710 Ratings  ·  275 Reviews
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, R
Paperback, 389 pages
Published March 7th 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing (first published March 5th 2013)
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Strength by Carrie ButlerDenali Skies by Danielle RohrMagic America by C.E. MedfordWater Falls Down by Danielle RohrShudder by Samantha Durante
Speculative New Adult Fiction
1st out of 272 books — 361 voters
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuireNever Too Far by Abbi GlinesEntwined with You by Sylvia DayReckless by S.C. StephensBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
2013 New Adult Releases
79th out of 1,162 books — 3,088 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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It's official. I have a new book boyfriend. I'm officially claiming him in public. I'm in love with Wallace.

This book jumped off the computer screen at me the first time I read the description. I'll admit that I had a few reservations because while I knew it was paranormal, I wasn't sure what kind of paranormal it was. I was expecting werewolves or some other kind of shape shifter but I was pleasantly surprised.

This book held my interest from the first page and I didn't want to put it down. An
3.5 stars

Usually when I read a book, I re-read the synopsis first, because by the time I've finally managed to get hold of it, I've forgotten what it's about. If I don't read it, I find that before I can get too far in, I feel like I have to read it. With Strength, however, I felt no such compulsion and as such, I had no idea what to expect going in, bar the fact that this was paranormal. What I got, then, was a unique add to the paranormal genre, a healthy smearing of sizzling romance and a sna
Mar 19, 2014 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

I had gotten myself into a New Adult book funk and was looking for something different. I had Strength on my reader for a while and decided it was time to give it a try and I’m so glad I did. I absolutely loved it!!! Even though it still falls into the New Adult genres it had a paranormal twist to it. That twist is exactly what I needed to pull me out of my reading funk.

Strength is told from the point of view of Rena Collins, feisty, strong, independent college junior. I loved Rena, sh
This first novel of the Mark of Nexus series was a refreshingly different story, and I really enjoyed it. The characters weren't predictable, the plot twists kept me guessing, and there was a steamy romance building that had me swooning!

Sassy Rena Collins had far more bravery than her small frame would imply, and I loved what a little spitfire she was. When Wallace crashed into her life, it opened her eyes not only to this strange world of the Dynari, but also to her own faults. This man is one
Lisa Regan
Sep 15, 2012 Lisa Regan rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. That is saying a lot considering that I don’t normally read paranormal romance or paranormal anything for that matter. But Carrie Butler’s debut novel is brilliant, riveting, imaginative and seamlessly written.

Rena Collins is an average college student, albeit quite a bit spunkier than most young women. When she meets Wallace Blake, a reclusive and mysterious suitemate of one of her best friends, sparks fly. She and Wallace get to know each other, scrupulously av
Lynn Rush
Nov 12, 2012 Lynn Rush rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-adult, favorites
GREAT read. Really strong characters. Captivating story concept. Loved Wallace the best. Such a unique character. Love the world Carrie Butler created. It's new and refreshing. Nicely done, Carrie Butler!!
Dec 05, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strength follows the story of Rena. A normal college student, who one day walks right into social outcast, Wallace. It only takes one meeting with him to realize that everything she thought she knew about him was wrong. She desperately wants to know what's wrong with him and to prove the theories about him wrong. She soon finds out that there is so much more to Wallace than meets the eye and will have to decide if being with him is worth possibly risking her life.........

Strength had me drawn in
Strength This review and others can be found at

I thought Strength was a great New Adult book and I loved the paranormal twist to it. It was different to other books of this genre that I have read and I loved that about it. The characters are great, the romance is sweet whilst also being incredibly steamy and the background to the story is very interesting.

Rena is such a fiery, powerful character. Although she doesn’t possess any powers, her emotional stre
Mar 18, 2013 Jill rated it liked it
****This book was part of a blog tour, I received a copy for my honest review****
I have to start by saying from the front cover, I was expecting a totally different sort of book,maybe more romance and passion than mystery .
The beginning of this book starts out exactly like the blurb says, with Rena bumping head first into the chest of outcast and all round mysterious character, Wallace. I must admit with all the nighttime going's on in his room I was thinking this book was going to take a comple
Mar 11, 2013 Gemma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting take on the paranormal romance set in a college environment, a genre which has been overdone but this provided an fresh outlook.

I liked every character especially Wallace, such a sweetheart. Also love Cole and his bad boy ways.

Humour, drama and decent sexual tension between the main characters

I will definitely read the next book

Emily (Book Jems)
As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!

4.5 Stars

I must be honest and say that I wasn't sure that I was going to like Strength, but I requested to be a part of the blog tour because it sounded so interesting and I wanted to give new adult another chance to blow me away. I am so glad that I did because Strength was a delightful surprise!

Rena is a college student, who until she runs into outcast Wallace, is pretty normal. Intrigued by his reputation for having psychotic breaks in his dorm room, Rena begins
Ohhh..this is such a fun and surprisingly amazing read! I loved it and the ending was splendid! :)

Full Review To Come....
A.L. Jackson
Sep 07, 2012 A.L. Jackson rated it it was amazing
Review to come
Tracey (YA Book Addict)
It was all I could do to suppress a shiver as the warmth of his breath danced over my skin, his scent clouding the air between us. God, it smelled so familiar, like the air before a downpour.

The word around campus is that Wallace Blake is a madman. And if the strange noises that come from his room each night are any indication then those rumours are true. But when Rena Collins runs into Wallace in the hall she is shocked to see that he is incredibly gorgeous, as well as considerate and carin
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
First can I just say that this series is going to take the NA New Adult genre by STORM! This story had the elements I love about a supernatural world. The flow of the story was so incredible that I could not put the book down once I started reading it. I first came across the book doing the cover reveal and then it was released on my son's birthday. I was so excited to be a part of this tour because the book cover SCREAMS red me and the blurb had me hooked on he screams at night.

Rena is your ave
P.A. Warren
I was given a copy of Strength for an Honest Review.

I am always a fan of a great Paranormal YA/NA book.Carrie Butler Hit Strength out of the ballpark.Strength is the story of Rena who is in college.She and her friends are terrified of the crazy guy,Wallace upstairs.He has cluster headaches and from the rumors he may or may not be harming people.Rena Literally bumps into him on accident when meeting a friend.Nothing out of the ordinary,right?Nothing but the fact that Wallace left major bruising
V.J. Chambers
Mar 13, 2013 V.J. Chambers rated it did not like it
Shelves: new-adult
Would have liked to have been warned about the heavy Christianity stuff in the book.

I did not finish it, but that's REALLY off-putting for me, and I think if authors are going to warn about sexual content, they should also warn if they're going to go all church-y on me too.
Justjay Go
Mar 31, 2013 Justjay Go rated it it was amazing
love it!!!!! a gentle giant and a nosy girl. great combination. can't wait for the next series!
Full Review to Follow... @

The ending was peaceful after much turmoil and I’m highly anticipating the next book in the Mark of the Nexus series. The flow was good and the author did a great job at world building. I found myself drawn into this world and i’m starving for more answers. Rena has told us of her past and we get to see why she reacts to certain things in certain ways. Cole was an interesting and powerful character. He is Wallace’s brother with di
I received this in exchange for an honest review.

I love Rena! She is smart, strong, funny and let's face it, a little snarky. She takes everything in stride, stuff doesn't really phase her. She accepts it, deals with it and moves on. I really like that she can fight for herself and not rely on others all the time.

Cole is a blend of both good and bad. He does bad things with good intentions. He never denies that he is a bad guy, but underneath the surface he is charming and funny. His "Brotherly"
May 03, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
I read a lot of books. So, eventually a lot of them end up sort of running together. It's hard to surprise me. And, it's rare that I find something that's unique. So, on one of the occasions that I find one of these special books, it's such a treat.

Butler does a really nice job of creating an air of mystery around Wallace. She makes him seem scary and evil and very mysterious. From that aspect, I was sucked into the story almost immediately. Rena literally runs into him in the hallway and gets
Katie Doyle
Mar 17, 2013 Katie Doyle rated it really liked it
She's done it. Carrie Butler's gone and done it. She has created a character totally worth stalking. I may have to obsess a little. Seriously. Wallace Blake. I want to buy a journal just so I can write his name all over the pages with hearts. It's bad. I'm crushing so hard on a fictional character.

And why not? The way he's portrayed through Rena's eyes, it's hard not to crush. Then again, Rena is such a great character herself. She's dry and sarcastic and has such an honest wit, it's hard not to
Roxanne Kade
Feb 22, 2014 Roxanne Kade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading a lot of Contemporary Romance novels lately, and it felt so good to step back into the genre that started my love for reading. It was even better to have a read that was thrilling and quite the breath of fresh air I was looking for.

The characters were fantastic and the plot was exciting. This book was well paced, and is a very promising start to this series. There was enough mystery surrounding the characters that it held me captive, and the more I read, the more questions swi
Donna Weaver
Aug 18, 2013 Donna Weaver rated it it was amazing
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn't look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn't look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace's madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her
Jewels ♥ My Devastating Reads
Originally reviewed at
When I first read the blurb of this book, I was pulled in by the idea of magic and mystery that it suggested. I absolutely could not resist the idea of the two warring magical bloodlines. I was every bit as curious as Rena to find out what Wallace's secret was, why he was screaming and banging on the walls of his room at night. I was certain he was battling some sort of demon, or evil relative trying to suck him into a magical war or somethi
Mar 20, 2013 Nette rated it really liked it
I'm sooo late in posting this review! I was given an ARC copy of this book by the publisher for my honest review. So here goes...

Strength is a good starter novel to a series. While it was slow to pick up on the paranormal elements, it was none the less a refreshing take on the paranormal. I enjoyed all of the characters, especially Cole and Gabby...they made me chuckle and snort a few times. Although this book is about the developing relationship between Rena and Wallace those two stood out for
Cecilia Robert
This book is all about Strength. It starts with Rena running into Wallace, known as the madman around campus. But Wallace isn't what people think. This guy is a whole level of awesomeness. He's broody (yeah, we all love that type. :D) kind and his heart is as big as the universe. Rena takes a chance to get to know him and their relationship builds from mere friendship to best friends to lovers. (EEP! See, I just love these kind of stories, so thanks for hooking me with that one, Carrie) oh where ...more
Nancy Thompson
Mar 20, 2013 Nancy Thompson rated it it was amazing
As a writer, I’m jealous of Carrie Butler’s ability to bring her characters, not only to life, but practically jumping off the page. It takes significant skill to create such a credible and truly vivid voice, precisely what Butler has managed to do in Strength.

I don’t read very much Upper YA because I find the voices to be typically whiney or overly snarky in an effort to draw the reader in. Shatter Me is a prime example. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. The author relies too much on this
Apr 04, 2013 Brianna rated it really liked it
When I first heard about this book, I instantly knew that I had to read it. The fact that it was about a girl meeting someone who was an outcast, and who was believed to be a madman was really intriguing. Not to mention the supernatural powers that the synopsis referenced. . Just those two elements alone made it too much for me to resist. So when I finally was able to buy and read this story, I was extremely happy to not be disappointed.

The character of Rena was awesome. She was relatable, an
Anna Banana
3.5 stars

When I heard about this blog tour I jumped to be a part of it. I've had my eyes on this book for a while and I knew it'd be good.

Rena. I just didn't like her much. She's rude, judgmental, nosy and just annoying. There were times when I would like her but then she'd do something that just annoyed me all over again. I know that a lot of people loved Rena but from the beginning I just didn't like her and it seems like she just didn't redeem herself much throughout the book. The thing tha
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Carrie Butler is an award-winning author, the owner of Forward Authority Design Services, and a co-founder of NA Alley—not to mention a recovering marketer with a penchant for superhero socks and Firefly. Time away from her desk is spent playing with her rescue pup, yelling at the TV during hockey season, and indulging in target-based recreation. Otherwise, you’re likely to find her glued to her c ...more
More about Carrie Butler...

Other Books in the Series

Mark of Nexus (4 books)
  • Courage (Mark of Nexus, #2)
  • Honesty (Mark of Nexus, #2.5)
  • Loyalty (Mark of Nexus, #3)

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“Rena?” I looked up as a figure emerged from the white void of snowfall. The snow dusted his broad shoulders as he took long, measured strides toward me, his black coat flapping in the wind.

As he neared, I made out his startled features. “Wallace?”

His gaze burned with indiscernible emotion. “Are you hugging the lamp post?”
“Well, why not just snap my damn olive branch and beat me with it? I was only trying to help.” 8 likes
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