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The Runes Universe

Savage Souls

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This novel has unfortunately been retired and is no longer for sale online.

There are two things 18-year-old Cadence Murphy is proud of: she is an amazing Witch with the healing magic of nature, and she can run a five-minute mile. There’s just one tiny problem: an ancient darkness in her blood is messing with her healing abilities. When some very powerful, cruel men want to destroy her for it, she must tempt fate itself to stop them.

Dishonorably discharged from the marines, 20-year-old Drew Richards uses his deadly skills to neutralize criminals and lowlifes… for a fee. So when a wealthy businessman offers half a million to kill some girl, Drew is more than willing—until he sees her, and his priorities change.

But the Norns, weavers of fate, have decided Drew is destined to kill Cadence. Can he resist his destiny? Suspenseful, romantic, and rich with chilling magic, Savage Souls captures the essence of forbidden love—and the consequences that come with it.

100 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 18, 2017

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About the author

S.M. Boyce

25 books749 followers
Boyce is known for action-packed epic fantasy, powerful heroes, and riveting magical stories filled with twists and intrigue. And, of course, a bit of humor sprinkled through it all. Pick up your kindle and get lost in the journey.

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5 stars
32 (51%)
4 stars
18 (29%)
3 stars
11 (17%)
2 stars
1 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Gypsy Madden.
Author 2 books26 followers
September 23, 2017
I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review. Admittedly, giving this four stars is a bit of a stretch, but I did finish it. I liked Cadence for the most part (though I didn’t care for her instinctive running all the time), and Drew was likeable, and the forest and small quaint town were lovingly brought to life, and their romance is sweet, the way it builds, rather than being an insta-love. Where I thought it fell short was that it has so many hallmarks of a new author (for instance, it starts out with a scene of Cadence healing an animal that has no connection with anything else further in the novel and the scene was obviously just there to show us how kind she is, the story takes a while to actually get to the main crux of the plot, the plot is just beyond predictable with no twists and turns with cute girl meeting cute guy, of course they’re going to have a romance and end together and you know that even though he’s assigned to kill her that it’s going to get tossed out the window shortly after meeting her and of course save her from the other thugs mentioned in the beginning that would eventually follow through with the job if he didn’t, then there’s the cliche magic school series plot idea that popped up halfway through which I could just see the book leading up to, there was a beyond convenient wise-woman lurking in the forest at the point where Cadence felt the most confused to tell her what she should be doing and push her in the right direction, not to mention at the end of the story suddenly tossing in new creatures, and when she first went to her “aunt” there was a sad mixture of predictably refusing to tell the main character what was going on-really screams new author- and info-dumping, all of the life-threatening stuff suddenly got dropped from the story toward the end-seriously, what happened to the guy with the curse?, and in the beginning of the story the author seemed more interested in telling the audience rather than showing, and one the largest red flags was the character names at the top of each chapter as if the author wasn’t confident of us being able to know which character was which just based on her writing). It’s sad because I know the author can do better. I’ve read the prequel to Ari and absolutely loved it.
Profile Image for Judi Easley.
1,381 reviews46 followers
September 13, 2017
My Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book by the author’s representative. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review: ✰✰✰⭒

100 pages just don’t seem to be enough pages to do a story and characters justice. Somehow it seems to lack juice or something. It’s bare bones. This one did seem a bit on the lightweight side, but it was good. The pace was fast. It couldn’t be anything else. The characters were done well for the time the author had. The story line was pretty good, but it needed playing up, more magical drama and less hit man stuff.

We found out how he got thrown out of the Marine Corps. We found out about her family’s dark magic history and its ties to the mortal family that’s after her. She’s just made a miraculous recovery from a gunshot wound to the stomach that has the doctors shaking their heads. She is cleansed of the dark magic, has no ties to the past, and is an Immortal. He doesn’t remember her magic thanks to someone else’s magic. She’s 18 and he’s 20 and has been in combat. It was way too innocent a relationship. It needed a bit of steam between them. I know this author can write really well. Not that this wasn’t well written, but something makes me think she was limited in some way in writing this book. It’s part of a series in which each book is written by a different author. I’d really like to see what she would have made it if she’d written it without the constraints. I think it would have been a really great read!
495 reviews5 followers
August 26, 2017
What a great way to start a day off..I read this story in one day, and could have kept reading because it’s that good.
I love Cadence and Drew, and really look forward to reading more about these two. She’s a witch, and he’s a hitman with a conscience. You have to love a hitman with a conscience right.
A paranormal with a twist, with well developed characters, and the obligatory bad guys you love to hate. I’m totally hooked on this author after reading a few of her books.
219 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2017
I fell in love with this book and the more I read the better it was. A young woman living in a small town with her aunt just turning 18 and learning she has so much to learn about her past. She meets a young man and they immediately have a connection. Each one has a secret to tell. I loved this book so much I couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the next book to find out what happens next. I received this book from the author for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wendy Thorpe.
97 reviews22 followers
May 19, 2017
This was such a treat to read. Boyce has such talent to be able to write a book spinoff from another series. She melded the characters so well, you don't feel like you missed a thing. I love the way she writes and keeps you engrossed in the plot. I look forward to hopefully the next book. I give her 5 stars and wish I could give more for her talent. I love Cadence and Drew, what a couple
Profile Image for Faith Lowery.
162 reviews23 followers
May 17, 2017
A twist of suspense with magic & mayhem

S.M. Boyce does it again, giving us a suspenseful thriller with an evocative story & colorful characters. I loved how it was so clear where it took place & the visuals were beautiful; I could smell the forest & feel it crunching under my feet. I look forward to delving into the next in the series!
Profile Image for Jessica.
63 reviews2 followers
August 10, 2017
I will start off by saying I did not hate the book. I didn't love it either. Fast-paced romances, especially with short stories, drive me nuts. It's too short for me to connect with characters. The Hundredth Queen was like that too, even though it was longer.

I was digging the idea of this book. However, in the end it was just okay.
Profile Image for Bec.
483 reviews9 followers
September 4, 2017
What a fun story!! Savage Souls is a great quick read and great for something fun but light. What do you get when you cross a hit-man, with a target who is a witch and they fall in love?? Secrets and adventure! I really enjoyed the alternating point of view - we hear the points of views of both Cadence and Drew. I highly recommend as a quick story that will make you smile.
Profile Image for Linda.
428 reviews14 followers
September 12, 2017
I received this book for free in return for an honest review. I enjoyed this story about a hit man hired to kill a witch, but fell in love with her instead. I really liked all the characters and the story premise was believable. The story was short, but fast paced. You didn't have a chance to get bored or lost.I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys a short, interesting afternoon. story.
Profile Image for Eveie Hickman.
155 reviews
September 30, 2017
I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review.
Wow this book has everything good, evil, love magic and the promise of so much more. I was sad when the book finished so quickly. Cadence being a witch and learning to use her powers, for good and not evil and how she can keep drew from finding out again. If there is another book in this series I look forward to reading it.
Profile Image for Lauren.
193 reviews3 followers
June 21, 2018
I finally got my hands on the Runes Universe and I am not disappointed. Savage Souls starts with some family curses and a little witch caught in the middle. The hitman after her poses some interesting options. I spent the whole book wondering if he was actually going to kill her or not by the end. Now that I'm finished with it. I want more. Going to have to work my way through the Universe next.
Profile Image for J.A. Cintron.
Author 3 books24 followers
July 19, 2017
This was weird good I mean I loved that lavina appeared and that a set of norns also appeared but I was travelling on niflheim with the story... I would love to know more about the feud since that was what sent me to the cross realm travelling :D
Profile Image for Dawn.
48 reviews2 followers
July 19, 2017
The Runes Universe

I am addicted. After finishing the original series I felt lost. Finding the novellas was amazing. In will keep reading and keep loving. How can you not? Freaking Amazing!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!
697 reviews1 follower
August 21, 2017
Magic & witches, what's not to like. A book I simply couldn't put down. Different take on the hitman story. I'm so glad I added this author to my must read list. I had to read this in one go it was that good. Can't wait for the next one. Highly recommended must read. You won't be disappointed.
2,048 reviews3 followers
August 23, 2017
Quick read about two souls whose lives are entwined. A witch with an unknown past and the man hired to kill her but fate has other plans. Their love proves that fate gives you options.

I received an ARC of this story and have chosen to voluntarily review it here.
Profile Image for Jan Janus.
871 reviews14 followers
August 23, 2017
I received a free complimentary copy of this book for review. I have to say, I like all things witchy, but this one was a little to short of a read I wish it would have been a little longer. Otherwise, it was a good fast read, easy to follow and get wrapped up in the characters and settings.
39 reviews
September 21, 2017
Love this world!

I can't get enough of The Runes Universe! Excited to find and read more from this author! Love how they always find a way to bring some of characters into the story.
Profile Image for Roger.
3,984 reviews13 followers
December 31, 2018
My sixth read from author S.M. Boyce. Amazing fantasy world! Well written with well-developed characters, Boyce takes the time to develop her fantasy world & characters in a manner that makes you want to read the next book.
Profile Image for Deanna Winters welch.
108 reviews10 followers
May 11, 2017
This is the first book by S.M. Boyce I have read, I am now a big fan and will be reading her other books.
Loved this book!!!
9,845 reviews108 followers
September 8, 2017
Another great by this author. It was impossible to put down until I finished, I needed to find out what happens. Received an ARC and couldn't help reviewing because it was an awesome story
Profile Image for Michelle.
196 reviews
September 16, 2017
Can't wait to start the next book. This is the first book in a while that took me by surprise.
443 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2017
Great addition to the Runes universe

Definitely a departure from the original series involving hit men and death threats. Somehow it all works. Fun story with a bit of an edge.
Profile Image for Becky .
363 reviews6 followers
April 18, 2017
What can't she write?! Loved this story as I do all of Boyce's books. Her style of writing just flows and is so easy to read. Hooks you and draws you in till you are at the end and wanting more. Seems she is adept at any genre she attempts. Every book of hers that I've read has been interesting, thoughtfully written, and always leaves me wanting to know more about the characters and where their story is going.
This story is a witchy, death/murder, with romance thrown in to top it off and it is done very well. Love a good story that makes me hurry home from work so I can get back to it!
Profile Image for Ishieta Chopra.
Author 4 books12 followers
April 18, 2017
This is an author that has a fantastic grasp on weaving words like magic!
I have thoroughly enjoyed her Grimoire Saga, and intend to read everything she writes!

This is an interesting story, my first introduction to the Runes universe actually.

I loved the characters, the magic, the unexpected twist! I kept thinking how is this going to end, and whoa - I didn't think of that at all!

Since I read it in 1 sitting - you know it's THAT kind of a story! :)
Profile Image for Patti.
1,505 reviews12 followers
April 13, 2017
This book is a classic lesson in " things happen for a reason". Both main characters were dealt some seemingly bad fates by situations not under their control. But love has a way of making lemonade out of lemons and this writer captured that. I was very pleased with how this concluded and also pleased I didn't see it coming until it was about to happen! A wonderful read about the hidden world of magic. This voluntary review is based against an advance copy.
Profile Image for Nikki.
299 reviews12 followers
May 10, 2017
A Predictable Plot, But Still Okay

I did like the premise of this novella. This is a story you can read on a rainy day to kill some time. It was fast paced and easy to follow. The few characters are likeable and are written with some depth to them. They are not one dimentional, so you can relate to them. There is some action and adventure, but unfortunately there is also insta-love. Something I really dislike in a story, and also on a down note, it seemed very predictable. There were also a few editing issues, but nothing too terribly bad, it just makes you read a sentence more than once.

Overall, it was a fun, quick read about a hitman with a conscience who falls for his mark. His mark just happens to be a witch with black magic she doesn't know she has, until she turns eighteen.

Give it a try and see what you think. S M. Boyce can spin a good tale, and while it's not filled with her usual decriptions, she did do a good job.
Profile Image for Denise.
2,772 reviews
September 2, 2017
I believe this is a spinoff from another series, but I haven't read it I don't feel like this affected my understanding of this book. I liked parts of it, but there were some things that I thought were kind of silly. The beginning was good. I liked the story of Candace saving the bear. I liked the way Drew was described when he was at the bar. The story bogged down for me when Candace got her pretty evening dress and then decided to go for a walk while wearing it. Then she kept wearing it around even after she ruined it. I also didn't understand why she suddenly started having these "visions" and killing the foliage just because she turned eighteen.

The story got a little better when Drew and Cadence starting going out. They seemed to have the whole "insta love" thing down. It got interesting when other hit men started coming after her and Drew had to start defending the person he was supposed to kill. The story was wrapped up nicely in the end.

I was given a copy of this book by the author. My review is voluntary.
Profile Image for Danielle Carpenter.
1,494 reviews8 followers
September 3, 2017
This story introduces us to the characters Candence and Drew. Candence is a witch and Drew is a hitman. Basically Drew gets hired to kill Candence, but falls in love with her instead. This book describes the relationship between Drew and Candence. It tries to describe some of paranormal properties of this world, but what Candence becomes is not really clear. All I know is that she gains a rune that heals her. I think more time should have been given to more of the paranormal world that directly involved the story, instead of trying to halfway explain all of its intricacies. This somewhat took away for the storyline and the plot for this series is good, but the storyline could have been better.

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy and this is my honest review. 
354 reviews1 follower
November 9, 2017
I received a free copy of this book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not.

Hidden away in an isolated part of the forest, Cadence Murphy grew up learning how to be a witch. Her aunt Edie spent many hours training her in the art and teaching her how to control her abilities. She never told her about her family and the history she would inherit.

But that history would bring disaster to her quiet life. A family enemy was in the act of hiring a hitman to take her out. He was determined to end the cures that existed between his family and Cadence’s. A wealthy man, he hired the best hitman money could buy.

This book is an exciting, fun read. There’s lots of beauty, caring, tension and dark magic in it. A mix of love and hatred, dark and light, and plenty of suspense. Cadence’s world changes on her 18th birthday when life changes from carefree to intense fear in seconds. While she is dealing with frightening changes, a man who will change her future enters her life. How will Cadence handle all these changes?

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale and look forward to more. The author pulls you in immediately and holds you tight until the very last page.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

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