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The Academy Saga (The Academy Saga #1) by C.J. Daly

The Academy Saga


Kate Connelly should be careful what she wishes for. 

Just seventeen, she already feels like she’s suffocating. All Kate wants is a little distraction from the same-ole, same-ole that is her life. 

When two mysterious guys show up at the diner where she works, she thinks her wish has come true, until they start giving her a hard time. Like her life isn’t hard enough. Something about them niggles her, but she brushes it off. She’s never going to see them again anyway . . . right? Then they appear in an alley one night to either rescue or kidnap her (she’s still not sure which) before disappearing like figments of her imagination. 

Kate decides to put the bizarre encounters out of her mind. She has bigger problems to worry about: like that elite military academy that’s been pursuing her gifted little brother. When one of their cadets shows up at her high school, he creates instant pandemonium. And just happens to be one of those mysterious guys. Coincidence? Mama said there’s no such thing. And to always trust her instinct. But that might be kind of hard, because every time she’s around Cadet Peter Davenport, her gut starts flip-flopping on her. And her heart. 

Can Kate keep it together long enough to stop Cadet Davenport’s mission? She’s about to find out. And—once again—how neatly life can be split into before and after. 


Wow!  What a ride! I couldn’t put this book down. All 500+ pages of it. Between the dark secrets and slow-building romance, it is a whirlwind of espionage and peeling back the layers to find out what the heck The Academy really is and why they want Kate’s brother so badly.

Kate goes about her life as a loving big sister, an obedient daughter, and a young woman trying to make her life work with the cards she is dealt with. And then she meets Pete Davenport. A slick, gorgeous boy who has his sights set on recruiting her gifted little brother into the mysterious International Elite Academy. Over her dead body. Her intuition hasn’t failed her yet and something is off with The Academy and especially, Pete.  Her life was no longer her own.

It’s a romantic and angsty ride with Kate and Pete. Kate is a hellion when it comes to protecting her family and Pete learns to respect that as he slowly seduces her with his flirtatious ways and kind gestures. Kate’s relationship with her brothers is so sweet and loving with so many family moments that melted my heart. She has little in material things, but her brothers make up for that. As mature as Kate is with her responsibilities she is only seventeen and naïve, especially when it comes to her nasty frenemy, Ashley-Leigh. In my opinion, Kate forgives too easily. The night of Kate’s birthday is so sad and frustrating as Ashley-Leigh manipulates and humiliates Kate and then abandons her to a night of terror and literally running for her life. Enter Pete Davenport who saves Kate, but not after she so thoroughly and admirably beats the crap out of him and his colleague, Ranger. Pete is conflicted about his mission in New Mexico, but his family’s safety is at stake. Watching him battle with his duty and his convictions is difficult as he slowly realizes who Kate is and tries to protect her and her family from The Academy. 

My favorite supporting characters are Kate’s adorable little brothers, Drew and Mikey, who would do anything for their big sis. As for least favorite characters, it’s a toss-up between Ranger, the extremely repugnant cadet who has it in for Kate, Kate’s lazy and irresponsible father, and the selfish and backstabbing, Ashley-Leigh, who deserves to be taken down a few pegs.

I highly recommend this fast-paced, suspense-filled romance with a whole lot of secrets, an untidy love story, and a shocking and frustrating cliffhanger. I can’t wait to pick up book 2.

Thank you to Ms. Daly for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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CJ DalyCJ Daly grew up on the scrabbly plains of Eastern New Mexico. When she was supposed to be helping her six siblings with chores on the family ranch, she was really sneaking behind dusty haystacks to read. And dreaming about becoming a writer.

After graduating high school, CJ moved to Big D (Dallas), where she quickly put herself through college while trying to rid herself of her country accent. She had better luck with college, graduating cum laude with a degree in English literature. After teaching a few years, and pausing to have back-to-back boys, she began writing in earnest.

A few years later, “The Academy Saga” was born. “The Academy” is her debut novel, and “The Academy, Cadet-in-Training” is the sequel.

Follow CJ on Facebook, Instagram, Bookbub, Pinterest, and Twitter.


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8 thoughts on “The Academy Saga (The Academy Saga #1) by C.J. Daly”

  1. The Academy Saga series is amazing. I have read book 1, book 2 and book 3 and it gets better and better. I can’t wait for book 4 🔥🔥🔥

  2. Thanks so much for your wonderful review, Sharon! I’m just thrilled that you’re taking The Academy Saga journey with me and can’t wait for you to see what happens next!! XO CJ

    1. You’re very welcome, Chrissy. I couldn’t put the book down and look forward to see what The Academy has in store for Kate and Mikey. 😊

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