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Inspire (The Muse) (Volume 1) Paperback – December 15, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Inspire, for me, combines all the best things I love about writing contemporary romance with the freedom and creativity of writing fantasy. In places, it reads just like a normal romance. At other times, there are huge other-worldly twists. But at it's core, it's still just a story about two people falling in love and trying to find a way to be together against what feels like impossible odds. 

Enjoy this sneak peek:
After a few turns, he pulls up in front of a simple duplex. It's boxy and gray and not anything special, but I'm suddenly overwhelmed with curiosity for what I might find inside. He pops open his door and turns off the car. 

"Hold on a sec." 

His door slams shut, and I watch him jog around the front of the hood. He pulls my door open and then his eyes dart down to the floorboard. 

"How are your feet?" 

I swallow and shrug. "They're fine." 

He gives me that already familiar expression of doubt, and I laugh. "Why do you bother asking me questions if you're not going to believe what I say?"

"Because maybe one time you'll slip up and tell me the truth." 

"My feet are fine, and I'm not drunk." I slide out of the car to prove my statement, but I know it's a mistake the second my sore feet hit concrete. I try to hide my wince, but it's not exactly something one controls with conscious thought, so instead my face ends up doing this weird twitch thing, and he gives me a knowing smile that makes me want to punch him. Or kiss him. 

Maybe a little of both. 

I keep my chin up and take a few steps past him, enough to push the door closed behind me. I turn, intending to head for his door with whatever dignity I can manage to scrape up. I take two hobbling steps before he's at my side, sweeping me up into his arms. 

Dignity is long gone when I squeak and try to hold onto him with one arm while desperately yanking on the hem of my dress with the other. 

"No one's around but me," he murmurs. The side of my breast is smashed up against his chest, and the vibrations when he speaks move through me, distracting me from my panic. "And I promise not to look." 
I don't even answer him. I haven't the slightest clue what to say. 

Me. At a loss for words. I spent centuries learning how to speak to men, how to capture their interest, how to maneuver in their world, and now I'm undone by this dichotomy of a man and his not quite smile. 

"Hold on to me," He says, and I wrap both arms around his neck in answer. He drops the hand at my back to search for his keys, and I tighten my arms around him, drawing myself closer to his chest. I catch my breath at the sensation, glad for the thickness of his leather jacket that hides the way my breasts have become swollen and tight and gods... this is wrong. So very wrong. But I'm not sorry. 

I hear the jingle of keys, but I don't know how he manages to get the door open because his eyes never leave mine. Our faces are so close together that when he leans forward to push the door open, my lips accidentally brush his jaw. He sucks in a breath and closes his eyes. Stepping over the threshold, he shuts the door behind us, and I don't think. I just act. 

Before he can lower my feet down to the gray carpet below me, I tilt my chin up and touch my mouth to his. His arm returns to my back, his fingers curling around my side, but other than that, he doesn't move. Doesn't kiss me back. 

I press a little harder, willing him to respond because if he doesn't... if I read all of this wrong... that would be the icing on the terrible fucking cake that is this night. 

I pull back, already squirming in an attempt to get him to put me down. 

"I'm sorry. I--"

He drops my legs, but loops that arm around my waist too, keeping me up and against him, my toes still off the floor. I don't look up at him and he says, "Kalli." 

His voice. It's so smooth and warm, and I just want him to keep talking to me. I could forget everything about tonight, ignore it all to listen to his voice. 

"You're really sober?" he asks. 

He must take my scowl as truth enough because as soon as I open my mouth to reply, his lips slam into mine, hot and hard. 

He pulls my bottom lip into his mouth, sucking and nibbling and driving me crazy. I thread my fingers through his hair like I've wanted to do since the first time I saw him. One of his hands slides up my side, grazing the curve of my breast before trailing up to my neck. A thumb runs along my jaw, and he tilts my head back, taking control. 


It comes from a Latin word that means to suffer. And that's what the slick thrust of his tongue against mine is--a suffering so sweet that my head spins. 

His mouth slants over mine, rough and possessive, and all I want is to be closer to him. Slipping a hand beneath the back of his shirt, I follow the slopes and valleys of his muscled back with my fingers. When he drops to my neck, grazing his teeth and then tongue over my pulse, I dig my fingers into his lower back. He groans, and the feel of his hot breath where my neck meets my shoulder pulls goose bumps across my skin. So, of course, I do it again, slipping my hand farther up and then dragging my nails down. 

He says my name, and I say his back. 


He traces two fingers over my swollen lips and groans. "This mouth has been driving me wild since the first time you smiled at me."

Connect with me!
Facebook: facebook.com/coracarmackbooks
Twitter: @CoraCarmack
Instagram: @CoraCarmack
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After you read, I hope you'll consider leaving a review. Even if it's only a few sentences. Good or bad, reviews help up visibility for a book and can help other readers decide which books to purchase. Thanks so much for reading! <3 CC
Read more books by Cora Carmack: 
The LOSING IT series
1.5- KEEPING HER (a Losing It novella)
3.5- SEEKING HER (a Finding It novella)
The MUSE series (a New Adult fantasy)
2- INFLICT (coming soon in 2015)

About the Author

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in my life--boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. She's a New York Times and USA Today bestseller... and a nerd (mostly the nerd part).
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Product Details

  • Series: The Muse
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Cora Carmack (December 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988393522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988393523
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've had bad luck lately trying to find new authors to read. This had so many 5 star reviews and was only a dollar for the kindle version so I gave it a shot. Eh....it was just okay. I think the author has talent, it was a very interesting premise, just didn't seem to fully developed in terms of the more minor characters and plot development. Immortal Greek gods are still alive and some of them live among us. Kalli is a muse. She develops and feeds on the artistic prowess of her lovers. She's never been in love in several millennium yet suddenly she falls almost instantly in love at first sight in a convenience store. The story was shallow and hard to immerse myself in.
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Honestly, I haven’t been having the best of luck with the books I’ve been picking up lately.

This particular novel, Inspire, is my first Cora Carmack book and I have to say – I didn’t love it like I thought I would. First of all, I have to tell you I absolutely adore Greek mythology, heck, any kind of mythology! I’ve been interested in it since I was a child and finding out about a New Adult Mythology read made me incredibly excited.

“Pretty only matters in pictures.”
And unfortunately, the addition of mythology only counts when you actually take advantage of it. Unfortunately, it felt like the mythology was just an add-on for this story. I’m pretty sure I would have loved it had the author skipped the Greek thing entirely. It was unnecessary and not done well enough, so when more importance was placed on Kalliope being a muse towards the end of the book, I found I just didn’t care!

A gifted sculptor once toldme that the brilliance of art lives in its flaws.
I really liked Carmack’s writing style, there is no doubt in that.

She really knows how to weave a story, how to connect characters and how to write heartwrenching scenes. That being said, I found it incredibly hard to connect with Wilder and Kalliope, the main characters. I just didn’t care at all. It took me three weeks to read this book, which is insanely long – while I liked the main elements, I didn’t get the connection, the love, the chemistry. Such a steamy love story and yet I was left wanting more.

You will lose him to your secrets.
To be honest I have lost interest in continuing to read this series – it just did not grab me. While I loved Cora Carmack’s writing style, the story did nothing for me.
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When I first heard about this book coming out I was immediately excited. Paranormal New Adult book by Cora Carmack and its about Greek mythology, well damn where do I signed up to read this?
What I didn't expect was that it was gonna take me almost 2 months to read this book. I just couldn't focus at all. I liked the characters but I was just bored throughout the beginning and most of the middle. "Inspire" really read like a romance story with no paranormal which left me very disappointed. Hence my reason for taking such long breaks. The story just wasn't capturing me at all. But, then closer to the end of the story the paranormal part picked up and I couldn't put this book down. $hit got real! lol. Plus the ending was pretty sweet. I defiantly gotta read the next book.

I rate "Inspire" 3 1/2 stars/platypires. Here's hoping the next book has a lot more action.
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Fantastic! Utterly fantastic and I didn't want to stop reading. I loved the world that Cora created and I can't wait to read more. Wilder is sexy and I want to make babies with him. He's everything that I love in a hero. He's sweet, sexy, caring and charming. I just loved the way he was with Kallie. They had such great chemistry together. They just sizzled and I couldn't help but root for them.

This was a great read and I definitely recommend. Loved it and can't wait for the next book.
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2014 was many things for me. It’s the year I discovered that I loved Young Adult and New Adult, as well as fantasy novels. It was also the year I discovered Cora Carmack. I started reading her books pretty late in the year but I made up for lost time and devoured all of them over the course of two months…between other books of course. I was hooked from the moment I read All Lined Up, Carmack has a way of making the most complicated of characters totally relatable and compelling. I was thrilled when I heard she was releasing a fantasy/paranormal New Adult novel because I love those types of books in YA, so it seemed like a natural fit for me. Good thing I’m a genius and my hunch turned out to be right. I absolutely adored this book!

Inspire, the first book in Carmack’s new Muse series, is the story of Kalliope and Wilder, two people who meet under some pretty random circumstances and we quickly learn that they both come with a lot of baggage. I’m talking a full, five-piece set of Louis Vuitton leather luggage type baggage! Granted their set of issues are VERY different from each other, what with Kalli being a centuries old, immortal muse and all. Regardless of her powers, all she wants is to be a normal woman, with a normal life and normal responsibilities…meeting Wilder Bell only amplifies that feeling. He’s a super fine and also super complicated man who wants nothing more than to be the man Kalli needs, but also to lose himself in the happiness he finds with her.

I really enjoyed the push and pull between Kalli and Wilder, I loved how perfect they were for each other, but I also loved the fact that it wasn’t as easy as “Hey! We like each other, let’s do this”. Even though this book is classified as paranormal, the characters dealt with very real road blocks to happiness.
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