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review 2017-04-29 14:01
Wicked Abyss by Kresley (I love this author) Cole
Wicked Abyss - Kresley Cole

I absolutely love this series, Immortals After Dark. I set alarms for release dates, I get desparate enough to troll fanfic, I even have my tattoo dude drawing a tat for them. Something interesting... Before drawing the thing he is reading the books, he loves them, just wishes the porn scenes (as he calls them) weren't so frequent, I have no problem with their frequency ;).

 

This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, probably the best I have ever read, and I have read quite a few of them. I could see a great resemble between this and Disney's animated movie, I haven't seen the new one yet though, I really want to. We get relatively new characters, and the story is set in a new to us realm were most of the previous characters are not present, so not a lot of revisiting going on, we do get brief glimpses though. I do wish we got to see a bit more of the Valkyries, I miss them crazy bitches! 

 

I loved the couple in this and feel they were perfect. The female, Lila. She is smart, tricksy, bold, and tough as nails. The male, Sian, is a hulk of a beast. He is also smart and tricksy, but he has some past baggage that is ruling his thoughts and actions. He does a lot of growing up during the pages of this story. They have great chemistry and I thoroughly enjoying reading of their battle to love. 

 

This is another match made by Nix. There is so much going on. Nix is trying to make her best hand before dreaded ascension is full force. I am considering a reread of the story. Can't wait for the next book. Beauty

 

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review 2017-04-19 03:40
Entertaining Historical Romance
The Beast Who Loved Me: A Fairytale Rete... The Beast Who Loved Me: A Fairytale Retelling (Regency Fairy Twists Book 2) - Samantha Holt

The Beast Who Loved Me: A Fairytale Retelling by Samantha Holt is a fairly quick read, a perfect choice for those historical romance fans with limited time for reading.  Ms Holt has once again delivered a well-written book.  Isabel and Wilde's story is loaded with drama, humor and sizzle.  I loved the characters in this story, a fantastic fit.  I enjoyed reading The Beast Who Loved Me and look forward to reading more from Samantha Holt in the future.  The Beast Who Loved me is book 2 of the Regency Fairy Twists Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-04-19 02:36
THE BEAST'S DESIRE by Emerald Ice
The Beast's Desire - Emerald Ice
  A different take on Beauty and the Beast. I enjoyed it. I was surprised by the "Beast." I liked how instinctive protecting each other was for them. The story held my interest. I wanted to know more of this community.
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review 2017-03-27 02:40
"Our revels now are ended."
Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood

I should have read The Tempest ahead of this, but I was over-eager in my excitement at getting my greedy little paws on a copy of Margaret Atwood's Hag-Seed. It worked out in the end, though, because she so kindly explained the basic plot of The Tempest at the end of the book, which helped clear up some of my questions.

 

Hag-Seed starts off a bit slow, with the betrayal and then multiple chapters of Felix sinking into delusions of the daughter he lost living with him. That is why this book, which I actually really loved, is a 4-star read and not 4.5 or 5. After 75 pages, I was actually thinking I might DNF this one, which is a very, very rare occurrence for me as I am stubborn and unable to let go of books once I start reading them.

 

Then I decided on a whim to push on, anyway.

 

Boy am I glad that I did. I recognized many of the basic elements of a good revenge plot as I read and, as Felix helped his prisoners, and thus the reader, get more familiar with the story of The Tempest, I slowly began to pick up on the lines Atwood had drawn between her characters and Shakespeare's.

 

Of course, the end result of a modern take on an old story is that the basic character, plot, and world development have been done, they just need embellishing and cleaning up a bit. We'll call that the gold paint on the cloak, for those who get the reference. This, I think, Atwood did very well. I felt bad for Felix, certainly, after what was done to him in the name of getting ahead, but also felt his madness just as Prospero in The Tempest was also a bit mad, and even questioned if he had gone too far at times. I think my favorite was 8Handz, though, for reasons I don't want to list here because it would give away too much of the story.

 

Overall, if you're a fan of retellings and/or Shakespeare, I would say to give this one a go. General Margaret Atwood fans may be a bit more split.

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review 2017-03-22 15:00
As Old as Time
As Old as Time - Liz Braswell

 

 

 

Have you ever wondered what would happen to Disney's Beauty and the Beast if someone took all the magic out of it?



... well this book is what happens.


“I’M NOT HUNGRY!” she screamed back, rage billowing out of her more forcefully than she had imagined possible. Thinking of the triplets and their behavior hadn’t improved her mood.

“YOU’LL COME OUT OR…I’LL BREAK DOWN THE DOOR!”

“HUFF AND PUFF ALL YOU LIKE, YOU MONSTROUS WOLF!” she spat. “GO RIGHT AHEAD! IT’S YOUR CASTLE, AFTER ALL. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH IT. I’M JUST YOUR PRISONER!”

“YOU CAN’T STAY IN THERE FOREVER!” the Beast roared.

“JUST WATCH ME!” Belle spat back.

“FINE! THEN GO AHEAD AND STARVE!”


This childish dialogue between Belle and the Beast basically sums up As Old as Time: a caricature of the 90’s Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, that doesn’t delve deeper into the characters or the magical world. Instead As Old as Time is full of inconsistencies, over-done, flat, two-dimensional characters, and falls way short of the Disney film.

And by being ‘just’ a retelling of Disney’s story, the author didn’t have to come up with her own characters or world-building, instead she just piggy-backed on people’s childhood nostalgia – and utterly failed.


I DNF-ed the book, I hated Belle so much, felt sorry for the Beast, was generally confused by the inconsistencies of the story, and was annoyed by the boring characters.


I didn’t quite realize that this was a retelling of Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, and not of the original book. I just picked it up in preparation for the live-action Disney film and was utterly disappointed. The author didn’t fix Disney’s mistakes and inconsistencies, took all magic and wonder out of it, and didn't expound more on the characters or the story backdrop.


In this retelling of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Beast is enchanted by Belle’s mother. There was a backstory about why the Enchantress cursed the Beast (because the people of the kingdom turned against magic-users and fairy tale creatures and basically the prince - a child at the time … did nothing?). There was a mention in the book where the Beast said that he was a child when he was cursed and “what could I have done?”. But this doesn’t fix the problems the story-line has. The Enchantress’ reason for cursing the Beast was that: “there is no love in your heart at all, Prince–just like your parents…”.

BUT, the prince was an eleven-year-old boy when he was cursed because he was “selfish, spoiled and unkind”. Realistically how can a ten-year-old child learn to be unselfish and kind with no positive role models and no one to love him? That is not what happens to a child who is isolated, unloved, and turned into a hideous monster! And anyway what about other spoiled, rude, and selfish children - does the Enchantress go around arbitrarily handing our punishment?


If you think about it, a ten-year-old boy who has no parents and obviously learned from fairy tales to distrust haggard looking, old women should definitely not let the obviously-evil witch into his home!


If anything, fairy-tales taught us not to trust old women (and apples and stepmothers)!


Did the enchantress really expect the prince to learn to be kind, and caring, and loving by isolating him from the rest of the world, locking him into an enchanted castle that no one remembers, and by turning an unloved little boy into a hideous monster?

How the fuck is a child supposed to learn about kindness and generosity from a witch who cursed him and robbed him of his childhood for no good reason!

He was fucking right to turn that bitch away!



And the enchanted castle just raises soo many questions:

- Where do the original furniture go?

- Who decides which furniture stays and which is replaced by cursed servants?

- Are all furniture enchanted people? Or do the servants get sucked into the existing furniture?

- Is there sentient furniture that's not a person? And if so what happens to that furniture once the curse is lifted?

- How are the servants not majorly pissed at the beast after all those years?

- The beast grows up during his enchantment, so why doesn’t Chip grow up too? Or was he conceived during the enchantment? In that case how the fuck does a teapot conceive – and with what???

- What happens to the sentient pots of mustard and stuff when they get used up - do they die or are they replenished - and is that actually a person? If so what is the mustard made of?

- And finally, which poor soul got turned into the chamber pot?



I absolutely detested Belle in this book, and as someone who loved Belle in the Disney film, this made my disappointment so much greater. The prince is cursed for being selfish, spoiled, and unkind, but really Belle isn't any better. During the first 40% of the book Belle looks down her nose on everyone from her high horse and gives no thought to the consequences of her actions, she’s pretentious, arrogant, and condescending.

For example, when she destroys the Beast’s last chance at breaking the curse, she doesn’t take responsibility for her actions, basically she just shrugs and says: well you weren’t going to break the curse anyway so what difference does it make.

She gives “gentle insults” to the villagers and basically thinks she’s the only person with a brain in the village – not everyone has all day to read Belle! some people need to work hard to survive (this is in a time when rural France was poor and overpopulated).

And to top her arrogance off, she thinks that she’s way too good for the Beast, instead he should set his hopes for some” nice peasant girl”.

Belle is like the original hipster.

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