Tag Archives: Fairy Tales

Review Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L Demeter @RachelLDemeter

Beauty of the Beast
by Rachel L. Demeter
Publication Date: March 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Beauty of the Beast.jpgExperience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

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Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

review

OK.  Confession time.  I wasn’t completely familiar with the original Beauty and the Beast story.  Cinderella?  Yep.  Snow White?  Of course.  But this one? Nope.  So, although I had a vague idea of what to expect, the intricacies of the plot were essentially new to me (don’t judge!).

This certainly is about as far removed from a Disney type tale as you could hope for.  Arranged marriage, sexual assault, murder and sex.  Not the stuff of a child’s story.  But for my money, the author makes this work.

The real star of the story is the characterisation which the author has developed around the two lead characters, in particular, with Adam.  I felt a genuine empathy for him.  His sorrow was so deeply felt, and his transformation from a lonely, isolated man was beautifully documented.

There were some shocking elements to the story, which one would not normally expect to see in a historical romance.  But they are not out of place, given the edge to the tale.

Overall, a well executed re-telling.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link) 

About the author

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.

Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

author links

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Blitz & #giveaway – The Elf by Max Dune @authormaxdune @xpressoreads @xpressotours

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Book & Author Details:

The Elf by Max Dune
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

 

Elf.jpgSynopsis:

This Christmas…it’s war.  Grab your weapon and join the fight in this modern Santa Claus retelling with a dark twist. Fans of Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar will be riveted by The Elf‘s action, humor and romance!

Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro. Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.

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excerpt

“Where are you going?” I taunt. “There’s nowhere to hide.”

Jack Frost doesn’t answer. Under the canopy of winter-crystallized trees, he crawls across the snow. His tall, muscular body leaves a trail of berry-red blood behind him. He looks desperate to put distance between us.

I begin to whistle softly and draw closer to admire my handiwork. Broken nose. Swollen eye. An arrow buried deep in his leg. Ah, such a beautiful sight to behold. I turn to Blitzen, my most loyal of companions, and smile. “Thank you, friend. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it.”

Blitzen gives an affirmative snort, staying close to our sleigh and supplies. His strong legs and zesty spirit had kept me alive for the last two weeks. The Artic is a cold house for the unwary. Nothing in it ever stirs. Nothing moves. Nothing sings. Yet he had guided me through it, his hooves detonating like muffled grenades as they crunched the powdery snow. We’d traveled over timeworn mountains, through tomblike valleys and flash-frozen rivers. I plan on rewarding Blitzen with his favorite food once we’re back in Santa’s Village. It’ll be agaric mushrooms for life. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

First things first though: I cock my crossbow.

Clink.

Upon hearing that sound, Frost forces his knees and elbows to move faster. He fights for his life like a desperate wild animal at death’s door. The expression of terror on his face is absolutely priceless. I wonder if he’ll start begging soon. Even if he does, it won’t do him any good. I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger and send one final bolt into his black heart.

For my friends…for my parents…

“Mmm,” I utter, savoring the moment. “This is even better than I imagined.” As I loom over him, a sudden wave of fury grips me. I violently plant my boot in his shoulder, prompting a muffled groan from him. Through gritted teeth I hiss, “And I’ve imagined this a lot.”

I remove my foot. Frost rolls over onto his back and gazes up at me in defeat. “Don’t do this, Lucian. Please.”

Ah, finally.

“Do you think begging is going to help? It didn’t help my parents or the other elves. They died just the same, all shaking, bleeding, and crying…and all because of you.” I point the loaded crossbow at his chest. “Now it’s your turn to die.”

“Wait!” He lifts up a trembling hand. “I can grant you great powers, unimaginable abilities, even immortality! Y-you could be the most powerful elf who’s ever lived!”

“Power?” I scoff. “I don’t want power. This is all I want.”

“Revenge won’t bring your parents back.”

I consider his words for a moment and do see the truth in them, but the rage inside pushes me on. “No, but it’s going to feel pretty good.” My finger slides the safety off.

Frost’s eyes widen.

Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz…

Suddenly a deep, loud sound echoes all about us, seemingly coming from every direction. They disturb the serene beauty of this frozen, crystal paradise where Frost is meant to meet his doom. Puzzled, I lower my crossbow and search for the source. My eyes scan through the tall, gray trees, their skeletal wooden arms knocking against one another in the slight breeze, but I catch nothing in my gaze except the clear, blue skies beyond. What the heck’s going on? Confused, I dart my eyes in every direction. And why is that annoying buzzing getting louder?

Beep! Beep! Beep!

A sense of déjà vu hits me.

Wait! That sound… Isn’t that…?

The beeping continues to assault my ears for several more moments, muddling my senses.

“No!” I wail when I finally remember. “No! Not yet!”

My desperate cries prove futile, though, as my crossbow melts in my hands. Its liquefied remnants splash at my feet. It doesn’t take long for the surrounding trees to follow suit, forming charcoal-gray puddles on the ground. Blitzen, too, begins to disintegrate where he stands. His fur, flesh, and bones dissolves into a paste and seep into the ground

“No!” Without wasting time, I jump on Frost, wrap my hands around his cold neck, and begin to viciously choke him. “I’ll kill you with my bare hands!”

Rather than panicking or pleading for mercy, he only laughs in my face, knowing full well it’s too late. His flesh quickly melts like hot wax until my fingers are kneading the remaining mess.

I punch the ground with my fists again and again, even as they start melting away. “Come on! I just needed another minute!”

As I beg for more time, I feel my bones softening, becoming more pliable, like iron morphing into licorice. Soon I am unable to hold my weight, and I topple over, falling to the icy ground.

 

purchase links

Amazon (universal link) | B&N | Kobo

 

About the author

Max Dune is a Southern writer who spent most his childhood watching TV, devouring comic books and weaving magical worlds in his head. In his mid-twenties, he decided to follow his true passion. He has since created a number of short stories, novels, screenplays and TV pilots. To be alerted to future books and giveaways, please sign up for his newsletter  HERE

author links

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE

Review – Reignite the Fire Series by Amie Saskatchewan

Book & Author Details:

Reignite The Fire series  by Amie Saskatchewan
Genres: Adult, BDSM, Erotic

 

Reignite1.jpgBook 1

Title: New Beginnings

A romantic getaway is exactly what Ashleigh and Cal need to reignite the fire that left their marriage. But how brightly will the flames burn when they are invited to the cabin by the cryptic Matthew and his obedient Bella?

The first book in the ‘Re-ignite the Fire’ series, a story of love, lust and exploring new sensations. An adventure into domination and bondage might be just the unexpected spark this couple needs to burn with passion again.

This book explores the lives of Ashley and Cal, a couple who are struggling with the pressures of a modern day marriage.  Their camping trip quickly turns in to far more than they could have imagined.  The story explores the willingness to try new things when taken away from the structures and conventions of normal life.  It acts as an introduction to the series, the cabin and four of the main recurring characters who are becoming the backbone of the series.

purchase links

 

Amazon (Universal Link)

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Reignite2.jpgBook 2

Title: A Perfect Gift

The second book in the ‘Re-ignite the Fire’ series. After their time in the cabin, Ashleigh and Cal are struggling to come to terms with the intense night of passion, pleasure and pain. What can they take with them to keep their fire burning? Can they make this life of domination and extreme sex work, or will they remain unfulfilled? A perfect gift and a visit from a guest adds fuel to the fire as Ashleigh and Cal enter new territories in their sexual exploration.

This book explores the importance of individuality, uniqueness and partnership in a successful expansion of sexual horizons, while understanding that imitation isn’t necessarily the answer to every problem encountered along the way.  It aims to explore the human element of bondage and domination, particularly the roles people feel they should fulfil in a relationship, and those that they end up fitting into best.

 

purchase links

Amazon (Universal Link)

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Reignite3.jpgBook 3

Title: Gifts Entwined

The third book of the ‘Re-ignite the Fire’ series. Exploring the lives and back-story of the mysterious Matthew and submissive Bella.

Matthew suffers a crisis of confidence. Has his journey with Bella reached the end of the road, or from the embers can a new fire be ignited? Follow Matthew as he explores his deep-rooted fears and deviance, trying to quell the insatiable hunger dwelling inside. Perhaps some old friends can stoke the flames of his subduing dominance.

This book explores the conflict between BDSM and living a ‘normal’ life in the eyes of society.  It explores this external conflict, as well as the internal conflict of inflicting pain on a loved one in a relationship.

purchase links

Amazon (Universal Link)

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review

These books are very short, and together make up the story, so my review is based on the complete trilogy, because my comments apply across the three books.

The strength of these novellas is in the description of the erotic scenes: they are detailed, explicit and hot.  Where they fall down a little is in the story telling.  I found the overall story to be a little clichéd, and lacking in character connection with me as a reader.  This disconnect meant that, although I found elements of the story to be technically competent, the story overall missed the mark for me.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of these books.

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About the author

Amie Saskatchewan grew up an only child in a rural village, in one of only 5 houses in walking distance. Writing provided the outlet to vent her frustrations at the loneliness and boredom associated with being the only person her age in the area. The lease of life provided by the internet spurred an interest in self-publishing her short stories and books.

Amie has tried her hand at several genres, focusing primarily on erotica for her public releases, with stories based loosely on her experiences since moving away. She penned the run of ‘Re-igniting the Fire’ books with the aim of showing that there is no one character that represents her, rather a little of them all exists in everyone. She has plans for two further trilogies in the series, maintaining her trademark links and homages to previous books in the series throughout.

Aside from ‘Re-igniting the Fire’, Amie is exploring other genres outside of erotica in the hope her descriptive and perceptive style of writing can provide a similar level of reader-engagement as that provided by her erotic novels.

A city-living, countryside-lover, with a penchant for satisfying readers, Amie looks forward to penning further stories based on her experiences.

author links

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