Tag Archives: Historical

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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Review – Devil’s Playground by Heather Eagar @haeagar

Book & Author Details:

Devil’s Playground
Publication date: January 11th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Historical, Young Adult

devil's playground.jpgSixteen-year-old Elizabeth Winters may be a witch, but she doesn’t know the first thing about magic—unless you count accidental bouts of spontaneous combustion. Elizabeth’s father, a wizard himself, has forbidden the use of her powers for her own protection, but when accusations of witchcraft start flying through Salem Village, she wishes she was more prepared.

Despite her lack of magical knowledge, Elizabeth appoints herself to save innocent women from the demise the village has in store for them. Elizabeth finds, however, that she is not the hero Salem needs her to be.

She meant to save them. She cursed them instead.

review

I was lucky enough to visit Salem recently, and find this whole episode in history intriguing.  But what if it wasn’t hysteria? What if there really were witches in Salem?

This book takes a decent story premise and adds a smattering of truth – just enough for a hint of realism to add a hard edge to the story; a degree of realism.  And the resultant story is an easy read. Quick to get into, characters with whom a connection was created, and good pacing.  And whilst the ending might not be the one you will find in history books, this fictionalised retelling of the Salem story made for a satisfying read.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link)

About the author

Heather Eagar started reviewing books in the hope that she can provide people with the information they need to make informed decisions when deciding what books to read. With this in mind, you will find that her reviews not only have a summary of the book and her opinion, but also tells you what to expect in terms of language, violence, and sexual content.

Heather is the author of the YA novel, Devil’s Playground (Release date Jan 12, 2016). She currently lives in Logan, Utah (though that usually changes year by year) with her husband and 2 children.

author links

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Review – The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney @glencraney

Book & Author Details:

The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney
Publication date: 27th October 2013
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Thriller

Virgin Wind Rose.jpgWhile investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam.

Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon’s Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:

The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal’s Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.

Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world’s most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer’s connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

review

 

Packed into these 407 pages, is a very detailed, complicated and sometimes confusing book.  You will definitely need to keep your wits about you with this one.  No late night reading when a little drowsy.  No trying to read and watch your favourite TV show at the same time. This complex tale will demand your full attention.

But it is worth it.  As with all conspiracy type novels, there is just enough truth here to make a believable story, but add in the intriguing mix of history POV switches, religion and suspense, and you have a story which is elevated from the run of the mill.

But the ending?  I’m not entirely happy with the conclusion, but I am glad that the author didn’t compromise the integrity of the overall tale by taking the easy way out.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link)

About the author

Glen Craney holds graduate degrees from Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine.

The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting, and he is a three-time finalist for Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award.

His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was honored as Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards.

His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

Awards:

AMPAS Nicholl Fellowship Winner
indieBRAG Medallion Honoree
Chaucer Award Double Finalist
Nautilus Silver Award Winner
IPPY Silver Award Winner
NIEA Award Winner for Best New Fiction
Eric Hoffer Finalist/Honorable Mention Winner
Three-time Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Finalist
Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

author links

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