Tag Archives: fairy tale retelling

the beast banner

Book Review: The Beast, by Jenika Snow

I purchased a signed copy of The Beast, by Jenika Snow.

the beast cover

What if the Beast never turned into the prince?

My father had just sold me off.

Bartered my body to erase his debt to the very devil himself.

A Beast of a man. Literally.

A creature whispered about amongst the villagers and feared by all.

He was a beastly visage at three times the size of a man, his monstrously huge body covered in fur. Sharp fangs and eyes that held an unearthly red glow. He had pawlike hands tipped with claws and horns that arched back from his inhuman face.

I was to live with him, to be his in every way—all ways—he saw fit.

I was to be his wife, and so I offered myself up as the proverbial sacrifice to the very devil himself.

I just didn’t expect to enjoy being with a monster as much as I did.

my review

Meh, I didn’t love it. I picked this up because I’d seen it raved about over on Tiktok and thought the idea of Beast, from Beauty and the Beast, remaining beastly was intriguing. But there’s just not much to it. Which might be fine (erotica doesn’t need much of a plot), except what is there doesn’t even try to be original in any way. It just feels like poorly done Disney fan fiction.

So, if the minimal plot didn’t interest me, that left the sex. What a reader likes in a sex scene is super individual. But, for me, this was far too focused on how he was going to hurt her and she’d beg for more. (Plus, all the spitting…and leaking…wasn’t my jam). Which means the sex wasn’t a big winner for me either.

Thus, to say it again, I didn’t love it. But to each their own.

the beast photo


Other Reviews:

 

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Book Review: Second Star to the Left, by Megan Van Dyke

Megan Van Dyke‘s Second Star to the Left was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight, and though I didn’t review the book for the book tour, I did end up with a copy of the book and decided to give it a read.

second star to the left
Tinker Bell, banished from her homeland for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust—wants absolution.

Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook.

Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is, until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t.

However, the mermaid queen has a solution to both of their problems, if Tink and Hook will work together to retrieve a magical item for her.

As they venture to the mysterious Shrouded Isles to find the priceless treasure, their shared nemesis closes in. However, his wrath is nothing compared to the realization that achieving their goal may mean losing something they never expected to find—each other.

my review
I am not, I admit, overly fond of fairy-tale retellings, and I’m especially suspicious of those that seek to redeem villains and present them as something other than what we know them as. But Van Dyke succeeds in some interesting and unexpected ways. How she got around Tink and Hook’s traditional animosity toward one another, to craft a romance between them, was notably clever. So was the recasting of the crocodile.

Having said that, I did think the broader plot was fairly predictable. I saw the “ah-ha’ twist coming miles before it was revealed. But predictable or not, I did have fun with this. I love that there really wasn’t a lot of angst in the romance aspect of it. Hook was pretty open about wanting Tink, even if he fought it in the beginning. Tink might have been a bit slower on the uptake, but also didn’t bother with drama. It was refreshing…and sweet. Yeah, there’s some steam in there too. But the romantic aspect wat truly sweet.

second star to left photoThe writing itself is clean and easy to read. There’s a bit of repetition in the beginning. But it smooths out. And every now and again a phrase would clang as too real-world, slangy for the fantasy setting—like “no shit,” or “it sucked” or “that’s a whole lot of nope.” But there were few enough not to really matter and I found more lines that made me laugh than raise an eyebrow.

All in all, I enjoyed this a lot. I even managed to pick up a 10 or so page-long epilogue somewhere along the way (probably from the author’s newsletter) and read it too. I look forward to more of Van Dyke’s future books.


Other Reviews:

ARC Review: SECOND STAR TO THE LEFT by Megan Van Dyke

Westveil Publishing – Second Star to the Left by Megan Van Dyke – 3.5 Star Review

Book Tour & Review: Second Star to the Left (Reimagined Fairy Tales #1) by Megan Van Dyke

 

a curse so dark and lonely

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer

a curse so dark and lonely

I purchased a copy of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer.

about the book

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

my review

This was a perfectly passable YA book. It fits the standards of the genre to a T and the writing was skilled enough for a fast reading experience. But I guess I was hoping for something exception. And while it might not be fair to ding a book for that, my disappointment was still very real. I wanted something more than the cliched ‘she’s so special because she’s not like other girls (because other girls are useless in a myriad of way)…he fell in love with her because she’s the only girl to resist his charms…she saved the day by being kind and self-sacrificing…the villain is a scorned woman.’ *Yawn, so many cliches.*

I mean, I liked the characters, Grey especially. If I read the next book it will be wholly to see what happens to him. I appreciated the cerebral palsy and small LGBT rep. As I said, it’s an easy book to read, since it’s nicely crafted. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination a bad YA Beauty and the Beast retelling. It’s just not anything new and exciting either.

a curse so dark and lonely