Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Blitz: FORGOTTEN by Kristin Smith


Forgotten
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.
Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.
The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.
When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.
Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo
EXCERPT:
“How do you know so much about motorcycles? Did your dad ride?”
She laughs outright at my question. “My dad on a motorcycle? No way. Dad was a mixture of leather, coffee, and books. Not oil, sweat, and grease.”
After lying down on her back, she scoots up next to the bike, checking the rims and spokes to make sure there’s no damage. “It kind of became a hobby of mine after my dad died. Do you know the junkyard off Chantilly? Never mind, of course you don’t. Anyway, I found Harley there when I was looking for some old furniture to decorate our trailer with.” She looks up at me. “We didn’t always live in a trailer, you know.”
I try to hide my surprise. I assumed the opposite. “What happened?”
“After Dad died, Mom became sick. We couldn’t afford to live in our house in the suburbs anymore, so we sold it and everything in it, and found the trailer on the outskirts of town. That’s when I dropped out of school and started taking on odd jobs.”
She says it all with such a matter-of-fact tone, but I sense the truth. It was hard for her. It was more than any teenage girl should have to deal with. But she’s too strong to admit it.
“I don’t know how you did it,” I say.
She sits up, wiping her hands on her shorts. Unconsciously, I find my eyes shifting to her bare legs.
“I didn’t have a choice,” she says. She rises to her feet, straddles the bike, and bounces up and down a little. I can only assume she’s checking the chassis to make sure everything is working properly.
“Anyway,” she says. “When I found Harley, I took her home, researched antique motorcycles, and fixed her up. There’s a shop near the Hollow that sells parts, so that’s where I headed after I got my first paycheck.” She pats her bike fondly. “Never regretted it.”
I watch as she turns the key and the engine roars to life, bringing a brilliant smile to her face. I want to tell her all the ways I think she’s amazing, how she’s unlike any girl I’ve ever met, how I find her beautiful, resourceful, intelligent, and intriguing, but she doesn’t want to hear those things. Not from me anyway.


Author Bio:
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Blitz: SERENADE by Heather McKenzie


Serenade
Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.
Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.
Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…
An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.
EXCERPT:
This was it, now or never.
I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.
I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…
I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…
Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.
“Stop fighting,” he said.
His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.
“Stop… please,” he begged.
His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.
“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.
“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.
We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.
“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.
He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”
He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.
“I promise,” I said.


Author Bio:
Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Release blitz: BELLAMY AND THE HAUNTING by Alicia Michaels

The intrigue and romance from BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE continue in a fast-paced novella that catches up with unlikely soul mates Bellamy and Tate as they embark on their new life together. BELLAMY AND THE HAUNTING by Alicia Michaels is officially released today! Readers can take advantage of an exclusive short term special this week only with BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE on sale for only $.99 and BELLAMY AND THE HAUNTING for only $2.99. Hurry, because this sale ends on 4/21/17!
READ TODAY! AMAZON / NOOK / iBOOKS / KOBO / GOOGLE PLAY
Praise for Bellamy & the Brute
Bellamy and the Brute is no Disney fairy tale! Alicia Michaels has woven in murder, mystery, and ghosts in her haunting twist on Beauty and the Beast. – Amazon Reviewer Bellamy and the Brute puts a great new spin on an old fairy tale! I was unable to put the book down once I started reading, as I was pulled into a world of mystery and intrigue that kept me turning the pages! – Amazon Reviewer

READ BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE FOR ONLY $.99 THIS WEEK!


AMAZON / BARNES & NOBLE / iBOOKS / KOBO / GOOGLE PLAY

A fresh twist on the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, Bellamy and the Brute proves true love really is blind. Rumors swirl about Baldwin House, the mysterious mansion on the hill. People say a monster lives there. But Bellamy needs the money, so she takes the job...

ABOUT ALICIA MICHAELS:


Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, the first book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.
The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review: THE REQUIEM RED by Brynn Chapman


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Title: The Requiem Red
Author: Brynn Chapman
Category/Genre: Young adult fantasy

My Star Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Blurb: 
 
Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self- confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world.

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread...each was twenty-nine's cell mate.

Will she be next?


My Review:

The story-line of this novel was, in no uncertain terms, captivating.  The pages contain a rich concoction of deception, family secrets, romance, and just a touch of magic. Splendidly written, the dialogue was almost unfailingly time-period appropriate, and the author provides a creepy, detailed, accurate depiction of life inside an asylum (particularly for women).  I enjoyed this novel immensely, however, there were a couple of issues that nagged at me.  First off, insta-love seemed to be a common theme here.  Both Jane and her sister experience the same unlikely sudden, overwhelming attraction that I could maybe buy into once, but not twice (within the same family, no less).  Second, that ending nearly ruined the whole book for me.  I mean, I don't have anything against cliffhangers; in fact, if done right, they can hook you in and add to the excitement.  Unfortunately, this one just didn't work.  All it did was tick me off.  Nothing was resolved. Nothing. Even another page or two would could have solved this.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book Blitz: MISGUIDED CONTROL by Anna Edwards

MisguidedControlBlitzBanner Title: Misguided Control Series: The Control Series, Book 3 Author: Anna Edwards Publisher: Self-Published Cover Artist: Charity Hendry Release Date: March 7, 2017 Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense Words: 58,000 View on Goodreads

About the Book

Blurb

Misguided Control Control isn’t always what it seems. What do you see Marie Easton as? The jealous secretary whose desire for her boss turns her into a lustful bimbo. Appearances can be deceiving though as new finance director Callum Ashworth is about to find out. Can he help her see the true person behind the mask she wears and how beautiful she is? Or will his attentions lead her down a path she never thought she would go? And what about Callum? Is he the boring accountant that you expect him to be? Or does he hide a secret that nobody ever expected, least of all Marie. With a trip to Rome, and a journey to the dark side of London. Misguided Control will take you on a love affair born out of the fiery pains of hell. Novel contains dark storylines, hot sex with elements of BDSM and a dramatic conclusion. You have been warned. Loving Control (A Bonus Story) Amy and James found their happy ever after in Divided Control so what could possibly go wrong? Amy gives birth, that is what. Can the loving couple find an equilibrium with their new status as parents or will it be their destruction? Throw in another blast from the past and their world looks set to be rocked. Are you ready to step into the world of control?

Excerpt

She took her clothes off. Slowly. He threw them into the shower. She wouldn't wear them again. He could throw them away. She stood in her bra and panties before him. "You should leave." "I'm not leaving you alone." "But?" "I'm not leaving." His eyes had turned dark. If she was honest with herself, though, she didn't want him to go. She undid the clasp of her bra and dropped it to the floor. He averted his eyes, but she knew he could sense every movement she made by the way he gripped the sink. She reached for the waistband of her pants and pulled them down. "Can you get in the shower alright?" "Yes, I can." He turned the water on when she got in. Warmth washed away the filth of what could have killed her. She scrubbed her skin while tears fell. She slathered herself in the soap that he handed her. She'd nearly died. She'd really, really come close to dying. Oh God. Her mum. Owen. Guilt washed over her as she cried and cried. The entire time Callum stood outside the shower. He no longer averted his eyes. He watched as she sobbed and sobbed. She didn't want him to look away. She wanted him to watch. He needed to be close. She wished he could be in the shower with her; inside her. He could take away the pain of her life but she couldn't. She had to be strong. When she finally got out of the shower, he wrapped a towel around her and rubbed her until she was dry. "I don't have a change of clothes for you. But." He took off his jacket, tie, waistcoat and shirt. "Take my shirt, it will cover you. My coat will keep you warm." He put the waistcoat back on. "You don't have a girdle." She wasn't sure where those words had come from. All she knew was that she had looked at his muscular torso and that was what had popped into her mind. She let out a little giggle. He took a step closer to her and wrapped the shirt around her. She dropped the towel to the floor, and he did the buttons up. He stopped after a few and rested his forehead against hers. "I'm so sorry. I've never hated having to do anything as much as I hated putting you in that position. It was the only thing we could think of. Signore Corvi had hidden things too well." "It's ok. Everything worked out." "Mr North will be very pleased with you." Callum hesitated on the words. "And with you." He brought his lips down, so they hovered just above hers. "Marie, may I kiss you?" She swallowed. "Yes. Yes, please. Kiss me."

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

About Anna Edwards

Author Bio

Anna Edwards is a British Author who has a love of travelling and developing plot lines for stories. She has spent the last two years learning the skills of writing after being an accountant since the age of 21. As well as roleplaying on Twitter, she can also be found writing poetry. Her debut novel, Surrendered Control was released in November 2016 and has received fantastic feedback on the drama of story. Divided Control followed in December and again received acclaim. In her writing, Anna combines her love of romantic and erotic fiction with her passion for travel to give an international feel to her novels. She likes her hero’s hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, her heroines demure but spunky, and her books in a kick arse series

Connect with Anna

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the following:
  • First Prize: set of signed paperbacks of all three books in The Control Series plus swag pack
  • Second Prize: E-Copies of all three books in The Control Series plus swag pack
  • Third Prize: Swag pack
The contest closes at midnight EST on April 22, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Blitz: JULY THUNDER by Shannon A. Thompson


July Thunder
Shannon A. Thompson
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.
Fourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name–citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier.
Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.
That’s when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who’s attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery–and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.
Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed.
EXCERPT:
While the Northern Flock had to be quiet to survive, the herd played music in order to live.
Caleb’s hand found mine. “Dance with me?” he asked, but I hated my answer.
“I can’t.” My confession came with my wrecked knee. With one gesture, Caleb seemed to understand, but as he turned his eyes to his herd—to Britney prancing around with Plato, to Kat covering her ears, to Yasir holding Hanna with his protective gloves between them—Caleb pulled me up to my feet.
“Let me do it for you,” he said, and then, he lifted me up and placed me on the tops of his boots.
As he swayed, I saw the sunburn on the tops of his cheeks, the sand in his hair, the sea salt on his skin. Then, his chapped lips as he managed a shaky smile. For once, Caleb looked disheveled, and I had never liked him more.
“That’s some crew you have,” he said, but I hadn’t noticed anyone else in the world around us until he spun.
Life-sized shadows—dozens of them—danced all around us, and I recognized their shapes as people I would always know. Blake and his teddy bear. Floyd’s stretched limbs, and Ami’s swinging braids. Even Adam’s speed.
Alive or dead, the shadows of every member of my own flock joined in on the dance of a herd, and my heart fluttered at the sight.
Losing control had never felt so great.
Neither had a storm descending down upon us.


Author Bio:
Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.
As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.
Visit her blog for writers and readers at www.ShannonAThompson.com.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cover Reveal: CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin


The Canary Club
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.
Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.
Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.


Author Bio:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Cover Reveal: MONSTERS AMONG US by Amanda Strong


A STUNNING CONCLUSION...

The stunning conclusion of the MONSTERS AMONG US Series by Amanda Strong releases on June 26, 2017! To celebrate, we've got an exciting cover reveal and pre-order special to share with you today. Take a look at the gorgeous cover of MONSTERS AMONG US by Amanda Strong below! Then find out for yourself why readers are calling this series: "Awesome and Exhilarating!" For any reader who hasn't started this suspense thriller with a unique twist, we highly recommend you grab your copy of HIDDEN MONSTER today since it's currently FREE!
We always love to hear what you think of the covers, the books, or anything! So drop us a line or two in the comments. And don't forget, it's a fact that 1 in 3 of your friends is looking for a book recommendation, so pass this along to them. Sharing is caring!

INNER DEMONS

What if the fate of the world lies with the monster – not the hero?

Pre-Order MONSTERS AMONG US on AMAZON Today!
PRE-ORDER SALE: $3.99 (REGULARLY $4.99) Coming to more retailers soon!

START READING THIS SERIES TODAY!

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HIDDEN MONSTER (Book 1) FREE!

Grab your FREE copy of HIDDEN MONSTER today here! Hidden-Monster-1
A morning jog turns into a nightmare when a masked assailant abducts Samantha and keeps her captive, injecting her with a mysterious serum. When she's finally free, she discovers that she's changing — and that monsters are real…

INNER DEMONS (Book 2)

Grab your discounted copy of HIDDEN MONSTER today here!

ABOUT AMANDA STRONG:

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed. Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us. The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016. Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us. When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream. See more at: www.authoramandastrong.com

Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Review: BEAUTY OF THE BEAST by Rachel L. Demeter

Beauty of the Beast
by Rachel L. Demeter
Fairy Tale Retellings, #1
Release Date: March 15, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Gothic Romance #beautyofthebeasttour
🥀 Buy 🥀
🥀 Book Blurb 🥀
Experience 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. 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 retelling of the classic fairy tale. 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.

My Review

A dark take on a classic, relevant fairy tale, Beauty of the Beast was a pleasure to read. The romance grew at a steady, realistic pace, blossoming in tragedy and enhanced by the brokenness of both the hero and heroine. The Gothic undertone lends itself to the appeal, setting the stage for complete immersion in the story. My one and only complaint being I found a lot of repetition; too many chapters and scenes started by the subject jolting awake, and just when you thought a character had progressed and their plight resolved, they dwelled on it for another few chapters. Overall, a fantastic story.

**I received a complimentary copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed**
 

🎬 Book Trailer 🎬

🥀 Teasers 🥀

🥀 Playlist 🥀

🥀 Excerpt 🥀

~ The East Tower ~

Arms sprang out from the darkness. They spun her full circle and slammed her body against the king’s portrait. Isabelle gasped, more in shock than from pain, as she stared into Adam’s deformed face. The lantern flickered behind his massive form, casting his cloaked body in silhouette. But she saw enough to know he was far from pleased. Rage and frustration radiated from his body like a palpable force.

“I warned you to stay out of here,” he said, his voice dangerously cold and deep. Those rugged vocals vibrated against her body and seeped into her marrow. “What part of forbidden didn’t you comprehend?” His voice lashed out from the darkness like a hurtled knife, and the word “forbidden” seemed to whisper another meaning altogether. Isabelle tried to answer but failed to find her voice. Indeed, her vocal cords had turned to solid ice, as numb and cold as the blood rushing through her veins. She couldn’t breathe; she felt like she was suffocating.

“My mother gave me that musical box on my fourth birthday,” he said, the sensual lull of his voice causing the fine hairs on her nape to stand erect. “And now your recklessness has destroyed it. Have you nothing to say?”

“I—I’m sorry.” He offered no reply; only the ragged sound of his breathing and the hammering blizzard broke the silence. “Please—I didn’t mean any harm.”

She struggled under the weight of Adam’s colossal body and battled to free herself. He merely gave a low chuckle and pressed her firmly against the portrait. He looked otherworldly at that moment, like an angel of death seeking vengeance. Both beautiful and monstrous, his cool, sapphire eyes overflowed with warring emotions. In spite of his harsh and ruthless exterior, she detected a quaver in his voice and saw that his large, cloaked shoulders trembled. The darkness in his soul cast a shadow that embraced her; as she peered up at him, she knew he was drowning in the turbulent waters of a past time.

“What a disappointment,” he went on, his voice growing deeper still, mocking her words from so many days ago, “You’re like any other woman.”

“I—I’m sorry. Please, Adam. I—” Her gaze shot past his body and over the wreckage of a past life. She thought of her private chamber again—of the stale perfumes and outdated garments.

Her flight or fight instinct seized hold of her. She attempted to scramble free, but he merely grabbed her shoulder and whirled her back against the portrait. Gloves wrapped his hands; his long, silk-clad fingers grasped her shoulder and kept her firmly in place.

He stood intimately close.

Far too close.

As close as Raphael had been that night.

“Going somewhere, ma belle? After you’ve worked so hard to find my East Tower?”

Hands like two steel bands held her wrists in place. Hot breaths, which faintly smelled of wine, seared her cheeks and assaulted her senses. Her breasts flattened against the pressure of his strong chest, and she felt that same chest swell and deflate in perfect sync with her own. One large hand slipped down her elbow and glided across her extended arm. The lush material of his gloves drew a shudder from her heaving chest. His breathing grew more ragged, shallower, and the erratic beat of his heart banged against her own.

Anger and desire warred on his face, twisting his features into a mess of both monster and man. “Find anything of interest, aside from my musical box? Come, come. You went through such great trouble to get here,” he asked, his voice now threaded with both anger and something else.

Yes, Isabelle recognized that something else. It was the same note that had entered Raphael’s voice that night…

She attempted to duck under his arm, but he moved swiftly, capturing her in the crook of his elbow. Reeling her toward him, he emitted a low, haunting chuckle that swelled the eastern tower to its rafters. She was back where she’d started—pinned against the portrait, Adam’s body serving as a flesh-and-blood blockade.

Hunger radiated from him, enfolding her in a current of sizzling power. His silk-clad hand grazed the curve of her breast as it moved down her body in a painfully slow caress. Even more alarming was her reaction to him. Her treacherous body responded with a crush of hot and cold pulsating waves. Then he whispered a taunt in her ear, and his liquid baritone slid down her backbone like honey; it swirled inside her, finding its home in her most intimate area.

He leaned closer still. His face’s uneven skin brushed against her neck, the black waves of his hair tickled her chin... His thick arousal expanded against her, reminding her of what he was capable of—and of her sheer vulnerability.

His lips teased the base of her throat. Cursing her traitorous body, Isabelle gasped at the gentle scraping of his teeth. His tongue and lips tormented her throbbing pulse—just barely, stirring her skin in a mere ghost of a touch.

🥀 Excerpt 🥀

~ Adam and Isabelle’s ballroom dance ~

Isabelle entered the ballroom at precisely eight o’clock. Moonlight, bone white and lustrous, threaded through the grand windows like prying fingers. The illumination set the medallion flooring aglow. Columns lined the oval-shaped room and graced a domed ceiling. A handsome grandfather clock towered in the corner, ticking off the seconds with a pulsating drone. Candelabras reached around the edge of the circular room and lurked like quiet sentries. Their wavering candles mated with the moonbeams and threw golden patches across the intricate marble floor.

Incredible silence surrounded Isabelle, pressed into her very being, as she slipped into the heart of the ballroom. She could almost hear the gay whispers of ladies and the delicate swishing of their lace fans. She smelled the sweet scents of their exotic perfumes and could hear the distant, ghostly echo of a pianoforte. And she knew that, despite the castle’s neglected state, it had once been a place of unrivaled beauty and glamour.

Much like Adam himself.

Isabelle spun around full circle, her mind transporting to a past era that brimmed with elegance and luxury. She felt the darkly romantic pull of the castle and its numberless mysteries... felt herself falling in love with its shadows and secrets. Dust motes danced in the shafts of moonbeams and wavering candles. Faintly she hummed beneath her breath, testing the acoustics in the spacious room. Her voice carried, swirling around her in an echoing cyclone.

 

Then she came to a standstill as a soft touch grazed her bare shoulder. Large, silk-clad hands rotated her body with a startling gentleness. A breath escaped her lips as she drank in Adam’s proud, towering form. Her mind slipped back to the previous day and night—to their sensual kiss in the stables.

A navy, double-breasted coat hugged the muscular curves of his body, offset by shimmering golden buttons. They looked like small glowing suns floating against a sky of rustic blue.

He resembled a flesh-and-blood prince. Proud. Formidable. In full command of everything and everyone in the room. Even a hint arrogant. Her heart hammered, threatening to burst. Suddenly she felt like she’d been thrust into a world of magic and romantic hushed secrets. The scars look out of place on his smirking features, she mused with a pang of sadness. And dressed in a cascade of cornflower damask and lace, the sparkling tiara half-buried in her curls, she felt like a princess.

Then it began.

Adam took a deft step backward, sank into a shallow bow, and outstretched his gloved hand. Isabelle grasped her flowing skirts and dipped into a curtsy, her heart madly pitter-pattering. Feeling like a young girl during her first ball, she accepted the invitation and abandoned her silk-encased palm in his own. Strength surged through his fingers, sending chords of awareness thrumming through her body.

Am I dreaming? If so, then let me sleep forever.

A muscled arm snaked around her torso and tugged her intimately close. Everything seemed to fade away while the heat of their bodies mingled as one. Her heart banged against her ribs as she sought the depths of his eyes. At this range, flicks of gold contrasted against his sky-blue irises. Much of the sadness seemed to have vanished, leaving an almost boyish delight in its wake. The right side of his face was devastatingly handsome, his hair so black it drank the twinkling candles.

Keeping her body pressed to his own, he swung her into the scandalous waltz dance. Her small fingers curled around his bicep as he lifted the other hand in midair. He swept her across the smooth marble floor, twirling her body, his large hand securely on the center of her back, his footwork extravagant and exact. Cords of muscle bunched and slid beneath her fingers, and light from the candelabras flashed over the mismatched sides of his face.

Isabelle felt clumsy—as if she had sprouted two left feet. She’d spent her youth traveling the countryside and coastline with Papa—not blushing behind a lace fan or dancing in lavish ballrooms. Adam, however, danced with a haunting grace; his movements executed with a fine, cultured polish. He clearly hadn’t been raised in the back of a wagon, she mused. Prince-like and regal, he’d danced this dance many times before; maybe it had been in another place and another life, but his confident, masterful steps gave the truth away.

Isabelle struggled to keep up with his graceful strides, though she knew she was making a fool of herself. She stumbled as Adam swept her into an unexpected twirl again; he reeled her back to his side, so they stood intimately close, then chuckled in her ear with the audacity of a pirate. The decadent sound rippled through her veins and mingled with the wine. His lips pressed against the shell of her ear, and the whisper of his warm breaths sent chills thrumming down her backbone.

I am falling for him—falling fast and hard.

Indeed. She’d been falling for him for some time.

“You’re a dreadful dancer,” he murmured against her ear. Paired with the husky baritone of his voice, the insult sounded rather like an endearment.

 

Regardless, she returned the blight with a swift and playful vengeance. “Perhaps my partner is to blame.” She cocked her head back and captured his bright gaze. He offered no retort aside from the arch in his thick brow.

Her face reached the height of his shoulder and not a centimeter more. She curled her head against the security of his chest and inhaled his essence with a reverent breath. A tangle of emotions welled in her gut, blurring everything but the moment... everything but the exquisite feel of Adam holding her. As he swept her across the smooth marble floor, the world whirled by in a beautiful, dreamlike mosaic.

She felt like she’d fallen into one of her fairy tales.

“Oh, Adam... I never want this moment to end,” she heard herself whisper against his coat.

“It doesn’t have to.”

Adam shifted back and forth in a tantalizing rocking motion, slow dancing to a melody only he could hear. As she melted into his embrace, the candelabras crackled and seductively flashed, accompanying each of their steps. Then he bowed his chin and hummed a beautiful tune against her forehead. It sounded achingly sweet, like a tender lullaby from the depths of a dream world. The force of his vocals resonated deep inside her, massaging Isabelle’s body with delicious caresses. Her heart resembled a drum—and she trembled in time with its beat. That immaculate baritone stoked her imagination, igniting an inferno deep within her soul.

Closing her eyes, she rubbed her cheek against his coat’s rugged material and sparkling buttons, abandoning herself to his rhythmic sways and husky baritone. Drawing her into its sultry, comforting depths, his voice surrounded her like liquid velvet. With increasing pressure, his palm swept up the length of her back, down and up, tickling her spine with each soothing movement. Heated breaths wafted against her hairline, stirring the curls about her shoulders. His every gesture felt numbingly gentle, executed with a startling grace. Isabelle had to remind herself to breathe, lest she faints from the pleasure of it all.

Emotion claimed the best of her. Isabelle exhaled a shaky breath as tears singed the corners of her eyes.

They danced like that for close to an hour, moving in perfect unison to the calming melody of Adam’s voice, the slick medallion floor sliding beneath their feet like some magical carpet. The marble ground reflected their waltzing images with the ease of a looking glass.

Everything felt dreamlike. Peaceful. Beautiful.

🥀 Meet 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 fourteen 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. Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
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